Capturing the perfect shot isn’t just about the camera you wield—it’s equally about the lens that complements it. In a world where every fleeting moment can unfold into a photographic masterpiece, understanding the art of choosing the right lens is crucial. If you’re a passionate photographer exploring the realm between the versatile and the specialized, you’re in the right place.
Our focus today lands on two titans from the world of optics: the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8. These lenses have often sparked lively debates among both amateur and professional photographers, thanks to their distinct strengths that cater to diverse photography genres.
Are you a travel enthusiast looking to immortalize panoramic landscapes or capture exotic wildlife without constantly switching lenses? Or perhaps, you’re a street or portrait photographer seeking to seize the soul of urban life or the essence of a person in crisp, high-quality images? Maybe you’re an adventurous soul, ready to brave the elements and need a lens that can withstand the rigors of challenging environments?
Well, hold tight, as we embark on a comprehensive exploration of these two lenses, illuminating their unique features, comparing their performances, and delving into the specifics that make them stand out. From the nuances of sharpness, bokeh, and distortion control, to the subtleties of build quality and focusing performance, we’ve got you covered.
By delving into this comparative article, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of these lenses, facilitating an informed decision that aligns with your photographic needs and ambitions. After all, selecting the right lens can elevate your photography to new heights, unlocking the potential for more compelling narratives and captivating visuals.
So, let’s dive in, refine your lens knowledge, and help you frame your world through a lens that truly matches your photographic vision!
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR||Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 S|
|Focal Range (mm)||24-200||24-70|
|Mount Type||Nikon Z||Nikon Z|
|Max Format||35mm FF||35mm FF|
|Zoom Ratio (X)||8.3||2.9|
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, both designed for the Nikon Z mount and compatible with full frame (35mm FF) cameras, have distinctive features that make them suitable for different photography scenarios.
The 24-200mm lens, with a variable maximum aperture of f/4-6.3, offers a broad focal range, making it a versatile choice for those looking to capture everything from wide-angle landscapes to close-up subjects. However, its variable aperture means that as you zoom in, the lens lets in less light. This could potentially limit its performance in low-light conditions, especially at longer focal lengths.
Furthermore, the variable aperture could affect the consistency of the depth of field across the zoom range, possibly leading to less background blur for subjects at further distances. In terms of image quality, while modern variable aperture lenses have improved, they may still exhibit less sharpness, more distortion, or increased chromatic aberration compared to fixed aperture lenses.
On the other hand, the 24-70mm lens has a fixed maximum aperture of f/2.8. Although it offers a narrower focal range compared to the 24-200mm lens, it maintains a wide aperture throughout, enabling better performance in low light and more consistent control over depth of field across the zoom range. With its wider aperture, it can create a pleasing background blur, beneficial for portraits or other scenarios where subject isolation is desired. Lenses featuring unchanging apertures frequently exhibit superior image quality, encompassing sharpness, contrast, and diminished chromatic aberration. However, they are typically heavier and more expensive, which could be a consideration for some photographers.
If versatility and the ability to capture a wide variety of subjects without changing lenses is paramount, the 24-200mm lens would be a fitting choice. Conversely, if consistent low-light performance, depth of field control, and potentially higher image quality are priorities, the 24-70mm lens with its fixed aperture would be superior.
Design and Ease of Use
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR||Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 S|
|Diameter x Length (mm)||⌀76.5×114mm||⌀89×126mm|
|Filter Thread (mm)||67||82|
|Zoom Method||Rotary (extending)||Rotary (extending)|
Lens Mount and Barrel
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 display distinct differences in their lens mounts and barrels that can substantially affect the user experience and performance.
The lens mount of the 24-200mm lens is composed of aluminum, creating a lightweight yet durable interface with the camera body. A rubber gasket encircles the mount, providing a barrier against elements like dust and moisture, increasing the lens’s resilience to harsh conditions. This lightweight mount, while durable, might not be as robust or resistant to wear and tear as some other materials.
In contrast, the 24-70mm lens has a metal lens mount, enhancing the robustness of the connection between the camera and the lens. The rubber gasket around the rear offers a similar layer of protection against dust and moisture, ensuring the lens’s longevity when attached to the camera. This sturdy metal mount, although potentially heavier, can provide a more reliable and solid feel.
The lens barrel of the 24-200mm lens is predominantly plastic, which contributes to its lighter weight and ease of handling. However, its design leads to a change in physical size during zooming, extending considerably from 24mm to 200mm focal length. This could pose some inconvenience in certain shooting situations, particularly where compactness is essential.
On the other hand, the 24-70mm lens barrel combines metal and plastic, resulting in a robust and resilient build. The zoom ring, with its rubberized surfaces, allows for an enhanced grip. A notable feature is the internal zoom mechanism, which maintains a consistent form factor across the focal range, eliminating any physical size change during zooming. This could be beneficial for photographers who prefer a consistent lens size regardless of the focal length.
In conclusion, the choice between these two lens mounts and barrels depends on individual photographic needs and preferences. If you prioritize a lighter weight and dynamic focal range despite the change in size, the 24-200mm lens with its aluminum mount and plastic barrel might be superior. Alternatively, if a robust connection, durability, and consistent form factor are essential, the 24-70mm lens with its metal mount and mixed-material barrel would be the better choice.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 both have commendable weather sealing features, critical for photographers working in challenging weather conditions. The sealing safeguards the lens from dust, moisture, and other environmental elements, ensuring optimal performance and durability.
Starting with the 24-200mm lens, this lens exhibits a high level of weather sealing. It’s equipped with a gasket at the lens mount, providing an added layer of defense against dust and moisture. Additionally, the lens incorporates internal seals at the control rings and switches, thus reinforcing its resilience to harsh weather conditions. The front element of the lens is fluorine-coated, a feature that repels dust, water, and grease, making it easier to clean and causes water to bead off the lens, particularly beneficial when shooting in rainy or wet environments. However, the lens still requires the use of a lens hood and periodic drying in such conditions.
On the other hand, the 24-70mm lens boasts comprehensive weather sealing. This includes seals not only at the lens mount but also at control rings, buttons, switches, and the connecting joints between components. A rubber gasket at the rear further minimizes dust infiltration. The lens also benefits from fluorine coatings on both the front and rear lens elements, providing resistance against moisture, fingerprints, and smudges, enhancing its durability and reliability in diverse weather conditions.
Comparatively, the 24-70mm lens offers more extensive weather sealing due to the additional seals at buttons and the rubber gasket at the rear, along with the fluorine coating on both lens elements. This makes it more suitable for photographers working in a wider range of challenging environments. Consequently, the 24-70mm lens provides a superior level of protection and peace of mind, potentially making it a more valuable investment, despite possibly being more costly due to the engineering and materials involved in its robust sealing design.
Starting with the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3, it presents two rings: a zoom ring and a control ring. The prominent zoom ring is situated at the front of the outer barrel, and its large size coupled with rubbery grooves ensures a firm grip for smooth and precise zooming. Notably, when zoomed to its full capacity of 200mm, two inner barrels protrude out, signifying a change in the lens’s physical length. An added advantage is the presence of an extension lock switch on the zoom ring, which helps in preventing any unintentional lens extension during transport.
The control ring, narrower and positioned just behind the zoom ring, can be utilized for manual focus or to adjust other settings like aperture or exposure compensation. Its rubberized texture with a raised ridge pattern assures a comfortable and tactile user experience, even when wearing gloves. The control ring’s responsiveness can vary with the speed of rotation, thereby facilitating fine adjustments or dramatic focus shifts. However, the lens lacks a windowed distance scale or a depth-of-field indicator, and shifting to manual focus necessitates using the camera’s quick menu.
Transitioning to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, you’ll find three rings at your disposal: a foremost focus ring, a middle zoom ring, and a rear customizable control ring. The focus ring is electronically linked to the lens’s focus motor and is smooth, providing a speed-sensitive response for precise adjustments. The zoom ring, rubberized and requiring some force to turn, provides a firm grip, avoiding inadvertent movement. It covers the zoom range in a quarter-turn, with consistent resistance across the focal lengths.
The control ring, which can be customized to control the lens’s aperture, ISO sensitivity, or exposure compensation, operates smoothly without a ‘clicky’ option. Despite the absence of a windowed distance scale or depth-of-field indicator, the lens features a small OLED display on the barrel that presents vital information such as focal length, focus distance, and aperture. The lens doesn’t suffer from zoom creep, and there’s no extension lock switch on the zoom ring. The manual focusing distance depends on how quickly the focus ring is turned, ranging from a quarter-turn to a half-turn.
In comparison, both lenses offer high precision and control with their rings. However, the 24-70mm lens, with its third control ring and OLED display providing vital lens data, surpasses the 24-200mm lens in terms of functionality. Additionally, the electronically coupled focus ring on the 24-70mm lens allows for faster and more precise adjustments, which may prove advantageous in certain shooting scenarios. Thus, the 24-70mm lens’s rings offer a superior user experience overall, providing an ideal balance of tactile feedback, ergonomics, and precise control.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 adopts a minimalist approach regarding its switches/buttons, with fewer control options directly on the lens compared to many other Nikon models. Its standout feature is a small lock switch located between the control ring and the zoom ring. This feature is designed to prevent the lens from accidentally extending when not in use, which can be particularly handy during transit or storage.
However, this lens does not provide an AF/MF switch to easily toggle between autofocus and manual focus, or a VR (Vibration Reduction) switch to control image stabilization. These settings need to be adjusted via the camera’s menu system, which may not be as immediate or convenient for rapid changes in a shooting situation.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 offers more in the way of switches/buttons. It features an AF/MF slide switch, providing a quick and easy method of toggling between autofocus and manual focus modes. The lens also sports a programmable L-fn (Lens Function) button, which can be customized to various functions such as autofocus lock, subject tracking, or image playback. This customization can enhance operational efficiency, as it allows the user to assign frequently used functions to this button.
Additionally, there is a Display mode button next to the L-fn button, used for cycling through different OLED display modes like focal length, aperture, or focus distance. All switches and buttons are designed for easy accessibility, making quick adjustments a breeze and eliminating the need to navigate the camera’s menu system.
In comparing the two, it’s clear that the 24-70mm lens offers more immediate control over key settings through its switches/buttons, providing an edge in terms of usability and convenience. Therefore, for photographers who appreciate quick, tangible control over their lens settings, the 24-70mm lens with its AF/MF switch and programmable L-fn button is the superior option.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 features a 67mm filter thread, composed of plastic. Its non-rotating front element and filter thread make it easy to use with filters such as polarizers or graduated neutral density filters. The 67mm size is advantageous, as filters of this dimension tend to be more cost-friendly compared to larger ones. However, despite its affordability, the plastic make might be less durable and could wear out with frequent filter swaps.
In contrast, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 is equipped with an 82mm filter thread. This size is typical for high-performance lenses within the same focal range. Similar to the 24-200mm lens, the front element and filter thread do not rotate during focusing, making it convenient to use with various filters. But, mounting and adjusting polarizing filters can be challenging when the lens hood is attached. The lens hood, though, has a locking mechanism to prevent unintended detachment, adding to the overall ease of filter use. Note, the 82mm filters tend to be more expensive than their 67mm counterparts.
In summary, if you value affordability and are okay with slightly less durability, the 67mm plastic filter thread on the 24-200mm lens would be ideal. However, if you prioritize robustness and are willing to invest more in filters, the 82mm filter thread on the 24-70mm lens would be a better fit.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 comes with the HB-93 lens hood included in the package. This hood is designed to be sturdy and proficient in mitigating lens flare and ghosting. The ergonomic bevel facilitates a comfortable grip during rotation and attachment to the lens. Further enhancing its convenience, the hood is reversible, making it easy to stow away for transportation when not in active use.
On the other hand, the lens hood of Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, which is also included in the package, offers protection against unwanted flare when shooting under bright light. It is made of plastic with a velvet-like coating on its interior, which aids in reducing reflections. Similar to the 24-200mm hood, it’s ergonomically beveled for easy attachment and detachment. This hood can also be reversed onto the lens for compact storage or transport. However, unlike the HB-93, it lacks a locking mechanism, which might affect its stability but does not impede its smooth mounting and rotation.
In summation, both lens hoods perform effectively in their primary roles of reducing flare and ghosting, and both can be reversed for convenient storage. However, the 24-200mm lens hood may have a slight advantage in terms of stability, due to the unspecified locking mechanism which may add an extra layer of security, reducing the risk of accidental detachment. This characteristic could make the 24-200mm lens hood a more reliable option in dynamic shooting scenarios.
Focusing and Optical Stabilization
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR||Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 S|
|AF Motor||Stepper motor||Stepper motor|
|Rotating Front Element||Does not rotate on focusing||Does not rotate on focusing|
|Min Focus Distance||0.5m(24mm);0.7m(200mm)||0.38m|
|Max Magnification (X)||0.28||0.22|
|Full-Time Manual Focus||Yes||Yes|
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 features a quiet and generally accurate autofocus operation. Its focus speed is decent, taking approximately 0.5 seconds to adjust from infinity to 2.04m at the 200mm focal length. However, it might not compete with some professional zoom lenses in terms of speed. In low-light conditions, it may not be as quick, but it still manages to be reliable. When focusing on static subjects in AF-S mode, it can achieve an accurate initial autofocus acquisition.
This lens also includes a manual focus override feature, where a simple turn of the focus ring enables manual focus adjustments. Its smooth operation and internally focusing design, which keeps the lens length constant, add to its user-friendly features. The lens also minimally experiences focus breathing, making it well-suited for video work.
In contrast, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 shows excellent autofocus performance, generating minimal noise during focusing. The focus speed is moderate, taking about 0.5 seconds to shift from infinity to 0.77m at a 70mm focal length. It shows notable prowess in low-light conditions, with any hesitations more attributable to the camera’s AF system rather than the lens itself. The lens also features a quick and accurate initial autofocus acquisition, ensuring precise focus on subjects.
This lens, too, boasts a manual focus override, allowing swift manual adjustments as needed. Its smooth manual focus operation and an internally focusing design that prevents the front element from rotating during focus further augment its appeal. Moreover, it effectively minimizes focus breathing, which is particularly advantageous for video shooting or focus stacking.
To conclude, both lenses provide reliable focusing performance with their unique strengths. However, the 24-70mm lens takes the edge with its remarkable autofocus performance, notably in low-light conditions, and its swift initial autofocus acquisition. These features, combined with its ability to minimize focus breathing effectively, make it slightly superior to the 24-200mm in terms of focusing performance.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 boasts an optical stabilization system (VR), which, when merged with the Nikon Z7 camera’s in-body image stabilization (IBIS), can deliver up to 4.5 to 5 stops of stabilization, contingent on focal length and shooting conditions. The stabilization operation is unnoticeably silent. At the 200mm mark, the combined stabilization functions well down to 1/13 sec (4 stops), and even at 1/6 sec (5 stops), a majority of the images remain remarkably sharp. The stabilization efficacy, of course, varies depending on the focal length and shutter speed, but it generally enhances handheld shot quality, especially at the telephoto end and in low-light conditions.
Conversely, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 does not feature built-in optical image stabilization and instead depends on Nikon Z body’s integrated sensor-shift stabilization, providing up to 5-axis stabilization. This stabilization is typically silent and effective, offering an improvement of 3 to 4 stops in practical usage scenarios. This implies that you can capture sharp, handheld shots at slower shutter speeds than without stabilization. The exact shutter speeds yielding sharp images will hinge on the specific focal length, but the performance is generally commendable across the lens’s range.
To sum up, while both lenses offer effective image stabilization capabilities, the 24-200mm lens edges out with its built-in optical stabilization system (VR). When combined with a camera’s in-body image stabilization, this lens provides a considerable advantage, especially when shooting handheld at longer focal lengths and in low-light conditions, making it the superior choice in terms of optical stabilization.
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR||Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 S|
|Special Elements||ED and aspherical elements + ARNEO and Super Integrated coatings||4 ED and 2 aspherical elements + Arneo and Nano Crystal coatings|
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 manifests low to moderate chromatic aberration levels, most notably at the 24mm and 200mm focal lengths. Nonetheless, these aberrations can be effortlessly rectified in post-processing, without leaving any conspicuous artifacts behind. Coma, an optical anomaly frequently seen in night shots with high contrast and point-light sources, is not significantly troublesome with this lens, showing robust performance without noticeable weaknesses.
Spherical aberration, otherwise known as spherochromatism—an advanced form of spherical and chromatic aberration—is also minimal, implying that the lens does not exhibit any noticeable color fringing around the edges of out-of-focus areas, contributing to the overall image quality.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 exhibits remarkable control over chromatic aberration. Longitudinal chromatic aberration is negligible and can be easily managed in post-processing. Lateral chromatic aberration is also well-handled, rarely influencing image quality, and can be automatically corrected by software like Adobe Lightroom. Coma, which can affect the rendition of point light sources in images, is well-managed, preventing the distortion of points of light into ‘comet’ shapes.
Spherical aberration or spherochromatism is virtually nonexistent, making this lens an excellent choice for creating smooth, out-of-focus backgrounds without unwanted color fringes. This exceptional performance across various aberrations significantly enhances the overall image quality of this lens.
In conclusion, both lenses perform admirably in controlling different types of aberrations. However, the 24-70mm lens demonstrates a superior performance with its impressive control over various forms of aberration, contributing to an overall superior image quality.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 exhibits impressive sharpness for a superzoom lens, especially between the 35mm to 70mm focal length range. In this range, the center sharpness is outstanding. Corner sharpness, while generally good, does show some softness at 24mm, 105mm, and more noticeably between 135mm and 200mm. This might be slightly noticeable in scenarios where edge-to-edge sharpness is essential, such as in landscape or architectural photography.
At wider apertures, the lens presents good center sharpness at both 24mm and 200mm, while the corners are slightly softer. Stopping down does improve corner sharpness, with optimal results around f/5.6 at the wide end and f/8 at the telephoto end. Therefore, the lens demonstrates a good balance of sharpness across its versatile range, making it a decent choice for a variety of photography genres, from landscapes to wildlife or sports.
Conversely, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 displays remarkable sharpness throughout its aperture range, with a strong emphasis on center sharpness. At wider apertures like f/2.8, it already delivers very good center sharpness, peaking at f/5.6 for most focal lengths. This suggests that the lens performs well in lower light conditions or when a shallow depth of field is desired, such as in portrait photography.
Corner sharpness tends to be a bit softer when wide open but improves noticeably upon stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8, providing excellent overall image sharpness, especially important in scenarios like landscape or architectural photography. The sharpest apertures generally fall between f/5.6 and f/8, with f/11 still maintaining excellent performance. However, stopping down further to f/16 and f/22 does result in a slight drop in sharpness due to diffraction effects.
In conclusion, while both lenses perform well in terms of sharpness, the 24-70mm lens demonstrates superior control over sharpness throughout its aperture and focal length ranges. Its ability to maintain excellent sharpness, especially in the center, from wider apertures, gives it an edge, particularly for photography genres that require a shallow depth of field or are performed in low light conditions. Therefore, for sharpness as a deciding factor, the 24-70mm lens would be the preferred choice.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 delivers a generally smooth and pleasing bokeh, especially noticeable when at the telephoto end or when the subject is close to the lens. The bokeh balls exhibit a gentle, soft characteristic without onion ringing and maintain a mostly circular shape, albeit with occasional slight octagonal forms. This lends a neutral yet pleasing feel to the out-of-focus areas.
Furthermore, the transition from the focused plane to out-of-focus areas is quite natural, aiding in subject separation and background blur, particularly at the 200mm focal length. This can be particularly beneficial in portrait or wildlife photography, where the subject’s separation from the background is desired. Nonetheless, certain flaws may be apparent, such as pronounced edges on highlights, minor distortion of blurred circles, and corner-related cat-eye clipping.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 creates a generally pleasing bokeh, manifesting as smooth, creamy, and blurred backgrounds. This quality makes it suitable for various subjects, including portraiture and still life, where the focus is on the subject, and a beautiful background blur is desired. Nonetheless, certain concerns may arise, such as a busy bokeh in slightly defocused areas or transition zones, intermittent cat-eye patterns within busy backgrounds, and discernible outlines within background highlights.
Despite these minor issues, the bokeh quality is mostly satisfactory. However, for those seeking a lens specifically for creating dreamy bokeh, other options like the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G might be considered, which is optimized for beautiful out-of-focus highlights.
To conclude, while both lenses present generally pleasing bokeh, the specific use case might dictate the better choice. For a versatile lens that can handle a wide range of scenarios and offers the ability to create appealing bokeh, particularly at longer focal lengths, the 24-200mm lens is a good choice. However, if the primary goal is to achieve creamy, smooth bokeh, particularly for portraiture or still life, the 24-70mm lens might be slightly superior, though users might also consider other lenses optimized for bokeh quality.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 displays commendable resilience to flare and ghosting, a characteristic that is particularly prominent at shorter focal lengths. Thanks to the ARNEO coating, the lens effectively curbs these optical imperfections, preserving image contrast and overall quality. However, as you venture past the 24mm mark, the lens hood gradually loses its protective efficacy, making the lens more prone to flare or ghosting, especially when the sun or a bright light source is in close proximity to the frame.
Moreover, while this lens holds its own in most shooting scenarios, its resistance to flare doesn’t quite match that of Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 or Z prime lenses. Hence, careful consideration of light sources becomes paramount when shooting at longer focal lengths to avert unwanted flare or ghosting in your images.
On the contrary, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 shines in its ability to manage flare and ghosting. The use of Nikon’s ARNEO coat and Nano Crystal Coat significantly diminishes these optical anomalies, even when photographing bright light sources. As a result, flare or ghosting seldom mars your images, especially if the light source is strategically positioned within the frame. Beyond this, the lens shows minimal veiling glare and maintains deep blacks, offering superior performance compared to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR.
However, it’s worth noting that in certain situations, such as when the light source is just outside the corner at 24mm or 70mm focal lengths, some flare and ghosting might be visible. Despite this, the lens is highly esteemed for its exceptional resistance to flare, glare, and ghosting.
In conclusion, while both lenses exhibit admirable flare and ghosting control, the 24-70mm lens appears to hold an edge over the 24-200mm lens, thanks to its superior coatings and overall performance.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 displays evident vignetting at 24mm when the aperture is fully open. However, this optical aberration is considerably alleviated as you advance from 35mm onward. When the aperture is stopped down by at least one stop at these focal lengths, vignetting becomes almost imperceptible. At the lens’s maximum zoom of 200mm with the aperture wide open, vignetting is minimal and doesn’t warrant any correction.
By utilizing the built-in lens profile for controlling vignetting and distortion, along with compensating for chromatic aberration, the effects of vignetting are further diminished. It’s important to note that using certain filters, like a thick rotating mount for a graduated filter or polarizers at 24mm, could induce some additional vignetting.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 presents a moderate degree of vignetting, particularly noticeable at wider focal lengths. The lens’s design reflects an improvement over the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, manifesting less than two stops of vignetting on the wide end and just under a stop at the telephoto end. However, it doesn’t quite match the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, which exhibits virtually no visible light falloff beyond f/4.
While some photographers might observe a slight decrease in brightness in the corners of the frame, vignetting isn’t typically a major concern as it can be easily rectified with post-processing software such as Lightroom. Despite this slight setback, the lens maintains an overall impressive image quality, delivering excellent sharpness and performance.
In conclusion, although both lenses display some level of vignetting, it is more pronounced in the 24-70mm lens, particularly at wider focal lengths. The 24-200mm lens, on the other hand, manages vignetting more effectively, especially as you move away from the widest focal length. This makes the 24-200mm lens superior in terms of controlling vignetting, providing you with more flexibility across a wide range of focal lengths. However, the choice ultimately depends on your photographic needs and the nature of your subject matter, as even slight vignetting can be artistically advantageous or easily rectified in post-processing.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 exhibits an impressive level of distortion control, particularly noteworthy for a superzoom lens. The automatic in-camera corrections built into the lens effectively neutralize distortion, rendering it virtually inconsequential across all focal lengths. At the shortest focal length of 24mm, there’s only a slight barrel distortion, and at the maximum zoom of 200mm, no significant distortion is detected. However, it’s important to remember that this lens performs better at longer shooting distances than at closer focus points.
Comparatively, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 demonstrates noticeable barrel distortion at its widest setting of 24mm. However, this distortion is less marked than what is observed in the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and 24-70mm f/2.8E VR lenses. As you zoom in towards 35mm, the lens transitions to a slight pincushion distortion, which increases to about 3% at the far end of the zoom range, at 70mm. Although in-camera distortion correction features and post-processing software like Adobe Lightroom can effectively mitigate these issues, when shooting at wide angles very close to a subject, distortion might still be noticeable.
In conclusion, the 24-200mm lens outperforms the 24-70mm lens in terms of distortion control, especially at wider and longer focal lengths. This makes it a more versatile option for photographers seeking to maintain geometric integrity in their images across a wide range of shooting conditions
Given the distinctive features and performance characteristics of both lenses, they are suitable for different photography genres and scenarios.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3, with its wide focal length range and effective distortion control, is more versatile and ideal for travel, event, landscape, and wildlife photography where diverse scenes and subjects require a flexible zoom range. Its superior vignetting control and effective image stabilization further enhance its suitability for such genres, ensuring consistent image quality across the frame and helping to manage camera shake when shooting handheld. Its lighter weight and dynamic focal range also make it more comfortable and convenient for prolonged use, especially in travel photography.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, with its impressive low-light performance, shallow depth of field control, and high image quality, is superior for portrait, event, and wedding photography. The lens’s remarkable autofocus performance, resistance to flare, and ghosting, coupled with its superior sharpness, make it ideal for capturing high-quality, dynamic images in various lighting conditions. Furthermore, the lens’s robust build quality and extensive weather sealing make it more suitable for photographers working in challenging environments, ensuring durability and reliability.
Moreover, the 24-70mm lens offers more immediate control over key settings through its switches/buttons and third control ring, enhancing user experience and convenience. This feature, combined with its excellent aberration control, makes it a valuable tool for professional photographers who need quick, precise control over their equipment to capture critical moments and deliver high-quality results consistently. Its pleasing bokeh, particularly for portraiture or still life, adds an artistic dimension to the images, making them stand out.
In conclusion, while the 24-200mm lens offers versatility and comfort for a wide range of photography genres, the 24-70mm lens provides superior performance and control, particularly in demanding shooting conditions and for photography genres that require precise control over depth of field and outstanding image quality.