Stepping into the captivating world of photography, the choice of the right lens is as important as the choice of the camera itself. As a photographer, you might be fascinated by the vast landscapes that lay out in front of you, or by the intricate details of architecture that defy the sky. Perhaps you’re a seasoned street photographer seeking candid moments in the urban jungle, or an astrophotographer aiming to capture the celestial grandeur. Whatever your passion might be, the choice of lens can make all the difference in translating your vision into a mesmerizing image.
That’s why we’re diving deep into a side-by-side comparison of two formidable lenses in this arena – the wide-angle Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 and the versatile Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8. Packed with cutting-edge technology and superior optical performance, these lenses have long been favorites of photographers from all walks of life. But which one is the right match for you? Can the wider perspective of the 24mm lens capture your imaginations, or would the ‘closer-to-the-eye’ view of the 35mm lens serve your creative purpose better?
In the following sections, we’ll dissect each of these lenses, comparing them on crucial aspects such as size, weight, focusing performance, optical stabilization, aberrations, sharpness, bokeh quality, and more. Not only will this comparative guide offer you a clearer picture of which lens might best suit your needs, but it’ll also empower you to make more informed decisions on your future photographic gear investments.
So, tighten your camera straps, adjust your viewfinders, and join us on this fascinating journey through the world of lenses. Because understanding your tools is the first step towards capturing the world as you see it!
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24mm F1.8 S
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm F1.8 S
|Focal Range (mm)
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 and the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 share several commonalities.
Both have a maximum aperture of f/1.8 and are fixed aperture lenses. They are designed for the Nikon Z mount and are compatible with a 35mm full-frame (FF) format. This means that both lenses should perform relatively well in low-light conditions due to their wide apertures, delivering cleaner, sharper images by allowing more light to enter the camera. Additionally, being fixed aperture lenses, they maintain the same maximum aperture irrespective of the focal length and are typically designed for higher optical quality compared to variable aperture lenses.
However, the key difference between these two lenses lies in their focal lengths. The 24mm lens falls into the category of wide-angle lenses, while the 35mm lens is considered a standard focal length lens, sitting on the borderline between wide-angle and normal lenses.
The 24mm lens, being a wide-angle lens, provides a broad view of the scene, making it an excellent choice for landscape, architectural or interior photography, where capturing a wider field of view is crucial. However, wide-angle lenses, such as this 24mm lens, can sometimes exhibit distortion at the edges of the frame, especially when capturing images at close range. This could make objects appear stretched or skewed, which can be either a creative advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your photographic intent.
On the other hand, the 35mm lens, being close to the standard or “normal” range, offers a field of view that is roughly similar to the human eye’s perception. This makes it a versatile choice for a variety of photographic genres, including street, environmental portraits, and even some landscapes where less distortion is preferred. The 35mm lens provides a more “natural” perspective, with less distortion than a wide-angle lens, making it a better choice for situations where maintaining accurate proportions and relationships between objects in the scene is important.
Overall, both lenses have their strengths and can be excellent choices depending on your specific needs and the type of photography you are engaged in. If you often find yourself shooting landscapes, architecture, or interiors, or if you prefer the creative potential of exaggerated perspective and depth, the 24mm lens might be the superior choice. If, however, you’re looking for a more versatile lens suitable for a wider range of photographic scenarios, offering a more “natural” perspective with less distortion, the 35mm lens might be the better option.
Design and Ease of Use
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24mm F1.8 S
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm F1.8 S
|Diameter x Length (mm)
|Filter Thread (mm)
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 and the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 exhibit differences in their physical characteristics, namely diameter, length, and weight, which can significantly affect their usability and convenience in various photography scenarios.
Starting with the 24mm lens, it has dimensions of ⌀78×96.5mm and weighs 450 grams. This makes it larger and heavier than the 35mm lens. The increased size and weight of the 24mm lens might make it slightly more cumbersome to carry around, especially for extended periods. If you’re a travel or street photographer who walks around a lot with your camera, the added weight might lead to fatigue over time. Also, this lens might make your camera setup feel front-heavy, which could impact the balance and handling during longer shoots. Moreover, its larger size could make you more conspicuous in public spaces, potentially drawing attention if you’re trying to capture candid shots in street photography.
On the other hand, the 35mm lens, with dimensions of ⌀73×86mm and weighing 370 grams, is more compact and lightweight. The reduced weight can make a significant difference in terms of portability and comfort during extended shoots, allowing you to photograph for longer periods without feeling weighed down. The compact size and lighter weight contribute to a better balanced and easier-to-handle camera setup. Furthermore, a smaller lens like the 35mm can be more discreet, ideal for street photography where blending into the surroundings can be beneficial. The 35mm lens will also take up less space in your camera bag, allowing for more room for other gear or simply lightening your load. Lastly, the lighter weight of the 35mm lens can facilitate quicker and more comfortable lens swapping in fast-paced shooting scenarios.
In summary, their differences in size and weight significantly impact their convenience and usability. The 24mm lens, being larger and heavier, might offer a wider field of view, but could be more challenging to handle and carry around for extended periods. In contrast, the 35mm lens, being more compact and lightweight, offers greater comfort and portability, potentially making it a more versatile and user-friendly option for various photography scenarios. Thus, if size, weight, and discreetness are important factors for you, the 35mm lens might be the superior choice.
Lens Mount and Barrel
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 features a lens mount constructed from metal, including four locking ears to firmly secure the lens to the camera body. This design limits lens tilting and ensures stable performance. The addition of a rubber gasket around the mount serves as a barrier against dust and particles, ensuring the longevity of both the lens and the camera.
In the lens barrel, the 24mm lens combines metal and plastic elements. While the metal parts offer a smooth, premium finish, the plastic sections may not feel as high-grade. However, the lens maintains its size during focus adjustments due to an internal focusing mechanism, making it suitable for using polarizing and graduated filters without complications.
In comparison, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 also has a metal lens mount, providing a robust and long-lasting connection with the camera. It shares the design feature of four locking ears and a protective rubber gasket, safeguarding the lens and camera from dust and debris.
The lens barrel primarily consists of high-grade plastic, with certain metal sections for added durability. Despite the majority of its construction being plastic, the lens retains a robust, quality feel and is designed for challenging conditions. The use of plastic also makes the lens more manageable, particularly in colder weather where metal might be uncomfortably chilly.
Both lenses bring their advantages to the table. The 24mm lens’s metal components in the lens barrel offer durability and a professional feel, but its plastic parts may not match the metal in terms of quality. On the other hand, the 35mm lens, with its predominantly plastic barrel, provides a balance between durability, weight, and cost. This material choice makes the lens lightweight and easy to manage, particularly advantageous in cold weather conditions.
In conclusion, neither lens surpasses the other in all aspects as the choice depends on your specific photographic needs and preferences. If you value a more durable build, the 24mm lens might be your pick. Conversely, if you prefer a lighter lens, the 35mm lens could be your superior choice.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 and 35mm lenses both feature weather sealing, a protective measure against environmental elements such as dust, moisture, and light water splashes, to ensure lens durability and performance across varying weather conditions.
The 24mm lens boasts comprehensive weather sealing, with individual rubber rings for each part of the lens that offer protection from dust and moisture. This includes a gasket at the lens mount and internal seals at the rings, switches, and the front of the barrel, providing a level of resilience against environmental elements. However, the absence of a grease-repellent fluorine coating on the front element might make it slightly less resistant to smudges and dust accumulation compared to a lens with this feature.
In contrast, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 has a robust weather sealing mechanism with a rubber gasket at the lens mount and six additional rubber rings placed strategically around the lens to offer comprehensive protection. These internal seals around components such as rings and switches ensure that the lens is resilient to a wide range of environmental conditions, from scorching heat and sand to freezing temperatures and rainfall. The lens has been proven reliable, providing consistent performance without complications in these diverse conditions.
In conclusion, both lenses offer considerable protection from environmental elements, and the choice between the two should align with your specific photography needs and preferences.
Examining the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8, it features a singular, large manual focus ring situated around the center of the barrel. This metallic ring, with its finely ribbed texture, ensures a firm grip and smooth operation with optimal resistance, enabling precise manual focusing. However, it lacks hard stops at the ends of the focusing range and doesn’t offer a windowed distance scale or depth-of-field indicators. Instead, a focus scale displays in the viewfinder or camera screen upon rotation in manual focus mode.
This “focus-by-wire” design, coupled with the possibility of customization via the camera menu to control functions such as aperture or exposure compensation, amplifies its utility. Despite lacking a dedicated control ring, the focus ring’s ergonomically beveled design delivers a satisfying tactile experience and easy adjustability.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 is equipped with a broad control ring that doubles as a focus ring. Conveniently positioned towards the front of the lens, the ring measures a substantial 38mm in width. Its finely knurled metal surface, though not rubberized, ensures a comfortable grip. The ring’s operation is impressively smooth, requiring minimal effort to adjust, even with the light touch of a pinky finger. Although there’s a slight play in the ring, it doesn’t significantly mar the user experience.
By default, it provides an instant manual-focus override, but it can also be customized via the camera’s menu to control aperture, exposure compensation, or ISO settings, or even be disabled entirely. This versatility allows the user to tailor the ring to their shooting needs and preferences.
When comparing the two lenses, both offer smooth operation and customization options, providing photographers with control and versatility. However, the 35mm lens edges ahead with its wide, knurled control ring that doubles as a focus ring, which offers effortless adjustability and a reassuringly robust feel. The ring’s location towards the front of the lens also enhances its accessibility. In contrast, the lack of hard stops and distance indicators on the 24mm lens could be seen as drawbacks for some users.
In conclusion, while both rings offer distinct advantages, the 35mm lens’s ring is superior, owing to its size, smooth operation, and flexible functionality.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 adopts a minimalist design, featuring a solitary switch for modulating the focus mode. This AF/MF switch, strategically positioned on the lens’s side, allows users to transition between autofocus and manual focus with ease, enabling swift adjustments during shooting. The lens’s simplicity ensures that it is intuitive and uncomplicated, making it suitable for photographers across all skill levels.
In contrast, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 also embraces a minimalist aesthetic but houses a lone physical switch on the body – the A/M switch. This control, designed for effortless identification, permits the user to switch between auto and manual focus. The lens’s straightforward layout is geared towards functionality and user convenience, reducing the learning curve for users. Its streamlined aesthetics, devoid of excessive buttons or switches, enhances the lens’s usability and appeal. Furthermore, the positioning and function of the existing controls are tailored to the convenience of the photographer.
Comparatively, both lenses adopt a simplistic design with a single focus mode switch, prioritizing ease of use and functionality. The switches on both lenses are conveniently located, making it easy for photographers to toggle between auto and manual focus.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 boasts a 72mm filter thread, constructed from plastic. Its key advantage is the stationary front element during focusing, which renders the usage of filters like polarizers and graduated filters straightforward. The immobile design ensures that adjustments to the filters stay consistent throughout the focusing process, thereby maintaining the integrity of the shot.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 possesses a 62mm filter thread, also made of plastic, matching the common dimension with other Nikon Z series lenses such as the Z 50mm f/1.8 S. This standardization fosters convenience as photographers can utilize filters interchangeably across different lenses. Despite its plastic makeup, the filter thread shows no tendency to slacken, signifying robustness and a dependable fit.
A notable characteristic is the static front portion of the lens during focusing, providing an advantage when using orientation-sensitive filters like polarizing and variable ND filters. The non-rotating design not only eases usage but also helps prevent dust or air intake, enhancing the lens’s cleanliness and longevity.
In comparison, both lenses benefit from non-rotating front elements during focusing, ensuring consistent filter adjustments. However, the 24mm lens has a larger filter thread size of 72mm compared to the 35mm lens’s 62mm thread. While the larger thread might offer more filter options, it may also add to the lens’s overall size and weight. Furthermore, the 35mm lens offers the advantage of filter compatibility with other Nikon Z series lenses due to its standardized filter thread size.
In conclusion, while both lenses perform well with their filter threads, the 35mm lens, with its standard thread size and compatibility with other lenses, edges slightly ahead in terms of convenience and practicality.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 comes with a plastic petal-type lens hood included, enhancing the overall value of the package. The bayonet mount facilitates easy attachment and detachment, as well as smooth rotation when necessary. A distinct feature is the ability to reverse the hood, optimizing the lens size during transportation or storage. Its ergonomic bevel provides a comfortable grip, and the plastic material contributes to the lens’s lightweight design.
Conversely, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 is bundled with an HB-89 bayonet hood, constructed from plastic, offering convenience and lens protection from the get-go. The bayonet style allows for a snug fit and user-friendly operation, including the possibility to reverse it for reduced storage space. Notably, the hood is fairly large, delivering excellent protection against stray sunlight reaching the lens element.
In comparison, both lens hoods are included in their respective packages, made of lightweight, durable plastic, and utilize a bayonet mount for easy application and removal. However, the hood of the 24mm lens boasts an ergonomic bevel for improved grip, while the 35mm lens features a more substantial hood size for effective sunlight blockage.
In conclusion, the 35mm lens hood slightly trumps the one provided with the 24mm lens. Although both offer valuable features, the larger size of the 35mm lens hood provides enhanced protection from unwanted light, which can greatly contribute to the quality of your images. However, the choice ultimately depends on individual needs and preferences regarding handling and light control.
Focusing and Optical Stabilization
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24mm F1.8 S
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm F1.8 S
|Rotating Front Element
|Does not rotate on focusing
|Does not rotate on focusing
|Min Focus Distance
|Max Magnification (X)
|Full-Time Manual Focus
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 demonstrates an impressive autofocus performance, highlighted by its speed and near-silent operation. It takes around half a second to adjust focus from infinity to 0.32m, performing admirably even in well-lit environments without hunting. This lens scores highly in focus accuracy with a repeatability of 99.0% as measured by Reikan FoCal.
A convenient feature is the availability of manual focus override, with smooth operation that can be easily performed with minimal effort. Being internally focusing, the lens doesn’t extend or retract during focus or zoom changes. Furthermore, it exhibits minimal focus breathing, a characteristic that makes it a suitable choice for video applications.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 exhibits reliable autofocus performance, with a moderate speed that adjusts focus from infinity to 0.42m in about half a second. Despite not being instant, it demonstrates precision and a high repeatability rate of 98% according to Reikan FoCal. Notably, this lens performs well in low-light situations, demonstrating its versatility. An instant manual-focus override is supported, though there may be a slight lag during manual rotation of the focus ring. The built-in stepping motor ensures quiet operation, a boon for video recording, although a faint buzz might be detected if using the in-camera microphone.
Like the 24mm lens, it also features an internally focusing mechanism, keeping the lens size constant and the front element non-rotating, ideal for using polarizing filters. While the lens exhibits focus breathing, it’s minimal and should not significantly impact most users. Lastly, the lens features a focus-by-wire system, facilitating fast and accurate electronic focusing.
In comparison, both lenses offer fast autofocus speeds, high repeatability scores, and support for manual focus override. Both lenses also utilize an internal focusing design. However, the 24mm lens stands out with its nearly silent operation and smoother manual focus action, while the 35mm lens shines in low-light situations, and the focus-by-wire system provides a swift and precise focusing experience.
In conclusion, while both lenses offer commendable focusing performance, the 24mm lens slightly edges out the 35mm lens due to its near-silent operation and smooth manual focus action. However, if you frequently shoot in low-light conditions or prioritize electronic precision, the 35mm lens might be a more suitable option.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8, while lacking its own optical stabilization, effectively utilizes the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system of Nikon Z cameras. This partnership offers up to 5 stops of stabilization across all five axes: pitch, yaw, roll, X, and Y movements. If wielded with proper technique, one could potentially improve image stability by 4-6 stops compared to the standard 1/focal length rule. The noise produced during stabilization is negligible, ensuring a quiet operation. Another impressive feature is the capability to push shutter speeds to a full second when used with Nikon Z cameras, a significant feat for handheld shooting.
In contrast, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 also lacks internal optical stabilization but is designed to synergize with the Nikon Z series cameras’ IBIS, correcting for roll, pitch, and yaw movements. This combination can potentially offer an improvement of 2 to 3 stops in real-world conditions according to handheld tests, extending to 5 stops under ideal conditions as per Nikon’s claim.
The lens-camera duo, with the Vibration Reduction (VR) feature activated, can yield sharp images even at slower shutter speeds, as demonstrated by a test where a 0.6-second shutter speed produced a crisp image. This improvement of nearly 5 stops compared to the handheld rule is noteworthy, although results may vary depending on the photographer’s stability and shot conditions. Despite the absence of built-in stabilization, the lens can take full advantage of the Nikon Z cameras’ five-axis stabilization, making it a valuable asset for video recording and focus stacking applications.
In comparison, both lenses leverage the Nikon Z cameras’ IBIS, offering substantial stability improvements even without built-in optical stabilization. The 24mm lens shines with its ability to extend shutter speeds for handheld shooting, while the 35mm lens exhibits strong compatibility with the VR feature, providing sharp images at slower shutter speeds.
Upon analyzing these attributes, the 24mm lens appears to have a slight edge in terms of optical stabilization due to its potential to provide up to 6 stops of improvement and the ability to use slower shutter speeds. However, the 35mm lens demonstrates remarkable effectiveness in real-world conditions, with evidence of sharp images at slower shutter speeds. Therefore, both lenses can perform admirably when coupled with Nikon Z series cameras, and the choice would depend on your specific needs and shooting scenarios.
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 24mm F1.8 S
|Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm F1.8 S
|1 ED + 4 aspherical elements, Nano Crystal and Super Integrated coatings
|2 ED + 3 aspherical elements, Nano Crystal Coat
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8, in terms of aberration, displays a fair amount of longitudinal chromatic aberration. This type of color fringing, most noticeable at maximum aperture, lingers even after being stopped down by 1 EV. On the other hand, it has commendable control over lateral chromatic aberration.
The lens also suffers from some coma, which causes a smearing effect in bright light points, particularly evident when shooting wide open, but this is mitigated when stopped down to f/2.8 or f/4. Spherical aberration isn’t perfectly controlled, leading to visible rims in out-of-focus light circles both in front and behind the focus plane. This can affect the bokeh and create conspicuous edges in blurred areas, often seen when using many aspherical lens elements. Regardless of these drawbacks, the lens generally provides good performance in various scenarios.
The Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 also demonstrates certain chromatic aberration traits, including noticeable longitudinal chromatic aberration (LoCA) up to f/2.8, resulting in color halos at high-contrast edges. However, lateral chromatic aberration is kept in check effectively even at wider apertures. The lens may require some auto-focus fine-tuning due to the LoCA. At larger apertures, ranging from f/1.8 to f/2.8, the lens may exhibit coma, a distortion that affects point light sources, particularly relevant for nightscapes or astrophotography enthusiasts. However, stopping down to f/4 appears to eliminate this issue, making it an important factor to consider for those interested in capturing such scenes.
Spherical aberration is also noticeable in this lens, as shown by the presence of spherochromatism, a related phenomenon, particularly when shooting contrasty items at full aperture. Nevertheless, the lens includes two extra-low dispersion elements and three aspherical lenses to combat these distortions and spherical aberrations.
Comparing the two, both lenses demonstrate an appreciable amount of chromatic aberration and spherical aberration, but control lateral chromatic aberration effectively. The 24mm lens shows some coma, while the 35mm lens demonstrates signs of spherochromatism.
In conclusion, while both lenses display certain aberrations inherent, the choice ultimately depends on the specific photographic requirements, as both lenses still deliver reliable performance across various shooting conditions.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 stands out for its impressive center sharpness, reaching its zenith at f/4 with truly remarkable results. Its corner sharpness, however, lags slightly behind, displaying some drop in clarity. That said, it sees an improvement when the aperture is stopped down beyond f/2.8, achieving very good to excellent standards. When shooting at a wide open aperture of f/1.8, the lens remains reasonably sharp, with marginal enhancements observable at f/2 and f/2.8. Apertures at the narrower end, like f/11 or f/16, can introduce some softening due to diffraction. For the crispest outcomes, the sweet spot lies between f/4 and f/8.
The Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 is another excellent performer in terms of sharpness. Though its center sharpness is marginally weaker at maximum aperture, it soon comes into its own when stopped down to f/2.8, delivering unparalleled clarity. Both corner and mid-frame sharpness also perform well at f/2.8, with optimal results achieved at f/5.6. Surprisingly, even when stopped down to f/13, this lens maintains good sharpness. For close-up shots, images may appear somewhat soft at f/1.8, but sharpness incrementally improves at f/2.8 and f/4, though not matching the levels seen at normal focal distances. Comparison with other lenses such as the Zeiss 28mm f1.4 Otus and the Sigma 35mm f/1.8 Art, shows that this lens is a clear improvement over its predecessors and counterparts, delivering outstanding sharpness across various apertures and distances.
Considering sharpness as the main criterion, both lenses offer impressive performance, but the 35mm lens does take the edge. Its ability to maintain exceptional sharpness across a variety of apertures and distances gives it the advantage, making it a more versatile choice for photographers seeking a lens that can deliver consistently crisp images. However, the 24mm lens shouldn’t be dismissed, as it still offers excellent sharpness within its optimum aperture range, particularly at the center.
The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 projects an overall pleasing bokeh, characterized by soft out-of-focus regions and beautifully rendered light circles. Despite these desirable attributes, some minor issues can occasionally manifest. There might be a subtle presence of onion rings and a hint of green outlining due to longitudinal chromatic aberration. Aspherical lens elements may lead to distinct edges on specular highlights. Moreover, when shot wide open, the lens introduces a modest cat’s eye effect towards the peripheries.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 presents a bokeh quality that is generally commendable for a lens of its class. Its out-of-focus zones produce a gentle, attractive blur, although certain users might find the edge definition in brighter areas slightly off-putting. Similarly to the 24mm, it also shows onion-shaped rings in the highlights, a common trait of aspherical lens elements.
Notably, there is a conspicuous presence of longitudinal chromatic aberration (LoCA) that may lead to a somewhat restless and distracting bokeh, particularly in the backdrop. This LoCA effect gives rise to magenta halos at high-contrast edges in the foreground and green halos in the background, which become less evident when you stop down the aperture. Despite these minor hitches, this lens maintains out-of-focus points of light as circular, a feat achieved by its nine rounded diaphragm blades.
In terms of bokeh quality, both lenses showcase their own strengths and weaknesses. The 24mm lens provides a generally pleasing bokeh, although with some issues concerning onion rings and chromatic aberration. Meanwhile, the 35mm lens, while exhibiting similar problems, manages to maintain circular out-of-focus points of light. Therefore, if the roundness of bokeh circles is of utmost importance, the 35mm lens might have a slight edge. Nonetheless, both lenses can indeed create effective separation between subject and background, contributing to the overall artistic impact of the image.
Starting with the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8, its flair for managing flare and ghosting is commendable. It presents minimal signs of both, even when challenged by harsh lighting conditions. The credit for this exceptional performance can be largely attributed to Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat. This technological feature skillfully curbs internal reflections across a broad spectrum of wavelengths, effectively mitigating flare and ghosting.
Real-world tests reinforce this superiority, with the lens continuing to excel, even with the sun in the frame. While the angle of incoming light and the sun’s position could potentially influence flare and ghosting, the high-caliber lens coatings equip this lens with a robust defense, ensuring consistently high image quality.
Switching gears to the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8, it also demonstrates an impressive command over flare and ghosting. This excellent performance is owed in part to Nikon’s thoughtful application of two crucial technologies: the anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat and the multi-layered Super Integrated Coating. These combined technologies not only enhance light transmission but also play a significant role in minimizing flare and ghosting. When tested in the field, this lens showcased a remarkable resistance to ghosting and flare, even under direct sunlight.
Despite the potential effects of the angle of light and the sun’s position on flare and ghosting, the lens has consistently held its ground, maintaining high-quality performance in even the most challenging lighting conditions. Furthermore, when deliberately faced with a strong light source to induce glare and ghosting, the lens prevailed, reproducing rich blacks with minimal veiling glare. However, it’s worth noting that flare and ghosting’s appearance can still depend on variables like aperture and the light’s angle of incidence.
In terms of flare and ghosting control, both lenses deliver top-notch performances. Yet, given the 35mm lens’s ability to resist veiling glare while maintaining deep black reproduction even in challenging situations, it slightly edges out the 24mm lens. In essence, both lenses incorporate advanced technologies that offer impressive protection against flare and ghosting, with the 35mm lens exhibiting a touch more resilience in the harshest of lighting conditions.
When it comes to the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8, it presents a noticeable degree of vignetting, particularly at the widest aperture of f/1.8. As you reduce the aperture size to f/2.8, the vignetting noticeably decreases, and by the time you reach f/4, the vignetting effect is predominantly absent. Particularly when shooting at infinity focus or near to it, reducing the aperture to f/4 or less is advisable to minimize vignetting.
While the lens manages to maintain a fairly well-controlled level of vignetting for most photography types, those specializing in landscape or architectural photography might find the vignetting more troublesome, especially when operating at wider apertures. To further counteract this issue, in-camera corrections can be utilized.
Transitioning to the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8, it exhibits a reasonably subdued level of vignetting. While the vignetting is most noticeable at the aperture setting of f/1.8 when shooting at infinity focus, it is not overwhelmingly severe. Notably, the use of filters does not exacerbate the vignetting issue. Both close and infinity focus present similar vignetting characteristics, with infinity focus looking a tad worse. When you operate at the widest aperture of f/1.8, you’re more likely to observe a slight reduction in exposure rather than substantial corner darkening. However, as soon as the aperture is narrowed down to f/2.8, the vignetting effect is almost entirely eliminated.
Vignetting becomes more noticeable if you switch off the Vignette Correction feature, but with it set to the default ‘NORM’ setting, it doesn’t present a significant issue in practical shooting scenarios. In addition, stacking multiple filters, up to four regular 62mm ones, doesn’t cause significant vignetting when using a full-frame camera, which suggests that this lens is well-equipped to handle vignetting.
In terms of vignetting control, the 35mm lens emerges as the superior option. It maintains a more consistent light distribution across the frame and exhibits less pronounced vignetting, even at the widest aperture. This lens’s ability to effectively handle vignetting, even when using multiple filters, makes it a strong choice for photographers who prioritize evenly illuminated compositions.
Firstly, the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 shows moderate barrel distortion, registering between -1.34% and 2.33% depending on the particular shooting conditions. This distortion level isn’t overly noticeable in the majority of images. However, certain scenarios, such as architectural photography, might necessitate distortion correction, particularly if there’s any perceptible waviness or mustache distortion in your frame.
Thanks to advanced post-processing software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, distortion correction can be automated, alleviating the need for manual adjustments. Although the lens performs commendably in terms of distortion in most photography situations, minor corrections might be required for specific scenarios like architectural photography.
Conversely, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 demonstrates a moderate degree of barrel distortion, with Imatest measurements indicating a distortion rate of -1.21%. As with the 24mm lens, this level of distortion generally doesn’t heavily impact most images. Additionally, automatic correction of this distortion is possible using post-processing software like Lightroom.
For those using a Nikon Z6 or Z7 camera, you have the option to correct this distortion directly in-camera by activating the Auto Distortion Control setting in the shooting menu. Even without in-camera corrections, managing the distortion effectively is straightforward using features like Photoshop’s lens correction filter. Consequently, despite some inherent distortion, it’s conveniently manageable and shouldn’t notably influence the quality of your photography.
In terms of distortion control, both lenses exhibit moderate barrel distortion, but the 35mm lens with a -1.21% distortion rate performs slightly better. Its compatibility with in-camera Auto Distortion Control also offers added convenience for immediate distortion management, making it the superior choice in this comparison.
From the perspective of wide-angle photography, let’s consider how these lenses fare in different genres:
For landscape photography, which often benefits from a wider field of view, the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 is the preferred choice. Its ability to capture a broader scene can result in more dramatic and immersive landscape images. The slight edge in optical stabilization may also come in handy for long-exposure landscape shots.
In architectural photography, the distortion control becomes quite critical. Here, the 24mm lens offers a wider perspective, which can be beneficial for capturing large buildings or interiors. However, its moderate barrel distortion might require post-processing corrections. The Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8, with its slightly better distortion control and less pronounced vignetting, could be a better option when shooting buildings with straight lines.
For astrophotography, the wider aperture of these lenses will assist in capturing as much light as possible in dark scenarios. Here, the slightly better optical stabilization of the 24mm lens could offer an advantage in obtaining sharp stars and celestial objects.
Environmental portrait photography often requires a balance of subject and background. While the 35mm lens provides a more natural perspective with less distortion, which is generally preferable for portraits, the 24mm lens could allow for more of the environment to be included, giving context to the portrait. Both lenses provide effective subject-background separation, though the rounder bokeh of the 35mm lens gives portraits a more pleasing aesthetic.
Street photography typically benefits from compactness for discretion and a wider field of view to capture bustling street scenes. Here, the lighter and smaller 35mm lens would be more convenient to carry around. Additionally, its better control over vignetting and slightly superior distortion management could come in handy in complex street scenarios.
Overall, if you lean more towards landscape and environmental portrait photography, the 24mm lens, with its wider field of view and slightly better stabilization, might serve you well. However, for architectural and street photography, the 35mm lens, with its better distortion control, less pronounced vignetting, and more portable design, could be the superior choice. And remember, ultimately, the choice between these two would significantly depend on your specific photographic style and preferences.