Positioning of the Z 14-30mm f/4s

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H o g n e
H o g n e Contributing Member • Posts: 547
Positioning of the Z 14-30mm f/4s
15

Size

Camerasize.com

https://camerasize.com/compact/#794.812,794.110.4,794.708.4,794.325.4,ha,t

Weight

  • Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4s: 485g
  • Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8g w/FTZ: 1000g + 135g =1135g
  • Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 w/FTZ: 1150g + 135g =1285g
  • Nikon 16-35mm f/4g w/FTZ: 680g + 135g = 815g
  • Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 + FTZ: 1100g + 135g = 1235g

Optical Performance

The 14-30mm seems clearly better than the 16-35mm overall (and also better than the 20mm f/1.8g and the 28mm f/1.8g - except in the range f/1.8-f/3.5...):

The 14-24 f/2.8 options (including the 15-30mm f/2.8 from Tamron) look better in some respects and worse in others:

Personally I have not had a chance to test these against my 14-30mm but above tests seem to indicate that the new lens compares reasonably well with these class leaders.

Price

  • Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4s: $1297
  • Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8g w/FTZ: $1597
  • Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 w/FTZ: $1299
  • Nikon 16-35mm f/4g w/FTZ: $997
  • Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8: $1299

Conclusion

My very initial conclusion so far is that the 14-30mm fits very nicely into the Z lens lineup as an ultra compact and lightweight UWA with overall good to very good optical performance (but maybe not stellar).

The new 14-30mm seems to deliver a reasonably priced UWA (compared to competitor prices) at less than half the weight and a much more compact size. A clear trade off is the lack of f/2.8 but the optical performance is on balance very good indeed but has different strengths/weaknesses compared to competitor lenses.

The Z f/4 zooms deliver on a high level but I expect them to be (or they already are) clearly eclipsed by the Z f/2.8 counterparts. That makes a lot of sense since the f/2.8 zooms are priced almost 2-3 times higher. This is essentially the same product strategy as for the G lenses but the overall optical performance is simply higher for the Z lenses.

I expect Nikon will deliver stellar wide angle performance with the upcoming Z 20mm f/1.8s and the Z 14-24mm f/2.8s. Meanwhile the 14-30mm f/4 looks to be the sensible choice for those in need of an UWA zoom for the Z system.

 H o g n e's gear list:H o g n e's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR +9 more
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