Over the last 10 or so years, wide angle lens selection and filter compatibility has been a major headache for Nikon shooters.
There are three critical things one looks for in a wide angle lens
- f/2.8 for shooting astro
- Excellent corner performance when stopped down
- Practical filter compatibility
The Nikon 16-35mm f/4 offers only point 3 – a filter thread compatible with a 100mm filter system. From day one it was a lens known for poor corner performance, even when stopped down.
The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 offers points 1 and 2, but not 3. The extreme bulbous front element and fixed petal hood requires the use of a 150mm filter system, which is expensive and tedious to use. This predicament means that many people ended up getting both lenses or resorting to lenses like Zeiss’s Milvus 18mm, which offers all three of the above points, but at the cost of autofocus and focal length flexibility.
Above: Old 14-24mm and 16-35mm
Going into the mirrorless era, however, it seems like Nikon has listened to the dissatisfaction of their customers and seriously reconsidered their wide angle line up.
Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4
This lens is somewhat similar to the 16-35mm, but they’ve eliminated the poor corner performance and done the smart thing of sacrificing reach on the long end (made redundant by 24-70mm) in order to add more focal length at the wide end.
It has an 82mm thread and is thus 100% compatible with 100mm filter systems.
Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8
While everyone wishes that Nikon would just join the bandwagon in making a 16-35mm with good corner performance, a f/2.8 aperture and a 82mm filter thread, the new incarnation of the famous 14-24mm is a big improvement over its predecessor.
The older version was a tank of a lens – it took up way too much space in a camera bag and clocked in at 1kg on the scale. The new Z version is 35% lighter and about the same amount more compact.
Above: New 14-24mm (Left) next to old 14-24mm
Filter compatibility – While they missed 82mm thread by a wide margin, there are 2 key differences that make filter compatibility on this so much simpler.
112mm thread – While it still has a small permanent petal hood, the larger removable hood now has an integrated 112mm filter thread. NiSi quickly released a range of their most popular filters in 112mm size, these include a UV, 3,6 and 10 stop IRND, their new Natural CPL and the cityscaper’s favourite filter, the Natural Night. While you can only use one filter at a time, this makes life so much easier than it was with the older 14-24mm. You can stack two filters, but at the cost of some vignetting.
100mm Filter Holder – Due to the drastic reduction in size of the front-end of the lens, if the larger hood is removed, it can now accommodate a 2-slot bayonet mount version of NiSi’s V6 filter holder. This allows the use of 2 square 100mm filters without any vignetting. It does however not allow the use of an integrated CPL as per the standard V6 holder systems.
While it may still not be as simple as an 82mm thread that accepts a standard 100mm filter system, filter use on the new 14-24mm has been made a lot easier and more affordable.
If you have any questions about filter compatibility with any of your lenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.