The new Nikkor Z 14-30mm f4.0 S is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least being its comparatively compact length of 85 millimetres and modest weight of just 485 grams. Yet it employs heavy-duty magnesium alloy barrel tubes and is fully weather-proofed to the standard of the current Nikon Z series camera bodies. Additionally, the exposed surfaces of the front and rear elements have a fluorine coating to help better repel moisture and grease, and also allow for easier cleaning. The new zoom also has the Z system’s customisable multi-function control ring which can be assigned to various setting operations including apertures and ISO.
Nikon says the Z mount 14-30mm zoom is 8.6 percent lighter and 32 percent shorter than its AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f4.0G ED VR model for F mount D-SLRs, and a whopping 51.5 percent lighter and 35 percent shorter than the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8G ED. These comparisons graphically illustrate what can be achieved with the shorter flange back distance of the mirrorless cameras.
The zoom’s optical construction comprises 14 elements in 12 groups of which a total of eight are special types – four made from glass with extra-low dispersion characteristics and four with aspherical surfaces. These elements provide a high level of correction for, respectively, chromatic abberations and distortion. Additionally, Nikon’s ‘Nano Crystal Coat’ anti-reflective multi-coating helps minimise both ghosting and flare. Autofocusing is via a stepping motor to optimise speed and smoothness which is particularly beneficial when shooting video. Nikon says the new zoom is fully compatible with five-axis in-body image stabilisation provided in both the Z6 and Z7, and which gives up to five stops of correction for camera shake. The zoom’s minimum focusing distance is 28 centimetres and the minimum aperture is f22.
Despite providing the ultra-wide 14mm focal length, the new zoom still accepts screwthread filters with an 82 millimetres diameter fitting. Filter holders can also be fitted provided they’re thin enough not to cause vignetting at 14mm when the angle-of-view is 114 degrees.
The new Nikkor Z 14-30mm f4.0 S zoom will be in available in Australia from April with the local pricing yet to be announced. For more information visit http://www.nikon.com.au