Social Links Search User Login Menu

Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens Review

Nikon Z  24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens Review
TrueToad 2313

Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens Review

Previous Article Previous Article Nikon 400mm f/2.8E ED VR FL Review
Next Article Nikon Monarch 7 Binocular Review Nikon Monarch 7 Binocular Review

Superior Optics

I own and use the Legacy 24-70 f/2.8 (several years) and the new S 24-70 f/2.8.  My copy arrived in early May after waiting only a short while for the pre-order to be filled. Unlike my 500mm f/5.6 which is still on back-order since Aug of last year - sigh!

When Nikon released the first f mount 24-70 f/2.8 it was quickly lauded as one of the holy grail of lenses photographers should own. To this day the 24-70 continues to be a go-to lens for many photographers.  The big question everyone has on their mind is? Did Nikon improve their already excellent 24-70 f/2.8 f mount lens by engineering a new lens based on the larger Z mount and improve on almost every aspect of the lens lineage and if so, should you make the switch?

Here is the shortlist of improvements the new 24-70 f/2.8 S Lens has over it's older brothers: 

  • Smaller and lighter than the f mount version 1.5 lbs vs 2.4 lbs
  • Superior Optics - it is optically superior corner to corner
  • Improved sharpness and clarity and color rendition
  • Near Silent Focus Operation using newer stepper motor technology - great for video.
  • New improved ARNEO coatings
  • 5 axis vibration reduction using in-body stabilization of the Z camera
  • Customizable Control Ring
  • Customizable function button on the lens barrel
  • Lighted Lens Information Panel on the lens barrel

Here is the shortlist what both lenses have in common:

  • Exceptional weather sealing from dust and moister
  • Fluorine, SIC, and Nano Coatings
  • Internal Focus (IF)
  • Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism
  • Use of ED glass and Aspherical lenses 

Differences in build quality between legacy 24-70 and the new S Lens? In the hands, the new S mount 24-70 f/2.8 feels solid and well made but the older f mount 24-70 f/2.8 feels more robust. I really don't think it matters at the end of the day as both are well made. It appears Nikon is using a different plastic shell composite on the newer S lenses and I am ok with that. Both legacy 24-70 and newer S lens are comprised of both plastic and metal and both are extremely well made.

My hands-on review of the new 24-70 f/2.8 S lens, not only does it live up to the Nikon legacy 24-70 but surpasses and excels beyond the excellent f mount lens in almost all aspects. I have high confidence every time I carried and used my legacy 24-70 lens but with the new 24-70 S lens my confidence is greater knowing and seeing the exceptional image quality this new lens provides.

I am not able to express more clearly than to state the new 24-70 f/2.8 S lens is far superior to any other 24-70 I have ever used - period. Focus performance for those interested. The new S lens has great focus performance on the Nikon Z camera bodies (I have a Z7 and Z6). However, the D850 coupled with the legacy 24-70 is faster and more consistent. 

Questions People ask are

  • I already own the 24-70 f/4 S kit lens is it worth upgrading?  I can not directly answer that question for you, you will know when the time is right to make your move. I too own the kit lens but bought the faster pro 24-70 f/2.8 S when it became available.
  • I have the legacy 24-70 f/2.8 VR should I adapt it with the FTZ or sell the legacy lens and buy the newer S 24-70? To be truthful adapting legacy lenses is a great way to stretch the investment however I want to enjoy the improved optical performance and lighter Z lenses/mirrorless system. Thus as direct Z lens replacements are released I will sell off my older legacy f mount lens and move to the newer Z mount. 

I would certainly recommend the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 S lens to any Nikon Z shooter.  This lens will quickly be considered holy grail lens for the Z mount, and I suspect there will be more superior lenses coming out of Nikon using the new improved Z mount.

Rate article

Rate this article:

True Toad


Other posts by TrueToad

I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

Contact author


Support Truetoad
 Support the TrueToad Site
 Nikkor 24-70 f/4  Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8


Collapse Expand Comments (0)

You are replaying to

Your comment was added, but it must be approved first.

Please enter your name
Please enter your email adressPlease enter valid email adress
Please enter a comment
Please solve Captcha.
Add Comment

Theme picker

Contact author


Nikon D850


Great Gear

Nikkor 400mm ED FL Lens

FujiFilm XT-3 On Sale

X-T3 26.1MP Mirrorless Camera with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens, Black - Bundle With 3X-T3 26.1MP Mirrorless Camera with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens, Black - Bundle With 3$1699BUY NOWAdorama

More Reviews Here

FujiFilm X-PRO3 Review

The FujiFilm X-Pro3 camera is the third iteration of the FujiFilm X-PRO series and with the release comes many opinions concerning the path Fujifilm is taken with the... Read more

Nikon Z 50 Review

Nikon's first crop sensor Mirrorless camera - if you don't count the smaller CX sensor cameras such as the Nikon 1 line up, and should you get a Nikon Z50?

Read more

Nikon 85mm f/1.8 S Lens Review

Nikon released their first 85mm lens for the Z mount mirrorless cameras - do you need it and is it worth the price. If you have the 85mm f/1.8 f mount lens do you upgrade... Read more

Theme picker

Back To Top