Nikkor Z 24-70 F4 Vs. Nikkor Z 24-70 F2.8 Experiences

Updated: Apr 2

I wanted to do a short blurb about the differences between these two lenses from Nikon. Mostly because I have both and have shot extensively with both. At one point I also had questions about the differences between the two and wondered if it was worth the extra almost $2k for the F2.8 lens. For this quick comparison, I will only touch on image quality differences and feature differences, then end off with what I recommend for different situations.


Nikkor Z 24-70/4 S and Nikkor Z 24-70/2.8 S. Photo taken with phone.


Features

As for features, there is not a huge difference between these two lenses. Both lenses use a rubber grip control ring for the zoom with clear markings for the focal lengths painted on the housing and a more plastic feeling ring for the focus ring. Both lenses have a switch to change between the manual and automatic focus. Additionally, both lenses come with a lens hood and their zoom function cascades outwards making the total length of the lens increase while using it. It is important to note that both lenses are well weather sealed, and I have taken them into stormy weather without issues. Although, both lenses are constructed differently.


Nikkor Z 24-70/4 S and Nikkor Z 24-70/2.8 S. Photo taken with phone.


Nikkor Z 24-70/4 S

The F/4 is a bit smaller, and lighter than the larger F/2.8 lens. This does come at the cost of some performance, however, not significantly noticeable. In many cases this smaller size and weight might easily counteract the loss in features depending on the situation that you are attempting to use it for. For instance, a landscape photographer I know loves the F/4 due to the smaller weight when hiking. It is also important to note that you probably never do landscape photography under an aperture of 5.6 anyways, so the F/4 does not hinder your abilities in this manner.


Specs:

-Retail price, new: $999.95

-14 lens elements in 11 groups

-1 Aspherical ED

-1 ED

-3 Aspherical

-Nano Crystal Coat

-Fluorine-coated front lens element

-7 Diaphragm Blades

-Weight: 500 grams or 1.1 pounds

-77.5mm diameter with 88.5mm length

-Filter thread size of 72mm

-Minimum focus distance of 0.3 meters

-Note: Lens must be extended to 24mm position before it can be used


This list does not include all of the specifications for the lens, but rather just the ones that are unique to it. If you want a complete, and detailed list of specifications for this lens check out Nikon's page here.


Nikkor Z 24-70/2.8 S

The F/2.8 is the more expensive cousin to the F/4 that is developed and marketed to professionals in the photography world as having "Uncompromising Optical Performance". This lens is sharper than the F/4 across the entire range of function for the lens, along with adding in the increased low light performance and outstanding Bokeh from the F/2.8 aperture setting. However, it is important to ask yourself if these extra features really warrant the increased cost of the lens for the kinds of photography that you do. If you never go under F/4 for your work you might be able to live with some of these tradeoffs and save a quick buck, possibly to spend on another lens like the 70-200.


Specs:

-Retail price, new: $2,299.95

-17 lens elements in 15 groups

-2 ED

-4 Aspherical

-Nano Crystal Coat

-ARNEO Coat

-Fluorine-coated front AND rear lens elements

-9 Diaphragm Blades

-Weight: 805 grams or 1.77 pounds