- Andrew JK Tan
Nikkor Z 14-30mm F/4 S with the NiSi 82mm ND-VARIO Pro Nano 1.5-5 stops Enhanced Variable ND
The Nikkor F-mount 14-24mm f/2.8G ED had been my favourite ultra wide angle zoom lens for a while now ! it has brilliant performance but the main drawbacks are :
1. the size & weight - 1kg and 5.2 inches in height
2. attaching filters required niche filter holders like my NiSi S5 system & large 150mm filters
Though I had been using the Nikkor 14-24mm on my mirrorless Nikon Z 6 , it just did not make too much sense in terms of size , weight and the overall balance of the entire setup especially when I had my NiSi S5 filter holder & 150mm filters in place.
Finally with the new Nikkor Z 14-30mm F/4 S , I now have a much more practical & balanced ultra wide angle setup.
- Weight : 485 g VS. 1000 g (14-24)
- Fully compatible with 82mm circular filters
I not only save on the weight & size of the lens , I also save on the weight & size of my NiSi S5 filter system & that's a lot , trust me & these advantages are so important when you only want to carry the essentials when photographing in rugged terrains.
Nikon Z 6 with Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S with NiSi 82mm ND-Vario Pro Nano 1.5-5 stops Enhanced Variable ND filter
Initial Perception of the Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens
Identical minimum focusing distance as my F-mount Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
About 8.5 inches minimum focusing distance
Excellent clarity & sharpness
So easy to use & handle due to it's compactness especially as an entire Nikon Z system
Circular Filters compatible
When used with the NiSi 82mm ND-VARIO Pro Nano 1.5-5 Stops Enhanced Variable ND filter , it's a fantastic setup for general street photography & when I want to use long exposures in bright daylight especially when doing hand-held photography
This shot of the Cloud Forest Waterfall below was shot hand-held close to noon on a very bright & hot day. It would not have been possible to expose the shot at 0.6 seconds with an aperture of f8.0 without the use of a suitable strength ND filter even at the lowest ISO.
Of course , I could have done it with my F-mount 14-24mm F/2.8G with the S5 Filter holder and my 150mm ND filter in place BUT it would have been way more inconvenient , so much bulkier & just not as practical !!
Nikkor Z 14-30mm with 82mm ND-VARIO at 5 stops & at 14mm focal length HAND-HELD - JPEG straight from camera
Hand-Held at 0.6 seconds , f8.0 , ISO100 , 5 stops ND
Nikkor Z 14-30mm with 82mm ND-VARIO at 5 stops & at 14mm focal length HAND-HELD
Hand-Held at 0.6 seconds , f8.0 , ISO100 - Simple & quick Post Processing to show more shadow details
Using a circular ND filter with the Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S saved me so much time. It gave me so much more flexibility in with the exposure settings availble especially with slower shutter speeds (for creative effects) and staying away from the small f-stop values of f16 or f22 when photographing with the brightest of sunlight.
In addition with this NiSi Circular ND , I could still protect the filter with the original Nikkor Z 14-30mm lenscap , now isn't that great & convenient !!
With lenscap ON
With Lenscap OFF
A little bit more on the NiSi 82mm ND-VARIO Pro Nano 1.5-5 stops Enhanced Variable ND
- easy to adjust between 1.5 to 5 stops
- No "X" effect
- uses High Definition Glass
- Nano Coating
- Ultra Slim Frame
The NiSi 1.5 - 5 stops variable ND is very slim and the metal extention makes is easy to rotate the filter to vary between 1.5 to 5 stops WITHOUT any "X" effect !!
In summary , I am smitten with the new Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S ultra wide angle lens for my Nikon Z 6. Yes , it could have been a f/2.8 lens but it would have been much larger & heavier. Honestly I do NOT miss the f/2.8 capability at all , it's going to be this f/4 lens which is going to motivate me so much more when I do landscape photography with filters.
The circular filter capability is a huge advantage with the way I do photography so that's a big plus for me. Performance wise with this Nikkor Z , I don't think I will miss my 14-24mm that much.
Lastly for all you Nikon Z / Nikkor Z 14-30mm users , the NiSi 82mm ND-VARIO 1.5-5 stops Enhanced Variable ND filter is a MUST HAVE for general purpose use ! Please try it out.
I will definitely share more of my experience with this combination in future blogs !!
Till then ,