The Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a handy, all-in-one zoom for photographers who don’t like changing lenses. With a range of 24mm to 200mm telephoto you can handle a lot of subjects with this reasonably compact and light lens.
TEST RESULTS Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR:
The Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a handy, all-in-one zoom for travel.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a zoom with which you can photograph many different subjects. The 24mm wide angle position is suitable for landscapes, interiors and street photography. If you zoom out to 200mm, you can photograph details and (larger) animals in the wild. With its shortest setting distance of only 50 cm, you can also capture smaller subjects. And all this with a lens that is hardly bigger or heavier than, for example, the Nikkor Z 24-70mm F4 S. That the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is less bright in the telephoto range than the 24-70mm F4 can hardly be called a disadvantage. After all, the 24-70 mm does not achieve those focal lengths. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F4 S is an ‘S‘ lens and the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is not. So don’t expect the same high image quality. Especially in the corners, you will be able to see differences. On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is more convenient and versatile and also has image stabilization (VR), which according to CIPA standards should be good for 4.5 stops.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a compact and reasonably light lens. The low weight is of course partly due to the use of plastic, and the compact dimensions (in the retracted position) result from the fact that this lens has a double tube. So it actually extends twice. Nevertheless, the construction is quite free of play and solid, and the lens even has gaskets to make it weatherproof.
What helps is that the number of controls is limited. The lens has a wide zoom ring and a narrow control ring. That narrow control ring is programmable. If you use the autofocus, you can set it so that you can manually adjust the focus immediately. You can also choose to use it for something completely different, such as setting the aperture, changing the sensitivity or setting an exposure correction. Unfortunately, the lens has no AF/MF switch.
The optical design is – as we are used to today – quite complex, with 19 elements in 15 groups. The lens contains 2 elements of ED glass (glass with a low refractive index), 1 aspherical ED element and 2 “ordinary” aspherical elements. The glass surfaces are provided with Nikon’s Arneo coating, and the front element also has an additional fluorine coating to make it easier to keep clean. The aperture consists of 7 rounded blades, and the filter size is a modest 67mm. The lens comes with a lens hood.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR uses an STM stepper motor for focusing and therefore not a (double) linear motor that can be found in more expensive models. The focus is completely internal. Thus, only one or a few lens elements need to be moved, and the lens does not become longer during focusing. This means that a stepper motor is probably sufficient for smooth focusing. An additional advantage of stepper motors is that they are quiet and can ensure a smooth gradient of sharpness in video. Nikon claims that the lens should also suffer little from focus breathing and focus shift during zooming. This should make this lens particularly suitable for video work.
The shortest setting distance is 0.50 m. The maximum magnification you can achieve with this is 0.28 x. This is not enough for macro work, but it is enough for close-ups of smaller topics.
The MTF curves of the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR show good center sharpness, both in the wide-angle range and in the telephoto range. At the same time, you can see, especially on the 24mm position, that the gradient in sharpness actually starts immediately as you move out toward the corners. For example, with the Nikon Z 24-70 mm F4 S, the MTF curve remains flat much longer. The degree of gradient, so the loss of sharpness towards the corners, is fortunately not too great, except for the finest details in the extreme corners. In the telephoto mode, the gradient is even smaller. With critical examination or the use of high-resolution cameras such as the Nikon Z7 II, you will be able to see that softening in the corners. On cameras with lower resolution and when viewing the images in not too large formats, it will hardly be noticeable.
Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR
|field of view (diag)||84°-12°20′|
|sensor format||full frame|
|min. setting distance||50 cm|
|filter diameter||67 mm|
|dimensions (dxl)||77×114 mm|
|list price||€ 989.00|
ConclusiON: REVIEW Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3
With the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR, Nikon seems to have found a very nice balance between quality and usability.
The Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a nice addition to the Nikon lens range. If you combine it with, for example, the Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 S, you have a huge range with only 2 lenses. Ideal for traveling, or just for when you don’t feel like switching lenses.
The brightness is somewhat less than, for example, the almost equally large and expensive Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-4. However, this is not (yet) available in Z-mount (although there are adapters for it), and the wide-angle range of the Tamron is also slightly less wide. The Tamron also has no image stabilization (which you will notice on 200mm in particular), and the Nikon does. These all-in-one lenses are a compromise between image quality and usability, but Nikon seems to have found a very nice balance with the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR. If you want to have a little more range than 70 or 120mm without having to bring a separate telephoto lens, then this Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a good choice.