This is my desert island lens. If I was going to the ends of the earth and could only take one lens with me, it would be this one: the Nikon 24mm ƒ/1.4G ED.
It’s not perfect, by any means, but I find it endlessly versatile for how I often want to take photos. It’s great for travel, great for family photos, decent for architecture (unless you have the PC-E tilt-shift 24mm lens on hand, which is better for traditional architectural photography). It’s not great for traditional portraits, but I like it for environmental portraits when you want to capture the surrounding context. It’s not good for on-field sports action, but is good for sideline and behind-the-scenes shots.
A 35mm is a traditional choice for photojournalism. This one’s a little wider than that, obviously, but shares similarities. It’s wide without introducing much distortion. It’s quick to focus. And when you crank the aperture up to ƒ/1.4 it’s fast. That speed, combined with the wide focal length that is less susceptible to the effects of camera shake, makes it especially good for night and very low-light shooting.
To get technical, it’s an FX lens for Nikon F mounts, has two ED and two aspherical elements, a rounded 9-blade diaphragm, Silent Wave AF focusing (with manual override), has an aperture range from ƒ/1.4 to ƒ/16, and takes 77mm filters. While not large, per se, it’s also not petite, and is significantly larger and heavier than, say, the 50mm ƒ/1.4G (the 24mm weighs about 1.4 pounds (620 grams).
Nikon actually has a few primes at the 24mm focal length. This is the fastest of them. It’s also close to the most expensive; only the tilt-shift 24mm is priced higher. But for me, at least, the premium price for this lens has been worth every penny, and if one day mine gives up the ghost I’ll be replacing it with another in a heartbeat.
So here are some photos I’ve shot with this lens in the hope that it’s useful to give an idea of how it performs under real-world shooting conditions.
Photos Taken with a Nikon 24mm ƒ/1.4G ED Lens
Optical Correction Tools
I deliberately haven’t applied extensive corrections to these images. And the general rule of thumb in photography is that it’s better to get the shot right at the time of capture rather than trying to fix it after. That’s a great aspiration, but it’s not always possible to do if you’re bumping up against limitations or flaws in gear, conditions, or technique.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are some excellent tools available to help address common issues with lenses, such as distortion, chromatic aberration, and lens vignetting when editing the images. All-round image processing apps like Lightroom Classic and Capture One have solid tools built in already that often cater to specific lens profiles (or you can make your own).
Some more specialized tools can take it even further. DxO, in particular, sets the gold standard.Their software is built on the foundation of their incredibly deep archive of data from their extensive lab testing of the optical performance of lenses and cameras. But there are some other excellent specialized tools available. These are well worth a look (and have free trials):
DxO Pure RAW (for a suite of automatic RAW file corrections enhancement)
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I'm a professional photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.
My name is David Coleman, and this is my site.
I take photos for a living. Seven continents. Dozens of countries. Up mountains. Under water. And a bunch of places in between. I'm based in Washington DC.
All posts and reviews on this site are written by me. And I only review gear with which I have personal hands-on experience. More about me.