I’ve previously posted a detailed hands-on review of the Nikon Z 24-120mm ƒ/4 S lens. It’s a very versatile zoom lens with impressive optics. And, in part, because it’s only moderately fast (with a maximum aperture of ƒ/4), it’s moderately priced. The combination makes it an attractive take-anywhere lens option. Not surprisingly, it’s the main kit lens that Nikon is bundling with its higher-end Z-mount mirrorless cameras (it’s also available as a standalone lens).
These sample images are designed to go alongside that review.
These were all taken on a Nikon Z8. They were shot in RAW and have been lightly processed in Lightroom.
With a couple of exceptions noted below, I haven’t applied any of Lightroom’s editing fixes here for optical flaws. But that’s not to say there aren’t any. Newer lens and camera combinations like this often have built-in corrections. And that’s the case here.
Since my objective here is to give a sense of real-world performance rather than technical lab tests, I’ve left the settings in the camera at their default settings (vignette control: on; diffraction compensation: on; auto distortion control: on). After all, most users of this lens are likely to be shooting with those default settings. And something worth noting is that, unlike many other in-camera processing tools that only apply to derivative JPGs or HEIFs, these apply to the master RAW files as well.
Sample Images Taken with a Nikon Z 24-120mm ƒ/4 S Zoom Lens
You can click on each image for a full-size version for a closer look.
Price & Availability
Nikon uses this lens as a kit lens with some of their Z-series mirrorless cameras. But you can also buy it as a standalone lens. It has an MSRP of $1099.
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)
I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »
I take photos and travel. I do it for a living. Seven continents. Dozens of countries. Up mountains. Under water. And a bunch of places in between. 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.