A wide-angle lens was always a luxury in the years I was dabbling with DSLR photography. Even newsrooms with many photographers and camera kits would rarely have a wide-angle lens. If there was one, it would be the fisheye lens which took more pride in its distortion than the ability to get more into the frame. But smartphone photography changed all that, especially with the 0.5x on the iPhone and Galaxy flagships. So when the opportunity came along with test a lens that could do this wide-angle as well as an 8.3x zoom, I could not let go of the opportunity.
The Nikkor Z 24-200 f/4-6.3 lens is quite compact and not that heavy for something that goes from wide to telephoto. However, the barrel is on the larger side and that is explainable because of the range it covers. I used it with the Nikon Z6 as the kit offering comes with this DSLR body at Rs 227,445. Overall, the body and lens are easy to handle, though a tripod is recommended when you are at the telephoto end of the lens.
The lens offers a quick autofocus lock and does not take time figuring out the subject. This also makes the lens perfect for video shoots as you are almost always locked on to the subject even as you zoom in our out. However, the manual controls on focus are limited.
Let’s start with the wide-angle. As I said this is what excited me the most and this is what impressed me the most. The photos were all without any significant distortion and maintained the color and other details wonderfully well. In fact, when it comes to ultra-wide photography in smartphones, you have to compromise a lot on detail. And detail has to be one of the strong points of this lens.
The lens has an aperture range of f/ 4-6.3 to f/ 22-36 and it does pretty well in low light as well as the extra-bright Delhi summer.
The zoom was impressive too. With a steady hand, you can get really close to your subject and the results will reveal details you had no idea existed. Again, this is where a DSLR and a lens like this does much better than any smartphone. Even at full zoom, the only noise is what has been created by your hands struggling to keep straight.
Even while you are not pushing either extreme of this lens, there are some stunning results to be had. At a 50mm kind of range, this can offer great portraits and low-light shots.
However, with telephoto, there is a lens flare that does show up even while clicking the moon. However, it is not that noticeable and you can more than live with it. Also, you can’t get really up close and personal with your subjects as the minimum distance required it over 1.5 feet.
If you are investing in a high-end Nikon DSLR, then it might make sense to make the Nikkor Z 24-200 f/4-6.3 your only lens before you decide to diversify into specific optics. There cannot be a more versatile lens at this price range.
Nikkor Z 24-200 f/4-6.3 technical specifications: Focal Length Range: 24 – 200mm | Maximum Aperture: f/ 4-6.3 | Minimum Aperture: f/ 22-36 | Weight: 570 g | FX format | Zoom Ratio: 8.3x | Diaphragm Blades: 7 | Filter Size: 67mm | Minimum Focus Distance: 1.64 ft. (0.5m) at 24mm zoom position | 2.30 ft. (0.7m) at 200mm zoom position
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The Nikon Z6 with NIKKOR Z 24-200 f/4-6.3 lens kit is available at INR 2,27,445.
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