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A Shot in the Dark - Mikko Lagerstedt reviews the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G

Mikko Lagerstedt takes the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED into the depths of the night, sharing his first-hand experience with tackling a new lens.

With Mikko’s love for adventure and passion for nightscapes, we recently sent him into the darkness with the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and his Nikon D810. Using the lens for the first time, he quickly got to know the ins and outs of the lens to truly capture the essence of nightfall.

From lonely roads to surreal portraitures, Mikko tackles low light conditions to capture a brilliance that only the eyes can experience. “The real advantage of the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED against other lenses I have used is the sharpness of the images overall image quality,” says Mikko.

One of the key functions to note about this lens is its Internal Focusing (IF) which enables focusing without changing the length of the lens barrel. With the Silent Wave Motor (SWM), the lens is capable of achieving high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy. Both technologies provide Mikko with powerful and quiet operation.

“The autofocus is fast and works accurately in the situations I have used it. If you are primarily using the lens for photographing the stars, you might want to learn when it is focused to infinity either manually, or with the autofocus in vast landscapes. If there is a small light source in the scenery, the lens can focus to it in most of the cases. In pitch-black situations, I recommend using the manual focus. Thanks to its Silent Wave Motor, autofocus operations are fast and almost silent.”

When it comes to focusing on large landscape images, whether in daylight, sundown or the pitch black of night, it is crucial for the image to have an all-round crispness to it to avoid compositing the image after. With this being one of the main challenges Mikko had faced in the past, it came as a surprise to him that he was able to achieve a sharp image across the board with this lens.

“From corner to corner the sharpness is very good with a wide aperture. I’ve used many other cameras previously where the focus seemed to change in different parts of the image. For example, if the corners of the image are correctly focused but the center is not in focus. This is not the case with the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED. Once you nail down the focus, the whole image is razor sharp.”

As a landscape and astro photographer, his primary use is directed at vast outdoor spaces. This made it an ideal lens for its extreme wide-angle capacity, whilst its focus allows for fast and accurate capturing. In the end, after taking the gear on the road for several shoots, for him it all boiled down to three key outstanding features: the camera’s uncanny sharpness, a solid build quality and the camera’s ability to focus on expansive landscapes.

About Mikko

Self-taught photographer Mikko Lagerstedt captures heavily atmospheric imagery in the lonely landscapes of Finland. It all began during a drive to a relative’s cabin after a day of heavy rainfall. The sun was beginning to peek through a field of rising fog, and it was at this moment where Mikko came to a stop and realized these were the moments he needed to capture.

About the gear

Redefine the possibilities of high-megapixel video and still photography with the full-frame performance of the new and improved Nikon D810. The exceptional FX-format image sensor ensures Full HD 1080/60p video with remarkably reduced moiré and noise. With an incomparable image resolution of 36.3-megapixels, D810 will meet your exacting standards like never before. An ISO sensitivity range of 64 to 12800 ensures that your shots retain high resolution and rich tonality in any lighting condition. Achieve stunning results that are true to every detail with the unparalleled power of the D810.

Capture impeccably sharp, high quality images with the award-winning AF-S NIKKOR 14–24mm f/2.8G ED. The lens combines the latest innovations with the rich heritage of NIKKOR advanced glass technology to deliver astounding photos and HD videos, making it the obvious choice for photographers who demand the best from their lens. With a host of cutting-edge optics and a maximum aperture of f/2.8, this ultra-wide zoom lens turns all your panoramas, landscapes and wide-angle photos into magnificent works of art.