Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S review

The Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S brings an old favorite into the mirrorless age

Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Building on bygone popularity, the Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S is a mirrorless version of a somewhat classic 5x standard zoom for F-mount DSLRs. It makes the most of optical enhancements afforded by the Z system’s larger mount circumference and closer proximity to the image sensor. The net result is enhanced sharpness and all-round image quality, across the whole frame and throughout the entire zoom range, along with a reasonably compact and lightweight build. However, the lack of VR makes it less ideal for DX format mirrorless cameras like the Z 50 and Z fc.


  • +

    Impressive image quality

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    Versatile 5x zoom range

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    Customizable L-fn button/control ring


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    Bigger & heavier than Z 24-70mm f/4 S

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    Slower aperture than Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

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The Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S fills a small gap in Nikon’s line-up of Z-mount standard zoom lenses, slotting in between the more compact Z 24-70mm f/4 S and hefty Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S ‘trinity’ zoom. It’s sure to find favor with Nikon photographers shifting to mirrorless from a full-frame DSLR, who have long enjoyed the versatile 5x zoom range of the AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR. The F-mount edition is still highly popular, not just as a kit lens option with full-frame DSLRs like the D750 and D780, but in its own right as a walkabout zoom.

Compared with the F-mount lens, the new Z-mount counterpart ditches optical VR. That’s not really an issue for full-frame Nikon Z-series cameras, all of which have IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization), but it’s a letdown for those wanting to use it as an ‘effective’ 36-180mm zoom on DX format cameras like the Z 50 and Z fc.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.