A couple of years back Nikon introduced a landmark wide angle zoom lens. The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ultrawide was intended for the newer FX digital camera bodies, and was hoped to be a worthy successor to the already excellent 17-35mm f/2.8D zoom.
The lens is an excellent performer – limited barrel distortion, and capable of creating great, contrasty images, however it has received a lot of comments on internet forums due to the inability to use filters.
Most lens have a filter thread which enables photographers to screw the filters on to the front of the lens, or use a filter holder, such as the ones from Lee, Hi-Tech, or Cokin, together with square (or rectangular) glass or resin filters. Landscape photographers particularly favor the use of such filter holders as it is possible to use graduated filters and easily change the position of the grad in the image field.
The 14-24mm has a bulbous front end element, and a built in, non-removable, petal shaped lens hood. For these reasons, it is not possible to attach a filter, and landscape photographers have remained with the 17-35mm for the situations where filters were necessary, sacrificing the wider 14mm capabilities of the newer lens.
A couple of photographers have managed to find DIY solutions to the problem, adapting existing filter holders to attach to the lens, sometimes using pieces of pipe affixed around the end of the lens to support the holder, however these have typically only worked when the lens was fixed to DX format cameras.
However, this week Lee filters have announced an ingenious way of mounting filters on the lens, introducing new larger filters (150mm compared to the ‘standard’ 100mm filters) and a special 4 part holder. I have yet to see any examples taken with this new filter holder, but at a cost of around $250 it looks like a promising solution for this great lens. I’ve always said that the 17-35mm lens is the best solution for my needs, but have always been tempted to replace it with the 14-24mm. Maybe now is the right time to finally pick one up…….
More information regarding the filter holder can be seen in the attached YouTube video from Robert White in the UK.