24-85/3.5-4.5 vs 24-120/4 first impressions

Started Jul 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
fabgo Senior Member • Posts: 1,300
24-85/3.5-4.5 vs 24-120/4 first impressions

I purchased the new 24-85/3.5-4.5 VR from Amazon. From before I have the 24-120/4 VR. I did some quick comparison shots out the window, at f/4, f/5.6 and f/8.

It's hard to compare two lenses in real-world conditions because focus and field curvature is likely to be different. But my initial impression is that the lens compares very favorably with the 24-120 in the range it overlaps.

The 24-85 seems a bit sharper at 24mm, especially towards the corners. On the other hand the edges/corners on the 24-120 are noticeably sharper from 70mm on.

The 24-85 is quite good even wide open. Quite impressive for a $599 consumer zoom actually.

My copy came with a scratch on an internal lens element, and it also showed some decentering (one side was sharper than the other). My evaluation is based on the sharp side (!). I returned it for a replacement.

I'm curious to see if the new one performs better. In my experience Nikon's QC criteria are quite a bit lower for consumer lenses, so it could be tricky to get a good copy of this lens. But if you win the lens lottery this lens could be a quite decent performer.

Is the 24-120/4 worth $700 more? I'm still debating that. It's better at the long end, has 35mm extra range and a constant f/4 aperture. I have a very good copy of the 24-120, so I might keep it just for that reason.

-- hide signature --

Fabian

ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow