24-85 VR review by Ken Rockwell

Started Jul 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: Back to the lens....

The more I play with this lens, the less impressed I am with it. It is best under 50mm where it does indeed compete well against the 14-24mm and the 28mm 1.8G lens. Its edges are soft until stopped down, but I'm not a big landscape guy, so the edges aren't that important to me.

However, it doesn't fair well against the new 50 and 85mm 1.8 lenses. Both are much sharper with better contrast. However, what I found particularly dismaying is how poorly it showed against the Tamron 70-300mm lens at 70 and 85mm. The Tamron has far better sharpness and contrast at both FLs. Plus, it's f4 at this FL (a small but nice speed difference).

I think that I'm gong to keep it because I purchased it primarily for under 50mm where it's okay, but it's clearly not the super lens that I first thought it was.

Joe Porto wrote:

I look at it a little differently. Nikon added VR to a $350 consumer lens, and is asking $600 for it. That's $250 for VR. If the lens was $400, I'd jump on it. At $600, I'll deal with the size and weight of my 24-70 f/2.8.

Still, if people are willing to pay this much, then more power to Nikon. The success of the D800 has shown that the masses are ready for FF, and don't mind paying for it.

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Dont think so.. its a no mans land lens, neither great or that versatile in FL. Mind you, that the 16-85 VR easily have them both (apart from poor bokeh)..

The 16-85 VR was how the 24-120 VR should have been, image quality wise for the FX crowd.

Should have been. Should should should, that's all I ever hear from you guys. We have to use what is available to us in real life. You want optical perfection for $300. For a short, lightweight walkaround lens with super good VR, the lens flat out works well. If you think this lens isn't sharp as could be through a good portion of its FLs and apertures, then you simply haven't done your homework. It is sharp. Ken says it's super sharp and so do I. I can see individual pixels zoomed in to 400% through most of the frame using the D800e.


What more could be asked at this price point?

You want no distortion? Dream on. I can see no difference at 60mm stopped down a bit between it and my 60G Micro at medium distance to infinity. Will it do f 2.8 with wafer-thin dof? No, but I don't need that, and I'm simply not willing to lug around a 24-120 with a CA-laden long end, let alone a 24-70 ingot.

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