Is the D600 kit lens considered a good lens?

Started Oct 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
Alamen New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Is the D600 kit lens considered a good lens?

I have noticed that a few people of course are bashing the kit lens for the D600 and I would like to ask a few questions and then comment on my own observations.

My first question would be that the people that are bashing the lens have of course tuned it in using AF tuning on the D600?

The people who are bashing the lens have tuned it and then of course done their own real world comparisons against other similar lenses to be able to critic the quality of image that the lens provides?

I am asking this because after using FoCal to tune in the lens I am darn impressed with the IQ that the lens is providing. Prior to tuning it in, the images were decent but not always tack sharp to say the least.

Now the images this lens provides me are sharp but then again not without flaws. This is still only a $500 dollar lens and miracles are not to be expected by the camera gods for this price. However other than some very minor contrast loss and a touch of softness in the far corners that I have noticed once I have done 100 percent zoom in; this lens is very darn good. I mean if I need to crop in 100 percent anyways I should have moved my feet to be closer to my subject for better detail and almost all lenses suffer from the same problems to some degree or another. Even the Nikon 24-70; it just does it less than others.

The build quality of the 24-85 is good but not pro level by any means. I would not have expected any more in terms of quality than it is providing. I have read almost every forum I can find and seen almost all reviews of this lens and I have to say as well as most that give it an honest review and you will see that this is a good lens for sure.

If anyone has any questions then I would see camera labs observations when using the 24-85 in a comparison test against the Nikon 24-70 and the Tamron 24-70.

After reading several different reviews for the Tamron 24-70 and not having the cash for the Nikon (holy grail) 24-70 and going against camera labs recommendations and my own observations in regards to my own shots; I was positive that I could get better shots with the Tamron 24-70 so I marched myself down to the local camera store with the intentions of buying that lens once I had done some comparison photo tests in store. I mean if I was getting great shots now; of course I would get even better shots with a more expensive lens. Now keep in mind I also knew that people had reported having issues with their Tamron 24-70 lenses and had returned them for different copies because the lenses would not focus properly. Lots of forum comments and even some pro sites have stated the same findings. With this in mind I proceeded to conduct my experiments to get rid of any doubts I might still have over the 24-85 and replace it with a more expensive and most assuredly for the cost; a better lens.

I used a ruler to tune in back/front focus of the lens and started my test against my 24-85 using the same aperture for both lenses. If the Tamron isn't sharp at 3.5 to 4.5 then it wont be at 2.8 was my theory and sadly to say it was not. The 24-85 was easily the winner, trust me I was shocked and so were the staff that were helping me. I would have to honestly say to be fair to the Tamron that the copy I was using had to have had some sort of quality issue. There is no other way to describe it. In every shot I took the 24-85 was easily the better photo. I didn't even have to come close to zooming in all the way to see the difference and just to be clear I tried numerous aperture and shutter speeds as well as VR and IS on or off. It did not matter. The staff tried as well as we probed and tweaked my D600 for all it was worth. With the store only having the one copy of the Tamron and after almost 50 plus shots I left with a far greater appreciation for the 24-85 than I had started with. Now don't get me wrong it isn't as good as my 50mm or 85mm prime when it comes to sharp and bokeh but I wouldn't expect it to be. It is however not far off in sharpness. Well at least my copy is. I hope this helps and keep in mind I am no expert and better minds will assuredly be able to pick apart my testing methods but for my experience level it was as good a test as I needed.

Take care all.

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