D610 and 24-85 or 24-120?

Started Jul 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
Robert Palmqvist
Robert Palmqvist Contributing Member • Posts: 582
Re: D610 and 24-85 or 24-120?

I loved the D7000 + 16-85 as a traveling combo but I recently decided to replace it with a FF alternative. The 16-85 was a great lens with a very versatile zoom range, usually wide enough but not always long enough.

Both 24-85 and 24-120 was on my short list, I tried them both out and the 24-120 is a bit more versatile but also a bit heavier and more expensive. I am not that found of slow zooms but they can be quite handy when you travel light. I was not sure about "traveling light" with FF but I really wanted to try it out. I therefor picked up a used 24-85 and traveled with it this summer as my only lens. It was the lightest and cheapest option for a FF traveling kit I could think of, a used D700 + a used 24-85 VR.

I traveled with this combo for three weeks this summer. An ordinary vacation with the family. No more gear than my iPhone and the D700 + 24-85. It was an experiment and I carried this gear all the time, everywhere. Did I like it?

The 24-85 VR is the first lens where I found VR usable (maybe because I shot a bit of everything while on the move). I found it wide enough but sometimes not long enough. But 120mm would not have cut it the times I wished for more reach. This was proof enough for me that the 24-120 would not have been a better alternative. What I like about the 24-85 is it's VR (never thought I would say it), that it is fairly sharp, cheap, light and compact.

What I don't like is the severe distortion (it's quite horrid, especially in the wide end) and the focus ring (it has a cheap sticky feel to it). It's a bit slow too but what can you expect given price and design?

What I would like to do now is to tryout a combination of the 28-300 VR and a really wide prime. It would not be a "one lens" solution and I shoot 24mm quite often so it's far from perfect. But it is probably a lighter combination than to complement the 24-85 with something long enough.

I posted some shots that I took this summer with the 24-85 VR in this post...

My FF traveling kit exploration continues...

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