Nikon 24-85mm VR versus Nikon 24-120mm F4 VR

Started Jan 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
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ChapelThrill23 Contributing Member • Posts: 758
Re: Nikon 24-85mm VR versus Nikon 24-120mm F4 VR

"I never got a chance to use the older 28-75 Tamron lens, but I have seen it in person, it's quite compact too, though not quite as long as the other two."

As I understand it it has tremendous sample variation. I rented one from LensRentals along with a Tamron 24-70VC and a Nikon 24-70 with the intention of using their keepers program to keep one. I only rented the 28-75 because it cost almost nothing to rent and I was already paying shipping. I did not think it was a contender but was amazed when comparing output. What shocked me when I tested it was how good the results were. I set up some blind tests where I'd show three images from a tripod of the same subject to observers and found to my shock that neutral observers actually picked the 28-75 results the most. It really is in the same league for non-moving subjects at most apertures despite being much cheaper and smaller. Unless you are a huge pixel peeper or print gigantically on a regular basis, you will not be likely to be able to spot a difference for most subjects and if you do the difference won't be big enough to really change how compelling a shot is.

I understand that the lens isn't in the same class in terms of things like build quality and focusing speed and it is lacking in the width department compared to the others but in terms of real world output on landscape subjects, it punches massively above its weight. I also really like its size. It is much more wieldy than the 24-70 bricks. It is a good bit smaller than the 24-120VR despite being f 2.8. I think its a gem so long as you aren't put off by very plasticky feeling build and average AF speeds. For less than $350 used it is an absolute steal provided you get a decent copy. It and the 85 1.8G are probably the two best bargains I've come across.

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