Thinking of getting a Nikon 24-70 2.8 VR

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,417
Re: Thinking of getting a Nikon 24-70 2.8 VR

I also like to shoot with primes, but then there is travel.   When I travel, other than for diving, it could be anywhere in the world, and it definitely means getting into scenarios where I don't know ahead of time what lens would be best.

That means, for travel, I value flexibility.   My ideal choices here would be 14-24, 24-70 and 80-400.

But I also value being able to walk at the end of a day carrying my gear around.   Until I was about 50 I favored a shoulder bag.  After years of carrying 6-7 lenses and two bodies and a flash (and I almost never use flash when traveling), I just decided I had to cut down the weight AND I had to get the weight off my shoulders.   That led me to one of my wiser decisions over the years; get a waist bag that holds barely enough and limit myself to what fits in it.   Hence a 3-zoom / one body limit (and no flash).

Since I use gripped DSLR I had only one choice, from Thinktank, and that was the Speed Racer.  It has worked perfectly for me since 2008.    I tried a rolling bag for a while, but it was one that didn't have backpack straps and was ultimately not flexible enough for travel.  Now I use it for my underwater gear, which requires the roller, the waist bag and a bit more space in a suitcase as well.

Now that I had a bag, I had to fill it.  Back when I got it, I was shooting a D300 with 12-24, 24-70g and 80-400af-d.   When I switched to FX with a D700, I had to swap the wide lens for an FX one.   My first choice was a 14-24, but it would not fit in the bag.   So I opted for the 16-35 in 2013 and have used it ever since.

Initially all worked well from 2008 to 2016.   When the 80-400g came out, I immediately swapped it for the rather poor 80-400AF-D, but although the g was a bit longer, it still fit.

In 2016 my 24-70g began to develop a case of zoom grind while on a vacation trip to China.  In 2 days it went from fine to being difficult to zoom past about 35mm, and it was getting worse.    I just so happened to be in Hong Kong at the time, and the 24-70vr had come out a few months earlier.  I was able to find a new one ($400 cheaper than the US, no USA warranty), and I bought it.   Packed up the failing 3 into the box for the VR and haven't looked at it since.

So slamming the VR into the place of the G was a way to highlight the differences immediately.   That's when I noticed the filter/cap issue.     I also used the new lens for a while that day before discovering the VR was set to off.

The second thing I noticed was that I thought the lens wasn't quite as sharp as the G.   This surprised me a bit, even though I read the g was slightly sharper in the center.  After years of using the VR, I don't think it is noticeably sharper, but the dropoff in sharpness between center and edge on the G makes one perceive it to be sharper.   The VR is clearly better edge-to-edge, and off-center compositions are better on the VR.

The VR also proved useful, not just in shooting stills but doing videos of the Hong Kong harbor lights display.

Four years later, I'm happy with the 24-70vr, and I still find the difference in filter size a bit of a pain, mostly due to having to keep track of its lens cap.

By the way, the VR body is noticeable fatter than the g body, but I haven't found anywhere that causes an issue.

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Phoenix Arizona Craig
"I miss the days when I was nostalgic."

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