Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Discussions
Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

The 24-120 F4 has more reach. It's silly to argue that you can crop the 85mm to 120mm, because that not the same thing. The 120mm gives you different field flattening effect, better subject isolation and simply more resolution since you'd lose a lot of pixels cropping the 85 to match.

The reason why I don't like the 24-120 F4 is because it does not have higher IQ than the 24-85vr over the same focal lengths. To my mind it SHOULD, but the fact remains that they are very close and in my tests the 24-85vr was superior (though not enough that it was important!). Both samples of the 24-120 F4 I tests were soft at 120mm, but I've seen sharp photos posted so that was probably my samples. The other issue is the 24-120 F4 is not a small lens at all. Since the constant F4 adds up to very little, a lens closer to the size of the 24-85vr would have been better for a walkaround.

My view of the 24-120 F4 is that it's consumer grade glass (not a bad thing these days), packaged to something more, which it is not. So why would I choose it over the more versatile 28-300vr, if I'm willing to carry a large lens? The 28-300 has very nice IQ and far more versatility as a walkaround.

Frankly, if I'm looking to have better quality IQ AND more versatility I can simply carry two lenses, such as the 28mm 1.8G and the Tamron 70-300 VC, or swap out the 28mm for the 24-85vr. Or if I feel strong, the 24-85vr and the 70-200 VRII.

The quality and cost of the 24-120 F4 just doesn't make sense in MY kit. But I do see why it's popular and people have valid reasons for owning it, in spite of my singular view.

PS: If I want subject isolation even a "consumer grade" Tamron is far beyond the abilities of the 24-120 F4.

Robert

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slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Shotcents wrote:

The 24-120 F4 has more reach. It's silly to argue that you can crop the 85mm to 120mm, because that not the same thing. The 120mm gives you different field flattening effect, better subject isolation and simply more resolution since you'd lose a lot of pixels cropping the 85 to match.

Yep.

The reason why I don't like the 24-120 F4 is because it does not have higher IQ than the 24-85vr over the same focal lengths. To my mind it SHOULD, but the fact remains that they are very close and in my tests the 24-85vr was superior (though not enough that it was important!). Both samples of the 24-120 F4 I tests were soft at 120mm, but I've seen sharp photos posted so that was probably my samples. The other issue is the 24-120 F4 is not a small lens at all. Since the constant F4 adds up to very little, a lens closer to the size of the 24-85vr would have been better for a walkaround.

If you prefer the size to the reach that's fair enough.

My view of the 24-120 F4 is that it's consumer grade glass (not a bad thing these days), packaged to something more, which it is not. So why would I choose it over the more versatile 28-300vr, if I'm willing to carry a large lens? The 28-300 has very nice IQ and far more versatility as a walkaround.

I didn't like it is the main reason, and also that I find 24mm more useful at events than 300mm.

Frankly, if I'm looking to have better quality IQ AND more versatility I can simply carry two lenses, such as the 28mm 1.8G and the Tamron 70-300 VC, or swap out the 28mm for the 24-85vr. Or if I feel strong, the 24-85vr and the 70-200 VRII.

At an event I might misss shots or keep people waiting if I change lenses too often. On holiday I like to travel light (and not keep my wife waiting!). If it's just me doing my own thing it's a different story, but then I still wouldn't use the 24~85 if I was happy to use primes. If I want the fast aperture ot the highest possible IQ I will use primes; if I want the versatility or convenience of a zoom the 24~120 suits better.

The quality and cost of the 24-120 F4 just doesn't make sense in MY kit. But I do see why it's popular and people have valid reasons for owning it, in spite of my singular view.

Yes, that's totally fair, but to me it has proved to be a bargain!

PS: If I want subject isolation even a "consumer grade" Tamron is far beyond the abilities of the 24-120 F4.

Robert

Have you got an example that actually has some BG in it?

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Landsandgrooves Regular Member • Posts: 233
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Ordered the 24-120mm f/4 during the sale.  Got it last week.  Finally took it out of the box and shot test photos yesterday.  Today it goes back.

Just not an impressive lens.   Why have a lens that does not produce the best images possible?  Better to have fewer lenses which are excellent.  Just my take on it.

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Tom Gresham

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Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Have you got an example that actually has some BG in it?

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These are all from the Tamron 70-300vc, a lens that's so sharp at 300mm that I'm using it more often than the slightly superior 300mm F4 (which wins more on bokeh).

At 200 or 300mm subject isolation is going to leave 120mm in the dust. It's also sharper than the Nikon 24-120 from 70-120mm and the VC is superior to the VR.

But a walk around it aint! Still, it makes a very nice pairing with the Nikon 24-85vr.

My go-to lens is still the 70-200 VRII for 75% of what I shoot. I might also carry my Tokina 16-28 2.8, but sheesh....things are getting heavy at that point!

Robert

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Al Giordano
Al Giordano Senior Member • Posts: 1,143
Re: Nikon 28-105
1

I used it for macro work before I purchased the 105 F/2.8 VR.  It wasn't too shabby for macros:

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joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Landsandgrooves wrote:

Just not an impressive lens.   Why have a lens that does not produce the best images possible?  Better to have fewer lenses which are excellent.

With that attitude, why would you ever consider a 5X zoom for purchase? Zooms are about convenience, and frequently price too. I love the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G and 105/2.8 VR that I also own in addition to the 24-120/4 VR but the former cost more than the zoom and the latter just about as much (bought the zoom used). Both are versatile in their own way but they are far from convenient to use with respect to a zoom.

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joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

slimandy wrote:

Have you got an example that actually has some BG in it?

The follow-up examples from Shotcents don't prove anything. You can that look with far less focal length than 200mm:

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Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

joejack951 wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Have you got an example that actually has some BG in it?

The follow-up examples from Shotcents don't prove anything. You can that look with far less focal length than 200mm:

That's rather silly. Look at the shot of the yacht surveyor examining the hull.

What distance am I from him? What distance would I have to be at 45mm on your DX sensor camera for anything close to the same effect? What about field flattening at 300mm vs. 45mm?

Now look at the shot of the boy, also at 300mm. Same questions.

The shots I provided show a sharp lens at 300mm with good bokeh and nice rendering. What else would you like see?

Robert

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Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Bokeh at 85mm-quick test

I wish I still had the 24-120 F4, but since most will agree that optically it's very close to the 24-85vr, here's a quick bokeh test.

Tamron 70-300 VC, Nikon 85mm 1.8G, Nikon 24-85 VR, Nikon 70-200 VRII

All at 85mm or thereabouts!

Honestly, at this focal length and up to about 150mm, bokeh is not your friend at F4 or more. That's why I'm not a big believer in the 24-120 F4 for portraits, though I'm sure good work can be done.

Cheers,

Robert

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slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Landsandgrooves wrote:

Ordered the 24-120mm f/4 during the sale.  Got it last week.  Finally took it out of the box and shot test photos yesterday.  Today it goes back.

Just not an impressive lens.   Why have a lens that does not produce the best images possible?  Better to have fewer lenses which are excellent.  Just my take on it.

Sometimes the best lens to use is the one that gets you all the shots you need. If the quality of the lens was poor I wouldn't use it at all, but that is not what I have found. If I'm going to miss shots, or keep people waiting, or spoil a trip by carrying too much gear I'd rather take a decent zoom even though I have some nice primes in the same range (Sigma 35mm f1.4, Sigme 85mm f1.4, Zeiss 100mm f2 makro).

#

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slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,071
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

Shotcents wrote:

Have you got an example that actually has some BG in it?

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These are all from the Tamron 70-300vc, a lens that's so sharp at 300mm that I'm using it more often than the slightly superior 300mm F4 (which wins more on bokeh).

At 200 or 300mm subject isolation is going to leave 120mm in the dust. It's also sharper than the Nikon 24-120 from 70-120mm and the VC is superior to the VR.

For a lens with such range that is very good.

But a walk around it aint! Still, it makes a very nice pairing with the Nikon 24-85vr.

But isn't the subject isolation you'd get from 120mm better than you'd get from 85mm ? A 70~300 is not an option for what I want to use the 24~120 for but the 24~85 is too short for my liking.

My go-to lens is still the 70-200 VRII for 75% of what I shoot. I might also carry my Tokina 16-28 2.8, but sheesh....things are getting heavy at that point!

Yes, you have to have a reason to carry that glass (but there are plenty of reasons!).

Robert

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Chas P Contributing Member • Posts: 814
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

slimandy wrote:

Landsandgrooves wrote:

Ordered the 24-120mm f/4 during the sale.  Got it last week.  Finally took it out of the box and shot test photos yesterday.  Today it goes back.

Just not an impressive lens.   Why have a lens that does not produce the best images possible?  Better to have fewer lenses which are excellent.  Just my take on it.

Sometimes the best lens to use is the one that gets you all the shots you need. If the quality of the lens was poor I wouldn't use it at all, but that is not what I have found. If I'm going to miss shots, or keep people waiting, or spoil a trip by carrying too much gear I'd rather take a decent zoom even though I have some nice primes in the same range (Sigma 35mm f1.4, Sigme 85mm f1.4, Zeiss 100mm f2 makro).

#

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+1

Framing, focus acquisition, camera shake, (not to mention content including subject, lighting, background, pose, expression and so on) all trump 'Image Quality', for me.

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Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: Just ordered the 24-120mm f/4....after long consideration....

But a walk around it aint! Still, it makes a very nice pairing with the Nikon 24-85vr.

But isn't the subject isolation you'd get from 120mm better than you'd get from 85mm ? A 70~300 is not an option for what I want to use the 24~120 for but the 24~85 is too short for my liking.

You are correct. But what stopped me from buying the 24-120 was that the longer end was STILL not long enough compared to my 24-70 (now sold) or the 24-85vr. So it would be either a lens like the 28-300vr or two lenses for my needs. I'm really not at the wide end all that much. Eventually I'll probably pick up a 28-300vr for walk around duty.

The lens snobs won't like it, but sometime we have to be practical!

Robert

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Akshaj Forum Member • Posts: 56
Anyone considered Tamron 24-70 VC (in comparison with Nikon 24-120mm F4)

To me Tamron 24-70 VC seems to be a nice package (1 stop faster, VC etc.). I do have 24-120mm F4 and I like it.  Having a good zoom is very convenient and do not expect it to have the same image quality as primes. 24-120mm is surprisingly good for a 5X zoom. It even better than Canon 24-105mm lens which I have used it in the past.

Currently Tamron 24-70mm VC and Nikon 24-120mm have the same price. At that price point Tamron seems to be a nice option. But I am hearing about various issues of Tamron in terms of aperture not closing properly between 2.8 and 4 and issues in VC etc. But other than these, I think Tamron seems to be a good package. it lacks the reach, but with cameras like D800, you can always crop.

-Akshaj

OP Joe Porto Senior Member • Posts: 1,064
Update: Received the lens....my thoughts...

I received the lens on Friday. It was ordered from Amazon. I have never had an issue ordering a lens from Amazon before, but unfortunately, this time, I did.

Although the shipping box was in good condition, the Nikon box was not....it had a 2" gouge in the side, 2 corners were smashed in, and one side of the box was scraped up to the point were white was showing through the gold finish. It looked like it was used as a hockey puck on concrete.

Still, I had the lens, so I took it out to do some shooting in the backyard. As expected, the center is sharp at f/4 at all focal lengths. There is a good amount of vignetting at 24mm. The edge of frame is soft...but what was really predominant was the awful bokeh. So busy that it becomes distracting. Not something I'm looking for in a lens that is otherwise quite usable at f/4. By the way, the lens is definitely built well. I would say that build quality puts it in the Pro lens category, unfortunately, performance is definitely on the prosumer side.

It could possibly be that the mishandling of the lens could have effected performance, but it does seem like par for the course as compared to reviews and samples I have seen.

But what I found most is that the whole time I was taking photos, aside from a few wide angle shots just to test the lens, I did all my shooting at around 70-120mm. Which reminded me why I sold my 24-70 and 14-24mm lenses in the first place.

Still, had it not been for the condition of the box and the obvious mishandling, as well as Nikon's penchant for claiming "impact damage" for warranty work, I've packed the lens up and sent it back. I also filed a packaging claim with Amazon and including photos of the damaged box.

Here is an example at 120mm f/4...notice the busy bokeh, particularly the strange OOF pattern in the clay pot on lower left (you may have to view at full size to see it).

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Brian Caslis
Brian Caslis Senior Member • Posts: 2,927
Re: Update: Received the lens....my thoughts...

Sorry to hear about your lens. FYI, the bokeh is not due to the mishandling of the lens, mine was exactly like that. I don't have an image online at the moment, but if you think that is bad I have an example that you will like even less. I'll see if I can post it later.

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m_appeal Veteran Member • Posts: 3,434
Re: Anyone considered Tamron 24-70 VC (in comparison with Nikon 24-120mm F4)

Akshaj wrote:

To me Tamron 24-70 VC seems to be a nice package (1 stop faster, VC etc.). I do have 24-120mm F4 and I like it.  Having a good zoom is very convenient and do not expect it to have the same image quality as primes. 24-120mm is surprisingly good for a 5X zoom. It even better than Canon 24-105mm lens which I have used it in the past.

Currently Tamron 24-70mm VC and Nikon 24-120mm have the same price. At that price point Tamron seems to be a nice option. But I am hearing about various issues of Tamron in terms of aperture not closing properly between 2.8 and 4 and issues in VC etc. But other than these, I think Tamron seems to be a good package. it lacks the reach, but with cameras like D800, you can always crop.

-Akshaj

I had the Tamron with the D800... it's a good lens for portraits, as center sharpness is good form f2.8,  but focusing was very inconsistent on my copy... which caused me to return it. Corner sharpness was also poor at wide angle on my copy.

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