Nikon standard zoom lens test/review database

Index

NEW AND BETTER ARTICLE INDEX AT NIKON INDEX
(It is only the new index that will be updated. It doesn't have the ranking yet, but is better and more up-to-date)
(You might also want to check out some of my other index based on same concept: Olympus IndexPanasonic IndexFujifilm Index)

Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED

Image quality rating: 92,07%

Overall rating: 96,10%

Main points:
  • Great standard zoom
  • Just as good as the 24-70


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED delivered a very impressive performance in the lab. The resolution figures are very good to excellent with a highly impressive peak performance around f/5.6. The level of distortions is exceptionally low for a zoom lens. CAs are moderate except at 40mm @ f/2.8. Vignetting is very well controlled. The build quality of the lens is superb and it´s a joy to handle it despite its comparatively hefty size and weight. Typical for most classic standard zooms it loses quite a bit of its attraction on APS-C DSLRs - a focal length range equivalent to 42-105mm may not be up to everybody´s taste anymore.'D200
Imagepower
'When it comes to optical quality I was slightly disappointed by Nikon'
SLR Gear
9.62/10
9.62/10
'You can't kill this. I paid for pro-quality stuff so I could abuse it. From the Sahara to the summit of Aconcagua this hasn't missed a beat. Wicked fast AF. Clear and sharp. Fast. Shit lens hood, though. Mine has been duct-taped in place for 8 years.'
Ken Rockwell
'This 28-70mm f/2.8 is as sharp as the 24-70mm f/2.8 AF-S and ought to last you for a lifetime of professional use. If you think you want one, you'll love it.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.6/10
'I love this lens, and where I used to be a prime lens shooter this midrange zoom is now one of my favorite pieces of gear. It has been great for weddings and events, and is very useful for street photography too. The sharpness, color and contrast are great and the bokeh is quite nice.'
Bjorn Rorslett
5/5
'The stunning results delivered by this lens would indeed be expected from its sophisticated optical design that employs several aspherical and ED elements, and IF focusing.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Image quality rating: 88,97%

Overall rating: 83,64%

Main points:
  • Great zoom with almost all the right features (missing VR)
  • Very sharp


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
4/5
4/5
'Overall, the Nikon 24-70mm has been serving me well and I am very happy with its performance. I took it with me to dusty Sand Dunes, to Florida during the 90 degree rainy days and 100% humidity, to the peaks of Colorado Rockies where the temperatures went below 20 degrees, and it has survived it all, still delivering outstanding results. I sure wish that corner softness, vignetting and distortion at large apertures were not so evident, but I also understand that it is unrealistic to design zoom lenses that would perform perfectly at all apertures/focal lengths that would not cost an arm and a leg or weigh a ton. One feature that would certainly be nice to have on this lens though, is Vibration Reduction (VR).'
Momentcorporation
5/5
5/5
'All in all this is an amazing lens. The lens shows great sharpness and contrast, and may well be the standard to compare mid range zoom lenses from now on. The New 24-70 is usable beyond f/16 on the Nikon D3, something you usually don't see in new lenses. I don't have any problems using this lens on f/22. Although it starts getting soft at f/16 the f/22 performance is still usable in my opinion. CA is well controlled, small traces of it can be seen at high contrast though. With the D3 the CA issue is more or less non-existent. Ghosting and flare is also well controlled. I did take of half a star of the build quality because of the extruding front element. This is not a huge problem, but using the lens without the hood then it does become the weak point of the lens. IR performance on the D1X with Life Pixel is outstanding.'
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED exceeds the already very good performance of its predecessor. The center quality is nothing short of outstanding matching or beating the resolution of a 10mp APS-C sensor. The border quality is very good at large aperture increasing to excellent levels at f/5.6-8. However, you've to be careful with the curved focus field at 24mm which can result in out-of-focus corners! Distortions and vignetting are very low and not really field relevant. Chromatic aberrations are generally well controlled although they could have been somewhat more symmetrical (in the tested sample). The bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is unusually smooth and buttery for a zoom lens with aspherical elements. Please note, however, that 70mm f/2.8 isn't terribly fast on an APS-C DSLR so you've to be fairly close to your main subject in order to produce a pronounced out-of-focus blur. The build quality of the lens is superb and it´s a joy to handle it in the field despite its comparatively hefty size and weight. The high speed and low noise of the silent-wave AF drive is the cream on top of it all. The primary aspect which can spoil the game is, unsurprisingly, the high price point of around 1500€/US$.'D200
Photozone
3.5/5
3.5/5
'It's not without flaws, though. Distortions are very high at the wide end, but at least they are of uniform shape and thus can be corrected in software if required. CAs are very high, too, but just like distortions can easily be corrected in software (in fact most current Nikon DSLRs do this already if you shoot JPGs). The wavy image field at the low end might be an issue if you shoot flat objects and last but not least the lens is not exactly cheap.'D3X
William Beem
'The Nikon 24-70mm lens is excellent for general use, environmental portraits and travel photography.'D700
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'Although not very exotic, the standard zoom covers a range most photographers couldn't do without. The Nikon 24-70mm performs as you would expect from a lens of this calibre and price. Build quality is excellent, the focusing is fast and most importantly the images are sharp and contrasty in a range of conditions and will find its way into many photographer's kit bags as a result, despite the £1200 plus price tag. Although there are cheaper alternatives available, they will rarely deliver the quality this lens does. As a result, it will be good value to you if you're unwilling to compromise on quality.'
Imagepower
'The 24-70 is one of my sharpest lenses ever'
Ishootshows.com
'The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 is my bread and butter lens. Hands down, I’ve shot with this midrange zoom more than with any other lens on my Nikon D3 and D700. Simply put, it’s just insanely useful.'D3, D700
SLR Gear
9.47/10
9.06/10
'There's not much to say here that the rest of this review hasn't already indicated. Performance on a subframe sensor is exquisite, given that the lens isn't really put to the test. On the full-frame D3, it's sharp pretty much at all focal lengths and apertures, with a slight exception at 35mm. Chromatic aberration isn't an issue on the D200, but does show up on an uncorrected (ie., film) image. On the D3, CA issues are ironed out handily in software. The lens does vignette on full-frame, hard to avoid given its focal range, but even so it's not the worst performance we've seen for a lens that covers this kind of range. Finally, distortion is a bit of an issue - more so on full-frame than sub-frame - but again, it's not extreme, just a little complicated.'D200, D3
Lenstip
'It will be one of shorter summaries. Nikon undoubtedly offered a splendid instrument to the professionals. If you want to be nasty, though, you might add that the Zeiss gave a better one to the Sony system and Sigma didn’t lag behind with its new 24–70 mm f/2.8 model either – it can put the Nikkor to shame especially with the quality of its anti-reflection coatings. Ending the nastiness you can also write that most of people who will buy the tested Nikkor, won’t have still the slightest reasons to complain about anything.'D200
Photoreview
9.5/10
'You need a fast, standard range zoom lens and want the best of its class in build and excellent image quality.'D3X
Camera Labs
'These 100% crops directly from a 36MP D800 sensor show that this lens performs very well in the center with diffraction setting in at f11. The performance in the DX-corner is also good but profits from stopping down. The FX-corners show a clear drop in performance with some astigmatism, haloing, and very visible distortions. Even stopping down to f8 brings the FX-corner only up to good levels'D800
Pop photo
'With its rugged construction, faultless optics, and bright f/2.8 aperture, this lens should exert an irresistible appeal to any pro photojournalist or event photographer who is physically and financially able to carry it.'
Ken Rockwell
5/5
5/5
'This is Nikon's best mid-range zoom ever for Nikon35mm and FX format digital cameras, which makes sense since its also the newest and most expensive. It just works, and it works great, if you don't mind carrying its weight.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.4/10
'I am very, very impressed at this lens. I'm using it on a D800e and it is an excellent combo. Colours are excellent. IQ wide open is lovely and so good I've delayed buying 24mm or 35mm f/1.4 primes something I'd have not imagined. It is substantially sharper than my mkI 24-70L's.'
Bjorn Rorslett
5/5
'But personally I consider the new 24-70/2.8 Nikkor to be the reference for all other midrange zoom lenses. There is absolutely no doubt that the new lens trounces the old favourite, the 28-70 AFS, in terms of sheer image quality.'
Dxomark
Camera Labs
'That gives us two winners of this shootout: The Nikon 24-70/2.8G as the king of performance and the Nikon 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR as the winner in the price-performance ratio contest!'
Jose Rocha Photo
8/10
81/100
'A sharp and reliable standard zoom lens for the professional that just delivers the goods, anywhere and anytime'
Steve Wakeman Photography
'At the end of the day digital is so forgiving that great results can be achieved with even the cheapest and oldest of Nikkor lenses, especially on great digital bodies like the D700. With that, the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 is such a huge step up from the afore mentioned glass that anyone using it will be satisfied that they have a high quality & very useful lens on the front of their FX digital, replacing two to three primes where large apertures are not needed.'D700


Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D

Image quality rating: 87,25%

Overall rating: 93,20%

Main points:
  • Old but good
  • You might need to look at other lenses if you need to go more wide
  • Great for portraits


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Momentcorporation
4/5
5/5
'I know a lot of people complain about the coverage of this lens(especially on the DX format), I have to agree that for my use this lens is not as wide as I want either(even on a FX camera). It does however work pretty well in the whole range, better to have it perform well in the whole range then to have a wider focal length that doesn't perform well at all. The optical quality of the lens is rather good, almost at the top of the list. Corners are a bit soft wide open, but nothing that I can't live with or work around. My main complaint about this lens is the rotating front element and the focus speed. On the good side is the weight and size of the lens, and of course the Sharpness wide open. Peak performance of the lens is f/5.6-f/11 where the lens delivers stunning results. It can't really be compared to it's newer replacements though, especially the new AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G which is in a class of it's own.'
SLR Gear
9.45/10
9/10
'Even though I can write off a resplacement and upgrade to the 24-70 f/2.8, I feel no need with this lens in the bag. It's not about money. It's about sharp image quality across the plane. It's about clear, crisp and biting quality you get with some Nikkor lenses. Combined with the Nikkor 16-35 f/4 and the wonderful 2-ring 80-200 f/2.8 you have a killer pro kit on a budget that can stay with the trinity all day long for not much more than one of the trinity. '
Ken Rockwell
'This 35-70/2.8 has the same optical performance as today's 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS, forone-fifth the price with a lot less size and weight. This 35-70mm has a metal filter thread while the the 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS' is merely plastic, and this older lens has less distortion, too!'
Fredmiranda.com
9.3/10
''ve had this lens for 2 months now and I'm extremely happy with it. You can read the previous reviews here for the background on this lens. For my part, the lens build quality is pro-level - big, heavy, very solid. Image quality is excellent - you're really nitpicking if you can find any faults in the IQ. The big exception to this is lens flare - if you use this near any source of light this lens will flare. Be sure to buy the recommended lens hood if you're on FX (I found it on Adorama used for $12). You can substitute bigger hoods if you're using DX (other lens hood will vignette on the wider ends on FX). I've been using a hood and it really does work wonders.'


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5G

Image quality rating: 83,65%

Overall rating: 87,70%

Main points:
  • Very sharp
  • Has macro feature
  • But problem with chromatic aberration


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLR Gear
8.73/10
8.64/10
'This is a good all around carry lens on a DX or FX autofocus camera. Good performer but a little soft on either end wide open. Very good all around. I like it and use it often on a F100 if I'm carrying one lens. Good color and contrast.'
Ken Rockwell
'Today, this is a great, solid lens for use on any FX or 35mm camera.'
Fredmiranda.com
8.9/10
'This is my favourite Nikon lens. I sold my 50mm prime lens after buying this one. It is super sharp when stopped down just a little. Even wide open its pretty sharp. The macro feature of this lens is unbelievable. I just love it. This lens is like a swiss army knife. Its 105mm macro and decent range walk around zoom in one. It will even be more useful when I eventually switch to FX. My only complain is the huge goofy lens hood it comes with.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4/5
'The 28-105 delivers very sharp images with just a trace of softening by internal flare set wide-open, and this is cured by slightly stopping the lens down. Image contrast and sharpness are excellent by f/8 and hold up well to f/16, from which point onwards diffraction will gracefully degrade image quality. I could not detect any significant light fall-off towards the corners when the lens was deployed on a D1, and the fall-off seems to be well controlled on the F5 too. Colour fringing was virtually undetectable despite the fact that this lens lacks ED glass.'
Steve Wakeman Photography
'The pluses in owning this lens would be the price, they can be had very cheap and are easy to get. They're fairly light and small which is great if you only want to carry one lens around all day. It has a great focal range going from a moderate wide angle to telephoto 105mm. Generally speaking, it's a pretty decent knock around lens for general shooting of what ever and you don't have to worry too much if you drop it or it breaks as you could easily & cheaply replace it.'
Better Family Photos
'With all those positives, is there a catch?  Yes.  The 28-105 has significant chromatic aberration.  Fortunately, the CA can be reduced or corrected in Lightroom 4.  Click on the samples below for full resolution cropped samples.'D600


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5D

Image quality rating: 80,00%

Overall rating: 0,00%

Main points:
  • Surprising good performer
  • Small


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
4/5
'The Nikkor AF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5D is an old lens but surprisingly it performed really good on the Nikon D200. The resolution figures are on a very high level and pretty even across the APS-C image frame. Vignetting is pretty low and the level of CAs is quite moderate.Typical for most standard zooms there's pronounced degree of barrel distortions at 28mm but otherwise it is a minor issue. The build quality is Ok but some may not like the rotating front element. Unfortunately the zoom range (equivalent to 42-105mm) isn't really all that attractive on an APS-C DSLR anymore.'
Ken Rockwell
'This 28-70mm zoom excels optically and ergonomically. I especially appreciate is small size and 9-bladed diaphragm. If ease of use and size are your prime concerns, get it.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4/5
'This is a humble lens with an aspherical element up its sleeve, so optical performance is surprisingly good for its modest 8-element design. Also it ranks among the best zooms for its low flare and ghosting levels. Set at f/8, quality images can be produced. Guess one has to live with the plasticky feel of the lens and a rotating front, though. You can't always win.'


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF

Image quality rating: 77,50%

Overall rating: 82,40%

Main points:
  • Good performer
  • Might want to take a look at the newer 24-85


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
3.5/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF is an very good standard zoom and it was the right decision by Nikon to discontinue its younger cousin (AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED) rather than this lens. The resolution characteristics is very good to excellent throughout the zoom range with a sweet spot towards the wide end. The contrast suffers somewhat at large aperture settings, specifically at 85mm, but is lifted significantly when stopping down a little. Vignetting and CAs are very well controlled whereas distortions are about average for a lens in this class. The mechanical quality is decent without reaching the true pro grade Nikkors here due to a rather extensive use of plastics and an old style AF.'D200
SLR Gear
8.25/10
8.5/10
'It's a fast lens with very impressive IQ (esp. between 24-50mm @ f/2.8-5.6). Even at 85mm you'll get great sharpness when stopped down to f/8. I believe the IQ of this beats the newer AF-S 24-85mm (except for IQ at long end).'
Ken Rockwell
'Just get the newer and far superior 24-85 AFS instead.'
Fredmiranda.com
8.1/10
'This lens is surprisingly sharp through out the focal range once stopped down a stop. Reasonable build quality for a consumer grade zoom. No creeps. Almost perfect vacation lens due to size, focal range and image quality. This lens is my most used lens on D3s. However, with release of 24-120/4 VR, I cannot recommend this lens today.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4/5
'Central image sharpness is excellent and by f/8, you obtain surprisingly sharp images that hold their quality down to f/16. Despite the lack of ED glass, colour fringing is negligible in most situations.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED

Image quality rating: 76,34%

Overall rating: 77,10%

Main points:
  • Some love it some hate it
  • Wide open can be an issue


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'I am very impressed by how well the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR performs. It is a sharp lens that is very comparable to professional lenses such as Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, yielding great results throughout its focal range. During my lab and field tests, my goal was to see how well it performs against the Nikon 24-70mm lens, since many readers have been asking about it (I also wanted to find out for myself, whether I should be looking at potentially replacing my 24-70mm or adding it to my bag for travel and everyday use). After shooting with this lens for about 3 weeks and capturing over 1,800 images, I can say that the lens exceeds my expectations and I found it to be more useful than my favorite Nikon 24-70mm lens not only due to longer focal range, but also due to Vibration Reduction that is extremely useful for low-light situations. I managed to get sharp images hand-held while shooting at extremely slow shutter speeds of 1/2 seconds at 24mm – try that with the Nikon 24-70mm!'
Photozone
2.5/5
2.5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 24-120 mm f/4G ED VR offers an attractive zoom range with excellent sharpness in the image center at the lower end of its focal range. However, the image borders and corners show a little less resolution wide open than we had expected from a lens in this segment. The same applies to the sharpness in general (including the image center) at the lens' tele setting.'D3X
ePhotozine
4/5
4/5
'By giving their 24-120mm the gold stripe treatment, adding features such as a constant f/4 aperture and Nano Crystal coatings, Nikon have made this lens a serious improvement over the older variable aperture offering. Unfortunately this has also increased the price somewhat, but those who will make the best use of this lens, who wish for a lens that delivers high resolution images over a flexible zoom range will probably not feel too hard done by after stumping up the £1045 required.'D700
Ishootshows.com
'In my use of the new Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR, I can say that this lens redefines my definition of a walk-around lens. For Nikon shooters, there’s hardly a better combination of performance and range in a full-frame lens.'
SLR Gear
9.17/10
8.92/10
'Nikon's produced a nice kit lens for full-frame bodies, though it's not without its caveats. The lens fared quite well in our tests, for the most part - the big problem is the wide open performance at 70 and 85mm, where it's quite soft indeed when used at ƒ/4. If you don't need to shoot at ƒ/4 - and by and large, with VR and the high-ISO performance of modern Nikons, you might not need to - then it's not really an issue.'D300s, D3X
Lenstip
'The Nikkor AF-S 24–120 mm f/4G ED VR, despite several flaws, is a well-done lens for sure. I would sing the praises of it for several paragraphs if only the price was lower. Currently it costs about 1140 $ and it is really a significant amount of money. First and foremost it is much more expensive than its slower predecessor which can be still bought for the sum three times lower. I understand that the Nikkor AF-S 24–120 mm f/4G ED VR is supposed to compete with (or supersede) the well-done Canon 24-105 mm f/4.0L IS USM. Optically both lenses are very much alike. The problem is that the Canon, being noticeably cheaper, features also a superior build quality. It is, after all, an L series device produced in Japan. From the mechanical point of view the Thailand-produced Nikkor looks and behaves like a lens with a 300 – 600 $ price tag. A narrow manual focus ring with slacks or the inner tube with plastic elements in the 1140 price segment are simply inappropriate.'D3X
Photoreview
8.5/10
'Our Imatest tests showed the review lens delivered its best performance with aperture settings between f/4 and about f/8 at the shorter focal lengths. For focal lengths between 70mm and 120mm (inclusive), the highest resolution apertures were roughly half an f-stop smaller.'D7000
Camera Labs
'The Nikon 24-120/4.0G VR delivers good overall performance, but unfortunately the FX-corners look like the lens has been designed with only a 12MP FX-sensor in mind: On a 36MP full-frame sensor you need to stop down to f8 to lift FX-corner performance to good levels. That said, it is a worthy kit-zoom for any Nikon FX-body and its 5x zoom range with a useful minimum focus distance is very practical in many situations. Plus on a DX-body it mostly delivers good to very good performance, even reaching excellent levels in the center up to 70mm.'
Ken Rockwell
'This 24-120mm is a great lens. It's not the fault of this lens, but Nikon just happened to introduce the more useful and equal quality 28-300mm at a lower price on the same day, which in my opinion, made this 24-120mm lens obsolete the day it was announced.'
Dxomark
Wexblog
'The new Nikon 24-120mm f4 VR isn’t half bad! Whilst it’s not quite Pro status and it does have some image quality traits that you may need to work round or fix during your editing. Given the range this lens is asked to cover should you expect some optical compromises or do you think the lens should be first class with no exceptions? Well everyone will have their own opinion on that, but for me it’s certainly what I would class as a good prosumer and general purpose lens that would be great for travelling when you are limited in what you can (or want to) carry. Of course when spending this sort of money you might be tempted to cast your eyes at the 24-70, after all that is a pro status lens, faster, better built and has better optics. But, it’s also more expensive, heavier, not as versatile and doesn’t have VR.'
Dan Baily Photography
'Performance-wise, this lens does a great job, considering the focal length it covers. It even does well with some Macro subjects, although the minimum focus distance (about 1.5’) is not comparable to a true macro lens. The Vibration Reduction feature is pretty amazing. I’m out there shivering in the snow, trying to use my elbows (pulled into my chest) as the makeshift tripod, and I’m thinking, “there’s no way the VR is going to work like this”. I could see clearly through the finder that I wasn’t holding the camera steady, but it worked. Repeatedly. I think in most shooting situations, you won’t need the “Active” mode, which really kicks the VR into high gear.'
Wexblog
7.5/10
'The new Nikon 24-120mm f4 VR isn’t half bad! Whilst it’s not quite Pro status and it does have some image quality traits that you may need to work round or fix during your editing. Given the range this lens is asked to cover should you expect some optical compromises or do you think the lens should be first class with no exceptions? Well everyone will have their own opinion on that, but for me it’s certainly what I would class as a good prosumer and general purpose lens that would be great for travelling when you are limited in what you can (or want to) carry. Of course when spending this sort of money you might be tempted to cast your eyes at the 24-70, after all that is a pro status lens, faster, better built and has better optics. But, it’s also more expensive, heavier, not as versatile and doesn’t have VR.'


Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF ED

Image quality rating: 74,78%

Overall rating: 83,69%

Main points:
  • Good performer
  • Weak at 24mm


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
4/5
5/5
'On a digital body from 24 to 85mm, from corner to corner, this lens turns in some impressive results, especially considering its price. I see little obvious to complain about other than a small amount of linear distortion at both extremes. Compared to the older 24-85mm f/2.8-4, the newer AF-S lens simply is in another (higher) class. On a full-frame body, you can see light falloff and loss of sharpness in the corners, but not nearly as much as I would have expected, considering the price. Optically, on a digital body this lens is excellent, while on a full frame body it still rates very good.'
Momentcorporation
3.5/5
5/5
'This lens is highly recommendable, it is a better lens on a FF camera then a DX camera(awkward zoom range on a DX camera). Second hand you probably want to stay clear of this lens. Get one of these lenses new, and you get yourself a cheap but good lens. Only major drawback will be the variable aperture.'
Photozone
3.5/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED is a very decent standard zoom. The resolution characteristics is very good throughout the zoom range and vignetting is very well controlled whereas distortions are about average for a lens in this class. CAs are a weak spot at 24mm only. Mechanically it is good quality consumer lens with a fast and near-silent AF. All-in-all a pretty harmonious package but probably not all that attractive anymore on APS-C DSLRs where a wide-angle setting of 24mm already tends to be a little too long for a standard zoom.'D200
SLR Gear
7.89/10
7.89/10
'I'm very impressed by this little lens, the image is uniformly sharp and even wide open, the corners are OK. You can really take sharp photos wide open from 24 to 85 mm.'
Ken Rockwell
'I prefer it to the 24-120, 24-85 2.8-4, and 28-105 that I know you are shopping for since I was, too.'
Fredmiranda.com
7.4/10
'Chalk me up in the column that actually thinks this is a pretty good little lens. The build quality definitely does not inspire confidence. The barrel extends out when you zoom and you can actually jiggle around the extended part of the barrel considerably, BUT...... the lens is sharp, at any focal length! It is also seems pretty resistant to flare, though I don't use it a lot for into the sun shots. I must admit this is a strange focal length range for me on DX and I rarely use this lens, but when I do need it, it doesn't disappoint. I should qualify my appraisal by saying that the sort of subjects I photograph call for me to almost always use a tripod and to stop the lens down some for adequate depth of field, so I can't speak to it's performance wide open.'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.75/5
'Sharpness is good at 24 mm, with some softening in the extreme corners unless the lens is stopped down to f/5.6. Peak quality is exhibited towards the long end and at apertures between f/5.6 and f/11. Quality keeps up quite well at f/16, but beyond that point the image softens.'


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

Image quality rating: 71,62%

Overall rating: 80,00%

Main points:
  • Issues at 24mm
  • Light


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
3/5
4/5
'At the same time, the Nikon 24-85mm VR has a number of optical problems. The lens shows high levels of vignetting at maximum aperture, especially at 24mm. Stopping down the lens to f/8 minimizes vignetting quite a bit, but it still stays close to 1 EV at short focal lengths. Its distortion levels are also very high – at 24mm, it starts out with -3.74% barrel distortion, which immediately switches over to pincushion distortion at 35mm. Starting from around the 40mm mark, the lens has 3.2% or higher pincushion distortion, which is very noticeable in images. On top of that, the extreme corners also suffer from a high amount of lateral chromatic aberration, again, primarily at shortest focal lengths. All this is not very unusual though – it is after-all a lens without a gold ring…'
ePhotozine
4/5
4.5/5
'It is capable of delivering sharp images with low CA, and although distortion is quite strong, it should be easily correctable in image editing software afterwards. The addition of Nikon's VRII stabilisation should help when shooting at low shutter speeds in low light too.'
SLR Gear
8.17/10
8/10
'The Nikon 24-85mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 VR is a capable kit lens, offering very good results on a D800 and excellent results on a D7000. While it isn't the sharpest offering available for full-frame, it's the most economical, making it the go-to option for someone wanting to get a full-frame lens without paying the premium price for a professional lens.'D7000, D800
Lenstip
'Merely comparing the cons and the pros list you can tell that the tested lens is not the best Nikon product. If you analyse the pros and cons in more detail you can conclude that the Nikkor AF-S 24–85 mm f/3.5–4.5G ED VR might be a good device for the APS-C/DX sensor but on full frame its performance is too weak. Well, the problem is it was created for full frame as a universal zoom; aimed at those who don’t need or can’t afford more expensive models like the 24–70 mm f/2.8 or the 24–120 mm VR'D3X
Camera Labs
'The Nikon 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR is a surprisingly good lens at a reasonable price. The performance is pretty good in the DX image-circle but you need to stop down to f5.6 or even f8 to get good performance in the corners of a full-frame 36MP D800. Overall it is a worthy compact kit-zoom for those who start into FX-land or want to keep their options open for a future upgrade to an FX-body. A Recommended rating is well earned.'D800
Ken Rockwell
'For FX digital and 35mm cameras, this Nikon 24-85mm VR is a marvelous, small, light midrange zoom. It's as sharp as the bigger, older, heavier and twice as expensive 24-120mm f/4 VR.'
Dxomark
The photographer
'Again, for me, the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G just feels wrong. It does not suit me. If asked, I would suggest buying a Nikon 50mm f1.8 G and/or 85mm f1.8 G. These lenses won’t break the bank. If you want a zoom, I would say take a look at lenses like the  Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3. Another option is going used. If you can find a used Nikon 28-80mm f3.3-5.6G (a lens that used to come with Nikon autofocus film cameras around between 2001 and 2006) it would be far cheaper, more compact, lightweight and may just give you a better experience, even without vibration reduction. The Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G felt unwhelming. Something pushed out and dumbed down for Nikon’s low end full frame. After testing the Nikon D600 I felt that being paired with the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G was a disservice. If you do like the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G, you should at least test it before you buy it.'D90, D600, D700
Photozone
2.5/5
3/5
'The Nikon AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR leaves us with mixed impressions. Mechanically, there's not much to complain about. The built quality is good and in line with other current consumer-grade Nikkor lenses. The optical stabilization works very well, even at short focal lengths, and thanks to a silent-wave drive the AF is silent and quite fast.'D3X
Photography blog
3.5/5
4.5/5
'Still, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR does offer a useful focal range, well-implemented Vibration Reduction system, fast auto focus and respectable build quality, all in a relatively lightweight and compact design. While it won't win any awards for image quality, it does offer a compelling combination of portability, versatility and affordability that many Nikon FX-users will value.'D600
Photoreview
8.8/10
'While this lens is solidly constructed and provides good enough image quality to satisfy entry-level enthusiasts, Imatest showed its optics couldn't quite match the resolution of the 24-megapixel Nikon D3200 and D600 camera bodies we tested it on. Nevertheless, it represents a valid choice for cash-strapped photographers, particularly when purchased with the D600 body.'D3200, D600
Camera Stuff Review
'Thanks to the good qualities of the Nikon D600, the Nikon 24-85 mm has done well in this Nikon 24-85mm VR review. It is an attractive partner for the Nikon D600 in terms of size, weight, solid construction quality, built-in image stabilization, and relatively low price. Nevertheless, for demanding photographers (think of a Nikon D3X owner with a few fast fixed focal length lenses), there are a few issues emerging from our Nikon 24-85 mm review: the resolution at the edges and corners remain behind the center and both distortion at short focal lengths and chromatic aberration in RAW files can be improved.  Someone who owns a Nikon D5100 or a Nikon D7000 and is thinking about buying a Nikon D600 + Nikon 24-85mm VR kit, will notice a visible increase in terms in image quality if he / she decides to do so.'D600
Amateur Photographers
60/100
'Although this optic will not appeal to many professionals, it would seem that Nikon is attempting to make ownership of an FX-format DSLR more affordable. It would therefore be no surprise to see this 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 optic bundled as a kit lens with an affordable full-frame DSLR in the future.'


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6

Image quality rating: 71,25%

Overall rating: 77,80%

Main points:
  • Light
  • Decent zoom


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLR Gear
7.75/10
7.78/10
'Although this lens is made from plastic and feels like a toy, I would consider this a respectable piece of glass. For what it's worth (as a budget lens), the lens offers acceptable contrast and color with minimal chromatic aberration'
Ken Rockwell
'I can't wait to see how well it works on the Nikon D3. If it works as well as I hope, it may be one of the best midrange zooms available.'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.25/5
'This featherweight lens, all plastic even down to the lens mount, isn't exactly my preferred optical choice. However, if I concentrate on the pictures produced by it, the situation changes for the better. Pictures are rendered with good sharpness and rich colours, although clearly not with the "bite" of the better lenses. However, for amateur use the lens would be an excellent choice. Set the aperture to f/8 for the best results, and shield the front element from bright light sources.'


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Image quality rating: 67,50%

Overall rating: 77,00%

Main points:
  • Good if you only need one lens
  • Otherwise look elsewhere


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'As can be seen from the sharpness comparisons, its sharpness is average to below average when measured against pro-level lenses like Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G on both DX and FX sensors. When compared to other DX lenses like Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR or Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II, the Nikon 28-300mm performs well when shooting close subjects. However, when I shot distant objects at infinity, the lens performed quite poorly above 200mm, especially at 300mm (as shown on the first page and in the Nikon 55-300mm comparison). Its optical performance at short focal lengths is comparable to the Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (which is not great to start with), with the 24-120mm having slightly better results. Stopped down to f/8.0, it does produce pretty good results, better than the older 18-200mm for sure.'
Terry White
'Although the Nikon 28-300mm lens is about $300 more than the 18-200mm lens, I would say that it's worth the money. If you have a full frame camera like the D700 or D3 then it's a no brainer. Yes it is slightly bigger and sligtly heavier, but it's worth it in range and in my case image quality. This will be the only lens I take on most of my business trips from here on out. '
Photozone
1.75/5
2/5
'Anyone considering a super zoom should be aware of the fact that any such lens is full of compromises to achieve the huge focal range. This is, unfortunately, especially true for the Nikon AF-S 28-300 VR.'D3X
ePhotozine
3.5/5
3.5/5
'If you're the proud owner of an FX format Nikon camera and are looking for something that gives you this kind of convenience for travel or simply to compliment your existing kit then this lens is certainly worth a look, that is if you've nearly £900 to spare.'
SLR Gear
8.5/10
8.75/10
'The Nikon 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G AF-S VRII provided some questionable results for sharpness - so much so that we tested a second copy. The ''sombrero'' effect at 28mm is somewhat baffling, but it's likely that only discriminating users will notice this particular pattern, and, if you stop down to just ƒ/5.6, you get reasonable performance. However, this is a thousand-dollar lens we're talking about: while making an all-in-one lens is a game of compromises, it feels as if this is a case where Nikon just couldn't find the magic formula. Especially when you consider that for hundreds of dollars less, you can get a Tamron equivalent which offers sharper, and much more consistent, performance.'D300s, D3X
Lens Tip
'If you only compare the number of pros and cons, you can see that the Nikkor 28-300 mm VR, although bigger, heavier and more expensive, is worse than the best 18-200 mm class lenses. It only shows that full frame forces constructors of such big zooms to face really serious problems.'
Stuckincustoms.com
'So far, the lens has been incredible. I use this plus my 14-24 quite a bit. It has been very solid, focused extremely fast, and the flexibility is incredible.  In fact, it’s so flexible, I’m still getting used to it…  I keep saying to myself, “I forgot I could zoom in so far!”'
Pop photo
'On our optical bench, it produced superior sharpness and contrast at three of four tested focal lengths, but SQF dropped to the Good range at 300mm. (All 28–300mm full-framers performed similarly, except Tamron’s, which dipped to Very Good at 200mm.)'
Ken Rockwell
4/5
5/5
'This is the new freedom lens for FX. It does everything, and does all of it, except controlling distortion, very well. If you don't like the distortion, it's trivial to remove in-camera or with Photoshop's Lens Distortion Filter.'
Dxomark
The first 10.000
'The bottom line is that it’s silly to expect a lens to do something that it wasn’t designed to do, much less to do it well. And that brings us to the verdict: Whether or not you like this lens is going to depend on your expectations. Taken for what it is, this is a good lens. It does what it was designed to do – to give you versatility when you’d like to travel light, or are shooting in situations where the time taken to change lenses could lead to lost shots — and within the optical limitations that come with any all-in-one, it’s a good lens. Taken on its own terms, the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S is a competent performer that should be viewed as a supplement for, rather than replacement of, the other lenses in your kit. This isn’t pro glass, but it’s not meant to be; as always, choose the best tool for the job, whatever you’re shooting.'


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

Image quality rating: 61,70%

Overall rating: 74,85%

Main points:
  • Be careful with the large range
  • Small


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLR Gear
6.17/10
6.67/10
'This is a little gem of a lens that is often overlooked. For the price, it delivers excellent performance.'
Ken Rockwell
'Be careful if you use this on a pro camera, since the lens is far more delicate than the camera.'
Fredmiranda.com
8.3/10
'I was looking for some good glass for my D700. Found a 24-80 that I wasn't happy about so I sold it again. Now I found this little gem, brand new in a store. Great little lens! For this price, I bought it right away.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

Image quality rating: 60,29%

Overall rating: 72,75%

Main points:
  • Find newer and better options
  • Need to stop a lot down


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
3/5
5/5
'I was prepared to be very disappointed with this lens. The previous 24-120mm is one of my least favorite recent lenses, with substantive compromises all over the place, and barely adequate performance at the extremes. Fortunately, this new version manages to crawl over that low hurdle and provide some reasonable, if not outstanding, performance. So I'm not disappointed, but I'm also not overly impressed.'
Momentcorporation
2.5/5
2.5/5
'Not a "pro" grade lens, its way to soft for that. This lens is a good lens for the Family type photographer that don't print his images larger then 10x15cm. VR it works, but not a necessity IMO. VR drains battery power not something you would want if you use a D200. I find it rather hard to find something good to say about this lens, but then again I do compare it to pro grade lenses. The zoom range of this lens is far from convenient on a DX sized DSLR, giving you 36-180mm its not wide, and its not a tele lens. On another note, this lens is better then the 24-120 AF-D, but its still a below average performer.'
Photozone
3/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR showed a quite impressive performance for a zoom lens with a 5x focal length ratio. Apart from a few weak spots the resolution figures are very high and on an APS-C DSLR vignetting is not a big issue. The amount of barrel distortions may be a little objectionable at 24mm (only) and the level of CAs could be a little better. Mechanically the lens is roughly in line with other consumer grade lenses made by Nikon so don't expect a tank-like construction. The VR (Vibration Reduction) is a welcome addition to the feature list as is the very fast Silent Wave AF drive. All-in-all it's a nice package but on APS-C DSLR the focal length range isn't all that great anymore and most users shopping for a new lens will probably prefer to have a look at the new AF-S 18-200mm VR II.'
Imagepower
'I bet many people will not realize this lens' bad quality as they cannot compare it'
SLR Gear
7.2/10
7.8/10
'So what's the bottom line for the 24-120mm? For the money, it would probably make a great "vacation" lens, where you only want to lug along one lens on a trip, and so want one that can cover a wide range of focal lengths, yet still deliver reasonably good picture quality. Its VR capability likewise makes it well suited to travel situations, where you're less likely to be hauling a tripod along as well. We'd like the lens a lot better if it were a bit sharper at larger apertures, but for a one-lens solution, it's one of the better choices in Nikon's arsenal.'D2X
Photoreview
7/10
'The best feature of the test lens's performance was its uniformity of exposures across both aperture and focal length ranges. We also found little evidence of edge or corner darkening. Focusing was generally quiet, thanks to the Silent Wave Motor - but not blindingly fast and focus accuracy was uneven, particularly in low light levels and with moving subjects.'
Ken Rockwell
2/5
2/5
'The 24-120mm VR is not likely to make you happy if you buy it for use on a D3 or D700. It's not sharp, and it the corners are often dark.'
Fredmiranda.com
7.8/10
'Was used to Canon 24-105 so this was a shock . Not sharp at all '
Bjorn Rorslett
3.5/5
'ED glass in the optics manifested itself in good image contrast and highly saturated colours. Just as expected.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D

Image quality rating: 60,00%

Overall rating: 85,00%

Main points:
  • Very soft
  • Only good as a vacation lens


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
2.5/5
'The Nikkor AF 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 D IF was an popular lens during the film era but on APS-C DSLRs the focal length range isn't all that attractive anymore. The performance of the lens is generally good with a high center resolution throughout the focal length range. Unfortunately the border quality is just so so at the extreme ends at large aperture settings. Apparently the contrast level is somewhat low at wide-open aperture so stopping down seems generally advisable. The distortion and vignetting characteristic is about average for a lens in this class. CAs are surprisingly low. Mechanically the lens feels generally fine but the rotating front element leaves something to be desired. The AF-S 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR felt more convincing during the local tests.'
Ken Rockwell
'I stick with my 15 year or 28-85AF for it's sharper and less distorted results.'
Fredmiranda.com
8.5/10
'Sharpness is comparable to Canon 17-40L and 24-105L. Good color. Can't see any C/A. Some people say their 24-120 AFDs are not sharp, I believe they got copies with focus issue. To be honest, this AFD version is way sharper than the VR successor. As it struggles to focus in low light, I mainly use it during the day. All in all, it’s an excellent travel lens in terms of zoom range and sharpness. Just get a 35 F2 (or 50 1.4) when we need to shoot at night.'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.5/5
'A very popular zoom with a wide and useful range of focal lengths. It extends to a nearly obscene degree while zooming towards the long end. The front element is quite big and the lens flares easily. Flare and ghosting can ruin the image under some situations. Best results are obtained in the shorter end of the range, but even at 100 mm + acceptable pictures can be achieved. Barrel distortion is obvious at the short end, though. Stop down to f/8-f/11 for best results.'


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5-5.6G

Image quality rating: 34,60%

Overall rating: 40,00%

Main points:
  • Look for other options
  • Bad IQ and soft


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLR Gear
3.67/10
4/10
'optical quality is very bad, soft at all apertures.'
Ken Rockwell
'If you want an inexpensive high-performance mid-range zoom for film or FX, go for it if you can!'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.25/10
'Despite the awful plasticky feeling, images were delivered with good quality although contrast is lower than on the better lenses, and so is image saturation. Geometric distortion is evident towards the extremes of the zooming range, and as usual goes from barrel at the wide to pincushion at the long end.'


Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6D

Image quality rating: 0,00%

Overall rating: 0,00%

Main points:
  • Look for other options


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Ken Rockwell
'If you want it, go for it! It works quite respectably for just about anything at least 6 feet away. It is also the best made lens you can get for your Nikon. Forget the discount competition (Tamron, Sigma etc.) which are plastic puppy poops.'


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