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Your question is a really tough one. As you've certainly seen I've published reviews also on the Nikon AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR
and the Tamron SP 24-70/2.8 VC
. I'll also soon finish my up-and-coming review of the Nikon 24-70/2.8G and will then be publishing a complete side-by-side comparison (shoot-out) of those various 24-xx lenses that I've tested.
As I'm not yet through with all testing and write-up it's a bit early to come to final conclusions. But I can say as much:
- I still love my Nikon 24-70/2.8G, even after all those comparisons: it's a very good lens, but: It has no stabilization.
- The Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC has stabilization and also already earned a recommended rating in my review. As you'll see in my final shoot-out it is better in some respects than the Nikon but also weaker in others. But it has image-stabilization and is 30% cheaper than the Nikon
- The Nikon 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR did surprise me in my review: Performance is pretty good and it's (almost) cheap as chips. It earned a recommended too.
- The Nikon AF-S 24-120/4.0G VR did disappoint me a bit although it's on a par with the 24-85 performance-wise and offers a longer reach: I simply had expected an even better performance. In price-performance ratio it is clearly trumped by the 24-85.
So here you are: It is not easy to decide which lens to choose and you won't solve all your lens-needs with one single lens.
If I were in your position I'd go for the 24-85 now with a complementing stabilized tele-zoom (perhaps 70-200/2.8 or 70-300) afterwards.
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews
, My Pictures
, My Photography Blog