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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Finally got my copy of this smallest and lightest modern standard-zoom for Nikon's FX-bodies: The stabilized Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR.
It also works on all DX bodies as it has a built-in AF-motor. On FX-Bodies this 3.5x zoom is the equivalent of a 18-57mm lens. So it should give you satisfying reach in most standard-situations. Plus it is said that this will be the kit-lens for Nikon's rumored Volks-FX: the D600.
I'm planning to compare it to the Nikon AF-S 24-120/4.0G VR, which is currently also on my desk. This is the more up-market and expensive version of a standard-zoom (equivalent to a 18-80mm zoom on a DX-body) which offers a 41% longer reach and a constant f4.0 aperture together with Nikon's Nano-coating. Let's see how this performs in comparison to the standard coating on the 24-85mm zoom.
I'm also planning to include the Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8G and the Nikon 28-300/3.5-5.6G VR in a final 24-xx Shootout - but I'm getting ahead of myself :roll:

>>>>>>>>>>UPDATE<<<<<<<<<<
The review was published here!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Gordon has put up a gallery page with some of my sample images of the lens here. Enjoy!
And I'm busily working on the full review...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:33 pm 
It certainly looks like a nice piece of glass, very sharp in the center of the frame even in the demanding D800's sensor!

The bokeh looks a bit nervous though, the out of focus highlights behind the girls in the marketplace could look better, but then again, general purpose zooms are seldom endowed with dreamy bokeh so I'd say it's on par most of its couterparts.

Nice shots BTW, beatiful sorroundings!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Regarding bokeh: I wouldn't expect more from a standard-zoom. Will do some testing with the other FX-zooms of this range, but I honestly expect only the 24-70/2.8 to deliver better quality bokeh.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Well, this is interesting:
I'm currently scrutinizing the Siemens-star test-shots for the 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR and I'm pretty impressed by the performance of this little lens. But...
I was thinking for some time about whether I should do test-shots of 70mm and 85mm. After all, so I thought, these focal lengths are only 20% apart. What could possibly happen :roll:
Bingo! My findings are proof again that zoom-lenses - even those with only a 3.5x zoom-range - have visible performance-fluctuations when zooming through the range - even with focal lengths that are relatively close together. The following is an example at f4.5 from the DX-corner:

Image

Interesting, isn't it?
B.t.w.: In the center there is no visible performance difference between 70mm and 85mm!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Flare? Of course there's flare! See the following example:

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Nikon AF-S 24-85f3.5-4.5G VR @50f5.6 56107 by Thomas, on Flickr

(my intro was provoked by someone on the web who claimed: "Ghosts and flare are extremely well controlled.")

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:26 pm 
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The review is now published here. The lens clearly owns a "Recommended" rating.
Hope you find my review interesting and revealing!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:31 pm 
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I think I found an error in your review Thomas.

Quote:
The main image shows the complete scene at maximum aperture to give you an impression of the angel of view and to judge vignetting).

I think it should be angle of view.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Hehe, you're rrrrrright, cujo! Thanks for the heads-up.
Hope this didn't distract you too much from enjoying my review...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:55 pm 
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It didn't distract me and it was a good review. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:42 am 
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Nice review as always, Thomas.

It's very interesting to see the differences in corner performance @ 70mm and 85mm. Wide open, 85mm seems much better, while 70mm blows it out of the water when you stop it down. Pretty surprising, TBH.

I'm also surprised at how sharp it is, for a general purpose zoom of this price I was expecting optics of a lesser quality, but it certainly doesn't disappoint. Aside from that ugly bokeh, this would be an excellent lens to go with a D600. However, I'd still save my cash for a 24-120 or 24-70, if you can spend that much on a body, you might as well get a lens of the best performance to go along with it.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:54 am 
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Evan, I'm currently preparing a 24-120/4.0G VR review. I can only suggest to wait before you decide...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:56 am 
Hello guys, I really need your help. I have Nikon D5100 camera and 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G lens kit, I wanted to upgrade to a new lens then I bought Nikon AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G VR. But after taking a lot of pictures during the trip to Florida, I've made some of example of two lens to compare the differences between them. But the differences were almost unnoticeable unless zooming very close to the pictures, I couldn't notice the differences (except brightness of picture). So can you tell between those lens, are there any differences when using D5100 body to take pictures? Because I got the first one as the lens kit with D5100 and the new one- AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G cost $600. So I want to ask you that should I keep it? If it doesn't do better than the lens kit, should I return it?

Thanks a lot!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:57 am 
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Hello JackP, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
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Well, Nikon's kit-zoom is not too bad. So if you're not hoping to upgrade to FX in the future and don't need the additional focal length from 55mm to 85mm (nor the additional 2/3 larger aperture on the long end) then you might as well stick to it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:53 pm 
Thomas wrote:
Well, Nikon's kit-zoom is not too bad. So if you're not hoping to upgrade to FX in the future and don't need the additional focal length from 55mm to 85mm (nor the additional 2/3 larger aperture on the long end) then you might as well stick to it.


Thank you, I saw Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX ED VR on amazon.com today. I noticed that it's designed for DX DSLR. Is it will be better when compare with Nikon AF-S 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G VR when using on D5100 body?


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