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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:02 pm 
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Ever wanted to know whether the Nikon AF-S 24-120/4.0G VR would be a good investment?
I'm currently preparing a 24-xx zoom shootout with the Nikon AF-S 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR review already published. And currently I'm working on its longer constant-aperture sibling to see how those lenses perform on a D800.
Other zooms will join the fray to spice-up the shootout and give you more insight in the performance of what might well be the kit-zoom of choice for any Nikon FX-body - or a longer-than-usual kit-zoom for a DX-body.
My set for shots from this lens is here. So you may well have a sneak-preview...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:35 pm 
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You can find my review here.
The lens earned a Recommended rating, but I had expected more from a gold-ringed 1000 EUR zoom. Especially compared to the Nikon 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR which performed similar, in some respects even better than the 5x zoom.
But have a look for yourself and tell me what you think!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:19 pm 
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I have the 24-85mm and was very curious about what I get by paying so much more money and toting around the extra weight.

I haven't had time to closely examine your results (this website use to compare lens images directly; I'd like to see you do that with these two lenses), but I did look at the test samples at 24mm f/5.6, which should be peak performance for both lenses.

I was amazed that the only place where the 24-120mm outperformed the cheaper lens was in the corners (well, I only checked one corner). Of course the exposures aren't identical and the weather is different, but the 24-85 holds it own. This is consistent with my testing where I found that the 24-85 holds up well against the 14-24mm at 24mm.

It strikes me that unless a photographer requires the better build quality of the 24-120mm or the extra reach, the 24-85mm is a superior choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Hello Gatorowl, 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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Yes the 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR is quite good even compared to the 24-120/4.0G VR. I'll provide for direct comparison in my up-and-coming 24-xx shootout. Then it will be very easy to compare both lenses directly.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Thomas,

I hope I didn't break any house rules with my initial posting. I forgot to thank you for the excellent reviews of both of these fine lenses.

The reality is that Nikon is putting out such great products right now, that unless you are insanely picky (and if you are, why are you shooting with zoom lenses?), you can hardly go wrong with any of Nikon's most recent lens offerings.

I could not afford the 24-120mm--and it's a bigger lens than I want to carry anyway--that I am happy to hear that the tradeoffs for going with the smaller, lighter, and less expensive 24-85mm are few.

I look forward to your shootout!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:49 pm 
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No rules broken with your initial post, Gatorowl.
It's just that everybody should know how this friendly forum is managed and which rules apply :D
The shootout(s) is/are still a few weeks away as it is my rule to do proper individual reviews first before entering the one-on-one comparison. This way I'm sure that all the material I use in a shootout is valid...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:07 am 
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Yikes! Those are some soft corners, and that vignetting isn't too good either.

For the price, the 24-85 looks like a nice piece of kit, but the extra range and constant aperture of this guy is appealing. Maybe I should just wait for a stabilized 24-70. Of course, upgrading to one of these would give me few benefits without a D600!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:21 pm 
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"wait for a stabilized 24-70"? Well, Evan: That lens has already arrived: The Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD!
The only stabilized large-aperture standard-zoom there is. And I'm currently testing it and hope to have my review ready soon.
As for a stabilized version of the Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8G: I don't know if this will happen or when...

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:54 am 
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Thomas, although I'm not after any lens soon, I appreciate the work you put in reviewing the lenses.


Cheers

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Thanks, 4xxxx!
I'm currently building up a set of "reference-reviews" on my D800 that make it easy to put any new lens into perspective: does it match best in class, is it even a new benchmark or does it trail in performance and if so by how much.
The interesting thing with the new "cheaper" Nikon-lenses (like the 85/1.8G) is to see how close they got to the benchmarks in their respective class. I'll show some of this in an upcoming 24-xx shootout where you'll see the 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR pitched against the 24-120/4.0G VR and some other lenses.
I think Nikon is really putting their design know-how in lenses to good work and deliver a compelling set of FX-capable lenses for reasonable prices. That bodes well should they attack the "Volks-FX" market with an updated D700-successor.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:32 pm 
In need of some guidance! After having my bag stolen with my d7000 with my 18-70mm dx, new 28mm 1.8g (ouch) I unfortunately need to start over with my walk around kit. I was actually saving up for the 24-120 f4 or the 24-70 f2.8 before losing my beloved d7000. My girlfriend decided to surprise me with a 5100 and I am actually quite impressed with the camera and figured I would build up from there until I can afford an FX with already some good glass. I have been feverishly searching/researching for a premium lense for my d5100. I feel like the 24-70mm would be overkill on a 5100, but I am confident I would get my moneys worth. This is where I find fault in the 24-120mm... the longer range does sound appealing, but after numerous reviews, I can not help but think it won't live up to expectations. I plan on going FX in the future and want a lense to make it to that next level of my photography. I can live with distortion/vignetting that I can fix in Lightroom, but WON'T sacrifice color/sharpness.

Give me some confidence that if I do go with the 24-120 f4 I won't be kicking myself in disappointment!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Hello eman0498, 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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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.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:47 pm 
I appreciate your response! You actually read my mind with thinking the 24-85 option as I already have the 70-300 and a 10-20 sigma. I am huge fan of primes as well (50mm f1.4, 85mm 1.8g, and my once 28mm 1.8g). Perhaps I'll go for something of a better value and repurchase my 28 for the moment while I still have the 5100 body. Decisions, decisions! I really do appreciate your thought out response and time. Camera Labs has with out a doubt become my first stop with anything dslr related. Cheers guys!

- Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:36 am 
I just wanted to make a remark about your suggestion! I actually ended up going with the Nikon 24-85 f3.5-4.5 and even picked up a sigma 70-200 f2.8 with the money I was already willing the shell out for the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 . I had a family wedding so between my new lenses and the primes I already had, I am more than pleased with my results! I definitely still have the 24-70 on the horizon though, but am confident I can get some real quality shots from this 24-85. I can't thank you guys enough for all the great information you continue to offer the photography community.


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