AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR
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Highly versatile wide angle to medium telephoto FX-format zoom lens with Nikon's second-generation Vibration Reduction (VR II) technology for noticeably sharper photos and HD videos.
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AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR
Based on 22 Reviews
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My all purpose lens for day/night trips. It´s fast, and paired with my D7200, offers flexibility from wide angle landscape to focused subject.
I bought this lens thinking it would be a lens that I would eventually trade in for a pro lens when my budget allowed. I am happy to say that I do not need to buy any pro mid range lens as this is, in my opinion, one of Nikon´s best mid range lens ever made. Very sharp, Vibration reduction is outstanding and also can focus up close for those captures that I need to get in tight. I use it all the time now.
I originally used only primes with my D810, but the price on a refurbed 24-85 was irresistible. It´s not a low light lens, but it´s become part of my daily kit. It´s small, light and when stopped to f5.6 or f8 very sharp and the VR works. It´s become one of my favorite lenses. I´ve thought of the 24-120, but since I have the 70-200/4 which is also extremely sharp, I´ll gladly give up the 85-120 range for the smaller size. It´s even a tad faster at 24mm than the 24-120 and a lot less expensive.
Added to this lens´ versatility is its ability to take great close-ups. According to nikonusa.com, the minimum focus distance on the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G ED VR is 0.38 m/1.25 ft (from focal plane). Which means only inches from the front of the lens to achieve sharp focus. Granted, this is not a Macro lens; however, its maximum reproduction ratio is about 1:4.5. In other words pretty darn good close-up capability. Please see close shot of a Pine tree trunk for example. Try it out - aim close and Have Fun!!
I originally purchased this lens as part of a D600 kit to replace my aging D200 with the old 24-120mm VR lens. I wanted to get the camera with the newer 24-120mm f/4 lens, but unfortunately it was not available at that particular store so I went with the kit. I was never happy with the 24-120 as it tended to be a soft, lower contrast lens which required me to have to boost the sharpness and contrast when working with an image shot with this lens on both the older D200 and later purchased D300.
I was hoping that the 24-85mm would give me better results in spite of it being a ´´kit´´ lens. The results I have been getting shooting with the original D600 and later D610 (which replaced the D600) exceeded my expectations. The lens is the perfect walk-around, travel and great general purpose lens which provides exceptional sharpness, contrast and color without the need to do extra processing of the image in either Photoshop or Lightroom. I´ve gotten great results regardless of the exposure range and the vibration reduction has allowed me to shoot as low as an 8th of a second hand-held with little or no reduction in sharpness. I´ve included a few examples below of shots taken with the lens to show what it is capable of.
The lens also provides high quality conventional film images when mounted on my F100 which can fully accommodate all G-type lenses.
While I do miss having the extra zoom range which I had with the 24-120, the overall quality provided by this lens has more than made up for that. If you are looking for a great lens at a great price, this one will fit the bill.
Took me a long time to get used to the idea of a lens being useful at f3.5-4.5 after spending the 70´s as a pro with prime lenses. Never a zoom! When I got my FX body it ´came´ with the 24-85 and I was not excited. But I must admit this lens has greatly exceeded my expectations. It is sharp throughout the range and the VR gets me the faster shutter speed I need to off-set the missing f-stops. As a ´´walk around´´ lens it is perfect, light and quick to focus -- plus it is not huge. Granted it does not make up for fast glass, I still use my 50 f1.8 and my 105 f 2 when I need the super shallow depth-of-field or am in a low light environment. But as an optical tool for an old fool, I was shocked -- I am not going back to the 70s!
This is an incredibly useful and versatile lens for travel and general outdoor use. I could say that it is versatile enough that you might even consider having a dedicated camera body just for this lens.
Normally I would not have bought this lens because of my dislikes about variable maximum aperture and absence of manual aperture ring (it being a ´´G´´ lens). Mine came as a kit lens deal with my D600. I figured, ok, I will try it once and sell it. However, after one trip with it on my D800 I was amazed at how well it performed and how versatile the lens proved to be. It has become a ´´go-to´´ lens for general travel and outdoor photography.
Image quality is terrific. AF focus speed and accuracy are fine.
Lens size and weight are big issues with me because I tend to carry a lot of gear (2 bodies, 6 or 7 lenses). I will tolerate carrying one large/ bulky lens in my kit (such as a favorite old manual 300mm or 400mm lens on a dedicated camera body) but I usually draw the line at that. I dislike carrying 2 bulky lenses at a time. That generally eliminates almost all AF zoom lenses. This one, however, hits the sweet spot in the areas of size, weight, and zoom range almost perfectly: not too large/heavy, easy to carry, extremely useful zoom range, easily fits in the camera bag.
Dislikes (the reasons I did not rate this lens 5 stars):
Variable maximum aperture. I always use manual or aperture priority. It bothers me to have the maximum aperture vary from 3.5 to 4.5 when I use lenses at or near their maximum aperture. I fully understand why variable max. aperture lenses exist, having designed some lenses myself.
It is a ´´G´´ lens--no manual aperture ring. I guess that after 50 years of using all-manual lenses, old habits die hard. But I am just not comfortable with the thumb-wheel aperture adjustment on the body instead of an aperture ring on the lens which lets me know by feel where the aperture is set.
No backwards compatibility to my F, F2 or F3 film bodies (yes, I still use film regularly and love it).
No depth of field (DOF) scale (as is true of all AF zoom lenses). I routinely use my MF lenses according to DOF or hyperfocal distance and do not depend on focus screen or electronic rangefinder. Makes life a lot easier. AF is not useful for my style of photography.
Manual focus ring action is very nice but the ring is too narrow.
Perhaps I am being unfair complaining about a ´´G´´ lens being a ´´G´´ lens, or a variable max. aperture lens being what it is. If that is so, and I admit it may well be, then I would have to say that if its features appeal to you, and my dislikes are of no concern, then the lens deserves a solid 5 star rating.
Congratulations to Nikon.
I purchased the lens about a month ago and it has been my go to lens for that quick shot.
Great focusing and superb clarity.
I picked up this lens after agonizing over another 24-70 f2.8 or the 24-120 f4.
The lens goes on my D800e and I had my doubts as to how sharp the thing would be.
Now that I have been using it for a while my doubts have faded away and I am really pretty happy with the lens.
I do mostly nature of one type of another now and as a retired Commercial Photographer am pretty picky with how lenses (especially zoom lenses) perform. Being a old guy I am by definition ´´Old School´´. Used nothing but primes and medium and large format for years. But after having a 24-70 and and several others lately I am putting my faith in the zooms a bit more.
Digital, aside from putting me out of work, opens up a whole field of possibilities. And with the advances of Photo Shop and Light Room as well as the Niff or Raw format, you have the freedom and the ability to use the zooms to great advantage.
This zoom with its almost ideal range is a great go to lens when you don´t want to carry a bunch of equipment around.
The VR is useful and even this old codger is leaving the tripod in the SUV and taking the monopod instead. I shoot the D800e as if it were a 4x5 I may not make a print bigger than 16x20 but I like knowing that the ability is there for much bigger. This lens at around 5.6 -f8 is very capable of knocking out such prints.
My hat´s off to Nikon for making such wonderful equipment and making my retirement such a joy. The portability this lens affords makes getting there all that much easer. Because you have to go where the pictures are then the pictures will come to you.
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