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


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19 replies to this topic

Poll: Rate this lens (49 member(s) have cast votes)

Rate this lens

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  4. 4 Stars - above average (33 votes [67.35%])

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#1 Dallas

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 16:00

What is your experience with this lens? This topic will be indexed on our LENSES page. Please keep your comments related to your experiences with this lens so that others may draw value from them. Off topic comments will be removed.

You may post sample images taken with the lens in this thread. If you have a question relating to the lens, please don't ask here, use the "Lenses" board instead. 

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#2 stenrasmussen

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 13:12

Impressions from trying this lens out:
- Very solid build.
- Focus ring moves like the one on the 24/1.4G...i.e. smoothly and damped.
- Well corrected for CA.
- Pincushion/barrel distortion noticable but should be an easy fix in PP.
- Chatters a little (like the 28-300G) during AF operation.
- A potential dust-into-mirror-chamber-pusher as it really moves air when zoomed!

Machina fotografica necesse est

#3 ricardsonwilliams

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 01:25

its very good lens.... much more than I expected.

Posted Image
nanshe_village_20101217_4889 by ? Ricardson Williams, on Flickr
NIKON D3S | AF VR Zoom 24-120mm f/4G IF-ED | É/4 | 1/125 |  ISO900

Posted Image
nanshe_village_20101212_4704 by ? Ricardson Williams, on Flickr
NIKON D3S | AF VR Zoom 24-120mm f/4G IF-ED | É/8 | 1/125 |  ISO11400

#4 frenzypic

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 15:05

I use this lens most of the time for 2 months now and I am really happy about it because:

* it is tack sharp
* the VR is very helpful in low light
* its smaller size and less weight compared to the AF-S 24-70/2.8

On the other hand I can confirm all previous remarks from Stenrasmussen.

So, in total a mixed-package BUT the "Likes" are far ahead the minor issues or "Dislikes" with only one exception: the vignetting with f4 at 24mm ...

#5 Alan7140

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 09:30

Now that I've used this lens for a bit I too will express my satisfaction with it. Paired with the D3s it is simply an almost perfect GP lens; in its 24mm position it is compact, not having the handicap of an overly long barrel as with internal zoom models and in this position the camera/lens combo is very compact, particularly given the versatility of the focal length spread available.

It is very sharp, and when corrected in pp for the inevitable distortion and CA that such a wide-tele zoom will have it displays very good image quality. Obviously not as good as specialist prime lenses might display, but for a GP lens it really is quite excellent.

The following is not meant as an example of good photography, but is simply a snap I took today using the lens in the general purpose conditions that it shines in. Although it handles more difficult situations quite well (such as low light and back light), in more average situations such as this (front/side sunlight outdoors, relatively high contrast, lots of detail) the lens is bordering on being superb.

120mm, 1/1600 @ f/8, 400 ISO, hand held, (just normal pp & save-for-web optimization, 100% crop area in red):

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@ 100%:

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Note that it has resolved the articulated double arms of the windshield wipers on the bridge in the shadows. It also appears beyond the capabilities of the D3s sensor as well, given the choppiness of some of the fine oblique lines.



#6 Dave Rosser

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 16:36

After a lot of uhming and ahing I have traded my old 12-24 f/4 and 24-85 f/3.5 - 4.5 for one of these lenses.  My first impression - someone has swapped the focusing ring and zoom ring around on mine  ??? .  I should be able to report back my thoughts on it's picture taking ability in a weeks time.

Well I have now used the lens for a bit including a week away in Norfolk. Some comments

The lens is marked Made in Thailand and the build quality is good with a mixture of metal and engineering plastics. (Interesting the street price and construction is very similar to the Made in Japan 16-35 f/4, I thought that the Thai manufacturing facility had much lower costs than the Japanese facility so either the 24-120 is an inherently higher cost product than the 16-35 which I find hard to believe or the price will drop more in the future.)

On my D700 the lens balances well and at the 35mm end of the zoom range is reasonably compact (at the 24mm end the 24-120 is noticably more compact than the 16-35).

I did some test on distortion around f/8 f/9 by photographing the North Sea horizon (10 to 20 miles so effectively infinity, here are the results

24mm

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28mm

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35mm

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50mm

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70mm

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85mm

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120mm

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Noticable is the marked barrel distortion at the 24mm end which quickly disappears on zooming in to 28mm, at 35mm curvilinear distortion is absent but then at 50mm pincushion distortion has set in and stays right out to 120mm. The latest RC version of Lightroom includes distortion correction for the lens, the distortion is in any case "simple" so fairly easy to correct in, for instance, Capture One 6.
Edit 21 march 2012. After using this lens more the distortion characteristics are really getting to me, you see the amount of image you loose when correcting the distortion in Lightroom with auto cropping on. In some cases even the D700 reduced field coverage is cropped - not much point in having a 100% coverage viewfinder camera like D3/D4 or D800 if you are going to have to allow for cropping after distortion correction. I have reduced my score to 3.

Edited by Dave Rosser, 21 March 2012 - 12:20 .


#7 Dave Rosser

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 13:30

Futher to my post above here is a picture taken with the 24-120 f/4 at 120mm of a subject moving towards the camera using continuous servo autofocus and VR (1/320 at f/5.6)

Posted Image

100% crop here - the fireman is depositing the key for the single track section of line he has just left on the signal for the signalman to collect:-

Posted Image

#8 Howard Carson

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 16:02

The more that owners of the Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VRII use the lens, the better the lens will get. The only drawback this lens offers is barrel distortion at the edges, but it's not an architectural lens despite Nikon's boast that the lens can be used to do everything. Nevertheless, the lens is highly versatile. Every pro and amateur travel shooter should consider this lens - it's comparatively light, offers good weather sealing, and provides a wonderfully useful focal range. Every general street shooter should consider this lens.

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Sharpness, versatility, color accuracy, contrast, speed and mechanical accuracy are all excellent.

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#9 photosenior

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:20

This is a good walk-around, general purpose lens on my D700. I have used it for about 5 months. At first it needs a bit of learning effort, especially wide opened. But the more I use it the more I like it, especially with 1 or 2 stop down.

Edited by Dallas, 23 April 2011 - 07:04 .
Removed photos - too large.

Phil

#10 Dave Rosser

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:18

I have just come back from a 2 week holiday in Turkey where I used the 24-120 on my D700 throughout. I will be posting some samples but one thing that struck me is that focusing can be glacially slow at times - I missed quite a few shots because of this. :crybaby:

#11 gsabbio

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 14:20

I recently switched from the old VR 24-120 to this one

I'm really impressed about the performances.

Colour and definition are quite good, but what is even more useful is the VR II system.

The image stabilization system of the previous model was quite effective, but this one is really exceptional. I've been able to shoot a big number of perfectly still art images using a shutter time of 1/25-1/15 sec. (sometime even longer) always hand helded (and... let me say that my personal main problem while shooting is that I'm always shaking)

So... I would assign at least 5 star on this aspect (4 star is my general evaluation).


At this link you find a (downsized) detail of an image (roughly the 70% of the original frame):

http://img709.imageshack.us/i/gsd8808.jpg/

main exif data:
Nikkor AFS VR II 24-120 f4 (38mm)
D7000
iso 800
f4,5
shutter 1/6 sec (hand helded)
(no flash)

It has been shot in Sabbioneta (Italy) it's a detail of an old roof, during all the visit to this ancient noble house I shot several natural light images always hand helded. The results are always perfect even enlarged 100%.


UPDATE:
I did some comparison tests among the following Nikkor lenses:
AFS VRII 24-120 f4
AFS 24-70 f2.8
AFS VR 18-105 DX f3.5-5.6
AFS VR 18-55 DX f3.5-5.6
AFS VR 70-200 f2.8 (first version)
Nikkor AI 80-200 f4.5 (latest version)

OK... let's forget right away the 18-105 and the 18-55, honest multirole lenses but not comparable with the others (wide open at 24mm the 18-55 appears slightly better than the 18-105).

I shot using a D7000 fixed on a tripod
Indeed, it is quite difficult to find the best or the worse (relatively worse), among these really good lenses, as even enlarged more than the 100%, all the images have a quality very similar (if shot at the same stop number).

In few words: the overall quality is almost equivalent. In my opinion the choice between the 24-120 and the 24-70 is up to the real needs of the photographer. A sport-reportage photographer can chose the 24-120 with the absolute assurance that the quality will never be jeopardized. In my opinion the effectiveness of the VR II sys makes the 24-120 more attractive.
Last feedback: a special mention goes to the old 80-200 f4.5 which quality is still oustanding (probably the best of the bounch at 80mm stopped to f5.6) get it right away if you find one... It's not a sport lens, but the colour rendition and the sharpness are a real pleasure.


24-120 negative aspect: the price is quite high for such a lens even missing of a weather sealed construction.
Sometime I'm asking to myself... about the real market awareness of the Nikon's designer, as such a multi purpose-reportage and expensive lens should has been designed having more of the end-user needs in mind. (so... 1 star about this to Nikon)

Edited by gsabbio, 09 May 2011 - 07:17 .


#12 Uncle Frank

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:26

I bought a d70 and the 24-120/3.5-5.6 in 2004. It was my first dslr rig, and I loved it!

Posted Image

I was a fierce proponent of the 24-120, but eventually realized it wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, and replaced it with the 28-70/2.8. I shot a number of weddings with the Beast, but it got little use after I moved to the full frame d700. It took me a year to decide to sell the 28-70/2.8 to fund a 24-120/4VR. The lens balances nicely on the d700...

Posted Image

and the 24-120 range fits my interests better than the 28-70. I'm still in the learning process, but I think it's an exciting lens and that I've made a good purchase.

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Warm regards,
Frank

#13 Dave Rosser

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 13:15

I have recently come back to the USA from 4 weeks holiday in SW USA. It turned out that in that time I used the 24-120 almost exclusively though I had taken the 16-35 f/4 and 70-300 with me. This particular shot of the solar observatory at Sunspot NM illustrates the flare handling qualities of the lens.

Posted Image

24mm 1/800 f/7.1

#14 Howard Carson

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 14:19

- A potential dust-into-mirror-chamber-pusher as it really moves air when zoomed!

 

Over two and a half years of use, mine has not proven to be a "dust-into-mirror-chamber-pusher" at all. I thought it would be too, but it hasn't turned out that way.

 

The Auto Distortion Control built into my D800 body almost fully corrects all barrel and pincushion distortion at edges. Since I started using my D800 in May 2012 (it replaced my D700), I can recall the need to correct distortion during post-processing only a handful of times.

 

The lens has withstood all of the bumps, bangs, shoves, pushes, thumps and bumps I've put it through during literally hundreds of kilometers of urbaneering and tens of thousands of kilometers of travelling.

 

Front element coatings are tough. I don't use a front filter of any kind (except for, ocassionally, a circular polarizer) - usually only the lens hood. The front element is undamaged, coatings intact, no scratches, despite two and half years of urban crowds, packed subway trains, conservation area walks with lots of lens-level brush and branches. Admittedly, the hood makes a very good front element protector though.

 

Great sharpness, great contrast, accurate colors, fast AF, good manual focus control, decent bokeh. It's my go-to lens and I love it.


  • D800Dominic likes this
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#15 jmoule

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:27

I used this lens as a travel lens for two years, but have replaced it with the 28-300 as an all round travel lens.  The image quality from the 28-300 is as good as better and the longer focal length is very useful



#16 Delvin

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:40

I used this lens as a travel lens for two years, but have replaced it with the 28-300 as an all round travel lens.  The image quality from the 28-300 is as good as better and the longer focal length is very useful

My experience with the D800 is that the 24-120 is superior, and not in a subtle way. I think it is a much better match for the sensor, along with the 70-200 f/4 and the 16-35 f/4.

What camera body do you use where you see the 28-300 as superior (genuine curiosity--not disparaging your observations at all)?

KDD

#17 Ron Scubadiver

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:15

I am using my 24-120 f/4 a lot.  It is the consumate travel lens.  I can only think of one weak point.  Wide open at 85mm it is not great in the corners.  Objective tests note this, and I see it too.  For outdoor shooting it is my most used lens (but I love the old school 50 mm f/1.4 G a lot as well).


See my photography at http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com/

#18 CharlesLoy

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 14:24

I've used the 24-120 since it was introduced. I have owned 3 copies, all have made sharp, clean, vivid contrast photos at the f stop I desired to use. Very pleasing. The first 2 I bought just before I'd go to a big bike rally (lasting a week or longer) and would make a couple thousand images. When I returned I would sell off the lens and return to the 24-70 2.8; having used this 24-70 lens at the rally earlier years I knew it was slightly short in focal reach and I only wanted to carry one lens on a body.

The last copy I bought in July 2011 for the same reason, to do the Sturgis rally. But I kept the lens and left it on a D800. Shortly after I returned from this years rally the lens stopped focusing. It would focus but would not lock on, it crept in and out of solid focus. Sent to Nikon and warranty repaired. I was surprised it went down at 25 months of use, but will snap it back on the D800 and keep shooting when it gets back Tuesday. I use the 24-85 f3.5~4.5 while I wait for it. I really like the 24-120 f4.


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#19 RogerB

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 16:55

I rated this lens a 5. I've read all the learned comments from other contributors to this thread and I can't disagree with any of them. This lens is on my camera (d700) most of the time. It is just a beautifully usable lens that delivers results that have never failed my expectations. I would expect that I have encountered every objection to this lens that has already been stated, yet I can't think of a single instance where anything has prevented me from getting the image I wanted. If there are limitations, perhaps I subconsciously work around them, but frankly I don't know how you could  choose a better daily carry lens in this focal length.

 

I find the lens to be durable as well sealed. It is often with me on hikes in the USA desert southwest. It has held up well to airline vibration travel, no loose parts or rattle. The images are contrasty and well defined. The zoom range is what it is, I find it to be ideal for general purpose, family, friends, street, travel and my grandchildren. The focus and zoom are responsive and I've had good luck with focus tracking. With this lens, I often choose to leave my 16-35mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS lenses out of the kit bag to lighten my load.

 

There is no zoom creep and it holds together well for HDR and panorama work where any change would be disastrous. It can be bettered by my 35mm f/1.4 AFS, but the fact that it can doesn't preclude me from opting for this lens on those occasions where I might be able to get by with just the 35mm. Both lenses have their role and I don't find that the 24-120 suffers in any aspect over its focal-length and aperture range to prompt me to make another choice.

 

So I guess you could read all this as a 5-rated general purpose (perfect) compromise lens.

 

Best Regards,


Edited by RB, 07 September 2013 - 18:47 .

Best Regards,
Roger

It's still just aperture, shutter-speed and ISO.... right?
D700 | 16-35mm f/4 AFS VR | 24-120mm f/4 AFS VR

#20 Mike G

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 18:10

In my very unscientific mind this is a cracking lens, One bugbear is the physical size of the beast. On my D800 it balances quite well and seems to be fairly quick to use and I'm happy with results!


Mike Gorman
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