When I needed a full frame wide angle to compliment my 24-120mm f/4 I needed something on a budget but it also had to be good. In the past I have owned wide-angle glass from Schnieder, Rodenstock and Zeiss, so I knew what characteristics I was looking for. For me, wide angle glass is all about being sharp into the corners. Read More…
Really pleased to see an announcement of this new lens. It is such a useful focal length and to some extent I imagine many camera buyers would have opted in the past for a Canon 5D in part because of their excellent 24-105mm f/4. I know when I was considering a move to Canon FX from my then 30D that the 24-105mm was a primary draw card. Nikon’s second iteration of the venerable street-sweeper did not fair so well in the review stakes being constantly trashed in the internet media for its weak corner performance on FX. Throw in sample variation on top of that and I imagine more than a few lenses entered the revolving door of Ebay auctions.
Personally, I think Nikon’s first version, the Nikon AF Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D was a much better performer--at least my version is. Up to 12x8 inch prints at f/8 there is no discernable difference between its results and the best glass Nikon has to offer and they can be had for as little as $150.00.
So, now that the new 24-120 f/4 has been announced, a professional quality lens and with a price to match. The conundrum for some early adopters might be the added price premium on purchasing this lens that at time of writing can see it only a few hundred dollars less that Nikons stellar 24-70 f/2.8.
What do I Like about the new lens? Perhaps the best way I can describe its advantage for my style of shooting is by looking at how I shoot my current older version. For example when doing night-time event photography I shoot the old 24-120mm D with my D700 on ISO 3200, f/5.6 @ 1/60sec. I use manual mode so I don’t have to worry about stray and incidental lighting affecting my exposure. AF can be a nightmare at f/5.6 especially at night and having to switch to manual focus at the body can mean that split-second loss of concentration that loses the moment of a great shot. So, for me the new 24-120mm f/4 lens means an extra stop of speed for easier AF, instant manual override when AF is tough, and VR for increasing my keeper rate at the telephoto end of things.
Also, this new lens potentially means never having to ask the question: “Which lens should I take?” and that is a major plus. I don’t know how many times I have carried way too much gear because I worry about what if I stumble across a great scene that requires every ounce of resolution.
The only reservations I currently have is after viewing one of the full rez examples of this lens where it appears that CA is still present in spite of two ED elements and not just in the corners at f/11 @ 24mm. I was hoping that this was just due to some mild de-centering on the copy used for this photo but it is present across the frame. Perhaps the test photographer Yoshitsugu Enomoto elected not to have Lateral Chromatic Aberration Correction enabled on his D3s--who knows?
So, there’s a lot riding on the capabilities of this new lens and the reason for this I think is it’s potential for some as a do-all pro and walk-around lens--a big ask. Mine’s on pre-order from Vanbar in Melbourne with no ETA at present. If anyone has seen one in the wild already outside of Japan I would be pleased to know--sample photo sightings are a bonus.
Nikon 24-120mm f/4G ED VR AF-S NIKKOR Lens for Nikon Digital SLR
As a D700 user, I have been hanging on this lens to enter the marketplace. Looks very good wide-open on the long end according to Nikon’s MTF graphs. Just have to wait and see how the performance is at the wider-end vis-a-vis corner resolution, CA and vignetting. As an NX2 user I’m as concerned about CA or vignetting as NX2 is pretty good at auto-correcting these. Read More…