I took this lens to London for 7 days (along with a rented D800) and was quite satisfied with it as my only lens. I actually had along my 12-24/f4 DX lens and didn't put it on the camera once. And although I own the 24-70, I'm glad I opted to take the 24-120 instead. I didn't miss the 1 stop and I definitely didn't miss the extra half pound of the 24-70. Add in the longer reach and VR, the 24-120 proved itself as an excellent performer with a lot of flexibility and no real down-sides. I'd certainly recommend you give it a try if you're looking for a good travel or walk-around lens.
Nikon 24-120mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR II
- Product Details
- 3 Product Reviews
Lens rental package includes: Front cap, rear cap, UV filter, and lens hood.
This is a surprisingly good all-around lens. I've used it to shoot concerts and conventions (both notorious for inconsistent and mixed lighting), and it performed admirably during both. Even shooting at ISO 1600 on my Nikon D300, the images came in sharp with great color rendition. f/4 was plenty for me, but the VR did add that extra bit of stability for the really dark shots. Focus was speedy and spot-on. Distortion was not an issue (I didn't shoot any geometric patterns straight on). The best thing about this lens is being able to go from 24mm to 120mm without switching lenses. Yes, primes and the faster f/2.8 lenses are faster and probably sharper, but then you'd have to deal with switching lenses and/or carrying heavy glass. For many situations, you may not want to deal with that. The 24-120 is a nice compromise. It covers a wide focal range, gives you plenty of speed at f/4, and is relatively light. I'd say that for most shooting, this lens rocks. My only complaint is that there is no zoom lock. With my camera and lens attached to a Black Rapid strap, the lens rubbed against my leg while walking and extended the lens to its maximum zoom. f/2.8 would also be really nice, but I realize that is just not physically feasible. :)
I used this lens for a week to see if it was one that I would consider buying. After the week was up, I will most certainly will say that without a doubt this lens is my front runner in my main walk around medium range lens. The shots I got were very sharp and had great color saturation was excellent. The lens has a very solid feel to it. It is a little big and heavy, but that is what you expect is pro grade lenses. Some other reviews I have read, some dont consider this as one of Nikon's pro line lens, however when you look at Nikon's site at their list of pro line lenses, this lens is on their list. I think I will believe Nikon over other people about that. The only things I wished were a little different about the lens were two things. It is rated to have a minimum focus distance of 1.5', but I didn't this to be true. I couldn't get it to focus any closer than about 2.25'. Maybe it was just the lens I recieved. The second was that Imwished the lens hood wasn't so wide and was a little longer than it is. I had to store the hood separate from the lens in my camera bag since the slots were too small to accomadate the diameter of the hood. I do understand though the length being what is is due to the wide end range of the lens so I can let that one slide. I have also had the chance to compare this lens against the famed Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 and this lens wins that battle for me. I used the 24-70 on a shoot and some of the best shots I got according to the LCD ended up being unuseable because of motion blur that i couldnt see on the LCD. When I brought up the images in Lightroom it was very visible. This lens would not have given me that problem. I was photographing a 2 1/2 year old and was having to move and follow her. This lens would have been perfect for that with it having the VRII. The 24-70 not having it cost me about 8 shots that would have been some of my shots if they had not had the blur. I will get this one again and request to redo that shoot. This time I know the shot will come out right. Also comparing this one to the 24-70, You really arent losing a stop over the 24-70 going to this lens. With the VRII you actually gain up to 4 stops vibration reduction control which effectively put you at about f1.4. The only way you lose the extra stops is under low light from a tripod where you have to turn the VR off. Between the VR, the lighter weight and size, the extra focal length range and the $600 price difference, this lens comes out ahead and about every way for me over the 24-70. It also seems that quite a few of the pros feel this way to, because I see alot of reviews where they are switching to this lens as well for the same reasons. You can't go wrong with going with this lens.