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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Wide Mid Tele Zoom 35mm AF-S VRII Stabilized tested


Registered: October 2013
Posts: 16
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by sjkip
Review Date: 12/29/2014 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $310.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: Handy size and focal length range; not too expensive
Cons: Substandard optical quality; not very sharp

Based on limited careful experimentation, thus far, on my Nikon D610, this lens has been a real disappointment. My old-fashioned 28-105D is far sharper on this camera and even provides not-bad macro without an extension tube, which is required with the 24-85 to focus close enough for any kind of macro work. The 24-85 has VR, but with a relatively noise-free ISO range up to about 2500 on the D610, that doesn't make much difference. If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have bought it.

Registered: October 2011
Posts: 8
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by infocus
Review Date: 1/9/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $525.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Very convenient focal range, compact and very sharp except corners
Cons: Not perfect for full frame cameras, despite being kit lens for D600!

I chose this for my full frame D600 for general use, because the 24-120mm f4 is bigger, heavier and twice as expensive, and according to several tests not much better - and soft above 85mm. It is quite sharp and contrasty, but for distant subjects even at f5.6 only the central field is rendered critically sharp, closing in reduces the problem. The VR seems to work quite well using the lens element decentering method that most likely results in the observed asymmetric image field sharpness (one image edge region less sharp than the opposite), so it's best left off when not needed. Apart from the limitations already mentioned, it's an OK all round lens. The problem is really not the lens as much as the full-frame camera in general, which demands much larger and costlier lenses for good results than those needed for the smaller formats. At today's rate of image-sensor development, the APS-C format only lags about one generation behind the FF performance; making the smaller format a practical proposition for most purposes. This lens is a very good APS-C alternative; scoring one or two points more on image quality.

The old disreputable AF24-50mm f3.3-4.5 (1987 version) seems to perform just a tad better edgewise than this new 24-85mm VR lens, while the contemporary AF35-105mm f3.5.4.5 is quite sharp almost to the corners, and the macro at 105mm is extremely sharp, but works only in MF.

PS - I bought the new D600 for my rather large collection of idle old Nikkors (25 lenses of which 11 fits this camera - 7 is AF). It is the first sensible priced FF Nikon DSLR-camera for old 35mm film users! It came rather late though - I switched to the Sony Alpha system in the mean time, and I don't regret it.

Note November 2013 - Although I'm quite happy with this zoom lens, I'm not satisfied with the edge sharpness for landscape and city photography. The only lens I've tested successfully so far for city scapes on the D600 is the old manual focusing Nikkor 50mm f1.8 E, which I picked up secondhand some twenty years ago; the result is comparable to that obtained with the Sony a77 and Sony 35mm f1.8.

Note spring 2014: The new 16 Mp Nikon Df would have taken all my 25 Nikkors due to the ability to flip away the small AI aperture coupling tab that otherwise would interfere with the older lenses. However, it is only 7.1Mp in DX mode and I don't particularly like it. It is a petty decision not to incorporate this feature on the D600.

Registered: October 2012
Posts: 2
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by aboriginal49
Review Date: 10/1/2012 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $830.00| Rating: 3 

Pros: compact, discrete,
Cons: lack of resolution, VR not good

This new lens has dreadful field curvature and distortion. The results on a D800 are the worst I have ever seen from any lens I have used on any full-frame camera. My sample was much worse on the left side but it was impossible to cover anything more than the central ninth of the frame effectively even at f8 at 24mm, continuing the 24-70mm f2.8s deservedly poor reputation for field curvature, etc.

the tops and bases of buldings and people are not sharp at wide-angle settings unless they are specifically focussed on, and then-even centre-frame the image, however well-focussed does not convince- reality is not resolved.

Aghast, I phoned Nikon, only to be told they were not surprised as it is not recommended on a D800?D800E at all in any case- its not in their list.

This means of course that it is unsuitable for ANY full-frame Nikon-as full-frame is full-frame, and results are visibly obviously no food on a D700 as well.

No 24xxx zoom I have tried is-from Nikon. Including two 24-70mm f2.8s I purchased new with similar results due again to field curvature.

At higher shutter speeds the VR makes things even worse-kinking straight lines at a 1/500th and curving them at a 1/250th and below. It is good only at a 60th and below on my sample-which I returned for a refund.

In the UK even at the now lower price of £425 it is still double the cost of it predecessor secondhand, really not as "economical" as it is billed.

£520 for a "kit" lens? Really!

Registered: August 2012
Posts: 2
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by Saldahna
Review Date: 8/28/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $590.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and just the right size for a D7000
Cons: Bokeh is better on 24 - 70 / 2.8 but for more than double the price !!

I've tested the 24-70 /2.8 and this Lens. If you want to shoot professional portraits you will have to go for the 24-70, but I was surprised by the sharpness and picture quality of this consumer Lens. Far better than the 18-200 ED VR which I was using most of the time. I've tested this lens on a D7000 without the VR the pictures are even sharper if your hand is not shaking. So I normally work without VR but it is a nice to have feature.
Reilly Diefenbach

Registered: July 2012
Posts: 1
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by Reilly Diefenbach
Review Date: 7/29/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $599.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and Light
Cons: None

If you are looking for a really good walkaround lens for your new D800e, this is it. It shows you all 36 MP through most of the frame. The VR works splendidly right down to about 1/20th. The 24mm setting is very good indeed. Minor corner CA, easily correctable. Some fairly heavy distortion at the ends, but can be tamed in Lightroom, etc. pretty well. Bokeh isn't bad. This is the "kit lens" of choice for the new hi res Nikons. Bravo!

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 2
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by dragoc
Review Date: 7/18/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 


Very sharp

Registered: July 2012
Posts: 5
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by thejohnz
Review Date: 7/14/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $599.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Very Sharp and light
Cons: None

I received my D800 in May and did various s shots with my prime lenses but was really missing a wide to telephoto zoom for this camera. I almost went for the 24-120 VR but then this lens was announced and I went for it. I have to say, I am glad I did.

I was able to do some tests with this lens with a variety of other Nikon lenses I own and here is the result of my tests (mainly looking at sharpness)

At 24mm, this lens was equal or better than the 14-24 from F4 through F11. It was better than the 24mm F2.8 D prime. We are talking center and corners!

At 50mm this lens was close to the 50mm F1.8, mostly lacking just a little in the corners.

At 70-85mm this lens was at its weakest (at least compared to the 70-200 F2.8 VRII) but still quite acceptable.

Color saturation and resistance to flare was very good. Distortion not so good but easily corrected for.

Combine this excellent sharpness with VR , light weight, and low price and you have a real winner here.

Registered: July 2012
Posts: 1
Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S Nikkor review by atomicmysteryweasel
Review Date: 7/11/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $599.99| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp; light, great range, vr
Cons: zoom is a bit stiff, made in China

This thing is sharp as a tack. At the same aperture settings I can tell no difference between this lens and my Nikon 24-70/2.8. Really.

Great color, light, I have been waiting for Nikon to come up with a good walk around casual lens for FX cameras and this is it. 80% of my shots are taken in this range, so for me this lens is perfect for street photography, weekend trips, vacation and family shots. With the VR I have been able to get shots hand held with shutter speeds as low as 1/4s . I absolutely LOVE this lens!

No lens is perfect however...the zoom ring is a bit stiff and there is some funky distortion especially at 24mm (which once the lens profiles for PS and Lightroom are updated will not be an issue for me at all).
I would highly recommend the lens.


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