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Archive 2012 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?
  
 
S Dilworth
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p.2 #1 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


sjms wrote:
it is a clutching mechanism not gearing. my 24-70 is looser then my 24-120 on the focus ring


There's a clutch, but there must also be gearing somewhere, because the focus ring turns faster than the distance scale.

The focus ring of the 24-70 mm f/2.8 is loose – too loose, in my opinion – but it's smooth and free from rotational play. The ring seems to be directly connected to the focusing elements and distance scale. Makes focusing a bit easier when using zoomed-in live view, although the throw is too short at longer focal lengths.



Nov 15, 2012 at 02:39 PM
aztwang1
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p.2 #2 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


Heck Monkey..I need'em all! I'm just on the fence about it. seems as a good alternative for a lighter walk around though the 24-70 has been a BIG workhorse of mine. Was not aware of play in Zoom ring. Thats primarily why I posted the question. Just wanted to hear real life feedback. BTW I just love the "Dust" image!! Incredible work!


Nov 16, 2012 at 09:48 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.2 #3 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


Thanks a lot, Don...you KNOW I was just givin' you a hard time.


Nov 16, 2012 at 11:24 AM
S Dilworth
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p.2 #4 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


aztwang1 wrote:
Was not aware of play in Zoom ring.


The play I noticed was in the focus ring, not the zoom ring. If you use autofocus you’ll never notice it. Even if you notice it, you might not care. I’d definitely recommend you check it yourself. Most people, like sjms, don’t seem to mind.

I did manage to find a review that mentions the play (search the page for the word “slacks”). He says it was 2 mm; the play I observed was definitely less than that, so maybe there is sample variation.

Here’s a conflicting opinion that states the build quality is “rock solid”.



Nov 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Uzay
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p.2 #5 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


I own 24-70 and owned 24-120 f/4 for me, 24-70 has no replacement yet, this is my personal experience.


Nov 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM
RRRoger
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p.2 #6 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


This is NAS speaking. Of course you do!

You should also Buy all the F/4 lens including:
16-35
24-120
70-200 (new) must have!
200
300
200-400
500
600

You know you want/need them, don't try to resist, you must have them all.



Nov 16, 2012 at 05:01 PM
davidnholtjr
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p.2 #7 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


aztwang1 wrote:
I have been contemplating the 24-120 F4. I currently have a 14-24, 24-70 a 85.1.4 70-300 4.5 and a 105 2.8 in the 24-120 focal range. I would use it shooting PJ stuff as well a sports lens for say end-zone coverage. I do like he idea of covering the whole 24-120 in one lens and it's a bit more compact. I realize
I would not have a real shallow DOF. Iv'e also seen this lens used by Bill Frakes as a portrait lens with pleasing results. Thought I would ask ya'll that actually shoot this lens with your thoughts.
Thanks!
Don



It's worth having even though you have the FL's covered because it's a really handy lens to have. It's pretty much glued to my D700.



Nov 16, 2012 at 06:48 PM
geniousc
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p.2 #8 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?



it is a clutching mechanism not gearing. my 24-70 is looser then my 24-120 on the focus ring

I don't know if clutching mechanism is the proper term at least in the MF part. Clutch's connect and disconnect like Tokina. It's indirect drive of some sort for sure. There is a definite speed reduction going on.

gene



Nov 17, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Alan321
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p.2 #9 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


For my hand-held high ISO work the 24-120 f/4 VR replaced by 24-70 f/2.8 completely because I needed the VR more than I needed the f/2.8. I was usually looking for more DOF rather than less but running into a shutter speed limit that could only be fixed with higher ISO. That was with my D3s. I haven't tried since I got my D800E.

However, at apertures f/8 or smaller you start to lose some of the D800 resolution goodness. At high ISO you lose the dynamic range goodness. Depending on the situation I may actually be better off with my D3s than my D800 at high ISO. The main consideration is whether the extra details in the brighter areas are more (D800 wins) or less (D3s wins) significant than the details in the darker areas

That aside, you will find test reports that indicate zones of crappy resolution from the 24-120. It varies with the tests, indicating that it is actually more likely to be a combined distance / focal length / aperture issue than just a focal length / aperture issue. At the distances you shoot the 24-120 might be better than the tests would indicate. Or it might not. The 24-70 seems to be more consistent and of course the f/2.8 helps improve the AF in poor light. I can't give you a definitive opinion because too often I pushed my luck too far while climbing steep hills and didn't get enough shutter speed to overcome my wobbles. Therefore I don't know how well the lens was performing relative to its best results.

On balance you will find many situations where the 24-120 is useful, but it is not universally better than using the 24-70. Especially if you can or must use flash.


Consider this. If the only reason you want the 24-120 is for the extra FL range then perhaps you don't really need it when the D800 is giving you so many extra pixels. You still get about as many pixels on a subject at 70mm as you would with a 12 MPx camera using 120mm. If you need VR then it's obvious that the 24-70 is the wrong lens, by definition. If you need f/2.8 then the 24-120 is the wrong lens by definition.

- Alan



Nov 17, 2012 at 07:52 PM
sjms
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p.2 #10 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?




I don't know if clutching mechanism is the proper term at least in the MF part. Clutch's connect and disconnect like Tokina. It's indirect drive of some sort for sure. There is a definite speed reduction going on.

gene


there are more then a few clutching mechanism designs out and about. remember when you reach the focus limits (stops) you can still freely continue as it allows movement in either end to continue with a slight increase in drag.



Nov 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM
 

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LifeWitness
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p.2 #11 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


Tough call for me on this lens. I like it well enough that if I only bring one zoom lens it is the one I bring. If I carry two lenses, which I usually do, then I take the 24-70/70-200 instead. I like the convenience of the range and VR and find the quality pretty darn good. Not quite as good as my 24-70 but quite a bit better than the 28-300 I borrowed for an afternoon. I thought once I got this lens I would keep it or the 24-70. Once I started using it I decided I needed them both. If I were on a tighter budget or had never used the 24-70 I would be very happy with the 24-120.

Mike



Nov 18, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Game Changer
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p.2 #12 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


MRM4 wrote:
I had one for a little bit and must have had a bad copy. I got a lot of dark corners on night time, flash shots. I ended up selling it. I borrowed one from borrowlenses.com just to see if I wanted to go back to it. I must have gotten a better copy from them because I didn't have the issues with the dark corners on their lens as I did with the one I had. I almost got another one, but decided to go with the 28-300 for now. If it doesn't work out, then I still may
...Show more


I had the exact issue, except the vignetting was also very evident with low-light shots too. I have the 28-300 and it is my go-to walkaround lens on my FX bodies.



Nov 18, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Sambru
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p.2 #13 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


Mine was awesome on my D3s as well as on the D800.


Nov 21, 2012 at 04:58 AM
colincarter46
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p.2 #14 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


No Mercy wrote:
I had the exact issue, except the vignetting was also very evident with low-light shots too. I have the 28-300 and it is my go-to walkaround lens on my FX bodies.



ive seen comments regarding the 28-300 being as good as the 24-120 so whats the point in the 24-120?

this is hard for me to agree with as zooms over about 5x were historically not very good but im prepared to be proven wrong as a 28-300 would be a great range for the use i want it for.

since i mainly use primes in this low range, i normally pair my 24 F1.4 and the 35 F1.4 with the 70-200VR and they give me the absolute ultimate quality so im interested in the 28-300 as a keep in the bag emergency lens like when im wading in rivers where i cant change lenses.

I had the 24-70 and then the 24-120 and sold them both because the IQ is nowhere near the primes but i miss the versatility sometimes so im looking at getting either the 24-120 or the 28-300.



Nov 21, 2012 at 08:12 AM
S Dilworth
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p.2 #15 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


colincarter46 wrote:
ive seen comments regarding the 28-300 being as good as the 24-120 so whats the point in the 24-120?


I’d take such comments with a pinch of salt. Besides, the 28-300 mm isn’t ‘as good as’ the 24-120 mm in some important ways, which alone would make the latter lens useful to some users because:
• it has a 24 mm focal length (i.e. an ‘ultra-wide’ angle of view)
• it has a constant aperture (or f-number, to speak precisely), which is a great convenience for studio flash work or event coverage with manual exposure for shot-to-shot consistency
• it has a faster aperture across much of the shared focal lengths



Nov 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM
woos
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p.2 #16 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


S Dilworth wrote:
There's a clutch, but there must also be gearing somewhere, because the focus ring turns faster than the distance scale.

The focus ring of the 24-70 mm f/2.8 is loose – too loose, in my opinion – but it's smooth and free from rotational play. The ring seems to be directly connected to the focusing elements and distance scale. Makes focusing a bit easier when using zoomed-in live view, although the throw is too short at longer focal lengths.


It's not so much that there is a difference of clutch, gearing, etc...but...as far as I can tell, a completely different motor type. But yeah you are right, in what you said, the 24-70mm is directly connected and the 24-120mm is not...has to do with the motor type as far as I can tell.

The 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 14-24mm (I think), 16-35mm, and the super tele lenses have real ultrasonic ring motors in them, like most of the canon USM lenses.

The 24-120mm, the 24 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 28-300mm, and some others... have micro-USM motors, similar to Canon's 50mm 1.4 lens. Why Nikon chooses to go with that type of focusing even in some of the expensive primes, I am not sure. Perhaps it saves a lot of space, who knows. But I believe that is why. Look up how the 50mm 1.4 Canon lens gives full time manual. There is so much going on that there will be some play. The tolerances and gaps in things will build up going one way, so when you reverse directions there will be some slack.

Just my opinion and best guess.



Nov 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM
S Dilworth
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p.2 #17 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


The 24-120 mm f/4G does have a smaller side-mounted motor, but the previous 24-120 mm f/3.5-5.6G had a ring-type motor and there was still a reduction ratio between the focusing ring and the distance scale.

The 16-35 mm f/4G has a side-mounted motor too, by the way. The rest of your list is accurate.

I suspect the main benefit isn’t space (on the contrary, surely, since the side-mounted motor dictates a fat barrel?), but lower production costs, possibly better reliability, and lower repair costs – both because the motor can be replaced with less work, and because the motor costs much less.



Nov 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM
kovairaja99
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p.2 #18 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


I own both Nikon 24-70 2.8 and 24-120 f4 VR.. and I intend to keep them both for the varying strengths they offer..

Nikon 24-70

I use it for portraiture work whenever I need faster focus.. slightly sharper image, can use flash for faster shutter speeds handheld..

24-120

Use it for walk around landscape photography.. VR Is very good and is handy when you are not shooting with a tripod and have a CPL on that cuts down another stop or 2 light stops.. and my copy is as sharp as my 24-70 upto 100mm beyond which it gets slightly soft which is when I mount my 70-200..

Just buy it.. If you need a good walk around lens with lots of flexibility

Edited on Jan 28, 2013 at 06:15 PM · View previous versions



Jan 26, 2013 at 04:13 AM
sonofjesse2010
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p.2 #19 · Nikon 24-120 F4...Do I need one?


I thought about getting this lens, the 5.6 is very affordable this lens not so much. I say 24-105mm Canon's go for 650-750 all the time used and GREAT shape. Nikon wants a bit much for this lens I think and the reviews are always MEH. If it was 2.8 and VR I would pick it up. I think the Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 IS/VR lens is more what I"m going ot save up for.


Jan 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM
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