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Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR

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Reviews Views Date of last review
43 124891 May 27, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
72% of reviewers $510.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.33
7.87
7.8
2145NCP_180

Specifications:
New cosmetic design
Exclusive Silent Wave Motor enables ultra-high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful super-quiet operation
VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed 3 stops faster at 120mm
2 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements for minimized chromatic aberration
G Type DX Nikkor is designed exclusively for use with Nikon SLR models where aperture is controlled from body
Nikon D-Type design provides precise distance information for flash and ambient light exposure processes
2 Aspherical lens element for low distortion
Internal Focus (IF) design for smoother focusing and great body balance
Rounded diaphragm to make out-of-focus elements appear more natural
First Nikon wide-angle zoom lens with Vibration Reduction (VR)
Compact and lightweight
Fully compatible with D1X, D1H, D100, F5, F100, N80, N75 and N65

Filter Size 77mm
f/Stop Range 4-22
Minimum Focus Distance 1.5' (0.45m)
Magnification Not Specified by Manufacturer
Angle of View 84 to 2030' (61 to 1320' in DX-format)
Groups/Elements 13/17
Length 4.1" (103mm)
Maximum Diameter 3.3" (84mm)
Weight 23.6 oz (670g)


 


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svx94
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 657
Review Date: May 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Light, effective VR
Cons:
IQ, edge sharpness

I used Canon's 17-85IS on 20D, this Nikon 24-120VR on my Nikon D700 performs at about the same level, with very similar issues of edge sharpness and distortion. But for a reasonable price, you get a good walkaround lens with effective VR, and it is still not a bad deal.

May 27, 2009
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Skyehigh
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Registered: Jan 10, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 201
Review Date: Mar 18, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Light , price and build , range
Cons:
very soft

Was used to Canon 24-105 so this was a shock . Not sharp at all

Mar 18, 2009
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pointcolville
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Registered: Jun 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 25, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Compact, WA to tele on FX body, VR is effective
Cons:
Soft, veiling flare, CA

I have owned two copies of this lens, with comparable performance. VR helps mitigate the small aperture when the lens is ratcheted out. This is a handy, compact lens but it produces soft images. In backlit situations veiling flare wipes out contrast.

Oct 25, 2008
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abarkow
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Registered: Sep 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 199
Review Date: Jun 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: VR, Sharp, Lightweight, AF-S
Cons:
Not really an indoor lens. This lens needs light (what lens doesn't?)

I bought this as general purpose lens for use on a D3. I was initially skeptical to purchase due to many negative reviews, but I noticed that most of these negative reviews were based on a DX body. Since I purchased with a generous return policy, I decided to take the plunge and give it a whirl.

On the D3, this lens is a stellar performer. It is sharp throughout the entire range. This lens is not fast glass and is not at it's best in low light even on the D3. You definitely need flash when working under low light with the 24-120mm to get top performance. However, give it some decent light and the lens is a shining star. The color and contrast is very good. I am very happy with this lens and it's a definite keeper


Jun 2, 2008
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fkhfineart
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Registered: Feb 16, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 377
Review Date: Apr 28, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: It would be ultimate DX lens if it would be better. There is no comparable range so it is probably best allround DX lens if you need that extra reach (over 85mm) with yet worse quality. The comparable alt lenses including 50-150 Sigma are worse.
Cons:
Price/performance bad. Softer than 24-85 or all others. At 120mm even softer than 55-200 VR at 120mm

I bought this lens to just try because there is no closer "80-200 replacement for DX" in Nikon offering. I was very disappointed and send it to Nikon check if it was intended to be like that.
It came back saying it is indeed ok, so i sold it the day later.

VR really works but lens is too soft to be for any benefit.
If you need some "so so" lens for backup camera, family trips when big lenses gotta stay at home, get 18-200 instead.

Nikon, give us 50-150 lens with 80-200 quality!


Apr 28, 2008
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Darrell Mosele
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Registered: Nov 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 28, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $459.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: VR
Cons:
Very very soft

I had this lens for about one year and bought it new with my D200. I could not get a sharp pic and thought it was the camera. Actually sent the camera into Nikon for a checkup and found nothing wrong.
I really wanted to like this lens. The build quality is excellent but the lens is very soft. After reading many reviews I found the same issue in most of the reviews.
Sorry, but I would not recommend based on its softness.


Nov 28, 2007
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Matt Hancock
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Registered: Sep 20, 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 20, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

Pros: Reasonably priced, good range, very good build quality, VR.
Cons:
NOT sharp.

I bought this as a replacement for the D40 kit lens (DX 18-55). The 'tests' I did at the shop looked promising....

However, after a few weeks with the lens I have yet to get a sharp picture. Sharpness is worse than the kit lens.

Now, at this point I thought I had bought a dud, so I rang around, and respected camera stores in New Zealand had the following to say "we have had the odd soft one" and "the ones we have had are never sharp". Perhaps New Zealand is Nikon's dumping ground for bad lense?

I really like everything about theis lens APART from the images it gives. I'm taking it back to the store and swapping for a AFS 18-135, hoping for a big improvement.


Sep 20, 2007
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Charlie Lemak
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Registered: Aug 18, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Reasonably priced, fairly solid for a lens with a good deal of plastic. Quality optics that produce sharp images across the range, as long as you dial in the right aperture setting. VR functions esceptionally well.
Cons:
Not as sharp as some prime lenses, but then I know of few tele's that are.

As many others have stated, I bought this while waiting for my 18-200 VR to arrive. During that time I became attached to this lens. For professional work I ususally use one of my primes or my 80-200mm F/2.8D, but for walking around, candids, and some sports work, it's what I use most of the time.

I finally received my 18-200mm VR, so you might ask why I don't use the 18-200 instead. Unfortunately, I just don't see the advantage because with the 18-200 at the 18-24mm range I get a lot of CA, and at the 200mm range I get fuzzy images, so I ended up using the 18-200 mostly within the 24-180mm range. Well duh! My 24-120 practically covers that range with the same quality, and if I to push out to 200mm I use my 80-200mm or old 70-210mm for their sharper resolution. I've decided to sell the 18-200mmVR and buy a 12-24mm instead. I understand there is little or no CA using this lens, so I should be covered.

Bottom line if you want a versatile, quality telephoto lens the 24-120mm VR is a great deal. Buy it! It's at least as good if not better than the 18-200mm VR. One caveat, if you're only shooting film, the CA may not be a problem on the 18-200. I've sold all my film eq so I can't really say.

Finally, I've noticed a lot of used 24-120's showing up at under $400. on the used market. When I talk to people they say they are selling to get what they think is going to be their 18-200mm "miracle lens."

Hey, just my humble opinion. Maybe I should submit some photos so you can see the difference in the two lenses.



Aug 18, 2007
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grimesh
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Registered: May 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 494
Review Date: Jul 1, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $489.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: VR for low light (it's not a very fast lens). Decent range for travel photography.
Cons:
VERY soft, prone to distortion. All my shots are noticeably soft and several are very distorted.

I opted for this lens after taking my name off the waiting list for the 18-200VR. Big mistake, I should have waited. I have used this lens in a variety of situations and I am constantly disappointed by the softness. Most recently I traveled with it through China and when I returned home I become more and more angry as I edited the shots.

I admit I could have a bad copy, and the lens has potential. Still, I plan to sell it.


Jul 1, 2007
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odium
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Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 334
Review Date: May 6, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Vr(although I don't use it much, as my targets move more than me) decent build, fixed and sealed back that doesnt push dust into the sensor.
Cons:
Some CA, a little soft, the 24-85 2.8- af performs better if you don't need the VR.

I don't own the copy, it's from the schools chest yet I didn't like it all that much. It may be the individual copy that may be the cause, Some CA and a tad soft, but not a problem with non archival copies, would work with weddings and would be a good carry around

May 6, 2007
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nvrupnvrin
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Registered: Jan 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2858
Review Date: Jan 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Nice focal length, very usable throughout the entire range. Sharp with good color / contrast. Nice fast and accurate focus. The VR works nicely.Very impressed
Cons:
None so far.



This is a great all around lens in the Nikon lineup. I purchased mine right here on the forum for a respected member. I still rated high on the "price" scale even though I bought mine pre-owned. I would still go out tomorrow and buy this lens brand new, knowing what I know after using it for awhile.
Look at the positives, and then the negatives. This lens is a great value. It really is a do-all walk around lens. Much better preformance and IQ than some of the reviews that this lens have been given. I really believe that sometimes it is confused with the non-VR version.


Jan 24, 2007
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birdgal
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Registered: Jul 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good size for carry-around, light weight for size, VR
Cons:
Somewhat soft at 24mm

I bought this lens in March 2005, after waiting on a list for the 17-55mm DX VR lens. I wanted something besides my 105mm micro lens to take with me to the desert. After reading Moose Peterson's review of this lens (note: he has since switched to the 17-55mm DX VR), I decided to give it a try. I never took this lens off my D100 during the two weeks I spent at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park! It is just great for carrying while hiking and capturing that reptile or butterfly that stops briefly then moves on. This lens zooms in so far that I even used it for plant close-ups. And, I cannot say enough about VR....this camera sold me so much on VR that I bought the new 105mm AF-S VR lens. I have since passed the D100 on to my husband, but the 24-120mm AF-S VR lens came with me and is now the main lens I use on my D200. If I could only use one lens on my camera, it would be this one!

Sep 22, 2006
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Ivo Heshusius
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Registered: Dec 24, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 656
Review Date: Aug 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light, VR works wonderfull, versatility, fast focus
Cons:
Filtersize (72 mm)

For the record: it's manufactured in Japan and I bought this glass second hand.

My first step into the world of VR and I must admit it's a very decent performer on both D100 and D1X. Pictures look very sharp when printed although not as sharp as primes (1.4 50mm).

After using it for a while I can say this lens has become my main-lens on my D1X for 90% of my shots - with and without flash.

Ok, it's not build-like-a-tank like the 70-200 VRII but since I am very carefull with my equipment and will not go to battlefields for PJ-work I think I can live with that Wink

I can recommend this lens to anyone!


Aug 3, 2006
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Jimee
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Registered: May 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 102
Review Date: Jun 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $496.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast and quiet AF-S, VR is nice. Great walkaround.
Cons:
Focus ring a little too tight for my liking.



Jun 30, 2006
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Archimago
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Registered: May 14, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice build, minimal vignetting on current model dSLR's, totally flare resistant on my D70! Ready for full frame and useful on film cams. Very good optics.
Cons:
Pure APC dSLR shooters should definately consider DX 18-200VR also...

Was out looking for a decent carry-around lens for travel and was initially not going to consider this lens after reading all the so-so and negative reports. As it turns out, I managed to get my hands on a 18-200 VRII for testing at a local shop and was disappointed by the build quality for the price... Even at the MSRP price point (not to mention crazy eBay markups), I wasn't completely comfortable with the distortions, lens creep, and "feel" of that lens. Also, I was concerned about the usability of the images at extremes around 18mm and 200mm so figured if I bought it, I probably would rarely use that range unless really forced to!

Anyhow, disappointed, I then took a look at the 24-120 VR. It's 2/3 the price, allows full frame coverage for my film cam, and for a 5X zoom, image quality really quite good - except at 24mm wide open in which case make sure to stop down a notch or two. I've now settled on this along with the Tokina 12-24 for all my travels with the D70.

Lens contrast is really quite good (again watch out for 24mm wide open), nice slightly "warm" Nikon color rendition to my eyes, and no problems with sharpness here. VR works very well in lower light with static objects (obviously) - a slight click is audible when it's engaged and disengaged to let you know it's there. SLW focuses fast and quiet (about same as the D70 kit 18-70 DX). Resolution is excellent unless you pixel peep (no zoom lens can compete with the primes here obviously). Focuses at 50mm distance for decent macro shots.

Summary:
Good travel lens for both dSLR and film bodies where it'll live 90% of the time (also recommend a Tokina 12-24 f4 for those architectural and landscape shots on travels [BTW, the Tokina can be used full frame from 18-24mm in a pinch!]). I'm keeping this guy for the inevitable full-frame dSLR's (the next step up from my D70 IMHO). Looking forward to more lower light portraits with a zoom thanks to VR!


PS: Copy reviewed is a newer production of this lens, serial number 400xxx, still made in Japan.


Jun 25, 2006
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oriwo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, fast AF, well bulit (higher middleclass)
Cons:
20mm would be better for APS-C

I tested two pieces of this lens for nearly one year with a D70 and I was disappointed by them. They were soft and contrast was very low.

A college of mine made a new test with the D200 and I was very suprised by his pictures. Sharp, good contrats. Only at 24mm an f3,5 it is very soft. on the other whole range one stop down it is very good. To verify this test we made ist again with a D2X with the same results.

So this lens is now my favourite walk around lens. A perfect addition to the 4/12-24mm and 80-400 VR. Hope there will be an AF-S 70-300 VR at Photokina in september.


Jun 15, 2006
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Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
43 124891 May 27, 2009
Recommended By Average Price
72% of reviewers $510.18
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.33
7.87
7.8
2145NCP_180


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