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Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF AF

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Reviews Views Date of last review
20 90834 Jan 24, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $457.08
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.00
8.24
8.1
1929NCP_180

Specifications:
Wide to telephoto 3.5x zoom lens ideal for landscape, full length portraits, travel and portrait photographs

Maximum Reproduction Range (R:R) at 85mm is (1:2) Life Size

Filter attachment does not rotate during focusing or zooming

Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture at 24m setting is ideal for available light shooting or Slow/Rear flash sync techniques


 


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wolfbreath
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Registered: Feb 4, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 24, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Versatile mid range. Macro capability. Great image quality. Sharp. Light weight. Close focus capability.
Cons:
Plastic. No VR. Vignetting is a little heavy.

The Good: It's 2013, there are a plethora of mid-range zoom lens options, and some of them cost an arm and a leg. I found this used for $300 and gave it a shot. In a nutshell, I feel like this and the VR (3.5-4.5) versions are the most well balanced options. Compared to a couple of other zooms I owned in the past, this is actually the sharpest. It's not too bulky or heavy. Great for travel or general purpose. So far, I have no complaints about image quality, even at the wide end. It's distortion is much more controlled than some other wide angle lenses I've tried in comparison.

The Bad: It's 2013, and this lens was engineered about a decade or so ago, so it's showing its age. Not a great option for all. No AF-S motor, VR, special glass, or coating. Wouldn't recommend it for free hand videography. This lens is made out of high quality plastics, but feels like it'll damage easily if dropped.

The Ugly: Lens hood casts a shadow when using pop up flash. I recommend using an external flash unit.

Basically I'm happy with this lens. I use it on an FX camera and I'm pleased. I would recommend it for this price for a general purpose lens. There are better options for sure, but it'll cost ya.


Jan 24, 2013
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Jason Kim
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Registered: Nov 15, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 114
Review Date: Sep 28, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good range for full framers. Usable at wide open. Gets sharp closed one stop. Useful macro mode.
Cons:
Distortion at wide end. Soft when subject is back-lit (flare).

This lens is surprisingly sharp through out the focal range once stopped down a stop. Reasonable build quality for a consumer grade zoom. No creeps. Almost perfect vacation lens due to size, focal range and image quality. This lens is my most used lens on D3s. However, with release of 24-120/4 VR, I cannot recommend this lens today.


Sep 28, 2010
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jbirdfl
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Registered: Jan 25, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Apr 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: nice zoom range for everyday lens, fast enough to be useful, closeup mode (macro?)
Cons:

I bought this lens specifically for a "space-limited" extended trip I went on. A few times I wished it had a little longer upper end, but overall it did what it was supposed to. It has a good wide-angle for scenics, and the short telephoto worked well for people shots. Though I wouldn't consider this a true macro, it did focus more closely than anything else I had researched in this zoom range (and I used it!).
Jack of all trades, master of none. Other lenses are sharper, built better, go wider, longer, or closer, but none "did it all" as well as this one. A great "walk around" lens for full frame cameras.


Apr 24, 2010
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Jonathan F
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Registered: Oct 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 412
Review Date: Dec 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light and Compact. Built in Macro is handy.
Cons:
Non AF-S lens. Would be nice if it had VR.

This lens serves as a good intermediate lens between the consumer grade small aperture zooms and the expensive constant 2.8 pro zooms. While an older design, this lens really has no competition in the Nikon lens lineup. The real practical benefit of this lens is the 2.8 aperture on the wide end. This really makes a difference in focusing speed and it's ability to lock on subjects when shooting in low light. It's fairly compact and light weight. It also produces very sharp pictures and rich colors.

I do wish it was an AF-S lens though, but there aren't really much options when it comes to moderate priced Nikon FX medium zoom lenses. If you need a lens that is light/compact and has good low light focusing while on a budget, I recommend the 24-85 AF-D.


Dec 29, 2009
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AdrianGB
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Registered: Jul 9, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 87
Review Date: Nov 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: solid build, bright contrasty image, quick AF, good wide open
Cons:
Not much reall - maybe price, but it is very well built

Great all-in-one lens for walk around. It has a solid build and seems to be made of decent glass. The AF is quick and it rarely hunts. It produces crisp, sharp images, and you can use it without worrying even wide open. Great portraits with decent bokeh, but this comes into its own as a general high quality travelling lens.

The images have a nice bright colour which for me reduces processing for my travelling pics.

Thankfully a much lighter option to the 24-70 f2.8 for not much trade off in speed.


Nov 11, 2009
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bigbear1
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Registered: Jan 5, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 212
Review Date: Mar 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: I can't understand why this lens has gotten such a bad rap. I've had mine for about a year (bought it used) and have been satisfied with its performance on my D200/D300 bodies. I also use it on F100 when shooting film. It's sharp. has nice contrast and focuses fast enough for most situations. What more could you want?
Cons:
Wide angle isn't wide enough on DX bodies, but great for film bodies. I wish it were a solid f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, but I can't really complain at this price. I may move p to the 24-70 f/2.8 if I decide to go FX in the future.

See my comments above under positive and negative aspects. It's a fine lens at a great price. It does the job without breaking the bank!

Mar 17, 2009
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nkphoto
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Registered: Jun 24, 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 21
Review Date: Feb 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: -Fast f/2.8 aperture@24mm -Sharp above f/4 -Compact & lightweight
Cons:
-Little soft at f/2.8 -Not AF-S, focusing could be faster -Flares easily -Slight barrel distortion

Good all-around lens on DX format bodies if you don't need the wider angle, a good lightweight alternative to the 24-70 f/2.8 on FX. This lens primarily lives on the front of my D2X and it focuses faster than any other non AF-S lens I've used. I've also used it on a D3 and had no issues with sharpness once the lens is closed down a stop to f/4. It does easily flare, and the barrel distortion is slightly noticeable on a full-frame camera, but not anything uncorrectable in post.

Feb 9, 2009
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svx94
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 657
Review Date: Jan 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Decent build for its price range, good macro performance
Cons:
soft at 24mm

I got it for D700, and feel the IQ at 24mm is not good enough for the FF body. I am upgrading to 24-70/2.8, which show much visible difference at 24mm.

The lens could be a good performer for APS-C body.

Although, it is not a 1:1 macro lens, it perform quite well and it is a big plus for this general purpose lens.


Jan 19, 2009
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ray_lam5
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Registered: Sep 18, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 71
Review Date: Jan 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: hmm not many, nice brokeh thats about it
Cons:
soft at all apertures, not really well built, slow focusing, slow in general... big and clunky for a slow lens

didnt enjoy my time with this old lens. I think it really shows its age, the kit lens puts this to shame... the brokeh was the nicest part of this lens and the colours were very warm, nice too so its not all bad but certainly much worse than a nikkor kit lens.

in comparison to say a 28-70L F2.8 i used to have on my canon this is really not too impressive, in fact i shouldnt even compare them.

Do yourself a favour and buy something with af-s...


Jan 18, 2009
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Dirk Hiemstra
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Registered: Nov 22, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open ! Nice colours, versatile macro setting 1:2, very nice bookeh through 9 blades diafragm
Cons:
No AF-S, no fixed aperture

The best kitlens I've ever had. Great for my portraitstyle of shooting. Even macro 1:2 is very usable. Really sharp wide open, top sharp one stop closed. Amazing Swiss Armee Knife. Fast for a non AF-S.

Jan 9, 2009
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muralin
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Registered: Dec 28, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Dec 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Cheap, light, macro capability, sharp in the range f8-f16
Cons:
On a Nikon D700, edges ultra soft at apertures wider than f8

i bought one for use with my D700. i plan to use it for landscape work. i find my copy very sharp between f8 and f22. between f2.8-f8, i find it very soft. may be its my copy. i plan to get a used 35-70f2.8 and keep one of the two.

Dec 30, 2008
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Joey Accardo
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Registered: Sep 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 340
Review Date: Oct 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, Macro Ability, Sharp, relatively fast, works on film
Cons:
Not really wide on a DX sensor, Build, light focusing

I love this lens plain and simple. I know for a fact that they vary from copy to copy though, as I have used three of them, and mine was the sharpest. This lens is awesome for general walk around and balances well on a D100 with or withour grip, as well as on a D50. I also feel that the color rendition is great as usual for a Nikkor. All in all I love this lens.

Oct 26, 2006
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williamkazak
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Registered: Jun 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 6301
Review Date: Jun 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $560.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great focal length-replaces a number of primes,fast F2.8 max. aperture,works indoors,macro mode.Great for film and digital.
Cons:
Obvious flare difficulties with backlit people pics,bulky,fat twist to zoom,not push-pull.

I have been using this lens for about two years or more mostly for weddings.I love prime lenses and I have used them for years with my F3's but when I bought my D70 I wanted an AF zoom for my first venture into AF.I had heard zooms had come a long way and this lens does not disappoint.
I needed a fast zoom,not too pricey,hand holdable, reasonably sharp for people pics and with very usable focal lengths for weddings.This 24-85mm is just right for weddings,especially indoors on a Nikon F6 or F100.On my digital D70 and D70s it is even more usable inside the house and I use it for the bride getting ready pics with both fim and digital cameras.It becomes a 35-120mm for all practical purposes on the digital Nikons but still retains the F2.8-F4 which is very usable indoors at the bride's home.It is great for pulling details in like the bride's earringss or necklace or the invitation closeup pic.
I am not happy with the fat twist to zoom on this lens because I have small hands and I prefer push-pull zooms.Also,outdoors flare is a problem even with the enclosed huge lens shade which I always leave on this lens.Outdoors,especially at the beach,I use the Nikon 35-105mm F3.5-4.5-AF-D on a Nikon D70.That lens is a push-pull type and controls the flare better than this lens does.I cannot use the 35-105 indoors,however because it is too slow being F3.5-4.5 but I bought it used at a great price and consider it an outdoor companion to my 24mm-85mm which I love.
When I eventually bought my D70s I bought the kit lens 18mm-70mm AF-G zoom.I am selling that lens to a friend who prefers it for weddings because he likes the wider 18-70.I like the faster 24-85 and the slightly longer reach.
The primes that I use with the 24-85 are now all AF Nikkors.They are 180mm F2.8,105mm Micro F2.8,50mm F1.4,35mm F2 and the 2omm F2.8.It now seems weird that I bought all of these after the 24-85mm zoom but that goes to show you that a zoom does not do everything,at least not at a wedding.The 180mm F2.8 is the ideal companion to the 24-85.It is easy to hand hold and to carry and the balance is great even on a bracket.The 20mm F2.8 is the wide companion to the 24-85mm zoom making it a nice three lens kit.At the reception where it can get dark,I use the 50mm F1.4,35mm F2 and 20mm F2.8 three lens kit and I put my zoom away.The 105mm F2.8 pulls in bridal details at a comfortable distance without intruding on the bride's space like the 24-85mm zoom but it is not absolutely necessary when you have the zoom.
When I line up large group shots I trust those three lenses,(20,35,50) over the zoom for their better sharpness and lack of flare.The 20mm F2.8 has more flare than the other two but not quite as much as the 24-85mm zoom.Holding a hand above the 20mm and the 24-85mm becomes necessary in backlit situations even with the recommended lens shades in place.
To sum it up;the pics are very pleasing with the 24-85 overall except outside in backlit situations.AF is good,especially with the F6,can work on film and digital.It is a great people lens with 24,35,50 and 85mm focal lengths all built right in.The penalty is higher flare levels,some bulk and a softer image(you don't want to see the pores of her face).You can walk around town with this lens too!


Jun 8, 2006
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signo
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Registered: Feb 1, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 1545
Review Date: May 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp and a great travel-portrait lens. I like the macro.
Cons:
Sometimes too slowly focusing. Other than that.



May 3, 2006
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dogenia
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Registered: Jan 5, 2002
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 146
Review Date: Jan 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros:
Cons:

I use this lens as my daily tool. I have shot anything from a funeral to sports to landscapes with this lens. No complaints on anything.



Jan 16, 2006
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Jeriann3
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Registered: Mar 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Dec 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Covers a nice zoom range; not too heavy, built in Macro feature really comes in handy. Very good performance on dSLRs.
Cons:
72mm... most of my other lenses are 77mm. Plastic-like, but still very nice handling.

I really enjoy the range of focal length this lens provides, and have used it both on film F100, and my digital SLRs, Fuji S1 & S2, D2h. A bonus is that it provides very good macro capability if you want to travel light and not take along a dedicated macro lens. I do see better macro results with my Sigma 105 EX, but you can stil achieve nice closeups with this single lense.

Focusing is fast and smooth, quiet. Len balances well with SLRs, and not too heavy handheld, but you still have something to grip onto.

This is a lens that always stays on my dSLR, in the bag, ready to go. Great all-around travel lens.


Dec 2, 2005
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Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF AF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
20 90834 Jan 24, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $457.08
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.00
8.24
8.1
1929NCP_180


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