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Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D AF

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Reviews Views Date of last review
10 75194 Mar 23, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $250.99
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.71
9.00
8.5
1975NCP_180

Specifications:
Incredible 5x zoom is ideal for travel, landscape and portrait photography. This lens produces higher resolution photographs with excellent contrast thanks to Nikon's aspheric element design. Internal focus maintains compact size.

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)


 


      
pc168
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Registered: Mar 9, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent sharpness on my D700. Good range when used in FF (but not attractive for DX bodies). Even though not equipped with Silent Wave Motor, AF speed is fast enough for car race focus tracking (this is a bonus).
Cons:
Zoom ring is a bit tight. Difficult to focus in low light. Still too heavy.

Sharpness is comparable to Canon 17-40L and 24-105L. Good color. Can't see any C/A. Some people say their 24-120 AFDs are not sharp, I believe they got copies with focus issue. To be honest, this AFD version is way sharper than the VR successor. As it struggles to focus in low light, I mainly use it during the day. All in all, its an excellent travel lens in terms of zoom range and sharpness. Just get a 35 F2 (or 50 1.4) when we need to shoot at night.

Mar 23, 2010
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wildframe
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Registered: Dec 27, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp corner to corner @ f/8 and above, good contrast, very little flare when sun in or near frame, nice bokeh @ 85mm wide-open.
Cons:
zoom creep sometimes when tilted down

Found this little beauty tucked away on a shelf at fotofile in Bangkok for $bht 8,800 (circa. $265 US). I was looking for a second-hand 35-70mm f/2.8 but decided to give it a look and boy am I glad I did. This is a great all-rounder on my D700. No de-centring and sharp into the very corners at f/8 (no corner USM required). Capture NX2 handles automatic correction of any distortion and chroma and with the high ISO of the D700 for all practical purposes this lens becomes a no-compromise lens for GP photography.

Samples:

Daylight mid-range wide shot 24mm f/8 (accutance sample)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_UVD7yvGRFjA/SyedBw-AL6I/AAAAAAAAEDA/SSWS02sP5NE/DSC_0077.jpg

Late afternoon shot into sun 24mm f/22 fill-flash (flare/ghosting/contrast handling example)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_UVD7yvGRFjA/Syed6xBEXeI/AAAAAAAAEDY/B-KV4jVqenE/DSC_0175.jpg

Daylight mid-range shot 48mm f/11 fill-flash (accutance sample)
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_UVD7yvGRFjA/SzNq8DLLR1I/AAAAAAAAEO8/N0nEY-j2Up8/DSC_0881.JPG

Daylight short-tele shot 98mm f/11 (accutance sample)
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_UVD7yvGRFjA/SzNrSKAEsCI/AAAAAAAAEPg/vpKrLwh1Clg/DSC_0916.JPG

Daylight short-range wide shot 24mm f/3.5 fill-flash (wide-open accutance sample)
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_UVD7yvGRFjA/SzNrLLfO3ZI/AAAAAAAAEPY/WWHZVZ4_G0k/DSC_0904.JPG

Night mid-tele shot 120mm f/8 fill-flash (bokeh sample)
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_UVD7yvGRFjA/SxkuQ55NZTI/AAAAAAAADhs/4Q2wLQzOQXA/DSC_0317.JPG

NOTE 1: According to the MTF data the bokeh should be best at 85mm wide-open.

Note 2: All samples were shot as JPEG fine and processed in Picasa i.e. these samples are not the best they could have been had they been shot in RAW and processed in Capture NX2.

So if you see one of these sitting on a shelf in some second-hand camera shop give it a try, sample variations aside, it just might suprise you Smile


Dec 27, 2009
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Gary_O
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Registered: Mar 28, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 66
Review Date: Apr 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $199.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: The build on this lens is excellent. It is up to Nikons Standard of its better lens quality.
Cons:
If any negatives are to found I would only mention it is a little slow focusing. as for all the other items people mention I do not know if they are just bunch of Lemmings or there is a quality control issue in this lens but mine is a good version.

As for the statement for the lense being soft and not sharp, I can tak most of my Nikon lenses other than my 14-24 and magnify the corners and softness at wide open apertures. no lens pperforms will there normally. this lens very acceptably even there for my taste. The VR feature is a big help in capturing those picture in the early morning and the early evening as the light is not as it should be to get the speed to shot as fast as shutter as speed as we would like. all and all on a full frame camera like my D700 I really like this lens as my main walkabout lens. I am currently trying a 28-200G lens also for full light times.

Apr 11, 2009
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kool100vr4
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Registered: Apr 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $175.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Good build, good price.
Cons:
not really a sharp lens, distortion at wide.

I got this Nikon 24-120mm non VR version. I used it for about a year on my Fuji S2 pro, i shot with this lens about 2,000 shots on the trip to Asia. After the trip i had to worked on 95% of the pictures in Fotoshop just tried to make images look sharper, i finally sold it..its not a sharp lens, slow focus, stiff focus zoom ring, hunts in dark, its an ok lens for some one who dont know any better on lenses.
I replaced it with Tamron 24-135mm a much better lens, images are very sharp, so sharp..Tamron is a better buy. one of my sharp lens.
My brother also sold his Nikon 24-120mm VR lens too, he wasnt happy with its sharpness either.
Cheers.


Aug 19, 2007
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photopus
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Registered: Jun 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: It has a wonderful zoom range, is acceptably sharp. Probably the greatest travel lens available.
Cons:
Rotating front element is a pain if you shoot split neutral density &/or polorizing filters. Lens is somewhat subject to flare when shooting towards the sun.

I purchased my copy of this lens early on from a Nikon sales rep. after spending 3 months on my normal suppliers waiting list, so I probably paid too much for it. It has a wonderful zoom range, is acceptably sharp. A great travel lens.
I'll disagree with "Wet Dog's" comment regarding the G version however, which is a significant improvement over the 'D' in several regards. This difference, I suspect, is due to the fact that I shoot 100% film bodies rather than digital bodies which only use the central portion of the lens objective, & primarily outdoors rather than under studio conditions.
The lenses rotating front element is a pain if you shoot split neutral density &/or polorizing filters. The Lens is also somewhat subject to flare when shooting towards the sun. Both of these drawbacks have been overcome in the 'G' version, which, (again on film bodies), is somewhat sharper than the 'D'. This may be due to the steadier handholding provided by the G's VR function.


Jul 23, 2006
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Wet Dog
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Registered: Nov 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $379.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent sharpness - Excellent color rendition - Good focal range - Well Balanced ** Superior to the latest Silent Wave version
Cons:
I wish it had better Macro capabilities.

I purchased this lens specifically for its sharpness and it has not disappointed me. Excellent image quality, probably the best Nikkor lens in this range to hit the market in the last 10 years.

Overall I have been very critical of the quality of Nikkor lenses in the last years, but this is the exception. It quickly became my main lens and I use it for 95% of all studio work. Nikon had an excellent thing going with this lens but once again they decided to mess it up and discontinue it just to replace it with the latest and inferior silent wave version.

It is a handy, lightweight and convenient lens. I only wish it had better macro capabilities and that the zoom would not push so much air through the barrel. I have quickly learned to zoom with moderate speed instead of slamming it from 120 to 24 in order to avoid dust from getting to the CCD, this has worked very well.

No complaints either on the construction quality. It holds up very well under constant professional use. I love the fact that I can shoot at f38 with it at 120mm with the Fuji S2 & S3.


Nov 1, 2005
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Charles Loy
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Registered: May 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1463
Review Date: Aug 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The images are very sharp and the color is fantastic.
Cons:
I have had 3 of there lenses, and this is the only one I have been pleased with. This lens zoom ring turns backwards from my other Nikkors.

I have traded into 2 of these lenses before I bought this particular lens. The other two were so-so but not good enough for me to use.
Recently I was at a local shop and the owner was trying to sell off all his remaining Nikon gear. This lens was new old stock and had never been removed from the box. Price was $569. I mentioned it may be a good lens, but I would only be interested if it was $250. He instantly accepted my offer, so I bought the lens. To my surprise, it is fantastic! This is the only lens I own that has a floating f-stop, all my lenses are professional Nikkors. Honestly, this lens stands right in there and makes wonderful images. Best $250 I have ever spent on a zoom lens. Search and try them out until you get a good one.


Aug 2, 2005
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Review Date: May 13, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extreme zoom range is most useful. I find mine very sharp, especially on a D100 using the center portion. Nikon is about to re-release this lens in a VR version.
Cons:
It is what it is. While it would be nice to have a larger aperture there is no alternative so I can't call that a fault.

The 24-120 has been my prime lens ever since it came out and I've found little need for anything else. Every picture I've posted on this website (except one of the moon) was done with this lens on a N70 body, an F-100 body and now a D100 body. I haven't used other lenses so I can't say how it compares, but I find no faults with it and can't wait to get my hands on the VR version when available.

May 13, 2003
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iket
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 1034
Review Date: Apr 10, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Compact
Cons:
Soft on DSLRs

I sold this lens a while back. My copy was very soft.

Apr 10, 2003
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camerapapi
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Registered: Oct 15, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4776
Review Date: Apr 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range is very useful for travelers. Very sharp lens. Compact.
Cons:
Internal focus gone when you zoom. Slightly soft but acceptable at 120 with large openings.

The lens was given to me as a present. The person that gave it to me did not like the 5.6 opening which was found "inadecuate" for low light shooting. When given to me there was a mistmatch, lack of communication between the lens and my F-100 and in addition the AF at 24 and 28mm was not working properly. I sent the lens for repairs and the problem was a misalignment of apertures and the focus needed adjustment in addition to the cleaning of elements ($128.50).
I consider the lens to be very sharp although I heard reports to the contrary. I have used for over 2 years in the studio and for landscape photography and the results have been outstanding. Flare has not been a problem with my lens nor has been excessive distortion at the wide angle settings.
My portraits at 85mm f8 are as sharp as those of the 105mm f2.5 at the same lens opening. AF has been very fast and accurate. Sharpness, color and contrast are superb. A joy when traveling and you can take only one lens.
I recommend this lens.
William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.


Apr 3, 2003
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Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D AF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
10 75194 Mar 23, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $250.99
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.71
9.00
8.5
1975NCP_180