What is your budget? Do you want a constant aperture f/2.8 zoom or a constant aperture f/4 fast enough? The top options from most expensive: New or Used Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S Used Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S New or Used Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED IF AF-S VR Used Nikkor AF-35-70mm f/2.8D Used Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/2.8 All of them are optically excellent or better. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I have a D700 as well, and I have a 28-70/2.8 AF-S, predecessor to the 24-70/2.8. I must say that I have followed a path opposite to yours: I jumped on a used 28-105D as soon as I saw one, because I wanted something small and light, smaller and lighter than the Beast. I have also tried a 24-85/3.5-4.5, used, bought from a Nikonian, which works great as a walk-around but has too much distortion for some of my shots, and the 28-105 is really better in that respect. Plus it has some "macro" or close-up capabilities that I really appreciate...
I don't know the 24-120 first-hand, but yes indeed, reports are excellent about the latest f/4 version of that lens, so I'd tend to give it a close look: excellent image and build qualities, VR, longer range... I don't know how close it can focus, though. But what I know is that f/2.8 is not a lot wider than f/4, and that the D700 has uncanny high-ISO capabilities (and it will be even better in the near future, it seems ). Oh, and it's cheaper than the 24-70, too!
So all in all, isn't yours a case of NAS? Don't worry, it's allright...
Olivier Rychner __________________________________________ Jetez un oeil à ma galerie if you feel like it! And it's a bit void as of now, but I also have a Nikonians blog
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In the focal length range you're looking at I don't see any used f2.8 zoom lens that's better than the AF 28-105mm for under $1000. That's a very good lens, sharp, very low distortion and a real bargain. I also doubt if you'd see much difference in photos taken with it versus say the newest 24-120mm F4 except for the benefits of VR. As mentioned above it's OK to want the more expensive lens. We all do. But do you need it? I use my 28-105mm lens much more frequently than my AFS 28-70mm. And I'm still amazed at the quality of the photos it produces.
You would see a difference at f/2.8. That's the main reason to get a 2.8, even used. But it depends on the kind of shots. Since I do a lot of portraits in that range, the f/2.8 is more important to me than price.
>You would see a difference at f/2.8. That's the main reason >to get a 2.8, even used. But it depends on the kind of shots. >Since I do a lot of portraits in that range, the f/2.8 is more >important to me than price.
No question about f2.8. But my comparison was versus the 24-120mm f4. Really no difference there. Except with low light and VR.
I have the 24-120 F4 VR and it is very good. For portraits I find it just as good as a 70mm 2.8 because of the extra reach, at 120mm and F4 the background is just as creamy as a 70mm at 2.8. Plus the VR really comes in handy when the light starts to drop. I always used Nikon's 50mm and 85mm 1.8 but since I bought the 24-120 F4 it's hard to take it off the camera.
For a cheaper alternative, I can vouch for the Tamron 28-75 F2.8. It has great IQ and focuses very close, I wish I still owned one. I had one for my D90 but really wanted something wider, it would have been perfect on FX.
I have owned both the Nikon 24-120 f4 and the 24-70 F2.8. The F2.8 is still in my kit because I shoot a lot of low light events. It it was not for that I would have kept the 24-120 because of the versatility. The bokeh is not as pleasing with the 24-120 at 24mm to my eye but it all depends on what you like and what you shoot. For the money the 24-120 is an awesome lens!
Based on the prior comments, it appears that the comparison being most contemplated may be your existing 28-105 against a potentially new 24-120 f4. Has anyone actually done a comparison between these two lenses? Results? I own a 28-105 and I also like the lens very much. It is reasonably sharp, with good contrast and has good color rendition. Most importantly, it is relatively small and light and easy to carry around for lengthy periods of time on my D7000. I briefly owned a 24-120 f4 but returned it because I did not think it a significant enough upgrade over my existing zoom lenses. However, I recently tried a co-workers 24-120 f4 that seemed noticeably sharper than the one that I briefly owned. Moreover, some of the photographs that I have reviewed on this site and others that were taken with a 24-120 f4 were outstanding. Accordingly, I may very well be giving the 24-120 f4 a second try in the near future. Keep in mind that if you seriously consider the 24-120 f4 that it will be a somewhat bigger, heavier lens than is the 28-105. Accordingly, if size and weight is a major issue for you, decisions should be made appropriately. Good luck on whatever you decide.
The 28-105 was a terrific value in its day. It's quite sharp, in my experience, throughout its focal range and at all apertures except f/4.5-5.0 at 90mm or longer.
The newer 24-120 f/4 focuses faster, is sharper at all focal lengths, offers better build quality, provides f/4 at all focal lengths, is sharper wide open at all focal lengths, is AF-S so you can grab the focus ring to touch things up for difficult subjects without have to flip an AF-M switch, and when light gets low enough and ISO gets high enough that you don't want to push things any harder, VR is available for stable/sharp handheld shooting using a really slow shutter.
I used a 28-105 for five years. Terrific lens. Then I picked up a D3 and a 24-70 f/2.8. Even better. Then I picked up a D700 to use with the 24-70 f/2.8 (just as great as the D3 combo, but noticeably lighter in weight). Then the 24-120 VRII f/4 showed up for my D700 and photography life got really good. For my preferred sort of walkbout, street shooting, bowels of the city type of photography, nothing beats the D700 + 24-120 VRII f/4.