Any first hand reports on the list from owners of this lens? I tried it out at the store the other day, and it seems to be a good compromise for me between size, weight, speed, and optics. A recent review in Pop Photo gave it pretty good resolving power and pretty good distortion control. Any owners?
I have it and love it. 24mm is significantly wider than the typical 28mm bottom end for most mid-zooms. I had the 24-120, but the 24-85 keeps the sharpest range of the earlier zoom while adding more speed and a handy macro capability.
It's about $540.00 U.S. locally for me (Maryland), with a $50.00 rebate after that. In that same price range is the Tokina 28-70 F2.6-2.8 and 28-80 F2.8. But both are bigger and heavier, and don't focus as close. That's why I'm interested in this new Nikkor. And I think the Nikon 35-70 F2.8 would be too limiting on the wide end.
I too own this lens, it is a great lens for all around use. Paid $539 plus/$50 rebate, which ends this month. The lens is sharp throughout the range of focal lengths and with a lens speed of f/2.8 it allows me to expose at f/4 with crisp results. Some reviewers have said this lens is not sharp at its f/2.8 opening, but I never shoot any of my lenses at their widest openings. Just not sharp for any of them. The first day, I had the lens on camera, I tried the macro at 85mm, low light, hand held, something I never do, and to my surprise the images were right on sharp. The macro range for this lens is f/35-85. The lens is extremely fast to auto focus and the weight of the lens makes it perfect for extended, over the shoulder, camera use. Finally, I recently purchased the SB28 Nikon speed light. The focal lengths of the lens, 24-85mm match exactly the auto zooming range of the SB28, 24-85mm a very nice combination for my needs. I use a 77mm filter and step-up ring on the lens, without any vigneting. The lens is 72mm, but most of my other lenses are 77mm. I highly recommend this lens and the SB28 speedlight combination. Have a great time with this lens!