I have the 24-120 f4 VR and the 24-70 f2.8. They are both great lenses. If you are going to travel or use the lens as a "walk-around" lens, the 24-120 is great. But you really can't beat the 24-70 for portraits and events.
If you get the 24-120, you may find yourself really wanting to add a prime or two to your collection.
If you really do a lot of portraits, you might want to economize on the general lens - perhaps even the kit 24-85 VR - and also get a specific portrait lens, for example the 85/f1.8 AFS. The two together will run considerably less than the 24-70/f2.8. Right now it looks like the kit lens adds about $500 to the price of the D600, and the 85/f1.8 AFS is about $500 also. The 24-70/f2.8 is $1900, so about $900 more than the pair of them put together.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
There's a $200 rebate on the 24-70 with the D600 also, which makes it more attractive price-wise. Not as inexpensive as Brian's suggestion (and it doesn't fill the portrait-specific need), but no longer quite so ruinous.
If you're on a tight budget the 35-70 is an awesome lens and pretty close to the 85 as far as focal length is concerned. Its a pro grade lens, very sharp and can be found for less than $300. I bought mine on the "For Sale" forum and use it with my D700.
How about a used AF28-105 f3.5-4.5D? This lens is very sharp, and has some of the lowest distortion ever in a Nikkor zoom. It's a combination of metal and plastic, and has a heft to it that is more substantial than the kit zooms. These can be found very inexpensively. This was my normal zoom on film. I've had mine for 12 years and if I ever add an FX camera to my kit, it will be my normal lens again. You could probably get this lens and a used 85 f1.8D for less than the Tamron, and also get superior image quality.
There are alot of folks suggesting zooms that do not get you to the preferred portrait rage of 80-120mm. 70mm is not going to give you the look of a 105 or even 85. Your going to have to stand too close to your subjects. This will make their faces look fat. You dont want that.
Id suggest the 24-120 if its your only lens. Maybe the new 70-200 F4 if your looking for a lens specific to shooting portraits.
>Thank you all for suggestions, I think my budget will limit >the 24-70 2.8 prim. Even with the $200 bundle. > >I am also looking at a tamron 28-70 2.8 no VR for about $500. >Not my first choice, but I am stepping up from a D300s to a >full frame D600, > >This will get me rolling till I raid the the Federal reserve, >ha ha. > >Thank >Ken
I have the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and find it to be excellent. Certainly worth a lot more than it's list price IMO - IIRC, I paid around £300 for it