I use the 24-120mm f/4 G with my D800 and I'm delighted with the results. Prior to that I used Nikon's older 24-120mm f/3.5~5.6 lenses with film cameras. Personally I find that the focal length range is a better fit for casual "walking about" shooting and tourism. I also found, somewhat to my own surprise, that VR is useful in such situations even on the wide side of that range.
While I have an older Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6~2.8, I don't use it very often and have no plans to upgrade to the 24-70mm f/2.8G. Under controlled ideal solutions, I have little doubt that the 24-70mm offers better optical quality in the common focal length range, and that may well account for the mixed reviews that you're seeing. But for impromptu, "shot of opportunity" situations, any optical disadvantage gets lost in the random factors.
Still, for most of us it's a substantial "investment," so I suggest hiring a 24-120mm f/4 for a weekend outing to see for yourself.
"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck
Sun 14-Apr-13 05:24 PM | edited Sun 14-Apr-13 05:26 PM by jamesvoortman
I looked at both and went with the 24-120. I go backpacking a lot so weight is an issue. 24-120 gives me more range and it is a lot more compact and lighter. Imagewise it has a little more distortion than 24-70 but is still very sharp. I am super happy with it because image quality is consistently and very visibly better than 18-200 VR that I used on my DX camera for years.
Since you already have the 24-70 and are not choosing between I'd say go for it. I'm guessing in a month or two it will become your normal everyday go-to lens and the 24-70 will come out for special occasions and low light.
With the 24-70/2.8 you have the best mid range zoom Nikon ever made and with the D800 about the best high resolution camera available. The 24-70 is very sharp and the D800 allows for plenty of cropping. So why spend your money to get the second best? In my opinion, the only way to upgrade from the 24-70 is getting some first rate primes. In your place I would stay with your 24-70.
By the way - I like your picture of Prague at night.
>With the 24-70/2.8 you have the best mid range zoom Nikon >ever made and with the D800 about the best high resolution >camera available. The 24-70 is very sharp and the D800 allows >for plenty of cropping. So why spend your money to get the >second best? In my opinion, the only way to upgrade from the >24-70 is getting some first rate primes. In your place I would >stay with your 24-70.
Not trying to pick a fight, Tristan, but maybe you're drinking the Kool-aid too much regarding the superiority of the 24-70 f/2.8G. I've read multiple reviews showing the 24-120 f/4G as equally sharp from f/4 and up. With no loss of sharpness, plus the 71.4% extra reach, Vibration Reduction, and 26% lighter, and 32% cheaper, I'd be surprised if the 24-70 f/2.8G is selling at half the rate as before. Sure, you lose 1 stop of speed (more than made up by 3-4 stops of VR) and worse bokeh, but I'm not a fan of the 24-70's bokeh either. So I rejected both the 24-120 and 24-70 and went with mostly primes. See my other post about how THAT's going. Haha
>>With the 24-70/2.8 you have the best mid range zoom >Nikon >>ever made and with the D800 about the best high >resolution >>camera available. The 24-70 is very sharp and the D800 >allows >>for plenty of cropping. So why spend your money to get >the >>second best? In my opinion, the only way to upgrade from >the >>24-70 is getting some first rate primes. In your place I >would >>stay with your 24-70. > >Not trying to pick a fight, Tristan, but maybe you're drinking >the Kool-aid too much regarding the superiority of the 24-70 >f/2.8G. I've read multiple reviews showing the 24-120 f/4G as >equally sharp from f/4 and up. With no loss of sharpness, plus >the 71.4% extra reach, Vibration Reduction, and 26% lighter, >and 32% cheaper, I'd be surprised if the 24-70 f/2.8G is >selling at half the rate as before. Sure, you lose 1 stop of >speed (more than made up by 3-4 stops of VR) and worse bokeh, >but I'm not a fan of the 24-70's bokeh either. So I rejected >both the 24-120 and 24-70 and went with mostly primes. See my >other post about how THAT's going. Haha
Thank you for educating me. I am certain your mature judgement is based on months or even years of critical use of the two lenses. You probably have evaluated corner sharpness, distortion, selective focus, performance at the long and the wide ends etc for both lenses. I hope you have mastered in the meantime the process of putting a lens on a Nikon body...
Also, the general style of your comments is quite refreshing, it certainly contrasts with the usual thoughtful and civilized comments you find on this forum.
Whoa, Tristan, easy there. I think you took my posts the wrong way. I really wasn't trying to offend anyone. For example, my "Kool-aid" comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, as we've ALL drunk the Kool-aid... that's why we're here.
My lack of personal lens testing don't mean I can't evaluate pros and cons. And I'm not saying the 24-120 f/4G is the better lens for EVERYONE; the 24-70 clearly must be the best lens for YOU (only you can decide that). My counterpoint to your point that the 24-70 is the best, period, was that it's not as cut-and-dried as you suggest. Most reviewers place the 24-120 f/4G in the same ballpark as the 24-70 in sharpness, and yes, each lens has its pros and cons, and for MANY users (light travelers or light in the wallet), the 24-120 is a better choice.
I'll ignore your personal attacks as heat of the moment bluster. I know I'm new here, I hope it's OK to have different opinions.
>> I know I'm new here, I hope it's OK to have different opinions.
It certainly is OK to have different opinions here on Nikonians.
As you have seen in this exchange “tongue-in-cheek” often doesn’t work well in a message board environment. Without voice inflection, facial expression and such - it is easy to misinterpret a tongue-in-cheek comment or a joke as an insult or personal attack. I am sure that is what has happened here.
We take great pride in maintaining a friendly and helpful community.
The 24-70 and 70-200 zooms have been my main glass forever, and I've been carryin them on the heavy, pro bodies (D3, D3s).
But as I get older the equipment gets heavier. So while I still use those lenses for critical work and client work, for walk around and travel I've begun to carry the 24-120 and the 70-300. They are both very, very good on both the D3s and the D800e.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
Owning the d800 and the trinity I love the walking ability of the 24/120F4 VR it's sharp with a little distortion and i mean little nearly not noticeable but otherwise a great lens you will not be disappointed Jeff Enjoy your Nikons Keep shooting
Seems some experience here with the 24-120mm f4. I have a D800 and use mainly primes, but i do have the old 24-120mm F3.5-5.6, its light and does a pretty good job. Do you guys who have used both think i should upgrade to the f4 or not? Rick
I have a D800. I have the 24-120 f/4 VR and use it most of the time. My lens collection dates back to film days: 17-35 f/2.8, 28-70 f/2.8, and the 80-200 f/2.8 (although this last lens has developed an autofocus problem). I frequently carry the 17-35, the 24-120 and the 105 f/2.8 macro. The 28-70 rarely sees any action these days because the 24-120 completely overlaps it and has low enough distortion for my purposes. After I bought the 24-120, I read some disappointing reviews, but my experience has only been positive. Unless you are shooting architecture where distortion is critical, I think you'll be happy with the lens.
I'm new to Nikon (D800E), coming from a Canon 5DII with a 24-105 f/4L IS.
You know how they say, "you never know what you've got till it's gone?" Well I'm living that song right now. I LOVED my 24-105 f/4L... loved the stabilization, sharpness, and FL range (mostly 24-35 and 105 mm, not so much the middle bit), it almost NEVER came off my 5DII (I had other glass: 70-200 f/4L IS + 1.4X TC, Sigma 50 f/1.4, 15mm fisheye, 85 f/1.8, 100 f/2.8 macro). But... despite how flexible and sharp it was, it had somewhat harsh bokeh, very similar to the 24-120 f/4G's. So rather than do the smart thing and getting the even better Nikon equivalent, the 24-120 f/4G, and ignoring all its advantages, I went after great bokeh and went with mostly primes (14mm Samyang f/2.8, 35mm and 85mm Sigma f/1.4s).
I attended an employee's wedding a couple of weeks ago (1 day after I got my gear), and the 85mm f/1.4 was AWESOME, so great for event stuff with creamy bokeh. So far 4 days into our Venice (Italy) trip... the mostly primes experiment has been a fail. The shots I AM getting with the primes are AMAZING, sharp (the 85 focuses better than the 35), and with super creamy bokeh. But I'm missing shots and swapping lenses like a fool. I'm new to Nikon and the reversed bayonet mount twist direction is still kicking my arse, so lens changes will get more fluid with time, but for now, it's discouraging. (Seriously, Nikon, ever heard of leftey loosey, rightey tightey?)
Unless I get super slick at swapping lenses (3-5 seconds or less) in the next 5 days (the end of our Italy vacation), I may have to give up on the mostly primes experiment. At this point I'm leaning toward a 24-120 f/4G, 16-35 f/4G, and 80-400 AF-S, though it will take time to acquire those lenses one at a time.