I am currently acquiring my lenses for my D800. I do mostly family shooting of kids and general all around photography.
I currently have only a 35mm 1.4 prime.
I am trying to decide between the 70-200 f4 or the 24-120 f4.
Eventually I will have both but can only justify purchasing one or the other at the moment. So which zoom focal lengths do you find more useful? I am leaning towards the 70-200 because I already have the 35.
Starting from a 35, either of those lenses will open up new worlds of possibilities!
I'd say the 24-120 would provide more versatility for general photography. The shorter focal lengths, especially, offer a lot of creative choices. But you will have a better idea than any of us what kind of subjects you feel hindered in shooting.
Wed 07-Aug-13 11:49 PM | edited Thu 08-Aug-13 12:56 AM by icslowmo
I've shot a few family photos and have done some kid photos with my D800E and found my 24-70 f/2.8 to be more versatile. I have used my 70-200 f/2.8 VRII a few times also. It can be done with either focal length zoom lenses, it just depends on your working distance you like to work with. I feel the 24-120 f/4 VR would work very well and I would start with that lens first. Then get the 70-200 f/4. I've also done photos of my daughter at 1.5yrs old with the 85mm f/1.8G lens and worked well also. So primes could be an option also, as some people say primes make you more creative when shooting...
Here are a couple examples on each lens:
To show how a wider angle can be used,
24-70 f/2.8 @ f/2.8 26mm:
With a telephoto lens you will need larger working distances to fit more into your frames,
70-200 f/2.8 @ f/2.8 70mm:
Primes make you think more and move around more to frame, can be fun as you have a 35mm and know what I'm talking about,
I second or third the recommendation to get the 24-120 f/4. It's my most used lens on a D800E (or D90). In addition to what others have said, the 24-120 has been on the market for several years and you may be able to get a good used copy. The 70-200 f/4 is a new lens with very few used copies moving around.
Tue 13-Aug-13 11:13 AM | edited Tue 13-Aug-13 11:14 AM by Ryan7
Thanks for all the replies. I just ordered the 70-200 f4. I now agree with most posters here that the 24-120 has a more useful focal length range but the deciding factor was that I may consider the tamron 24-70 2.8 VC instead of the 24-120. Also there are "rumors" of a new Sigma zoom 24-80 f2 that may complicate the decision even more. Either way I was going to go with this lens eventually- so for now its a no brainer.
Ryan, I think you are talking about the Sigma 24-70 f2 rumoured to be released spring next year. If it is one of their new Art lenses it could be quite good and f2 isn't far off the 18-35 1.8 speed-wise .
I'm very happy with the Nikon 24-70 2.8 but f2 with OS could really make me think about it. I do not think it will be cheap price-wise .
If my experience can be translated to you, you will not be disappointed with the 70-200 f4. It is light, sharp and very useful focal lengths for capturing, among other things, my grandchildren. I can be at a distance from them that keeps from intruding, but nonetheless get nice, tight crops.
I agree it doesn't really matter which one you get first because you will most likely eventually get the other one too. Both are very good lenses. a lot of 24-70 shooters have ended up liking the 24-120 because in spite of being a stop slower and having slightly more distortion it is still sharp, more portable and the 5x zoom range is a big advantage versatility wise.