I know this topic has been flogged to death, but I purchased a Nikon 28-300. I already have a Nikon 24-120 and was hoping that the longer range of the 28-300 would come in handy when the 24-120 was not long enough. I have the dilemma now that I have tested each lens against each other and cannot see an improvement in IQ from the 24-120 over the 28-300 making me think that I may sell it on Ebay. Do you think I would regret the decision from the experience everyone has had? I plan to print no larger than A4. Thank for the feedback.
#1. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 0JonK Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Wed 21-Aug-13 11:31 AM
If there is a difference, you should see more distortion at 28mm and distortion & softness at 300. If you do not see it or it does not bother you, then you've answered your own question — sell the 24-120.
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#2. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 0Bass rock Registered since 21st Dec 2007Wed 21-Aug-13 12:49 PM
I have both and use them on my D700. The 24-120mm is my standard but I go to the 28-300mm when I feel I want a bit more range in one lens. I think the 24-120mm is a tad better IQ than the 28-300mm but the difference is marginal IMO.
My main concern with the 28-300mm is that it makes my viewfinder quite dim due to its slower aperture. This is quite noticeable when comparing lenses one after the other, and especially against an f/2.8 lens. Of course, it doesn't hurt IQ directly, but I find it a bit frustrating on dull days.
I wish both were a bit lighter weight, and that the 24-120mm had the zoom lock switch that the 28-300mm has.
If you find yourself regularly shooting in the 200-300mm range, I would take the 28-300 and put up with the extra weight and slight reduction in IQ over the 24-120mm
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#3. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 0jamesvoortman Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004Wed 21-Aug-13 02:55 PM
There are 3 versions of the 24-120. the latest is the 24-120 f4G VR and offers constant f4 and, by most accounts, superior sharpness to the previous versions. Test results on DXOMark show it to be quite a bit better optically than the 28-300 whereas the older variants of the 24-120 have very similar performance to the 28-300.
I guess you have to decide whether the extra 4mm at the wide end is more valuable to you than the extra 180mm on the long end.
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#5. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 3JohnE Nikon Registered since 15th Jun 2010Wed 21-Aug-13 05:55 PM
The way I read the DXO I don't see the 24-120 being much sharper than the 28-300. It's rated 12P-MPix and the 28-300 is rated 10P-Mpix.(on a D600) I guess it's almost 20%, but from my experience 2 points is not much and not sure it justifies having both lenses. For me, I think the Tamron 24-70 2.8 at 15P-Mpix may be enough to show a difference and I plan on purchasing this at some point. (not because it is sharper than the 28-300 but because I will use it differently) Distortion and chromatic abberation is slightly worse with the 28-300 but vignetting is worse with the 24-120. I shoot about 25% >120mm so for now the 28-300 is a keeper. If you dont see a difference unless you have clients that can I would say there is no difference in IQ for you.
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#6. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 5richardd300 Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Wed 21-Aug-13 06:33 PM
I bought the 28-300mm when I had a D700 and D7000 and used it regularly as a walkabout lens with excellent results. When I bought my D800 the commentators told me it was not a suitable quality lens to accompany a 36Mp D800 sensor and that Nikon did not have it on their favoured lenses list.
I get more than acceptable results at between 28 and 240mm, after that they are very slightly soft, but still acceptable. They are improved at up to 300mm on the D7100. For a very flexible lens at the price I think it's a very good buy.
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#4. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 0
I am glad you posted this. I have both lenses as well. I do notice the difference, but I don't know that it is so drastic. I notice some issues at the wide and long ends of the 28-300.
I have been contemplating selling the 28-300, rather than the 24-120. I mostly use the 28-300 as a travel lens when I know I am going to need the reach.
I'd like to hear what others have to say.
#8. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 0
>I know this topic has been flogged to death, but I purchased a
>Nikon 28-300. I already have a Nikon 24-120 and was hoping
>that the longer range of the 28-300 would come in handy when
>the 24-120 was not long enough. I have the dilemma now that I
>have tested each lens against each other and cannot see an
>improvement in IQ from the 24-120 over the 28-300 making me
>think that I may sell it on Ebay. Do you think I would regret
>the decision from the experience everyone has had? I plan to
>print no larger than A4. Thank for the feedback.
I personally love my 28-300. However, it's not a f/3.5-5.6 lens. It's more of a f/5.6-f/8 because wide open it's one of the worse lenses I've ever used. Stopped down however, I find it to be pretty sharp. I don't have a 24-120 so I can't comment on that, but the 24mm would have been something I would have liked on the 28-300 since that's the focal length I use the most.
I've used the lens at 300 more often than I ever thought I would, so there could be chances that you might find the same. There is what people call focus breathing where it's less than 300mm, but since I have nothing to compare with I don't notice. If the picture isn't big enough in the viewfinder I try moving closer.
Good luck and enjoy your new lens.
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#11. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 10briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 24-Aug-13 11:22 AM
>...Nikon's recommended list for the D800...
That list is often misinterpreted. According to Nikon, it contains "some of" the lenses that will produce optimum results on the D800. A lens' absence from the list does not mean it won't be a good match
#13. "RE: Nikon 24-120 vs 28-300" | In response to Reply # 12agitater Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007Wed 28-Aug-13 12:14 PM | edited Wed 28-Aug-13 12:15 PM by agitater
Ian - The 24-120, all three AF versions of it, is also an FX lens. Many full frame (FX) lenses perform slightly better on DX bodies in some circumstances because a DX sensor captures an image circle that is well away from the full frame edges. Less edge distortion, sometimes more overall sharpness. It depends on the camera and sensor of course, and also on the photographer.
The original 24-120 AF f/3.5-5.6 was by all accounts a reasonably good lens. The next iteration was an AF VR f/3.5-5.6 version which by most accounts was a soft design and a bit of a dog, although there are definitely a few sharp ones out there. The most recent version, the 24-120 AF-S VR f/4 is an absolute gem - very sharp, easy-to-correct edge distortion (which recent Nikon bodies correct automatically if the feature is turned on in the config menu), excellent handling, fast and accurate AF and a lot more. In the 24-120 range, I'd put it up to beat the 28-300 any day and in any conditions.
Dmitri, another Nikonian, has been singing his praises of the Nikkor 28-300 VR ever since the lens came out a couple of years ago. Dmitri is not wrong, and he has shown many great examples of just how good the lens can be. For a pile of photos shot with the 24-120 f/4 VR (the newest version), have a look at my Nikonians gallery.
It has also been pointed out from time to time that the design of any 28-300 zoom lens involves some compromises in some aspects of image quality that are more noticeable and more extensive than they are in a 24-120 zoom.
Obviously also, I think, the one area is which the 28-300 VR clearly outperforms any Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VR is in the 121-300 zoom range. So the choice of lens may have less to do with head-to-head technical image quality comparisons, strictly speaking, than it does with the sorts of photography subject matter you prefer. If your most frequently photographed subjects prevent you from getting close enough to use a 24-120 f/4 and if you really don't need an f/4 aperture very often, then the 28-300 seems to be the best choice.
Both lenses are very well made - designed for daily use forever, IMO.