First, let me thank you all. This forum is so informative.
There appears to be a consensus here that the 24-120mm is unworthy of the Nikon name. I recently paid retail for the lens but the dealer offered me the opportunity to swap it for another without penalty. Nikonians with D1/D100s please advise. I also have the 18-35mm and love it. Of course, I have a serious Jones for the 80-400 VR, but no way to smuggle it past my wife. I love the 24-120mm, but I am no pro. This is the first serious glass I have owned. If my skills improve will the 24-120 let me down. Should I swap it for the 28-105? Other options?
I just bought the 28-105, and gave it a workout outdoors today. I bought this lens because a friend has it, and the macro mode just knocked me out. I was not disappointed today! This seems to be a fine lens with a good range, and it's relatively compact. I've seen this lens recommended all over the place on this forum, and at this point I would heartily concur. A good all around shooting lens, plus a real macro mode... what could be better... I do have other lenses, but I suspect this one will stay on the camera a lot...
Agree. I had the 24-120 and sold it also. Now I want and use only f2.8 on a zoom. I don't know it that makes the difference, but it seems to be the better glass is f2.8 or better. And of course, only Nikon glass. No offense to the other brands, I haven't used them, but I prefer to only use Nikon, and some will say that I pay for it also!
You could probably trade for a 28-105 and a 50/1.8 for the price of your 24-120. The 28-105 nearly always inhabited my N80, and now it's still the principal lens on my D100, even though it is a strange "42-160" on that camera. The 28-105 has very low distortion at either end of the zoom range, and the macro mode (1:2) is nifty, too.
I've read so many reviews my head is spinning. I'll share my research for what it's worth. All prices are current B&H Imported.
First, I am only considering the options with aperture rings, b/c I "heart" my FE2.
Consensus? Only that 28-70mm f2.8D AFS ($1390) is the best, and I can't afford it. It is the strong opinion of this group (not consensus) that the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5D ($300) is the best for the money. Also, this group (and many others) don't like the 24-120mm f3.5-5.6D, and it is expensive ($435). Most agree that the 35-70mm f2.8D has superb optics. It is probably superior optically to and certainly is faster than the 28-105, but its almost twice the money ($570) and it's a push/pull zoom. The 24-85mm f2.8-4.0D, at $475 is the middle ground between cost of the 35-70 f2.8 and the 28-105, and possibly the middle ground optically. No one hates it, but then no one champions it either.
NO, I have not decided. But thanks for your comments.