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24-70 Quality

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Montec, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Montec


    Jul 26, 2007
    British Columbia
    How much better IQ will a person get out of the Nikkor 24-70 2.8 compared to something like the Sigma 17-70 2.8?

    Is the IQ really that much better? I realize the build quality is far superior but I am curious about why people think so much of this lens.

    I am seriously considering purchasing it and would appreciate some hands on experience from owners of the lens. Some image comparisons would be appreciated from similar focal length lenses if anyone has a few handy.
  2. 24-70 lens

    I have the 24-70 and have been using it on the D300. The IQ of pictures from this lens is outstanding. I am putting my kit together so that all my lenses are useable on both DX and FX format bodies. Thus utilizing the strengths of both formats; i.e. DX for long telephoto / macro work and FX for portraiture / WA / extreme low light.

    The 24-70 shoots just razor sharp and is excellent for weddings, events, etc. Very good color rendering and contrast. Practically no distortion. Some people complain about the size and weight but it bothers me not at all. From my experience this lens is highly recommended especially for the working photographer. Maybe a bit pricey for the casual photographer where other more cost-effective alternatives are out there.
  3. I own the 17-70 (selling it since I moved to FX) and briefly owned the 24-70. At f8, there's probably not much difference (especially on a crop camera). At f2.8, well the 17-70 can't do 2.8 for the whole zoom so they can't be compared there.

    The 24-70 is a pro lens in every respect - build quality, AF speed, sharpness, contrast, etc. Is it worth 5 times more than the 17-70? Not for my needs. Lens value is never linear and always personal. That's why I bought the Nikon 24-85 2.8-4 for FX - it's close enough for me at less than 1/3 the price. If I were a full-time PJ I'd own the 24-70.

    So the question is what is the 24-70 2.8 going to do for you and what value does that have to you? It's a "better" lens than the 17-70 but what does that mean really? It cost 5 times as much so of course it's better - value is the real question. Do you value the build quality, faster AF, snappier output and constant f2.8?
  4. Montec


    Jul 26, 2007
    British Columbia
    Thanks for the input. I shoot weddings, school portraits and some events. I currently use the 70-200 and the Sigma 17-70. As soon as I look at the images I can see the difference between the two lenses.. That is why I am considering the move up to the Nikkor. From what I have read the IQ and build quality is similar from the 24-70 to the 70-200.

    I am just having a hard time pulling the trigger at that price...but I think it will be worth it.
  5. Having owned both the 24-70 and 70-200 I think the 24-70 is the better lens given the challenges of making a wider lens sharp and minimizing distortion vs. telephoto and their respective reputations as FX lenses. You are a good candidate for the 24-70 bc you see the difference between great glass and good glass so you're in big trouble now. :biggrin: I still say the 28-70 beast is a much better deal (especially used). But if you want 24 then there's no substitute for the 24-70.
  6. For what it's worth, I had posted a thread a while ago asking something similar. You don't have to read the whole thread, just take a look at what I posted not more than 5 minutes ago.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  7. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
  8. Leif


    Feb 12, 2006
    As I get more experience with a wider range of lenses, so I am becoming more and more cynical of MTF tests. They are objective, and the results do match the sharpness I see from lenses. But in my view they are misleading. Something important is missing as lenses with similar MTF plots can produce quite different IQ. Some lenses seem to have an inner magic that is not measured by these tests. I guess that is what the previous poster is commenting on.

    And of course MTF ignores bokeh, flare, ghosting, CA etc.
  9. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I'd be more wary of people talking about "inner magic" of lenses without explaining what that is, rather than the comparison of scientific MTF charts. My best guess of what the "inner magic" you refer to is contrast, as that can make a big difference to the final picture quality and isn't something that is easily reflected in MTFs.

    I use MTF charts from photozone as they give a comparibility to the tests. Yes, they don't measure bokeh, flare, ghosting, or CA, but those factors are review in photozones tests as well and its upto the reader to make a collective judgement on all the tests.

    I would much rather trust a scientific tests, rather than a more subjective test of bokeh and colour though. And of course the best test of all is to get your hands on a copy and compare it directly to what you have now.
  10. Leif


    Feb 12, 2006
    Yes I think contrast is an important missing element. A term such as "inner magic" is not 'scientific' but it conveys the idea that there are some characteristics which are of value but which I cannot qualitatively describe and which are not measured by MTF plots. People do seem to agree on which lenses have that certain something though.

    Tests such as Photozone might be 'scientific', but they are too incomplete to be trustworthy. I know a few dogs that get decent reviews.
  11. original.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I absolutely love this lens, sold the heavier 28-70 for it, stunning.
    Kevin P.
  12. jcougowl


    Apr 19, 2008
    I've been crybabying about my 18-200 and thinking about replacing it, starting with the 24-70.

    Kevin's picture convinced me. nice work KP
  13. Nice shot Kevin. :biggrin:
  14. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Kevin, that is a wonderfull pic.

    Would you share the focal length and your PP - I am very interested ?


    I was "resting" in my Nikon 35-70 AF-D, because of that test here:


    It is french, but you can scroll down to see the points of the 24-70 and the 35-70 is given - and remember it is the AFD, not the AF without the D.

    The 24-70 in the area 24-35 got not a 5 point at any F-stop.

    It does in the 35-70 area, but so does the 35-70 AF-D exept for wide open.

    Another more personel review said about the same.

    The 24-70 is better in the flare/ghosting area, than the 35-70, though.

    In fact I ordered the 24-70, but he could not deliver, and when he could after more than a month I was not interested anymore, because of those reviews.

    Now I am interested again, because I have sold my DX-lenses, so I have no WA-lens, that can use filters - well, the 35-70 can, but the front rotates, and I do not like that ....using a LEE-filter set.

    I have never seen a very serious landscape-shooter using the 24-70 lens for critical scapes (but that can be me ?)- but it is amazing for weddings, PJ.s and a lot, lot more, and I think it is made for those jobs.

    Maybe because it is first at the best from 35mm and up. ??? (some says it is because of curvature of field at 24mm, but that is another talk, what the reason is, I do not want to go into that)

    Now I am here: I would be satiesfied if it is top,top for scapes from 35mm, and then I can use my filters, and I would sell my 35-70, because the area 24-35 will be very fine for my weddings also, but I am in doubt if I shall buy a Nikon 28mm f/2.0 AI-s or Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 instead.

    So my point and question is

    Can anybody say something about the "landscape mode" at 35mm for the 24-70 for critical scapes ?

    Maybe this should have its own thread, but I was inspired buy the comparison post about the 35-70 and the 24-70, and the very fine landscape photo here.

    Hope this not gives problems with the question from the OP - hope it can clarify something instead, if some can chime in here.
  15. Mike Irish

    Mike Irish

    Jun 14, 2008
    (Mike) Michael Skerritt.
    How much better IQ is the the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 if any? compared to the Sigma 24-70 f2.8
    O and nice shot Keven P.
  16. Steinar,
    here you go, nef processed soley in NX2, using the neutral density filter in NIK within NX to equalize exposure between sky and water. Thanks for viewing and the kind words.
    Personally it almost looks like a painting the way its composed, but shot from a moving boat last saturday evening.
    Kevin P.

    1/160s f/8.0 at 24.0mm iso400 hide exif
    Full EXIF Info
    Date/Time 23-Aug-2008 19:00:38
    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D3
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 24 mm
    Exposure Time 1/160 sec
    Aperture f/8
    ISO Equivalent 400
    Exposure Bias
    White Balance
    Metering Mode matrix (5)
    JPEG Quality
    Exposure Program aperture priority (3)
    Focus Distance
  17. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    Thank you very much, Kevin.
  18. Steinar


    Aug 16, 2007
    I will make a new thread about this lens.
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