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24-85 AF-D vs AF-S version?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by hotrod4x5, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Besides the obvious, AFS and slightly slower aperture of the AFS version, what is the difference in these lenses?

    Any one care to speculate why the AFS is apparently discontinued and the older AFD is not? Also, please confirm, the AF-S is NOT DX?
  2. The 24-85 AFD is a darn good lens. It's sharp, has great colors and has a nifty macro feature. I have a feeling we'll start seeing a bunch of new FX lens as prices go down. Nikon's going to milk FX just like they've milked DX. They'll keep making us buy new junk. :rolleyes: 
  3. The AF-D is the one to get by all accounts.
  4. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    both are FX
  5. I don't think by all accounts but certainly recently I am seeing more comments disposed to the AF-D version than the AF-S version. When I bought my daughter a D50 shortly after its introduction, I bought the AF-S 24-85 and the AF 28-105/35.-4.5 Macro at the same time. Allie liked the 28-105 for its range and I kept the AF-S 24-85. At that time I was seeing a lot of comment, especially on Nikonians, from folks preferring the AF-S version. Images are stellar and I can't be sure why Nikon favors the AF-D version unless it's the better build quality. Both are full frame lenses with very very good bench test numbers. The AF-D version is really good on the short end.
  6. I can only comment on the AF-S version.
    When I was looking to get this lens I was undecided on which one, and after reading all the reports the AF-S version seemed to be the better choice.
    Even Thom Hogan gives the AF-S version a very high praise....
    But having said that, I've also seen some top shots from the AF-D version...

    But the bottom line... No matter which one you get, I'm sure that it will perform....
    After all, there both Nikons...
  7. Leif


    Feb 12, 2006
    I have the AFS lens, and it has a nice contrasty look to the images, and decent resolution too, at least on a D200. It is plastic fantastic of course, and probably not robust. The front barrel wobbles a bit when extended. I can't comment on FX results, though I might play with it on a film camera to see.
  8. Hi I have the afd one and find it a very good lens, for some reason they always sell for more money than the afs, probably because they cost more original they make a great everyday lens and a half life-size macro feature is useful, I use mine for wedding work when the 28-70 afs's are being repaired (the motors go usually starts with a small squeak) it does bother me that the new lenses need far more maintenance than the older AF-D lenses ever required.

  9. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    I find my 24-85 D a really good lens. I bought mine about four years ago when I had to get a camera kit to go to Costa Rica (got it with a D70 & 70-300 ED). Have since sold the 70-300, and currently use the 24-85 with a group of more expensive zooms. It keeps up with my 12-24 @ f4 (f2.8 at 24 is very sharp) and at 80 with my 80-200 2 ring if I give it the one stop starting difference.

    The Macro feature is very good. The one key I found to using this lens which has a very short focus throw is using spot focusing. I was concerned when I got my D200 that it might not resolve well enough at the higher resolution...wrong. This lens is sharp and the distortion issues mentioned by Bjorn have not impacted my images.

    My guess is that the f2.8 @ 24 and the macro are the two key benefits from this lens and the demand has continued for it, otherwise I'm sure the AFS would still be in the lineup. I'm looking forward to the first full frame camera I get as reports I'm seeing on the D3 look pretty good.
  10. Thanks for the great replies. Sounds like the AF-S is worth checking out if I can find a decent used one.
  11. I found an AFS "G" version at KEH a little over a year ago and tried it based on Thom's recommendation. Originally thought I'd just keep it on an F100, but after trying it when I got a D3, I find it a very nice light lens on that camera and use it quite a bit when trying to go a little lighter.
  12. The AFS has nice image quality, but it's a cheaply made lens just like the 18-70 and can easily break if not well taken care of. It's about 120 for impact damage to repair one at Nikon repair, I know I've broken one before!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2008
  13. I should have asked this in the OP, but anybody know how they compare to the 24-120?

    Jonathan, is the 24-85 AFS similar in build to the 24-120, which also seems pretty cheaply made.

    I already have the 24-120, so maybe I don't need either of these... I am looking for something full frame, for weddings. My 24-120 is a bit soft wide open.
  14. If you're talking about the VR version of the 24-120, Thom Hogan compares it to the 24-85 AF-S G in this review, with some sidebar comments on the older version of the 24-120.
  15. Thanks, yes, I have the VR version. Thanks for that link, was a good read. Looks like he thinks the 24-85 is sharper. Maybe I will try and find one.
  16. photolizard


    Mar 22, 2008
    I recently bought a used AF-S on ebay. It seems sharp and contrasty when shot alongside other lenses. The cheap build takes a bit to get used to. I have been comparing it to a 35-135 that I picked up in pristine condition. Still have both since I can't make up my mind!
  17. I have the 35-135, have had it since new. I tried it on my D200 when I first went digital and the results were really bad. Maybe I need to test it again.
  18. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    I've been considering the AFS 24-85 also, for family shots using a D50. I've used the AF 28-70/3.5-4.5 with good results, it covers a better range for portraits than the kit 18-55, and I rarely miss the wide end. Having a lens with a bit more range at both ends and AFS would be nice though.

    Bjorn rates the AF 24-84 slightly higher than the AFS version - sample variation? What is the bokeh of the AFS 24-85 like?
  19. The 24-85 AFS is sharper than the 24-120 VR, but I find the 24-120 VR better made. The zoom on the 24-85 AFS seems loose and not tight.

  20. Keep the 24-120 VR for the full-frame, Unless you shoot landscapes all day, the 24--120 VR is pretty darn sharp on the D3/D700. I'll post some samples later, but I like it. It's no 24-70, but it does the job. I'll go against the grain here and recommend the 24-120 VR for FX.
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