Pleasant Surprise: 24-85mm VR Lens

Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Pennsylvania
I have always preferred fast, professional-quality prime lenses and tend to use a tripod for critical shots.

I recently bought a used D700, but last winter when the D600 promotions came out that included the 24-85 VR lens basically for free, I gave it some consideration, thinking I would immediately put that consumer, kit lens up for sale.

But I recently picked up a used, like-new 24-85 VR, my first and only VR lens. I thought it would be useful in those situations where using my feet to zoom and/or using a tripod were not practical. I wouldn't consider the professional f/2.8 zooms at this time because of their weight and cost. I figured that since most of what I do ends up as relatively small images on the web, the 24-85 VR might suffice for those situations and I'd give it a try.

After spending a little time with this lens however, I have to say that I am really impressed. A main complaint about the lens is the relatively high degree of distortion at both ends of the zoom, but I find that Capture NX2 does a good job of correcting for this.

I do some volunteer work for a local park and gave this lens a trial run yesterday. At least upon casual observation, the results are on a par with what I would normally get. For the ultimate in low-light situations, subject isolation and bokeh, no doubt the better gear would help. But I'm now wondering where the demarkation line is.

So someone please bring me back down to earth. :confused:

Cropped and reduced image from 24-85mm VR lens at 85mm, f/4.5, 1/1000 sec., ISO 800, VR off, no distortion correction
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Barry
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
212
Location
Maebashi, Japan
I have always preferred fast, professional-quality prime lenses and tend to use a tripod for critical shots.

I recently bought a used D700, but last winter when the D600 promotions came out that included the 24-85 VR lens basically for free, I gave it some consideration, thinking I would immediately put that consumer, kit lens up for sale.

But I recently picked up a used, like-new 24-85 VR, my first and only VR lens. I thought it would be useful in those situations where using my feet to zoom and/or using a tripod were not practical. I wouldn't consider the professional f/2.8 zooms at this time because of their weight and cost. I figured that since most of what I do ends up as relatively small images on the web, the 24-85 VR might suffice for those situations and I'd give it a try.

After spending a little time with this lens however, I have to say that I am really impressed. A main complaint about the lens is the relatively high degree of distortion at both ends of the zoom, but I find that Capture NX2 does a good job of correcting for this.

I do some volunteer work for a local park and gave this lens a trial run yesterday. At least upon casual observation, the results are on a par with what I would normally get. For the ultimate in low-light situations, subject isolation and bokeh, no doubt the better gear would help. But I'm now wondering where the demarkation line is.

So someone please bring me back down to earth. :confused:

Cropped image from 24-85mm VR lens at 85mm, f/4.5, 1/1000 sec., ISO 800, VR off, no distortion correction
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZNtoO9yJM-c/UjXIsmyxUkI/AAAAAAAAHMc/y4DH8aWgnIs/s512/Flower.jpg

Barry
Looks good to me! The bokeh in your shot is nice too.
Greg
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
845
Location
Western PA
I typically have a low tolerance for slow mid range zooms. I've tried them in the past and sold them quickly. However, this is the best kit lens I have ever used and I have to say that I really like it. It's basically the same thing as the 24-120 f/4 for 1/3 of the cost (used). When I take mine along for family outings I no longer feel like I'm making a huge sacrifice in image quality for convenience sake. Love it.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
2,315
Location
GA
I was skeptical about this lens when it came with my D600 kit but after some time i've found that I actually like it.

If you go and compare the barrel distortion to the rest of the 24-xx lenses out there, you'll find they all have it to some degree.

If I sold it, I would probably only replace it with the Nikon 24-120 for the extra reach or the Tamron 24-70 VC for the extra light.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,500
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Nikon has been producing exceptional "cheap" glass lately without sacrificing IQ. The 50 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 18-35, and this 24-85 are really good "budget" glasses that can hang with the gold ring lenses.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
4,773
Location
Mildura, Vic, Australia
i guess it makes sense for nikon to make quality and affordable lenses given the amount of people coming into the full frame market. particularly with sigma and to a lesser extent tamron and tokina going after the same market
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
213
Location
north wales
Think I'll be buying the 24-85VR as a travel lens as it seems a good compromise between quality/cost, I'm tempted by the 24-120 but I wouldn't use it enough to justify the cost as my main lenses for landscape are the 16-33 F4, 50mm F1.8G and the 70-200 F4

simon
 
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
347
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
Planning on adding this myself as a travel lens, really like primes but on my recent trip to Italy I found changing from the 24 to 35 and 85 a pain so this would likely do fine for me in good light.

Sold my Sigma 35mm and Nikon 85mm for now to simplify to this will be my main lens for a while.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
Messages
2,315
Location
GA
I probably woudln't have sold any lenses to obtain this one, however, it is a lens I probably will keep for some time since it does a great job (and was practically free anyways).
 

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