Travel lens 24-85 vs. 16-85

Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
301
Location
Bay Area, California
Well I know it may be a little apple to oranges here, but wanted to know if anyone had any direct experience with both of these lenses. I am doing alot of traveling lately and am a little tired of lugging my 24-70, Sigma 10-20, 85 1.4 and Sigma 150. Looking at "downsizing" the 24-70 not only for weight while traveling but also for a little piece of mind when doing street shooting. I have tried the 17-55, but am still looking for something that doesn't scream $1000. Mostly it'll be used for pix of my kids doing kid things, casual street shots and ????? I've been spoiled by the 24-70 and my 18-200 is just continually disappointing me (misfocuses, drab color, etc.). BTW, I'm shooting a D300. Any thoughts?
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
364
Location
New York, NY
well there are 2 recent Nikon 24-85s

The older AF-D 2.8-4.0 model is still in production, the newer but discontinued AF-S 3.5-4.5 is generally available used for 1/10th the cost of the 24-70G -- and I think is terrific.

Check out what Bjorn Rorslett, Thom Hogan and even Ken Rockwell have to say about it.

http://www.bythom.com/2485lens.htm

Of course the new 16-85DX is wider, has VR and is more expensive.
 
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
31
Location
toronto
I am also looking for a lighter mid-range zoom, since the 24/28-70 are so expensive and heavy. however, I wasn´t able to find dealers that sell the 24-85 AFS 3.5-xx since it is dicontinued. any ideas where to get this lens?
 
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
9,081
Location
Oregon
The 24-85 f2.8-4 D Macro (1:2) - quite a mouth full - is an old design that works really well. I've seen quite a few posts by D3 owners who are using it and like it. I've had one for a while (in fact there was a long thread just recently on this lens).

It's not cheap, it's not that wide on Dx cameras, but it has good quality (Bjorn rates it a 4) and mine is my "normal lens". The Macro facility is very useful. Couple of things. Focus throw is very short and the lens is 72mm filter size.

Do a search here and I think you see many of the folks who have this lens really like it. Price is $550 at B&H.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
113
Location
Colorado
On a DX body, I think the 16-85 is the best all around travel lens. 24 is not wide enough for a lot of things. I have been very happy with the 16-85, especially outdoors.
 
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
31
Location
toronto
On a DX body, I think the 16-85 is the best all around travel lens. 24 is not wide enough for a lot of things. I have been very happy with the 16-85, especially outdoors.
a lot of reviews honor the 16-85. since I would like to upgrade to FX sometime, I don´t want to buy more DX lenses. that´s a problem...
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
35
Location
Fairfax, VA
On a DX body, I think the 16-85 is the best all around travel lens. 24 is not wide enough for a lot of things. I have been very happy with the 16-85, especially outdoors.
I agree with Rich for DX use the 16-85 VR is the one-lens travel solution. The equivalent FX lens is the 24-120 VR.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,125
Location
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
Focal length wise the 24-120 VR on FX is equivalent to 16-85 VR on DX - but otherwise the 16-85 is clearly the better lens! It's sharper (especially wide open), has more contrast, and its VR is 2nd generation so it gives you an extra stop.

The 16-85 can't be beaten for lightweight travel. Just add a fast prime like the 35/2 for low light people shots, and you're set!

Cheers

Mike
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
10,662
Location
Holyoke, MA USA
Frankly, the 18-135 beats them all...see the recent threads here. I picked up a used 24-85 afs recently with the idea of the d700 in mind, but tested against the 18-135 it loses badly on sharpness. The 18-135 is sharp at every focal length and every aperture. I stopped using my early Sigma 18-200, a nice lens in its own right, in favor of the 18-135....frankly if it had a metal body it could sell for $900 and be considered one of Nikon's greatest values, but few take it seriously because of its price.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,125
Location
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
Harry,

I agree with you that the 18-135 scores highly for sharpness. Our copy is sharper than my old 18-70 and the 18-200 VR that I owned for a short while. But our new 16-85 VR is a tad sharper than the 18-135, in particular at wider apertures in the corners, but also by a hair in the center.

While sharpness is important, it isn't everything though - the 18-135 has quite horrible distortion, extreme barrel at 18mm and strong pincushion from 24mm up! It also has large amounts of light fall-off. In both these categories it is definitely worse than the 16-85 VR, 18-70, 24-85, and even the 18-55 kit lens.

So, if you can live with the bad build quality, distortion, and vignetting, the 18-135 is quite a bargain. Personally I prefer the 16-85 over it, and the 18-70, too.

Cheers

Mike
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
1,172
Location
Iowaay
On a DX body, I think the 16-85 is the best all around travel lens. 24 is not wide enough for a lot of things. I have been very happy with the 16-85, especially outdoors.
+1

I have used the 24-85 3.5, sold it long ago and don't miss it. I have the 16-85 now and consider it my travel lens.

16 is the wide end i need, 24 isn't wide enough. I don't need much tele. And its light, but so was the 24-85. No contest on IQ, the 16-85 is better.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
6,789
Location
On a Big Island Down Under...
Personally, I think the 24-85 is a top lens, espicially for the $$$..
The 16-85 has a more usable range, but is 2-3 times the price.
As for some saying this lens is soft, all I can say is that they must have had a poor sample of it.
I am really pleased with the sharpness and performance from this lens. For me, this lens is a keeper...

Here a few sample from the 24-85G f/3.5-4.5....
I posted the shots slightly larger to allow a better view of them..
Click on Photo to see correct size...

62mm - 1/250 sec - F/8
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


24mm - 1/125 sec - F/8
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


85mm - 1/80 sec - F/8
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


24mm - 1/30 sec - F/8
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom