Nikkor Af-s 24-120mm F/4g Ed Vr

By | 25/10/2022

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Nikon 24-120mm VR




AF-S NIKKOR f/3.5-5.six (2003-2010)


© 2008 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro
    Specifications    Performance    Recommendations

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Nikon 24-120 VR

Nikon 24-120mm f/three.5-5.six
NOT RECOMMENDED
(one of Nikon’s x worst lenses of all time). enlarge. I’d get mine at Adorama, Amazon, or Ritz. Information technology helps me keep adding to this site when you use these links to go yours. Thanks! Ken.


NEW:

Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR
(2010-)

see too
one-time 24-120mm AF-D
(1996-2002)

October 2010, Baronial 2008

More Nikon Reviews     Nikon Lens Reviews

Sharpness Comparing to all other 24mm lenses August 2010

Platonic Uses

4×6″ vacation snapshots on print moving-picture show, paperweight, lazy homo’s practice-everything zoom for FX digital and motion picture, body cap. The VR system is excellent, so it’due south great for shooting still (not moving) subjects paw-held in low light, where this lens’ lack of sharpness isn’t an result. Its lack of sharpness will assistance eliminate aliasing (moiré) if you have bug with other lenses when shooting material and other repeating fine patterns.

Not for

I wouldn’t carp with this lens on a digital or serious film camera. Its specs look bang-up on paper, and it was the showtime lens I put on my D3, but it’s optically poor. There are much better choices. Skip this for DX digital; become the superior xviii-200mm DX VR instead. This 1000 (gelded) lens won’t work on transmission-focus film cameras.



Introduction

       top

Intro
    Specifications    Functioning    Recommendations

Compatibility    History    Product    Pricing

The 24-120mm VR is among Nikon’s 10 worst lenses of all time. This is considering it’s not sharp at the wide end (fifty-fifty stopped down), vignettes at the long end, and it’s tiresome (about f/five for most of the range). Considering that it’s expensive ($510), it’southward just not acceptable. Other lenses are much meliorate for less money.

The all-time thing well-nigh the 24-120 VR is its excellent VR system, which really does let me make great, perfectly tripod-sharp shots mitt-held at down to 1/4 second throughout most of the zoom range, and down to 1/8 second at 120mm.

In that location is only one version of this 24-120 VR lens, and they all say “VR” on the exterior. Nikon says “VR Ii” in its advertising, which means this lens uses a unlike VR organisation than the VR system of the first 80-400mm VR. There are no other versions of the 24-120 VR.

Nikon 24-120mm VR

Nikon 24-120mm VR.
enlarge.


Compatibility

back to intro     dorsum to meridian

Everything works perfectly on every digital Nikon, both FX and DX.

It’s also perfect on decent or recent AF film cameras like the F6, F100, F5, N80 and N75.

The incompatibilities for older or cheaper film cameras are that:

1.) Information technology won’t autofocus with the cheapest new AF motion-picture show cameras like the N55, just if yous focus manually, everything else works great. Fifty-fifty if you lose autofocus, these cameras have in-finder focus confirmation dots to help you.

2.) Belatedly 1980s ~ early 1990s AF cameras similar the N90s, N70 and F4 will focus just fine, but you’ll lose VR. You’ll have Program and Shutter-priority modes, just lose Transmission and Aperture-priority since y’all accept no style to set the aperture on the camera or on the lens.

3.) You’re actually pushing information technology with the oldest AF cameras like the N2020, N6006 and N8008. No AF, dislocated exposure modes, and no VR. Transmission focus is fine, forth with electronic focus indications.

4.) Since information technology has no aperture band, it’southward just virtually useless with manual focus moving picture cameras.

See Nikon Lens Compatibility for details on your camera. Read downwardly the “AF-S, AF-I” and “G” and “VR” columns for this lens. You’ll become the to the lowest degree of all the features displayed in all columns, since “G” (gelding) is a handicap which removes features.


History
      back to intro     back to top

1996-2002:
Nikon’s get-go AF 24-120mm lens was called the “streetsweeper” by newsmen because you could ever keep information technology on a torso, and it covered plenty of a range to allow you shoot just about anyone or anything immediatlety in an emergency.

2003:
Nikon introduced this completely different lens, calculation VR and AFS for instant manual-focus override.



Production

      back to intro     back to top

Nikon had fabricated about 125,000 of these 24-120 VR lenses, so far. Nikon made near 250,000 of the older version 24-120mm.


Pricing

      back to intro     back to top

The 24-120 VR has always sold at about $510 if you know where to buy. Retail is usually higher.

Price,
new*

Corrected for
inflation, 2008

2003

$540

$640

2005

$510

$575

2008

$510

$510

2010

$580

$570

* At full NYC discount.



Specifications
with commentary

        top

Intro
    Specifications    Performance    Recommendations

Nikon 24-120 VR

Name:
Nikon calls this the Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.v-five.6G IF-ED.

    AF-S and SWM:
Silent Wave (focus) Motor.

    VR:
Vibration Reduction.

    ED:
ED Glass.

    IF:
Internal Focusing.

    Aspherical:
Aspherical elements.

    Yard:
Gelded for cost-reduction and removing compatibility with older cameras.

Optics:
15 elements in 13 groups. Two are of ED glass, two are aspherical.

Shut Focus:
1.half dozen anxiety (0.5m). This is non quite as shut as the 24-85 AF-S but shut enough for all sorts of fun.

Maximum Reproduction Ratio:
1:iv.8.

Difficult Infinity Focus End?
No.

Focus Scale:

Aye.

Depth-of-Field Scale:
No.

Infra-Red Focus Index:
No.

Diaphragm:
7 blades, rounded. Stops downwardly to f/22 at 24mm, and to f/36 at 120mm.

Aperture Ring:
No.

Filter Thread:
72mm, plastic. Never rotates.

Size:
Nikon specifies 3.7″ (94mm) extension from flange and iii.0″ (77mm) diameter.

Weight:
20.045 oz. (568.3g), as measured. Nikon specifies 20 oz (575g).

Hood:
HB-25 plastic bayonet hood, included.

Teleconverters:
Forget about it. At f/5.6, it makes no sense.

Introduced:
PMA, March 2003.

Available:
The 24-120 was hard to get until 2004.

Nikon Product Number:
2145, current as of Jump 2008.

Toll:
$510, USA in 2008.

Nikon 24-120mm

Nikon 24-120 VR.
overstate.


Functioning
       top

Intro
    Specifications    Performance    Recommendations

Overall    Focus    Color    Distortion    Ergonomics    Falloff    Filters

Lateral Color Fringes    Maximum Aperture    Mechanics    Sharpness

VR    Zooming    Comparisons


Overall

back to Performance    back to top

The Nikon 24-120mm VR is among Nikon’s softest lenses of the past few decades. To make things worse, it also has a lot of falloff, or concealment of the corners.

It can work very well on an N80 picture show camera as a lightweight vacation camera for prints, only if you worry about pixels and sharpness, you’ll hate this 24-120mm. Many people thought it was soft fifty-fifty back in film days, when it was much tougher to see lens defects.


Focus
     back to Operation    dorsum to top

AF

AF is excellent and fast.

Manual Focus

Transmission focus is piece of cake: just move the band at any fourth dimension with a fingertip.

One thousand/A – M Switch

Nikon goofed. This switch is supposed to be labeled “A – Thousand.”

The “Yard/A” position ways autofocus. It’s called “One thousand/A” because back in the sometime days, when Nikon had near caught upwardly to Canon who had been doing this for x years earlier, Nikon was trying to show off that you could focus manually while in the AF position.

Paint over the extra M if yous’re easily confused.


Color Rendition

     back to Performance    back to elevation

The colour rendition seems the same as all my other mod Nikkor lenses.


Distortion

dorsum to performance     dorsum to top

On FX and picture, it has complex (wavy) merely not peculiarly bad distortion at 24mm, and stiff pincushion (sucking) distortion at 50mm and longer.

The pincushion distortion can be corrected past plugging these figures into Photoshop CS2’s lens baloney filter. The broad-angle distortion on FX is complex, and doesn’t correct completely with this tool. These aren’t facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

On FX and Film at infinity

Visible Effects

Correction factor

24mm

Wavy distortion: Center bulges while sides pull out.

+2.0*

28mm

Sides pull out.

-one.0*

35mm

Pincushion.

-3.0*

50mm

Strong Pincushion.

-4.0

70mm

Strong Pincushion.

-4.0

85mm

Strong Pincushion.

-four.0

120mm

Stiff Pincushion.

-4.0

© 2008 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

* Waviness remains.

On DX at infinity

Visible Effects

Correction factor

24mm

Barrel (bulging) distortion.

+three.0

28mm

Mild Barrel.

+i.5

35mm

none.

0.0

50mm

mild pincushion

-ane.0

70mm

mild pincushion

-1.2

85mm

mild pincushion

-1.5

120mm

mild pincushion

-1.0

© 2008 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.


Ergonomics

(handling and ease-of-utilize)    back to functioning     dorsum to tiptop

The 24-120mm VR is OK, but not that great either.

Zooming is mediocre, and the manual focus aligning doesn’t feel that impressive.


Falloff

(darkened corners)    back to operation     back to superlative

Falloff on FX is a problem at both ends of the zoom range. it doesn’t improve much when stopped down, and since the 24-120 is so irksome anyway, you’re normally shooting broad open in about atmospheric condition.

I can see this in real photos, and its one of the reasons I dislike this lens.

It might exist an issue on DX, too (see ingather factor).

These gray fields on a gray groundwork unremarkably exaggerate falloff with skilful lenses, just in this case, the actual results in real photos is a piddling bit worse than y’all yous run into beneath.

Nikon 24-120mm f/three.5-five.6 VR falloff on FX and film at infinity, uncorrected.

Wide
Open

f/5.6

f/viii

24mm
35mm
50mm
70mm
120mm


Filters, Use with
back to Performance    back to meridian

The filter band does non rotate.

Avert thick filters with film and FX. You but might become some additional vignetting, and the 24-120mm has enough of its own without adding to the problem.

Using a 72->77mm step upwardly band almost works, just it does vignette merely the tiniest scrap of the corners when used with a typical 5mm thick 77mm filter.


Lateral Color Fringes
dorsum to Performance    dorsum to superlative

There are no lateral color fringes on the D3, only bigger bug are softness and vignetting in the corners.


Maximum Aperture
back to Performance    back to top

24mm

f/iii.5

28mm

f/three.8

35mm

f/4

38mm

f/4.2

45mm

f/4.5

50mm

f/4.8

60mm

f/5

70mm

f/5.iii

85mm

f/5.half dozen

120mm

f/5.half-dozen


Mechanics

back to Performance    dorsum to peak

The 24-120 VR is a tough plastic lens. It’s got metallic where it needs it, and plastic everywhere else.

Barrel Outside:
Plastic.

Filter Threads:
Plastic.

Hood:
Plastic bayonet.

Focus Ring:
Plastic.

Zoom Ring:
Plastic with rubber insert.

Depth-of-Field Scale:

None.

Internals:
Metal and plastic.

Discontinuity Band:
None.

Mount:
Slow-chromed contumely.

Markings:
Paint.

Identity Plate:
Embossed and planed metallic.


Serial Number:
Laser engraved onto bottom of barrel, below lens data.

Ass-Gasket (dust seal at mount):
No.

Noises When Shaken:
Moderate clicking.

Made in:
Japan, but notice how Nikon has designed this lens so that all they have to do when product moves to Thailand, China, Laos or Tibet is to utilize a different sticker.


Sharpness
dorsum to Performance    back to top

Alert 1:
Image sharpness depends more than on you than your lens.

Warning 2:
Lens sharpness doesn’t mean much to good photographers.

With those caveats, the 24-120mm AF-S is among Nikon’southward softest lenses of all time. For 4×6″ prints from motion-picture show (as shot by nearly Leica film aficionados) information technology’southward great, simply if you lot worry enough to read reviews like this, steer clear of this 1.

It’due south abrupt enough in the center, but the sides and corners are poor if you look reasonably closely. For nearly photography this is fine, but it drives me crazy.

This 24-120 VR is soft wide-open on the sides of FX, which would be forgivable, except that it doesn’t get sharper stopped down. The sides are fuzzy at 24mm on FX, and don’t get improve when stopped downward to f/8 as every other lens does.

Nikon’due south MTF curves at the bottom of this page show us that this is the way this lens is designed. See how the bend falls to zero at the right? That means the prototype degrades to mush at the corners. These curves are wide-open. The unshown problem is that the MTF stopped down doesn’t amend, as it does with most all other lenses.

At 24-70mm:
Information technology’due south OK in the heart at every aperture, but the sides and corners are both vignetted (night) and fuzzy.

At 120mm:
At f/5.6, it’s not as soft in the corners, but information technology’south softer overall. It’s less bad at f/8.


VR Measurements

back to functioning     dorsum to top

VR works dandy. Information technology lets me get swell shots of still subjects in calorie-free 2 or iii stops darker than without VR. Of course for one-half the toll of this lens what I really shoot most of the time is the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D, which really is 3.five stops faster than this lens, and those 3.5 real stops give improvements when shooting moving targets which VR tin’t.

By “sharp shots” I mean perfect tripod-equivalent sharpness when viewed at 100%, as shot on a D3 by me. I was continuing straight up with only my feet on the footing, and wasn’t practicing any careful friction match-style breathing: I merely shot.

For almost uses, one can utilise much slower speeds. See Why VR Matters for more than.

VR OFF

% Sharp Shots

ane

one/2

1/four

1/8

1/15

one/30

1/threescore

1/125

1/250

24mm


0


0


0


33


85


100


100


100


100

50mm
0


0


0


45


50


100


100


100


100

70mm
0


0


0


20


25


lx


90


100


100

120mm
0


0


0


0


5


50


75


100


100

VR ON

% Sharp Shots

1

ane/2

1/4

ane/8

1/fifteen

1/thirty

1/60

i/125

1/250

24mm


15


0


eighty


100


100


100


100


100


100

50mm
xv


20


50


100


100


100


100


100


100

70mm
0


5


50


80


100


100


90


100


100

120mm
0


0



33


45


eighty


85


90


90


100

Lowest speeds for perfectly sharp shots 50% of the time

% Sharp Shots

VR OFF

VR ON

Existent Stops Improvement

Marketing Stops Improvement

24mm

1/ten

i/3

ane.7

3

50mm

1/15

1/4

ii

3.half dozen

70mm

1/xxx

1/4

three

4

120mm

ane/30

1/eight

2

4

“Real Stops” are how many extra stops I become over shooting without VR. “Marketing stops” is improvement over the former-wives’ tale of one/focal length as a lower speed limit.


Zooming
dorsum to Performance    back to top

Nikkor 24-120

Nikkor 24-120mm Zoom and Focus Rings.

Zooming is only off-white because the wide focal lengths are all bunched together.

Meet how 24mm and 28mm are so close together that Nikon had to cheat and use a line to position 24mm? This makes setting precise framing a pain at the wide end. Other lenses are much ameliorate.

EXIF Encoding Accuracy

Encoded focal lengths concur to with a few millimeters of the setting on the band.


Compared to other Nikon lenses

back to Functioning    dorsum to top

24-120mm “Streetsweeper”

The VR is a piddling longer and a piddling skinnier than the original Streetsweeper.

Optically, the Streetsweeper isn’t winning any awards, only it seems meliorate than the VR at 24mm. I likewise prefer the feel of the larger and improve spaced zoom ring.

AF is likewise super-fast, and shut-focus is the same.

Other Midrange Zooms

I’d prefer just about anything to this lens.

I’d go get a used 28-105mm, 28-70mm f/3.5-four.5 or 24-85mm AFS instead.

If y’all need a broader zoom range become ahead and get the 24-120mm, but I’m non a fan of it.



Recommendations

       top

Intro
    Specifications    Performance    Recommendations

The 24-120mm VR is not probable to make y’all happy if you lot buy it for use on a D3 or D700. Information technology’s not sharp, and it the corners are often nighttime.

I’d get some other lens instead. I’d salvage up for the 24-70mm f/ii.8, or become a used 28-105mm, 28-70mm f/3.5-four.5 or 24-85mm AFS instead. It’s easy to find the 28-105mm used at Adorama for most $170.

Deployment

I’d leave either a 72mm Nikon Articulate (NC – UV) filter, or a 72mm Hoya Super HMC UV on the lens at all times. I would leave the hood at home.

If I was going to use this as part of a larger pro system, I’d adhere a 72->77mm step-upwards-ring to catechumen this to today’s pro standard of 77mm, and apply a 77mm Nikon UV or Hoya UV filter for protection.

If I was working in nasty, dirty areas, I’d forget the cap, and use an uncoated 72mm Tiffen UV filter instead (or in 77mm). Uncoated filters are much easier to clean, but more prone to ghosting.

More Information:
Nikon, Japan.


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superlative

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