Since its introduction in 2007, the AF-South Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
has been the workhorse of many a professional person photographer. Only a compelling new selection may have Nikon pros upgrading. The AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR ($2,399.95) has a proper noun that’s almost identical, simply it sports a higher cost tag and that VR designation is an important ane. It indicates that the lens has vibration reduction, which is Nikon’s name for image stabilization. That sets it apart from other full-frame standard f/two.viii zooms, regardless of camera organization. Event photographers who accept to shoot in weather where flash photography is prohibited and anyone using a Nikon SLR for handheld videography should take note of this lens.
The 24-70mm isn’t small, but it balances well on a pro Nikon body like the D810 ($1,849.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)
that I used to test information technology. Information technology measures half-dozen by 3.4 inches (Hard disk drive) without its hood, supports 82mm front end filters, and weighs 2.4 pounds. There’s a lot of glass inside the bear upon composite barrel, only the focus motor moves it with first-class speed, and without much noise. It’s notably larger and heavier than the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 IF EX DG HSM ($one,099.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)
(three.7 by 3.v inches, 1.seven pounds), but that low-toll alternative doesn’t have stabilization, and doesn’t offering the same quality of optical performance equally the Nikkor.
The zoom band sits at the base of the lens. It’s covered in the same rubberized rectangular blueprint as other Nikon zooms and has markings at 24, 28, 35, 50, and 70mm. A window with a depth of field marking sits directly in front of it, and on the left side of the same portion of the barrel are the switches that command the focus mode and stabilization system. The transmission focus ring sits ahead of the focus scale window. Information technology has soft stops at the minimum 1.two-foot focus altitude and at infinity.
The reversible lens hood adds a few inches to the front of the lens. Using information technology hides the fact that the front element extends a bit while zooming. It besides serves to improve contrast and to protect the front elements from scratches and scuffs.
There are two modes for VR operation. The standard Normal mode is fine for most shooting situations, and tin can automatically detect when you’re panning the camera and so you don’t have to plough it off. If you lot’re shooting from a moving vehicle or some other unstable position, Nikon recommends y’all apply the Active setting. The VR system is rated to four stops, which I found to be an accurate guess. I was able to capture crisp handheld shots—with care taken to steady myself during the exposure—at speeds as long as 1/v-second when shooting at 70mm. At 1/two.v-2nd photos showed motion blur. Even at small-scale speeds like 1/xv-2d, issue photographers are going to take to worry about subject area motion more than photographic camera milk shake with this lens.
If you use an older Nikon torso, please take note that the lens might non be fully compatible. Its electronically controlled aperture requires a D3000, D5000, D7000, or D300 serial or newer DX SLR, or any FX SLR. Older cameras, like the D50 or autofocusing film bodies, will only be able to use the lens at f/two.eight.
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to meet just how well the 24-70mm performs when paired with the 36-megapixel Nikon D810. The full-frame camera is currently the highest-resolution body that Nikon has in its lineup, and as such nosotros expect for a chip more resolution out of it than the standard ane,800 lines per picture tiptop—2,200 lines is a meliorate benchmark for acceptable quality with the D810.
Come across How Nosotros Test Digital Cameras
At 24mm f/2.viii the Nikkor has no trouble eclipsing that mark. Its center-weighted average score is 3,200 lines, which is maintained through much of the frame. There’s a drop-off at the edges—the outer third of the frame shows two,670 lines—but that’s yet a solid number. Stopping downward improves the average score at each f-stop—3,345 lines at f/4, 3,467 lines at f/5.6, and a elevation score of iii,615 lines at f/8. Y’all don’t see a significant leap in edge performance until you hit f/viii, where the periphery of the frame shows 3,000 lines. Diffraction sets in at f/eleven, dropping the score but a smidge to three,575 lines. It’s more than of an effect at f/16 (iii,257 lines) and the minimum f/22 aperture (2,523 lines).
Sharpness dips a picayune at 35mm f/2.8. The centre-weighted score is iii,061 lines, which carries through most of the frame, with the outer third a bit weaker at 2,460 lines. Again, stopping downwards improves the eye-weighted score through f/eight—iii,264 lines at f/iv, three,350 lines at f/5.6, and three,427 lines at f/viii. Edge performance remains consistent through f/xi. There’s a similar drop in operation due to diffraction starting at f/11 (3,404 lines) and continuing at f/sixteen (3,053 lines) and f/22 (2,348 lines).
At 50mm f/2.8 the lens takes another drop in sharpness, recording a centre-weighted score that’southward all the same quite proficient at two,666 lines, only not every bit skilful as at wider angles. Edges are just slightly soft, with the outer third of the frame showing 2,091 lines. Stopping down to f/4 improves the overall score to iii,194 lines, with edges that are a crisper 2,260 lines. There’s more improvement at f/v.6, both in terms of boilerplate score (iii,476 lines) and at the edges of the frame (2,670 lines). Resolution peaks at f/viii (3,504 lines), with diffraction taking a slight cost at f/11 (3,387 lines) and a more than pregnant 1 at f/16 (2,997 lines) and f/22 (2,284 lines).
At 70mm the lens loses some other step at f/2.8, just still manages an acceptable centre-weighted score with an average of 2,426 lines across the frame. Edges are most problematic here; they show just i,917 lines, which is low enough to exist noticeably soft on a 36-megapixel camera. Stopping down to f/4 improves performance significantly—the heart-weighted score jumps to 2,723 lines and the edges bear witness 2,272 lines. At f/five.6 the lens jumps all the fashion to three,293 lines, and it improves at f/8 at 3,567 lines, with edges just shy of three,000 lines. Superlative performance here is at f/11, at 3,674 lines, with diffraction cut away item at f/xvi (3,473 lines) and f/22 (2,919 lines).
Overall, this is splendid operation for a zoom lens of this type, specially when you lot consider that it offers prototype stabilization. There is an issue with even illumination at f/ii.8, yet. I tested the lens for this using Imatest’s Uniformity analysis tool. It shows that at f/two.8, throughout the zoom range of the lens, there is a 2.v-terminate drop in exposure at the corners of the frame when compared with the heart. If yous look at just the sides, the drop is about 1.5 stops. Either way, this results in an epitome that’s noticeably dimmer at its edges and corners. It’s something that y’all can right fairly easily in Lightroom ($9.99/Calendar month at Adobe)(Opens in a new window)
, simply doing and then will increase image racket in those areas if yous’re already pushing the photographic camera’s ISO high.
Stopping downward to f/4 reduces the consequence. Corners testify a 1.five-stop drop, which is still noticeable, simply the sides of the image are within a stop of the eye. At f/5.half-dozen and lower illumination is even from edge to border.
Distortion, another issue that tin can exist corrected in Lightroom, is also a concern. At 24mm the lens shows iii percent barrel distortion, which causes straight lines to appear to curve outward like the hoops of a barrel. At 35mm the distortion has changed to pincushion, which causes the aforementioned lines to bend in, just information technology’southward more modest at just one.4 percent. It increases to 2.5 percent at 50mm and 70mm.
The 24-70mm lens is the go-to zoom for most event and wedding photographers.
Information technology covers a wide bending for scene-setting shots, or for those times when y’all’re close to the activity and want to fill up the frame. Zooming in turns it into a short telephoto for portraits and other detail shots. Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR includes vibration reduction, a characteristic that other f/two.viii zooms in this course, including rival Canon’s venerable EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM ($1,699.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window)
, tin can’t match. You’ll be able to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds, either allowing yourself to use a lower ISO for a cleaner image, or a smaller aperture for more depth of field. The lens is quite abrupt, and while it does show some distortion and isn’t perfect at the edges of the frame at f/ii.8, that’southward not at all out of line for a zoom of this type. It does cost quite a bit more than its unstabilized sibling, but the erstwhile 24-70mm remains in the lineup for photographers on a tighter budget.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR
The Bottom Line
The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR adds image stabilization to the workhorse lens of many a professional photographer.
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