Nikon 24-85MM F3.5-4.5G ED-IF VR With Amazing Optical Performance

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It is a full-frame VR II lens with amazing optical performance

Description: Nikon 24-85MM F3.5-4.5G ED-IF VR

Nikon 24-85MM F3.5-4.5G ED-IF VR

Based on the performance of Nikon’s 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, getting a score of 91% and costing $300, we can’t help questioning whether there’s a market for a 24-85mm lens sharing the same aperture whose zoom range is half shorter yet price is twice costlier. The answer is yes, because of that not only 24-85mm zoom offers full-frame coverage but also that its optical performance is better than 18-105mm lens.

Nikon’s 24-85mm lens is seductively compact, with appearance divided into 3 parts: the front section filled with the zoom rings, the middle section where focused-distance window lie and the rear one providing a narrow manual-focusing ring plus two sliders that configure the focus mode and activate VR system.

It may be not right to say that the middle section is not well used and it’d better sacrificing focused-distance window to create larger zoom and focusing rings – yet that requires changes in features of Nikon’s full-frame lens. (DX 18-105mm lens accepted this suggestion but it aims at a different segment).

Focusing is internal and manual adjustments can be made at any time. Like in the case of 18-105mm zoom, user needs to changes handling position slightly to reach manual focusing ring but the lens still feels balanced. Auto-focusing is fast, though not outstanding fast.

Image quality is an upside of full-frame 24-85mm lens. There was no apparent sign of optical aberration in any real-time images and though it was able to see the separation of curves when shooting technical test targets, there was no color-fringing.

Besides, MTF figures were always high across the aperture ranges, from wide-open to f/27, which is a minimum aperture setting from 28mm onward, but the performance beyond f/22 was not penalized in tests of WDC as quality-concerned photographers  will avoid such apertures; there, image quality often decreases due to diffraction.

At the other end of the ratio scale, the zoom’s maximal f/3-4.5mm minimized usage of blurred background to some extent, but this limit was forgivable in such a reasonably priced and amazing lens.

Overall, this lens is impressive. Essentially, there was nothing to blame in any serious levels. Nikon’s use of ED glass and three aspherical profiles has been rewarded with color vividness and sharpness. Any Nikon users can live without the maximal f/2.8 aperture should consider this lens as very serious as an alternate for 24-70mm lenses which are much costlier.

Description: Overall, this lens is impressive.

Overall, this lens is impressive.

Technical specifications

·         Max. aperture: f/3.5-4.5

·         Min. aperture: f/22-29

·         Lens mount: Nikon (FX)

·         Number of blades: 7

·         Image stabilization: Yes, VR II

·         Optics (elements/groups): 16/11

·         Min. focal length: 0.38cm

·         Filter thread: 72mm

·         Lens cover: Yes

·         Width: 78mm

·         Length: 82mm

·         Weight: 465g



·         Excellent MTF performance

·         Fast AF

·         No color-fringing



·         Nothing for a lens of this type



·         Overall score: 95%

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