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Thread: Nikon 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 lens opinion

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    Nikon 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 lens opinion

    Hello,

    I'm looking to hopefully be getting a Nikon D610 in a couple of months and am considering the 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 lens to go with it. Has anyone had any experience with this particular lens and the quality that produces?

    Thanks! 😃

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    as you are doing portraiture as paid work, forget about the kit lenses. Go for at least an f2.8 constant lens. Faster autofocusing etc.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Smile

    Hey Rick, thanks for your reply. With my work atm it's in a studio set up which never changes, so my camera settings is constantly f11, 250 shutter and iso 200. Basically it's family portraits done as floor posing on fake white wash timber boards and each family is posed in the same spot etc.... Once I get some more experience I shall be wanting to do my own out door portraits as my own business and shall def be getting a good 2.8 then but for now just need something that is nice and sharp and in that zoom range as bigger aperture doesn't matter for this particular scenario. Any other suggestions shall are more than welcomed though😃
    Last edited by Jaz27b; 03-03-2014 at 6:30pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The more modern version of the 24-85 isn't too bad stopped down a bit. That'll be the 24-85mm with VR.
    There are two other versions of this lens that may or may not be available any longer as new Nikon items, but they may exist in old inventory.
    There could be either the 24-85 f/2.8-4, or the later slower 24-85 f/3.5-4.5(without VR). But the one you want is similar to the older non VR f/3.5-4.5 and definitely has VR in the model name.

    Actually doesn't appear to be a bad lens, going by some of the images seen of this lens.

    If you look at the 'raw' data' available on this lens in tests, at about f/8-f/11, it appears to have better resolving ability than the famed 24-70/2.8! (Photozone test!!).

    If you look at the comparison tests done on Cameralabs between the Nikon 24-70/2.8 vs Tamron 24-70/2.8, Tom has also added images taken with the 24-85/3.5-4.5VR lens just for the sake of reference.

    Both 24-70's have done pretty well, but look at the images shot with the 24-85 when stopped down you'd be hard pressed to see much in the way of differences over the average frame area!

    Where the kit lens falls into a heap is in the far corners of the Fx frame(even stopped down), and this is to be expected really.

    So, keeping in mind that the corners will cause you some grief, and that distortion will also be more obvious in some situations .. this lens would be ideal for a studio lens used stopped down.

    At about $500-ish .. it also represents pretty good value for money.

    Just remember to turn VR off if using a tripod tho!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Hi Arthurking,

    I checked out the link for the comparison of the lenses and yea it looks like it pulls up pretty good for what I'm needing! And your very right, it's a Dandy price! I went to of site that sells it and read some user reviews.... A lot of people say how suprised they were by it ( in a good way of course) or how good it performs for the low cost and it being "such a steal for the price".

    I try and read the more complex reviews of all the different specs fully broken down but there's so much info in mumbo jumbo language I end up getting overwhelmed and not understanding majority of it LOL.

    May I ask you, why is it that you say it's expected for it to go funny in the corners being an fx sensor? Is it typical for all lenses on fx or just the cheaper ones?

    Thanks for your help :-)

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaz27b View Post
    .....

    May I ask you, why is it that you say it's expected for it to go funny in the corners being an fx sensor? Is it typical for all lenses on fx or just the cheaper ones?

    Thanks for your help :-)
    Cheaper lenses have, by their definition, a limitation on how much effort will be put into their design.

    Look at Zeiss lenses, and they cost more than a pretty penny, but that cost is borne out in their quality(both physical and ability).

    So a kit type lens is built to a price, which means both that it may not perform all that well in image rendering somewhere, and also that with repeated heavy use, it's more likely to fail somewhere(cheaper or less durable part types).

    This isn't a given tho .. some cheaper lenses can be as good as the upper shelf products in many ways.

    With a historical perspective, it's a given that somewhere in the image, a cheaper kit type lens will not performs very well, and Nikon(as well as all other lens makers) usually hide those lesser abilities at the edges of the images they create.
    For the most part, the majority of users of these types of lens(general consumer types) don't look at the edge of the frame to see how sharp the image is rendered.

    And a well educated person, also knows that (for example) even a lens like this which is expected to produce lower quality rendering, can still produce pretty fine images for portraits.
    How many images of portraits have you ever seen, where the last few millimeters of the corner of the scene has been rendered super sharp?

    That's why I made the comment on the expectation. Usually those corners are even worse, in terms of how much of the corners are affected by lower quality rendering.
    I can't seem to do it now, but that Tom chap(in the review link) had posted the full sized images from the lens that you could download, and I remember the only very few last millimeters of the corner of the frame were quite badly rendered. So, in effect, for your usage .. nothing to worry about unless you portraits portraits with heads right out into the corners of the frame(and I doubt anyone would even try that professionally!)

    If you were selling very high quality prints of landscapes instead, even tho it seems redundant to have an f/2.8 lens, the 24-70/2.8 lens used at f/8-f/11 would be the better choice to produce better quality prints of those landscapes.

    So for your purposes, this type of lens makes perfectly good sense.

    But what Rick says about the faster f/2.8 lens actually makes good sense. Faster and constant aperture lenses are more than just about the faster aperture. They are more likely to be built better(for continued/heavy use), will focus faster/more accurately, will distort less, vignette less, and transmit more light(ie. lose less light compared to what is expected .. t-Stop).

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaz27b View Post
    I shall be wanting to do my own out door portraits as my own business and shall def be getting a good 2.8 then but for now just need something that is nice and sharp and in that zoom range as bigger aperture doesn't matter for this particular scenario. Any other suggestions shall are more than welcomed though
    My thoughts.

    Save the money that you want to spend on an all in one slow zoom and put it towards a lens / lenses that will offer you the same to much better all round images now and into the future.

    If you really have to have a zoom lens now, I would suggest that you seek a secondhand Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 ( early series ) as they should be able to be purchased < $400.00 and I reckon that a good example of that lens will be just as good optically as the Nikon for your usage and better built into the bargain.

    Don't set your sights on F/2.8 as a holy grail, you will soon realise that it is too slow for both indoor and outdoor portraiture. Start thinking F/1.4 or F/1.8 as a minimum.

    Stop worrying about F/11, sharpness in portraits and place heads anywhere you want within the frame.

    F/2, composed, not cropped and NO sharpening applied.

    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Thanks for your nice detailed responses! Will take all info into consideration and appreciate your input :-)

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