123 of 128 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Nikon AF-S 24-70mm/2.8G ED (Camera)
This is the most beautiful lens I've ever owned. It doesn't have any exciting features like macro limiting or Vibration Reduction - it just takes achingly crisp, superb photographs and focuses virtually instantly, with almost no measurable distortion for most of its range and very little chromatic aberration.
This is a lens with two applications, depending on what camera you put it on.
On a DX camera, such as a D2X or D300, it offers the ideal range for portraits and groups, which is the equivalent of 36-105 on traditional film.
On a film or FX camera (currently only the D3), it offers the key normal working ranges (equivalent of 16-47 on DX) which are most used by most photographers. In that sense, it has slightly less range than the DX 17-55 workhorse. More importantly, it syncs exactly with the 70-200 VR and the new 14-24 lenses, to give the D3 user a range from ultra-wide to long telephoto in three lenses. At 24 on the widest end, it is wider than Nikon's previous wide offerings in this type of lens. Traditionally, 28 was the classic wide-angle lens, and 24 is moving towards the ultra-zoom range. For many users, this lens goes as wide as is ever necessary, since wider than 24 the apparent perspective distortion begins to be extreme.
There is some barrel distortion at 24mm, but this is largely gone by 28mm. This can be easily corrected in Photoshop in the few applications where it is a problem. The limited amount of chromatic aberration in this range is automatically corrected in the D300 and the D3. On older cameras, this is can be easily fixed in Nikon Capture or Photoshop.
So far, this sounds like a full-frame equivalent of the DX 17-55 workhorse, with slightly less range at the long end. The 17-55 is a beautiful lens, but this lens is a step better in image quality. Some of this is doubtless down to improved learning in lens design, but at least part of it is a result of Nikon's new N nano-coating, which means that there are virtually no internal reflections, and therefore almost no ghosting and no flare -- and an improvement in acutance in almost all situations.
Who should buy this lens? Essentially, every D3 owner. This lens is so perfect, and so useful, that investing in a D3 without investing in this lens is a false economy. Of course, if one of the attractions of the D3 is rendering your investment in Nikon lenses, and you already have a 28-70, then you might want to think twice, but if you don't own a premium lens in this range, you really should think about this one.
This is a superb lens for portraits on the DX format, but is probably not such a bargain, given that the wide-end is not especially useful for portraits, and the 35-70 can be had quite cheaply second hand. However, if you own both FX and DX cameras, this is a lens which will serve you in both formats.
Written text cannot do justice to this lens. Handle a camera with one fitted, and you will start working out reasons why you need to buy one.
Incidentally, this lens comes with a good case -- which you probably won't use very much, since, once you've put it on the camera, there are not many situations where you will want to take it off. Except, of course, to put on the 70-200 or 14-24 -- and, when you do, you can pop this lens in their cases.