Here it is review of production lens Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f / 2.8E ED VR. Last week, I compare dimensions and quickly looked at photos on the LCD screen but this time there is a real production lens, which should be the same as those who will sell in photo stores.
I had limited time for testing, which is totally understandable, but I think that I managed to bring the testing to the point where I could draw some conclusions concerning the construction of the lens, the operation of automatic focus (AF), operation of the vibration Reduction (VR), and in particular the optical properties and image quality produced by Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f / 2.8E ED VR.
Let me start with the building quality of the lens and the dimensions. Lens in comparison to the previous model from 2007 is big. Lens gained 170g so that now weighs 1070g. The height measured 155mm in folded position and and 180mm in extended position, width is 88mm and it have 82mm filter thread. The lens is really big and pretty heavy for a standard zoom lens. But I say again that I prefer a slightly larger and more robust lens, rather than dimensional smoler and les durable lens, which was the previous model from 2007.
Other technical characteristics can be found at this link: Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8 VR
I would like to say that the present test of Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8VR is made primarily from the perspective of the user experience. I spent a little more in-depth analysis of the sharpnes, optical distortion and vignetting at different focal lengths of this lens, but this part of the test is made mainly in the sense that it shows visually difference in image quality at variety of settings.
Photo gallery (normal size)
Much attention was devoted to the renovation of the ultrasonic focus motor unit, which is now much more responsive and faster. The lens actually focus lightning fast and is much faster then in older model. I’ve never photographed with a lens that would be focusing faster. After minor corrections of micro AF adjustment, I have not had negative experiences. Lens focus accurately in low light conditions. So in this segment, Nikon has a very big plus.
Optical stabilization (VR)
The system of optical image stabilization is the first time installed in the FX Nikon lens with that focal range. According to Nikon’s engineers, we can get sharp photos with up to 4 stops slower times. In practice, I get a sharp photos at 1 / 10sec to 1 / 8Ssec and focal length 70mm. Longer times were more of a problem, but this still means 3 stops slower times than without stabilization. It is very important that the system is very responsive and fast.Here, too, for Nikon one big plus.
Optical quality of lens (sharpness, vignetting, ghosting and flare, bokeh)
The lens design is virtually new. They renewed mechanical structure, which is now much more durable, as well as the optical design. They instaled all the latest optical elements, including nano-crystalline coatings and other coatings.
Contrasts and microcontrast are excellent, the quality of photos are at first glance, outstanding, detailed review confirmed excellent tonal range that lens defines. In the field of reflections of light within the lens, the Nikon also do good jobe with nano cristal coating. For the lens, which has in its structure 20 different optical elements the flare and ghosting are well corected. Some of flare and ghost effect is otherwise seen, but only in extreme conditions.
Quality of bokeh is specific for such complex structure of the lens. In certain lighting conditions, the bokeh can be quite nervous, this can be clearly seen at the photos with a piece of meat. But this happens in very exceptional conditions, otherwise the bokeh is suitable for portraits and other creative photography.
When shooting portraits, there was no evidence of these tiny bright circles, at least not to a degree that would unduly affect the appearance of the photos. Somehow it has been shown that if the background is uniform, then the bokeh blur is even. Otherwise, aesthetics and quality bokeh is rather subjectively conditioned. Below are a few portraits, in which the lens produced nice blured background.
One of the characteristics of the lens, which is to some extent can be distracting, is quite heavy vignetting at the open aperture. For the lens in this price range it could be less vignetting.
I was surprised to see that the lens in close-up shots is less sharp than in the motives that are more distant. This is most notable in 70mm focal length and open aperture. It seems the engineers did not have in mind to make the lens suitable for close-up photos.
Sharpnes and distortion
For the last part of the test I left the test of sharpness and the optical distortion at different focal lengths and aperture settings. The lens is well corrected for optical distortion. Most of distortion is detected in the 24mm setting, while some was also at 70mm. Sharpness is excellent in normal ranges. Even at maximum aperture the lens is very sharp in the middle, at the extreme edges, the lens is little less sharp at 24mm focal length, but from aperture f4 become quite good. Sharpness at 24mm focal lengths up to 50mm is excellent, with the exception of the extreme edges at aperture f2.8. At 70mm in open aperture the lens is slightly less sharp than at the other focal lengths.
Photographers were long expecting this lens. All those who had the bad experience with a previous version of the lens, when it comes to durability, we expect robust and durable lens. The lens is large, the weight doesent represents such a great problem, as the fact that it is necessary to get used to almost 180mm long lens. All new technology installed in the lens are welcomed, in particular, a great and incredibly fast autofocus system, as well as excellent image stabilization system. The picture quality is excellent, especially the sharpness is excellent at almost all focal lengths and only slightly decrease at 70mm. Probably in the cameras with 24 millions pixel sensors, that wont be even noticed. Vignetting could have been less pronounced at open apertures, optical image distortion is also well controlled for zoom lens with such range (24-70mm). Surprisingly slightly worse sharpness in close-ups, but this lens is anyway not constructed for use in macro photography. Professional photographers will quickly placed Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8 VR on the list of their equipment. Time will tell If the new robust construction apologized dimensions of the lens and if the lens really proved as durable and reliable hard working machine. The current price of the lens is around 2,400 euros.
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Autor of review and photos: Bojan Stepančič
I added new short comparison between Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f4VR and Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8VR in which I compare flare and ghosting, sharpnes, vignetting and distortion between this two lenses at 24mm and 70mm seting. Here is link to the post.Comparison between Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f4VR and Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8VR
I added new comparison between Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8VR and old Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8G.Click for comparison between AF-S 24-70mm f2.8VR and old 24-70mm f2.8G
I added II. part of comparison between VR and G lens. BOKEH and sharpnes at distant motivesII. part comparison – BOKEH and sharpnes at distant motives