Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens Review

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Handling and features

Weighing 465g and being only 78mm long, this lens is quite compact and lightweight for an FX format lens. As a result it is a perfect companion for the Nikon D700 used for testing, even without the MB-D10 grip attached. As is the case with Nikon's other high-end consumer lenses, high quality plastics have been used for much of the lens' construction and a rubber gasket surrounds the metal lens mount, to help prevent the ingress of dust and moisture into the camera body.

A silent wave motor powers autofocus, and speeds are good, with the lens locking onto a subject quickly and precisely. The narrow focusing ring is located close to the camera body and its action is well damped and smooth, which makes fine adjustments quite easy to apply. The zoom action is also smooth and has quite a short throw. A quarter turn bring you from wide angle to telephoto, which helps with adjusting composition quickly. The zoom doesn't creep forward when pointed downwards as just enough resistance has been applied to the mechanism to prevent this.

Closest focus distance is 38cm, and focusing is performed internally, so the 72mm filter thread does not rotate, which should make this lens ideal for use with graduated filters and polarisers.

Nikon's second generation Vibration Reduction system promises to allow hand held shooting at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than the usual rule of thumb for sharp hand-held photos. With care, sharp shots can be taken at 85mm and 1/10sec around half the time, which is roughly three stops slower than the usual rule of thumb for sharp hand held images would allow. The VR system has very little lag, stabilising the image in the viewfinder in a fraction of a second.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

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