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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    desmobob's Avatar

    wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    I like prime lenses, but I also like to keep a "trinity" of zooms on hand for convenience. I'm retired and on a tight budget so my trinity is not the fast and expensive trio, but budget alternatives. My current zooms are the AF Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.4-4.5 D, the AF Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 D, and an older push-pull version of the AF 80-200mm f/2.8 D.

    I'm pretty happy with the 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 and I love the 80-200 f/2.8 (except for the weight!), but the 28-85 f/3.5-4.5 just seems lackluster. It's looking like I might soon have about $1K max to spend on upgrading the 28-85. I can't afford the fast Nikkor zooms in that kind of range, the slower Nikkors don't have reviews much better than my 28-85, and I can't seem to pick out a third-party stand-out, either.

    Is there a excellent bang-for-the-buck lens in this 24-70 or so range or should I look for a used specimen of one of the fast Nikkor zooms? I love the optical quality of the fast Nikkors, but I'm starting to consider weight as an important factor. Maybe I should just be satisfied with the 28-85 I already have...

    Thoughts?

    Edit to add:
    I just noticed the difference in reviews of the 24-85 AF-S vs. the 24-85 AF-D. Maybe the AF-S is the one I might try...


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    Last edited by desmobob; 02-24-2020 at 12:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    Tokina 24-70... https://www.dxomark.com/tokina-at-x-...top-performer/

    Beats Nikon at <$1,000
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    desmobob's Avatar

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredKingston View Post
    Tokina 24-70... https://www.dxomark.com/tokina-at-x-...top-performer/

    Beats Nikon at <$1,000
    I really love the reviews, but at 35 ounces, I don't know if I'd want to carry it much...

    Another lens I forgot to mention is the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR. Many reviewers complain about distortion, but otherwise, it seems to be a versatile lens (and 1.5 lbs. vs. the 2.2 lbs. of the Tokina).

    The Tokina does look to be a top performer, though!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    The Tamron 24-70 G2 is amazingly sharp but a hair over your budget. You might find an open boxed unit that could fit your budget.
    Thanks/Like desmobob Thanks/liked this post
     
    Nikon D500, D7200 Sigma 11-20 Pro f/2.8. Nikkor 18-140 VR. Sigma 150-600 Contemporary
    Nikkor 200-400mm VR1 f/4
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
    desmobob's Avatar

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    Since these zooms are more or less my "walking around lenses," I think I've decided that convenience and weight are large factors in my choice.

    At the moment, I'm thinking I'll replace my old AF 18-35mm D with the much better AF-S 18-35mm G and replace the AF 28-85mm D with the AF-S 24-85mm D VR. This will put me a little over budget but will be a significant upgrade to two of my frequently-used lenses.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    The 24-120mm f/4 VR you mentioned is an excellent all around lens. My wife and I both use them a lot.
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  7. #7
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by desmobob View Post
    Another lens I forgot to mention is the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR. Many reviewers complain about distortion, but otherwise, it seems to be a versatile lens (and 1.5 lbs. vs. the 2.2 lbs. of the Tokina).
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy W View Post
    The 24-120mm f/4 VR you mentioned is an excellent all around lens. My wife and I both use them a lot.
    I too have the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR lens and find it to be amazing. In the past I was using an older Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (no VR) that was light although its bokeh left a lot to be desired (onion skin type of circles). The 24-120mm is about the same size and weight, but the advantage is its VR and creamier bokeh. I use Camera RAW to set the lens profile of my NEF. That really helps take care of any distortion. However, if you shoot really close to your subject, most lenses will show distortion if the subject is close to the lens. No issues with distortion unless I intentionally shoot to include it.

    When shooting groups of people, regardless of the lens used, if you are using a wide angle lens and the people are very close to the sides of your frame in horizontal images (or close to the top/bottom in vertical shots), you will usually see distortion (stretching of body parts) no matter what lens is used. It's a characteristic of wide angle lenses.
    Thanks/Like desmobob Thanks/liked this post
     
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    €‹€‹€‹€‹€d€‹24-120mm on my d750
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    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pups_pleasure/


  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    I have the 24-120 f4 and its used most often. I also have the old school 35-70 f2.8 push pull that pairs nicely with my 80-200 f2.8 push pull. If I know i need super sharp pics in low light, I use the 35-70, otherwise the convenience of having 24-120 in one lens at f4 outweighs the stop of light lost. FWIW, I find that I use the 35-70 on a D7500 more than on the D800.
    Thanks/Like desmobob Thanks/liked this post
     
    Camera- D800, D7500, D40x
    Zoom Lenses-
    DX- Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Sigma A 18-35 f1.8, Nikon 18-140 f3.5-5.6
    FX- Tamron 15-30 f2.8, Nikon 35-70 f2.8, Nikon 80-200 f2.8, Nikon 24-120 f4, Nikon AF-P 70-300 f4.5-5.6 Sigma C 150-600 f5-6.3
    Prime Lenses- Nikon 50 f1.8g, Tokina 100 f2.8, Rokinon HD 8 f3.5

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    desmobob's Avatar

    Re: wide-to-short tele zoom choice?

    wide-to-short tele zoom choice?
    I decided to favor light weight and purchased an AF-S 24-85mm f/4-5.6G ED VR. I know it doesn't have the greatest reviews, but it is an improvement over the lens it replaced and it is lightweight and economical.

    I got chance to use it at a get-together this week and I was pleased with the results. Here's a friend and one of his grandchildren, shot wide-open with the lens at 65mm:

    wide-to-short tele zoom choice?-_lock12a.jpg

    The image is a horizontal crop from a vertical shot and it had enough quality to hold up. The bokeh seems reasonably smooth and pleasant.

    I also replaced my old AF 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D with an AF-S 18-35mm f/4-5.6G ED. That lens is also a step up from the one I used previously. With an AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED along with those two, I'm finally content with three decent, lighweight and affordable lenses that I can carry comfortably and cover my casual shooting needs from 18mm to 300mm. I wouldn't feel too constrained if I just carried any one of them by itself.
    Last edited by desmobob; 03-10-2020 at 03:34 AM.
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