Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S ED Lens review

The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S ED has achieved almost legendary status amongst the Nikon lens line up since its introduction.

The 24-70 covers a very useful range and Nikon incorporated ED glass and ultra-fast AF-S focussing and Nano Crystal coat.

These three features combine to produce a lens of exceptional optical quality and mechanical precision.

With 15 elements in 11 groups (with 3 ED glass elements, 3 aspherical lenses and one Nano Crystal Coat) the 24-70 weighs in at 900g and measures 83mm maximum diameter by 133mm long.

At maximum aperture f/2.8 performance is already excellent in the centre and close to excellent at the edges at all focal lengths. Stopping down one stop to f/4 improves the already excellent centre and brings the edges up to excellent too. There is a small amount of barrel distortion at 24mm and an equally small amount of pincushion distortion at 70mm – both easily corrected in camera automatically for jpegs or software correction of raw files can be automated in Lightroom for instance. For most subjects the small amount of distortion is not significant at all.

There is some vignetting (darkening of the corners) at f/2.8 and very slightly at f/4 – but completely gone by f/5.6. Again in camera shading compensation with correct this in jpegs or profile correction with raw files.

Focussing is lightning fast and accurate with this lens – the equal of the 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR II – to which this is the perfect partner.

The lens extends somewhat when zooming with the included locking lens hood providing excellent flare protection -combined with the special Nano Crystal coat flare is not an issue with this lens.

It is very well built and chunky, balances very well on the D4, D3 Pro cameras and also on the D800/D700 though then a bit front heavy. Shooting with a battery grip on the D800/700/610/600/7100/7000 etc will improve balance and handling.

The 24-70 accepts 77mm filters so a polariser can be used quite happily – beware of stacking filters though as even a thin rimmed UV combined with a thin polariser will give some image cut-off at 24mm – best practice to only use one filter at a time.

The lens is supplied with a lens case, front and rear caps and a substantial lens hood which reverses over the lens for compact storage and comes very highly recommended.

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