Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens – First Impressions

The Nikon D600 kit I bought came with a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens. I had convinced myself that I really wanted to get the 28 to 300mm zoom lens but when I realized my 70-300mm was an FX lens and I could save the $1000 for other things like food and rent, I went ahead and purchased it.  It will be pretty much my standard, on the camera lens, for now.

I’ve had it a couple of weeks now and it is not a bad lens at all.  Pretty nice actually.  The D600 with this lens weights about as much as my D200 with its 28-105 mm lens. The lens helps render some pretty true to life colors and has decent sharpness throughout the range.  Here are a couple of test shots I did today to give you an idea of how well the lens works with the camera.  All images were taken with the camera on a tripod with an ISO of 100 and Aperture priority mode set to F8.0.  There is more vignetting than i expected and some distortion in images right from the camera. You can see the difference which is subtile when being shown 600megapixel images in sRGB color space. Vignetting and distortion are more prominent at the 24mm end of the lens. Nothing that is not fixed in Lightroom with the standard Adobe supplied Lens Corrections.

24mm F8.0 OriginalThis is the original 24mm image with no adjustments.

24mm F8.0 CorrectedThe 24mm with Lens Profile applied you can see it’s a bit lighter in the upper left corner.

85mm F8.0 Original85mm with no adjustments.

85mm F8.0  Corrected

And finally at 85mm with the Lens Adjustment applied.

I’m getting used to the camera and lens still but I’m really loving working with a full frame camera.  The lens is fine for my everyday shooting. I’ve got a number of lens to try including my little 50mm 1.8 lens which I’m expecting big things from. In the mean time the 24-85mm will do just fine.   I’ll be doing a First Impressions on the D600 soon.