Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Nikkor!

By getting Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G, I have completed my Nikkor lenses line up that covers 17-200mm for FX (full frame) and 10-200 for DX (crop format). So now, my lens line up is consisting of these lenses:

  • Nikkor AF-S 17-35 f/2.8
  • Nikkor AF-S 24-70 f/2.8G
  • Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/2.8G

Nikon has come up with Nikkor AF-S 14-24 f/2.8G and some people say that this lens is suppose to replace AF-S 17-35. I am not sure whether that is true or not, but since I bought my 17-35 before 14-24 came out and it still performs its job exceptionally well - then I am keeping it. I also have not tried 14-24 in person other than reading some reviews and seeing sample photos. Most people agree that 14-24 is one of Nikon's best - to the point even Canon people are looking for converted to be able to use with Canon cameras.

This is not a full spec detail review, but rather an experience based narrative. So I am going to write about my experience in using 24-70 for the last 1 month or so (I had it since early November). For the last month, I can say I use this lens almost exclusively - not because all my other lenses are bad - but because I have done mostly indoor shooting/photography. I took a lot of pictures of my son, thanksgiving parties, etc - and I can say that 24-70 is perfect for indoors.

Previously I usually use my 50mm f/1.4 AF-D or AF-S 18-200. If I use my 50mm, I can set it to f/4 and set my camera to A mode and be happy. If I am using multiple flashes, I set my camera to M mode and adjust exposure accordingly. My gripe with the 50mm is that it is not a zoom and also the speed of focusing is rather slow - so as a result I often missed some critical shot of my son acting funny.

I was not expecting that this lens will be so much faster in focusing - but apparently it is faster enough that I have more keeper than before. This lens is also very very sharp - even with normal sharpening setting in my camera, it produce a very sharp image - I would say that it is comparable to 50mm prime.

Compared to 18-200 is like night and day. Although 18-200 has its place as a travel lens, compared to 24-70, its flaws and compromised got exposed. The 24-70 is sharp wide open and stay sharp throughout the aperture range. The 18-200 is soft wide open and sharpest at f/6.3 - but even its sharpest is not comparable to 24-70 wide open.

The zoom ring of the 24-70 is also consistent and balanced, making it easy to zoom and compose - where 18-200 has zoom creep and imbalance zoom ring stiffness.

All in all, I am extremely satisfied with this new lens, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8G - worth every penny that I put into it.

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