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The 24-120 f/4 VR is a compact zoom in the perfect range for walk-around photography on both FX and DX sensor cameras. Nikon’s VR II image stabilization system allows photographers to work with shutter speeds up to 4x slower than usual. The lens contains 2 extra-low dispersion and 3 aspherical elements, as well as Nano crystal coatings to maximize image quality and minimize aberrations. It has a 9-bladed aperture ring for smooth out-of-focus highlights and Silent Wave motor for fast autofocus.
Admittedly, I’m a die hard prime shooter but upon hearing that Nikon was putting out a fixed aperture, mid-range zoom, I was pretty excited. As far as ease of use, you really couldn’t ask for anything more. This lens is compact, quick to autofocus, and has an exceptionally smooth zoom ring. The VR II stabilization (with both normal and active modes) allows for shooting at speeds otherwise impossible handheld and with a focal range of 24-120mm (36-180mm for crop sensors), I never found myself wanting for shots.
There is a bit of barreling at the wide end. It’s nothing that you’ll notice in your shots of the kids at the park but definitely something to consider any time architecture is involved. And as for the ‘smoother out-of-focus highlights’ that come from the 9 aperture blades, they could honestly still use some work. The overall sharpness of the lens isn’t bad, in fact, I would say it’s decently sharp throughout in the center (but not the corners). However I can’t help but wonder, where is the oomph, the wow, the sparkle? Well…from what I can see it looks like Nikon opted to save it for the 28-300mm.
- Filter Size
- 77mm (nonrotating)
- 1.5 lb (without tripod collar)
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 1.5 feet
- Maximum Magnification
- Angle of view: (full frame)
- 84 to 20.3 degrees
- Zoom method
- Front, barrel extends, nonrotating
- Image Stabilization
- VR II, 4 stop
- Focusing System
- Internal, Silent Wave motor, Full time manual
- Aperture Blades
- 9, circular
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Nikon F
- DX, FX
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