currently i'm shooting with few primes (17/35/50/85/180) , suddenly a trip to china comes in (unplanned business trip).. of course i'm traveling with two or three primes , but i'd like the option of not changing the lenses :) .. what are your suggestions? i prefer something that starts with 24mm , CA/Corner sharpness is not an issue for me , as I'm going to adjust/tune these pictures any way .. thanks
Travel zoom for d700 ?(20 posts) (16 voices)
I'd agree, that's the same range (approx.) as the 16-85 in DX, which is what I shoot on a D90. I find it perfect for all around. It also covers the two focal lengths I used most when using prime lenses for travel, i.e. 28 and 105, plus a bit in each direction. VR and a relatively small size and weight are the other obvious pluses.
the 24-120 is a weak performer, I would suggest the 24-70 f/2.8 by Sigma. . .it's rating REALLY high, just slightly "less" than the venerable nikkor 24-70, which is nearly $2k right now. . .at $899, it's a steal:
If I had a D700, I would get this lens for sure. . .
Having read the reviews of Nikon's 12-120, I must agree it's a no-show. If I were buying a D700 for travel, I'd probably pick up three lenses. I can't see going Nikon full frame and not getting the 14-24/2.8, it's considered by many to be the sharpest ultra-wide ever made. I'd also get the 70-200/2.8 (either new or current model), since it seems to be every pro's choice. To fill the gap from 24-70 in focal length, I'd get the new 50/1.4.
If the objective was to carry only one camera and one lens, I wouldn't carry a D700. I'd be more likely to get a DX body (D90 or D300/D300s) and the DX 16-85 or 18-200. Delivers a small overall package with a large zoom range and quality optics. The FX lenses offered by Nikon are big, heavy and they don't make many. It's unfortunate that the best in terms of zoom range (24-120) with VR is optically deficient.
If you absolutely need a zoom, the only option seems to be the 24-70/2.8 - big, heavy, expensive and optically superior. I haven't used the Sigma, but the reviews Nikon 24-70 are terrific.
shivaswrath - I was using the 24-120 vr on a full frame body (this was my main lens for some time on f100) and I was more than happy with the results, which were totally different than this what in the reviews; however the sigma 24-70/2.8 is really a great lens, and as You wrote for it's price it's a steal
Actually there are a few nice FF options for travel. I would suggest you look into getting the 24-85 mm. There are 2 versions one is the F2.8-F4 version and the second is the afs version F3.5-F4.5. Both are better than the 24-120 except for the lack of VR. Of course there is the tamron 28-300 VC. But I dont know if thats what you are interested in ( being a Prime lens sort of guy).
The F2.8-F4 AFD version also has a nice macro capability and its available new. While the newer AFS version has been discontinued, but you can get it from adorama etc..
With regard to the Sigma 24-70.. There are 2 versions of this lens. The new HSM version reviews with GREAT IQ.
thanks all , i would love to won nikkor 24-70 , but its over priced for my purpose .. i really much enjoy primes in that range , regarding sigma , i well not be able to buy it in my area , ordering online with sigma sample variation is a big risk .. so this leave me to either 24-120mm vr or 24-85mm .. most of the time i prefer to be closer so my subject .. i rarely shot any thing above 105mm , so which one of the 24-85mms is better ?
I don't recommend buying the 24-70. I've got it, and now all I want to do is go out and buy the 70-200. I suppose once I get that, I'll want to go buy the 14-24 and a D700 to put it on. It's a very expensive habit LOL.
@ Steve888 : I dont have either of those 24-85 lenses so I cant give you first hand experience. However all the reviews I have read say that both are good, better than the 24-120. Some reviews say that the F2.8 AFD version is better . Others say that the F3.5 AFS version is better.. so it may be sample variation and the reviewers subjective opinion that is putting one above the other. Whatever the case, it would seem that either one would provide a great IQ lightweight walkabout FF lens.
Your personal choice would come down to whether you prefer a slightly brighter lens or a smaller more silent faster focus AFS lens.
Good luck with your choice.
@ Willis : Tell me about it.. I got may darn 35-70 F2.8 real cheap ($150 gathering dust in a little camera shop) and now I want to get a 24-70 thats going to cost nearly $2000 !! Sigh ... those great lenses spoils your other lenses !! :-)
This is a great place for Lens comparison
This is by Bjørn Rørslett who has lots of Nikon knowledge and Info
The 24-120mm VR really is a better performer on FX than DX. Having demoed it on a D3, I was really Impressed, until I tried it on my D300.
The 24-85mm is a really strong performer if you do not want to break the bank and feel you don't need VR, and probably a tad sharper.
Like many said, with a D700 I would get 14-24, 70-200, a 50mm ƒ/1.4 and probably a 28mm prime.. I know the nikkor ƒ/1.4 is hard to get but sigma has a ƒ/1.8 one.
If you want to travel light, FX is not the way to go. However, If I had to take a D700 and one lens for a whole trip, I would get the 14-24 because I'm a wide angle maniac. (and today I shoot a D300 with tokina 11-16 as my principal lens) If I was more into telephotos, I would only bring the 70-200. Of course, bringing one of these huge lens + a small prime would be a good idea.. the prime should cover the focal length that you don't have with your zoom: ex: 14-24 + 85 or 105 OR a 20, 24 or 28mm prime + 70-200.
Who said you needed wide angle, normal AND telephoto? I guess it depends of how you shoot but many of us have a preference.
if I'm taking as little gear as possible with me, my setup is my F3 with motor, (I take this over my F4S in this situation because I have the option of removing the motor-drive), and lenswise, it's either the 20mm/3.5 or the 18-35mm/3.5-4.5 as my wide, and then a 85mm/1.4 or a 105mm/2.5 for my portrait. A drive-less F3 with a 20mm mounted and the 105mm in my pocket or shoulder bag is compact enough for me in most anyplace.
To travel with a light zoom on FX there are not a lot of choices. There is a lot negative reviews regarding the AF-S 24-120mm VR lens, but on B&H website there are quite a few positive reviews from users. See link below.
I recently bought one from a family member for my wife's D60 and she loves it. Of course the D60 is only using the center portion of the lens.
I would give it a chance.
24-120 VR is a great choice for all around travel lens on a full frame D700. It is something you could keep on most of the times, you will appreciate range and working VR on a travel and it performs very well on FX.
Nikon 24-85 f/2.8-4.0 is a bit more expensive and a bit sharper, but not nearly as sharp as any of the primes you have mentioned.
If I were you I would get very usable 24-120 VR as my primary lens for travel, if you are lucky you could get one really cheap these days, and I would put a couple of primes (35 and 180 would be my first choice) in the bag just in case there is something really valuable to shoot.
Definitely nikon 24-70mm/2.8 a solid performer, but expensive
Nikon 24-85mm would be a second choice, I would bring along the 17mm for landscape as an option.
In China, you'd probably be shooting tons of landscape pictures (and I mean tons) few portraits also.
You might also consider bringing a light tripod along if going to Shanghai, night time there is amazing.
The AF-S 24-120mm VR lens is available through 17th Street Photo on E-Bay at $505.00 new which is less than anyone else that I know and would trust. I have purchased from them before online and at their retail store in New York City. They are in a strange location downtown in a office building on the third floor, but they appear to be reputable.
Here is the link to E-Bay:
I'm leaving on a trip today and taking my D700 with a 24-120 VR attached. I know the internet pundits hate it, but I still think for the money, it's a decent lens. When I travel, I really don't want to lug a tripod around, so VR is important to me. There are shops that will rent lenses for a reasonable price. You might rent a 24-120 or maybe some of these other lenses and see for yourself, before you buy.
I'm surprised that no-one mentioned this lens yet (so I will):
Nikkor AF 28-105 f/3.5-4.5D IF
Have been using this lens on my F100, and (for it's price) it was a great lens to work with, also has a decent macro-option.
There are many good reviews for this lens, especially for FX, so I will keep mine just in case I go FX some day.
But not yet, because now my new D300s is on it's way, to assist my trusty D200. ;-)
Try to find a used copy of the 28-105, and have fun!
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