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

The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is the lens that I never seem to have off my camera and for good reason, this is the single most important lens in a photographers kit bag. I purchased mine from Amazon but I would also recommend Calumet, Simply Electronics, Jessops or Digital Rev.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Sensor Type: Both DX and FX Sensors
Filter Size: 77mm
Aperture Range: f/2.8 - f/22
Construction: 15 elements in 11 groups
Autofocus: Yes
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.2ft
Angle of View:34°-84° (FX) and 22°-61° (DX)
Weight: 900g


View on FlickrAs I write, this lens is on my camera. In fact, whenever I go on any photo shoot this lens is in my bag. This is my most used lens and I don't think there is anything at all that I can fault with this lens, it is that good.

If you are looking to purchase your first lens for a full frame camera body, this is where to start. As great as the 70-200mm and 14-24mm lenses are, they are specialist lenses.

Prime lenses could be a cheaper entry route to full frame glass with larger apertures but you should consider the convenience of zoom and also the fact that you have to look really hard at an image to be able to distinguish this lens from primes.

Build Quality and Handling

Nikon 24-70mm lens with hoodThis lens is rock solid. I've heard stories of professional photographers dropping this lens and it still being fully functional. Touch wood, I have never dropped mine but I have thumped it off things when my camera is hanging over my shoulder on its strap and there are no marks to show.

When zooming the front of this lens will move in and out although when using the supplied hood, you won't see this. This lens fits any 77mm filters and I use it with a Cokin holder and filter kit. Note that using a Cokin filter kit on this lens will produce serious edge darkening but if you zoom in to 28mm it disappears.

Nikon 24-70 zoom lensZooming with this lens is very smooth and precise which makes it a joy to use. It also balances exceptionally well in the hand when coupled with a pro body. it features the standard A/M and M switches on the side.

When I first purchased this lens, I used it with my Nikon D80 and I was delighted with the sharpness but wasn't too impressed with the focal range if I'm honest. It was reaching more at the telephoto end and I like to take wide shots but once I put it on a full frame sensor, it became the perfect lens as my workhorse.

The wide angle aspect was then opened up with the larger FX sensor in play and it became perfect for my uses.

Optics and Performance

View on FlickrThe Nikon 24-70mm is a solid performer. Check out my sample shots for examples. Being one of Nikon's newer normal zooms, it is reported as Nikon's sharpest general use lenses.

When shooting at the wide angle end, there is a small bit of distortion noticed but this is easy to correct in Lightroom and is barely noticeable unless you really are scrutinising. Wide open at f/2.8 there is also a little vignetting but it is only when testing for vignetting that this is really noticed, when shooting normally and you'll be very hard pushed to pick up on it.

After a few general shots with this lens on an FX sensor, I was sold on it. I love the breathtaking sharpness and I knew this would be the lens that would become my workhorse in photography. If you watch any footage on the news of press photographers, I can gurantee you that there will be a lot of Nikon shooters with lens on their camera.

Overall impressions of the Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 Lens

This lens will generally be on my camera most of the time. I have shot almost an entire wedding with this camera as well as product, landscape, action and interior scenes.

If you have purchased a full frame camera, then this a lens that will serve you well and often find itself being used for may purposes due to its versatility and great results. If you only had enough money for one FX lens, it would be this if your budget can stretch to it and as much as I love prime lenses, I dislike changing lenses under pressure and a zoom is what I prefer.

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This blog is written by Paul Nimmo, a freelance website designer and photographer based in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.

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