Nikon Lens Comparison

I will soon start to provide sample images from the new lenses and will be posting reviews of older and newer Nikon lenses, one at a time. The lens comparison I’m working on is quite extensive, covering over 10 Nikon lenses, most of which are Nikon DX lenses:

Nikon Lens Comparison

From left to right:

  • Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.4G
  • Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
  • Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G
  • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR
  • Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
  • Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
  • Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
  • Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
  • Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G

I have not yet received the Nikon 24-120mm f/4.0G due to a backorder situation, but hoping to get it within the next week. I also have the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D to compare against the new 85mm f/1.4G, so I will be posting a comparison between the two in the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G review. Most of the above lenses have been in my camera bag for several weeks now and while I will be returning the older lenses this week, I will take the new lenses with me to a 4 day trip to mountains this weekend.


  1. 1) pasquier
    September 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Nasim
    This will be an interesting comparison.
    If you can, I would include the Nikkor AFS 18-70mm. This was the kit lens with the D70 and is a stellar performer – it even impressed Bjørn Rørslett. It certainly is the best of the DX batch.
    Am looking forward to autumn (fall) as well – one of my favourite times of year.
    Best, P:)

    • September 17, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Pasquier, I could not include the 18-70mm, because B&H did not have it in stock at the time…

  2. 2) Mark de Vrij
    September 15, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Hi Nasim,
    Quite a set of reviews and comparisons you’ve set yourself to do, looking forward to seeing the results. What are your thoughts on the announcements from nikon today, the 35mm f/1.4G and the 200mm F/2? I think the 200mm f/2 seems only to be an update to VRII?

    Enjoy the autumn mountains on the weekend, although I am still hoping for Summer to stick around a while longer here.


    • September 17, 2010 at 1:23 am

      Mark, I’m excited about the announcements! Hope to receive the 35mm f/1.4G for testing soon!

  3. 3) Morten
    September 15, 2010 at 4:14 am

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G line-up Nasim…cannot wait for your review!

  4. 4) Michael
    September 15, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Hello Nasim, i hope we will see in action “good old” Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 – it’s expensive but it kicks!

    • September 17, 2010 at 1:23 am

      Michael, I did not have the 17-55 for testing, since B&H was out of stock on the item at the time…

  5. 5) Eduardo Siqueira
    September 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Hello Nasim. I was wondering what is the difference between G and D lenses (letters after f aperture).
    Regards, Eduardo.

    • September 17, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Eduardo, the difference is that there is no aperture ring on the lens on “G” lenses.

  6. 6) Anil
    September 19, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Is there any difference in performance between the “G” and “D” Lenses


    • October 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

      Anil, the difference between “G” and “D” lenses is the aperture ring, which does not necessarily mean that the lens performs better or worse. Most “G” lenses have AF-S with Silent Wave Motor, so they focus faster (not always the case as with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G) and without much noise.

  7. 7) robert
    September 22, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Ive been following your site for xxx months now and its very informative. i also recommended your site to my friends. Im glad that you will post a review on nikon lenses. Im very much interested in Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II review.
    Thank you very much…


    • October 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Robert, thank you for your feedback. Looks like the 18-200mm will be reviewed later though, since I’m working on the 28-300mm review at the moment.

  8. 8) Pasquier
    September 23, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Hi Nasim

    The AFS 85mm f1.4 G looks stunning – see:
    I’m definitely going to save up for this one..!
    best, P:)

    • October 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Pasquier, yes, it is indeed very good. I posted my review last week before taking off to Yellowstone.

  9. 9) Shirley
    December 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Hi Nasim
    I love your website very much. Your reports are very useful for me (beginner). I have a kit set D90. At this christmas shopping time, I would like to buy a new lens. Actually, I have no ideas which lens need to be bought. But, I am sure that I have no money to buy 14-24mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8. A staff @ camera shop advise me to buy AF-S DX 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR and sell the kit lens AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. Maybe, buy AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR and keep the kit lens. I’m glad if you can give me advice. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • January 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      Shirley, the Nikon 70-300mm VR lens is great, so I would definitely recommend it.

      • 9.1.1) Shirley
        January 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm

        Nasim, thanks so much. I bought my 70-300mm on 31 Dec for my new year’s gift. I have tested this lens last weekend and I will take it to zoo this weekend. This lens is so great, but I feel that it focus slower than my kit lens 18-105mm. Is it right?
        My friend advise me to buy the Nikon 35mm, as he said that the 35mm can apply to all situations. The question is I don’t know how to apply because I am a beginner. And, I don’t know what is the difference between f1.4, f1.8 and f2.0.
        Thanks agian, Shirley.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          January 7, 2011 at 12:15 am

          Shirley, the 70-300mm should not focus slower than your 18-105mm – the AF performance should be about the same. And your friend gave you a good suggestion, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is a great lens for low-light photography and it is only $200.

          • Shirley
            January 7, 2011 at 2:31 am

            Nasim, I will try again, thanks so much. And I need to find some “reasons” to buy Nikon 35mm f/1.8G. Have a nice week.

            • Shirley
              January 7, 2011 at 2:32 am

              p.s. as i bought a lot of gift for christmas and new year.

  10. 10) yan
    October 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Nasim. When will you done with the test ? as I plan to upgrade my kit lens on D90 18-105 to 16-85 f3.5-5.6 or Sigma 17-50 f2.8. I am still confuse where to go ? I need a walk around lens for family and travel used. Give me your great advice as always Nasim. Thank you.

  11. 11) Gerard Makuch
    May 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Great site. Lots of interesting info and no end of topics to pursue.

    I appreciate the info you provide on these new lenses. On this topic I’d be interested in more on how some of the older glass performs with the more demanding cameras now out such as the D800. When I can finally afford to upgrade to say a D800 will I be disappointed in the performance of my afd 24 and afd 50 1.4 ? Not hugely expensive lenses in the grand scheme of things, but coming up with the $’s for a camera upgrade will be difficult enough. I’m hoping to mate these with a 70 – 200.

    Also what older lenses might there be out there that could still present great value…What lenses should be dismissed in this new environment…eg an 80 – 200 afd isn’t stabilized but that aside is it a viable option for those that cannot afford nikon’s latest….

  12. October 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Now, buying a new 24-70 which one is better Nikon or Tamron ? After read your review still can not make sure. Thanks !

  13. 13) Parco
    November 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Hello Nasim,

    Good day to you.
    I like to get a christmas present for my self either AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED or AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED. Do you have any information to share on these 2 lens?


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