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.

  • pasquier

    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:)

    • Nasim Mansurov

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

  • Mark de Vrij

    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.


    • Nasim Mansurov

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

  • Morten

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

    • Nasim Mansurov

      Thank you Morten, coming soon!

  • Michael

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

    • Nasim Mansurov

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

  • Eduardo Siqueira

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

    • Nasim Mansurov

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

  • Anil

    Hi Nasim,

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


    • Nasim Mansurov

      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.

  • robert

    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…


    • Nasim Mansurov

      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.

  • Pasquier

    Hi Nasim

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

    • Nasim Mansurov

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

  • Shirley

    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.

    • Nasim Mansurov

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

      • Shirley

        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.

        • Nasim Mansurov

          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

            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

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

  • yan

    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.

  • Gerard Makuch

    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….

  • David Liu

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

  • Parco

    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?