This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens that was released in August of 2010. The constant maximum aperture, mid-range Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR zoom lens was a major update to the Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, which had been known at the time for being a sub-par lens optically. Shortly after the 24-120mm f/4G VR was announced, Nikon discontinued its variable-aperture predecessor and made the 24-120mm f/4G VR into a premium kit lens to be bundled with higher-end full-frame cameras. I have been using the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR for a number of years now and I decided to update the existing review with more image samples, additional information and up-to-date lab measurements.
The Nikon 24-120mm f/4G ED VR is a constant maximum aperture lens with a 5x zoom range that is designed for professional and advanced amateur photographers that need a mid-range lens with image stabilization to be used for many types of photography, including street, nature, travel and wedding photography. Unlike variable-aperture lenses that typically have an aperture of f/5.6 when zoomed all the way in, the Nikon 24-120mm stays at f/4 throughout the focal range, giving a one-stop advantage to the 24-120mm f/4 over variable-aperture lenses on the long end (for example, the older Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G lens had a maximum aperture of f/5.6 beyond 85mm and the current 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR superzoom is at f/5.6 beyond 105mm).
In addition, the lens comes with plenty of updated optical features from Nikon, including second generation VR II (vibration reduction) technology, which offers camera shake compensation equivalent to a shutter speed increase of approximately four stops. Thanks to the AF-S silent-wave focus motor, the lens focuses quietly and accurately in various lighting conditions, and the 77mm filter thread makes it easy to use specialized screw-on filters. The advanced optical formula consisting of 17 elements in 13 groups with two ED, three aspherical elements and Nano Crystal Coat all contribute to great performance throughout the zoom range.
1) Lens Specifications
- Compact and versatile 5X standard zoom lens with f/4 maximum aperture is perfect for landscapes, portraits, weddings and distant subjects offering a constant maximum aperture to maintain exposure settings throughout the entire zoom range and VR II Image Stabilization.
- Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction), engineered specifically for each VR NIKKOR lens, enables handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper still images and video capture.
- 2 Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements offers superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture setting.
- M/A Focus Mode Switch enables quick changes between manual and autofocus operation.
- Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.
- Rounded 9-blade diaphragm renders more natural appearance of out-of-focus image areas.
- Nano Crystal Coat further reduces ghosting and interior flare across a wide range of wavelengths for even greater image clarity.
- 3 Aspherical Lens Elements virtually eliminate coma and other types of aberration, even when shooting at the widest available aperture.
- Internal Focus (IF) provides fast and quiet autofocus without changing the length of the lens, retaining working distance throughout the focus range.
- Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare.
- Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
- Focal Length Range: 24-120mm
- Zoom Ratio: 5.0x
- Maximum Aperture: f/4
- Minimum Aperture: f/22
- Format: FX/35mm
- Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 61°
- Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 13°20′
- Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 84°
- Minimum Angle of View (FX-format): 20°30′
- Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.24x
- Lens Elements: 17
- Lens Groups: 13
- Compatible Format(s): FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
- VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization: Yes
- Diaphragm Blades: 9
- Distance Information: Yes
- Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
- ED Glass Elements: 2
- Super Integrated Coating: Yes
- Autofocus: Yes
- AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
- Internal Focusing: Yes
- Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5ft. (0.45m)
- Focus Mode: Auto, Manual
- Filter Size: 77mm
- Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
- Dimensions (Approx.): 3.3×4.1 in. (Diameter x Length), 84x103mm (Diameter x Length)
- Weight (Approx.): 23.6 oz. (670g)
- Supplied Accessories: HB-53 Bayonet Lens Hood, LC-77 Snap-on Front Lens Cap, LF-1 Rear Lens Cap, CL-1218 Soft Lens Case