This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR lens, also known as “AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR”, which was announced together with the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX in June of 2012. The Nikon 24-85mm VR is an affordable consumer-grade lens targeted at photo enthusiasts that need a mid-range zoom lens with optical stabilization for everyday photography. It is an update to the short-lived Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED that was introduced in 2002 and discontinued in 2006, and it might also replace the older Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF that is still in production as of today. With an equivalent focal length of 36-128mm on DX sensor, it is better suited to be used on full-frame cameras. When the full-frame Nikon D600 budget DSLR was announced in late 2012, Nikon included the 24-85mm VR as a kit lens option, so I think we will be seeing this lens bundled with FX cameras in the future.
In this review, I will provide a thorough analysis of the Nikon 24-85mm VR lens, along with image samples and comparisons to the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED, Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF and Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR lenses.
1) Lens Specifications
- Versatile 3.6x standard zoom for brilliant photos and HD videos
- Nikon’s VR II Image Stabilization with Tripod Auto Detect
- Extra-low Dispersion (ED) design offers superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture setting.
- 3 Aspherical Lens Elements virtually eliminate coma and other types of aberration.
- Quiet focusing with built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM).
- Two focus modes selectable – M/A and M
- Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.
- 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.
- Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm renders natural appearance of out-of-focus image elements.
- Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
- Focal Length Range: 24-85mm
- Zoom Ratio 3.5x
- Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-4.5
- Minimum Aperture: f/22-29
- Format: FX/35mm
- Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 61°
- Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 18°50’
- Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 84°
- Minimum Angle of View (FX-format): 28°30’
- Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.22x
- Lens (Elements): 16
- Lens (Groups): 11
- Compatible Format(s): FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
- Diaphragm Blades: 7
- Distance Information: Yes
- ED Glass Elements: 1
- Aspherical (Elements): 3
- Super Integrated Coating: Yes
- Autofocus: Yes
- AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
- Minimum Focus Distance: 1.25ft.(0.38m)
- Focus Mode: AF, Manual
- G-Type: Yes
- Filter Size: 72mm
- Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
- Dimensions: (Approx.) 3.1×3.2 in. (Diameter x Length), 78x82mm (Diameter x Length)
- Weight: (Approx.) 16.4 oz. (465g)
- Supplied Accessories: LC-72 Snap-on Front Lens Cap, HB-63 Bayonet Lens Hood, LF-4 Rear Lens Cap, CL-1118 Soft Lens Case
Detailed specifications for the lens, along with MTF charts and other useful data can be found in our lens database.