Nikon 24-85mm VR Review

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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.

Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

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

Main Features:

  1. Versatile 3.6x standard zoom for brilliant photos and HD videos
  2. Nikon’s VR II Image Stabilization with Tripod Auto Detect
  3. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) design offers superior sharpness and color correction by effectively minimizing chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture setting.
  4. 3 Aspherical Lens Elements virtually eliminate coma and other types of aberration.
  5. Quiet focusing with built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM).
  6. Two focus modes selectable – M/A and M
  7. Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.
  8. Internal Focus (IF) provides fast and quiet autofocus without changing the length of the lens, retaining working distance throughout the focus range.
  9. Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare.
  10. Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm renders natural appearance of out-of-focus image elements.
Nikon 24-85mm VR Sample (1)

NIKON D4 + 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, ISO 640, 1/100, f/8.0

Technical Specifications:

  1. Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
  2. Focal Length Range: 24-85mm
  3. Zoom Ratio 3.5x
  4. Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-4.5
  5. Minimum Aperture: f/22-29
  6. Format: FX/35mm
  7. Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 61°
  8. Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 18°50’
  9. Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 84°
  10. Minimum Angle of View (FX-format): 28°30’
  11. Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.22x
  12. Lens (Elements): 16
  13. Lens (Groups): 11
  14. Compatible Format(s): FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
  15. Diaphragm Blades: 7
  16. Distance Information: Yes
  17. ED Glass Elements: 1
  18. Aspherical (Elements): 3
  19. Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  20. Autofocus: Yes
  21. AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  22. Minimum Focus Distance: 1.25ft.(0.38m)
  23. Focus Mode: AF, Manual
  24. G-Type: Yes
  25. Filter Size: 72mm
  26. Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  27. Dimensions: (Approx.) 3.1×3.2 in. (Diameter x Length), 78x82mm (Diameter x Length)
  28. Weight: (Approx.) 16.4 oz. (465g)
  29. 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.

Nikon 24-85mm VR Sample (4)

NIKON D4 + 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/640, f/8.0

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