Great Zoom Range
Nikon has made it more difficult for many photographers to decide on a multiple-purpose zoom lens with so many that are now available, and that is a good thing in my opinion. Lenses to fit many budgets and needs.
Those in the market for a good general-purpose carry and travel lens typically look for wide to slightly telephoto and the Nikon 24-120mm F/4 S lens fits that need.
Price Point: The current going price as of this article was $1,100.00. vs the 24-70 kit lens @ $1000.00
In the Box: A butterfly lens hood, a lens case (if you can call it that)
Weight and Size: This is relativity a lightweight and compact lens in this zoom range, at only 630g or 1.4 pounds with a fully collapsed length of only 118mm or 4.7 inches, the diameter is 84mm or 3,4 inches.
- Compared to the 24-70 Kit lens the 24-120mm is only slightly larger and heavier in its compact form.
Build Quality: The new Nikon Standard at Nikon these days is the use of composite materials which I am ok with, the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 S is mostly composite but feels solid, internally is a mix of poly resins parts and metal. This lens should last a considerable time in normal daily use. Nikon states it is Dust and Moister resistant - It does have a rubber gasket at the mounting flange to keep dust out of the lens when attached to your camera body. As a personal note: I have used other Nikon "Weather" resistant lenses in light rain with no effect on the lens.
- Focus Ring and Zoom Ring are firm with no play and offer some effort to turn - lens barrel does not lens creep when carried.
- Full Metal Mount
- Lens Barrel has a customizable control Ring with one Function Button
This is an S-line lens - which means you get a few extra Nikon Technology bonuses for your money. 2 Stepping Motors for fast focus acquisition, 3 Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements, 3 Aspherical ED Glass Elements, Fluorine Coatings, Nano Coatings, and ARNEO anti-reflective coatings, The coatings, and ED glass ensure high image quality.
Image Quality: Overall very good with sharp images, exhibits some focus breathing when zooming and "correctable" distortion and vignetting on the lower zoom range.
- Center Sharpness: Very Sharp to Sharp at all zoom ranges f/4 - f/11 being the best.
- Corner Sharpness: Exhibits some softness improves at f/5.6 - f/11 overall very acceptable
- Lens Distortion & Vignetting: Yes strong at 24mm but things get better the further up the zoom range you go. I recommend keeping "Lens Correction" turned on in-camera with this lens.
- Close Focusing: This lens is very capable of providing Macro Like Shooting with a 1.5-foot close focusing range from 24-120mm.
- Focusing Speed: Excellent uses two stepper motors, very fast accurate focus.
Overall Summary: I can recommend this lens to anyone in the market for a multipurpose zoom lens. The lens provides very sharp contrasty images overall and is compact to carry for a lens in this zoom range without weighing you down.
Note: For those who own the legacy f mount 24-120 lens - Yes this Z 24-120mm is an improvement + you can leave that FTZ adapter at home.
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An alternative lens is the 24-200 Z mount lens
or a 24-70mm f/4 S lens