D700/24-120 kit package.. Lens quality?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by stephen_fassman, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. I have a sweet tooth for a D700, as my daughter would love my D200, but.....from all previous reviews, Isn't the 24-120 a horror image
    wise & spec wise? Why would nikon mate it to the D700 as a package? Is this a new design, with improved specs & IQ similar to the 18-
    70, or 18-200 DX's? I could live with similar faults!
    Shouldn't their 2 new FX zooms, or the 17-35/2.8 + some mid-telephoto (not yet in production ??), be the only considerations
    commensurate to the abilities of this camera, (if your into Zooms)? Any sugg's? Thanks.
  2. Yes, it does seem an oddity that Nikon would pair this, at best, very mediocre lens, with the Nikon D700. Maybe they have
    a lot of product they can't move otherwise.

    Suggestions? If you can only find the body paired with this lens, buy the combination and sell the lens.
  3. Stephen, I read here somewhere that the lens package was overpriced and the lens was not so good. Give me a sec and I'll see if I can find it.
  4. here is a thread, read Shun's response, he pretty much is dead-on when it comes to Nikon stuff:

  5. also:

  6. "Isn't the 24-120 a horror image wise & spec wise?"
    Nope. It's entirely comparable to the popular 18-70/3.5-4.5 DX. If anything it's slightly sharper but not quite as resistant to veiling flare. It's very resistant to ghosting flare.
    Instead of relying on regurgitated rumors from folks who haven't actually owned, used or tested a lens, read comments from those who have. Read the photozone.de review of the 24-120 VR. In my experience with the lens (two years) it's dead on accurate, pros and cons.
    Is it an odd combination for a high end camera? No more so than any kit zoom. However, it does *not* appear to be a good value as bundled. That's the one and only reason I'd advise skipping this particular "deal" from Nikon. The lens is perfectly good, comparable to any of Nikon's better consumer grade zooms.
  7. "Isn't the 24-120 a horror image wise & spec wise?"

    I really don't think Nikon makes any horror lenses. I'm sure is not the best lens out there and I'm sure is not the best lens to
    pair with a D700. It is just another KIT LENS. Maybe Nikon should had come out with a better new lens for this camera, if
    they have a 24-70 kit would be very hard to move. It would be a 5K combo. I really don't see the problem, people buy a
    D300 18-200 or 18-70 combo, I'm sure it is in the same category. So the best I think is just to buy a body and buy a good
    lens that will match the capabilities of a D700 (18-35, 24-70, 28-70) Rene'
  8. bmm


    Aha this thread gets my last post prior to a month of long-awaited travels.

    I often wonder why, for this kind of advanced body that is not at the "kit" end of the market, Nikon doesn't bundle it with the 50/1.8

    Reasons for this view are that kit zooms are often not what a D700 type buyer will want to use but the same buyers will probably want to assemble their own selection of pro glass (whether zoom or prime).

    In the 50/1.8, Nikon would not have to move the 'body only' price point much at all but would have an offering that would give a good 'out of the box' performance, and with a lens that would probably be kept by most photographers as a part of their bag of lenses.
  9. Isn't the 24-120 a horror image wise & spec wise?
    Well, it's not Nikon's best (the kind that requires you to cough up lots of dough for the back-breaking heavy metal for), but it's a decent pre-18-200mm all purpose lens.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    This is the better thread for a similar discussion last month:

    Exactly as expected, B&H is now out of stock if you want the D700, body only. However, they have never been out of stock with the kit. Why would anybody put a mediocre lens on a very high-end body is beyond me. Worse yet, the kit will cost you $90 more than buying the body and lens separately. No wonder the combo is not selling very well.
  11. Some number cruncher somewhere at a company we all know and love said "Oh crap, we have a LOT of those horrible 24-
    120 lenses in stock. I know, let's sell them in a bundle with a high-end camera!"
  12. I owned the lens for about 2 years. I really liked it. It gave me excellent results. Perhaps like the
    18-200mm, there are good and bad copies. I am not saying it is the best lens choice for a D3 or D700. But for
    general photography for a snapshot shooter, there is nothing wrong with it. It is probably not for pixel
    peepers! But that criteria could/would also apply to many Nikon lenses.

    Perhaps someone who owns the D700 and the 24-120mm can post some sample shots.

    The D700 (body only) is still in stock at Ritz online. They have been and continue to be out of stock of the
    D700/24-120mm combo.
  13. I have got the D700/24-120 and I am not entirely impressed with the quality of this lens. While it is bright and sharp on short focal distances its quality is bellow expectations once it goes over 50mm. I got the camera last weekend so did not have time to play with it but there is an example of a photo taken with D700/24-120. [​IMG]
  14. "Isn't the 24-120 a horror image wise & spec wise? Why would nikon mate it to the D700 as a package?"

    yeah a kit package doesn't seem appropriate or a wise buy to me for the quality of the D700.
    in my opinion, if i ever actually get one (which my hours of lurking threads and reveiws on it hope) i would spend the extra money and build myself a set of a few good quality lenses. the 24 - 120 kit seems to me a ploy to distract people from the price of the body and not to accentuate the full skills of the camera
  15. If I were considering a D700 and a zoom I would look at the 17-35mm or one of the mid range f2.8 zooms. Of course two or three primes might be a better solution. Just from general reading it seems most people want zooms so I guess Nikon will oblige with a not to expensive package. It may not be the best but it has a lot of range.
  16. As someone that actually has the 24-120 AFS VR I can state that it is not as bad as it's online reputation would suggest. Most postings knocking the lens are probably from folks who never used the lens on a D3 or D700 or have bad copies or just have unrealistic expectations of the lens. On a DX body I did not like the quality of the lens, but on the FX body it's not bad - no worse than the 2 kit lenses (I have both) the OP mentioned. The biggest deficiencies on my copy are the corners at wide apertures at the wider angles and distortions. Not the lens to be shooting newspapers or straight lines at 24mm wide open. For a walk-about lens or to use with flash/strobes to cover a people type event such as a wedding reception, it's works. The 24-70 AFS would give you the best optical and build quality but it is several times the price, heavier, bigger, and less range than the 24-120. Also, as some posters have stated above, the kit price is no bargain. Better to get both separate. Nikon should have priced the kit $100-200 less than the current price IMHO.
  17. The focal lenght range and feature set (VR) seems just about right for an FX camera body. For those who think Nikon has
    made a bad choice in pairing the D700 & 24-120, I ask you what lens you would select from the Nikon catalog to pair in the
  18. Although Lex beats the same drum every time this question comes up I completely agree with him on this. There are a bunch of self-perpetuating opinions about the lens on the internet. It is no miracle lens by any stretch but it is a lens that just works. I have had one getting close to 5 years, first on F100 and N80, and more recently on a D80. True it is not the sharpest for pixel peepers, but still produces very pleasing useful images. My opinion on the short coming of the lens is that wide open the lens takes a bit more of a nose dive than other nikon lens. No this lens does not solve world hunger.
  19. Dan,

    I wouldn't pair a lens with the D700, would not sell it in "kit form". I believe most people who consider purchasing the D700
    probably have a performance expatiation exceeding the capability of a lens such as the Nikon 24-120mm.

    A body at this level of sophistication in the Nikon digital SLR line should be sold alone, in my opinion.
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I am afraid that some people simply don't understand that a lens that maxes out at f5.6 is very limiting.
    If I were buying a $500 consumer DSLR, it makes perfect sense to couple that with a cheap 18-55 f5.6 lens. When you are spending $3000 on a high-end DSLR, why would you want to limit yourself to f5.6?
    Any lens (except for super teles) had better produce excellent results at f5.6; meeting that should barely pass the bar, not an advantage. "Not bad" at f5.6 simply doesn't cut it, especially on a $3000 body.

    If you are buying a $3000 DSLR, you should either have a few very good lenses already or have an additional $3000 budget for lenses (or some combination of both). As Dan Brown puts out, it doesn't make sense to dress "Miss America in a burlap bag."
  21. Shun - Yes I agree that 5.6 is limiting but I don't think substituting it in the kit for a $1000+ 2.8 lens would make much sense either. The D700 should not really be a "kit" camera for anyone that is in the market for it. "Not bad at f5.6" does not cut it on a D700. IMHO "Not bad at f5.6" is OK for a $500 FF lens, with VR, designed for film, covering this range, and is about 5years old. Pairing it with a D700 was not a good, but it seems that Nikon's options for a moderate priced VR lens to pair with the D700 was somewhat limited by their current lineup. Just my thoughts. Shun - BTW thanks for your hard work around here!
  22. Sorry, I meant performance expectation, not "performance expatiation".
  23. I think Nikon recognizes very well part of its demographic. A lot of photographers with deep pockets and little experience will flock to the "fool frame" because they've been persuaded that they must have it. They won't know or care about the lens. They think it's the big sensor that makes all the difference.

    In a few weeks they'll be posting questions on the web asking where the picture icon modes are on the D700, wondering whether the 18-200 VR would be a major upgrade from the 24-120 VR kit lens, and trying to figure out why they can't upload a full resolution raw file to photo.net for critiques.
  24. I bought a 24-120 a couple of years ago because I couldn't get an 18-200. I was perfectly happy with it although a bit soft at the long end. When I got the 18-200, I sold the 24-120 (because the 18-200 is so much better) and never looked back. While I strongly agree that the D700 should not be in a "kit" I also know that its more than obvious that Nikon over-produced the lens and needed to get rid of it. The good thing? Many are buying the kit and selling the 24-120. There are a ton of them on the market and can be had used (read brand new) for very cheap. Almost worth getting another one for fun.
  25. To Shun's Dan Brown quote: "...it doesn't make sense to dress "Miss America in a burlap bag." I'd take Miss America in a burlap bag over Rosanne Barr in a top fashion swimsuit. :)

    Of the 3 current in production Nikon wide to medium telephoto zooms, one is too expensive for a typical 'kit' (24-70 @ $1,700), another is an older screw drive and no fancy techno initials in it's name (24-85/2.8-4) to market. Only the 24-120 has the marketing loved string of features at a reasonable price (ED-IF AF-S VR). The deep pocket amateurs with less photography knowledge are more likely to get such a kit. Those who know what their actual needs are will choose differently. I happen to already have the lens and find it to be fine for what it is on FX - it does the job. When top quality is more important than convenience then the 17-35 or 85/1.4 comes out.

    And the end of the day, if Nikon makes more money selling the kits vs just bodies alone, the better it is for all Nikon users. It's more revenue and market share.
  26. SCL


    Having used the lens satisfactorily for three years, I think Nikon pulled the wool over the eyes of Newbies wanting the latest and greatest but with no knowledge of what that meant. It was a nice all purpose zoom, nothing to write home about. I agree with Lex, prepare for the myriad of questions from purchaserswhen they find that "all purpose" doesn't quite cut it with their new toy.
  27. Yes, I think Robert's got it, the D700 shouldn't be offered in kit form. But, if it helps Nikon sell a few more, I am for it.

    Ha ha Tony, very funny. But there's no Nikon analogy to your Rosanne comparison, because even a lowly D40 gets better
    when you mount a 200/2.0 VR, whereas a fashion swimsuit actually makes Rosanne less appealing :-O
  28. I have a D700 and have tested it with the 85mm f/1.4 afd, 50mm f/1.8 ais and 105mm f/2.5 ais - all very well regarded lenses. Even at 12MP full frame it taxes these lenses to the limit. I would avoid any lower performing lens unless shooting handheld where you would probably see no difference.
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I just came across this thread in DPReview where a couple of people who actually bought the D700 kit commented
    on it. I don't at all know those folks and therefore have no idea how valuable their opinions are:

    I do agree that Nikon shouldn't have introduced any kit for the D700. Most of those who purchase the D700 are not
    buying their first Nikon and therefore should have existing lenses. The kit simply gets in the way.

    Ever since the D700 became available 2 weeks ago, B&H always has the kit in stock, but they have been out of
    stock with the body-only option for over a week. A friend of mine wants the D700 + 24-70mm/f2.8 AF-S, which is a
    combo that makes a lot more sense. We got in touch with Henry Posner from B&H. And of course Henry told us that
    he could not break up any kit, and he had no idea when he'll have another shipment. But at least other stores have
    the body only in stock.
  30. Shun....

    "I am afraid that some people simply don't understand that a lens that maxes out at f5.6 is very limiting. If I were buying
    a $500 consumer DSLR, it makes perfect sense to couple that with a cheap 18-55 f5.6 lens. When you are spending
    $3000 on a high-end DSLR, why would you want to limit yourself to f5.6?"

    I couldn't agree with you more! Some times I thought it was just me and being a hobbyist sometimes is hard to say
    things among more experienced people. I just don't understand the logic of expending so much money in a body and
    saving on a kit lens. f5.6 VR or not, to me is just too slow. In another later thread some one is recommended an 18-200
    for a D300 when the guy that posted the thread is asking for recommendations on a f2.8 lens. I just don't get it!


    "In a few weeks they'll be posting questions on the web asking where the picture icon modes are on the D700, wondering
    whether the 18-200 VR would be a major upgrade from the 24-120 VR kit lens, and trying to figure out why they can't
    upload a full resolution raw file to photo.net for critiques."

    Well said! Seems like you've been around here for a while!
  31. Thanks for what I obviously thought. It looks like my D200/ 18-200 VR has permanent job security in my camera case,
    (along with all the older lens that it can use, listed below). Having experienced the endless changing between my fixed
    24,50,135 lenses for my F2, the 35-70, 28-86, 80-200/4 zooms were blessings on my F4 & FE2 years later. So other than
    my F4 era 60/2.8 Macro & 180/2.8 that I would certainly mount on a D700, what current zooms are commensurate with the
    quality of the image that the D700 is capable of reproducing? Obviously the newbies: 14-24, 24-70 are perfect... what else
    is available in these ranges? ... and isn't the 80-200 range MIA? Thanks.
  32. Dumb move by Nikon, or else a cunning ploy to clear lots of 24-120 lenses from inventory..this is one of the more dismal releases of recent years in a very important niche - the wide to short tele zoom. They have the excellent 16-85 in VR for DX, so what went wrong with this one?

    They really need a 24-105 f4 constant zoom to match Canon's offering.

    Don't agree with Shun; max aperture is not an indicator of quality, else medium format is extremely inferior with all those f4 offerings by Mamiya et al. Not everybody wants or needs dof control (bokeh) in all lenses, especially as iso ratings skyrocket with the D3/D700 sensor. And the cost in bulk, price, filter size, etc. border on the ridiculous with the pro zooms. Any wonder why so much effort is going into developing VR/IS prosumer zooms!
  33. since i'm in a position to evaluate the kit lens on a D700 1st hand, i guess i'll go ahead and put my hand in the fire... i've had the lens for a while -- well before anyone knew about a D700. so i didn't purchase the kit. i bought it for convenience, in that it covered a lot of range that wasn't covered in my kit. in short order, it became NOT one of my favorite lenses. this isn't to say that sometimes it can't be of use, just not that frequently. yesterday, in direct response to this thread, i took it out for a while to try it. certainly, i thought, it can't be all that bad. but then i get back, look at the pics and am underwhelmed. totally. i'll attach a detail from yesterday, and follow that with the same area of detail from a really fine lens -- 105mm f/2.5 AI. this is not a scientific test, and it doesn't "prove" anything. but to me, at least, what the 24-120 lacks is very apparent.
  34. and now, from an old favorite...
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    William, I don't mean to sound offensive, but when you make A/B comparisons, you need to specify the exact shooting conditions. According to the EXIF data, those two images above were captured with a D3 instead of D700. Did you modify the EXIF data to fool Capture NX?

    The apertures and shutter speeds also seem to be different between the two images, f5.6 for the 24-120 and f8?? for the 105. It looks like you used a slow shutter speed around 1/50 sec or so. Did you use a sturdy tripod for your comparison? How much from the full frame are you showing?

    While I am certainly no fan of the 24-120mm lens, I believe it can do a lot better than a totally soft image.
  36. I too would prefer a faster zoom that maxes out at f5.6, but I've been enjoying my 16-85mm VR lens very much, and I find its performance is excellent at all focal lengths.

    If I bought a D700 (which I don't plan to do), I would enjoy shooting my manual focus primes more than anything else.
  37. William, I'd like to see your testing methodology and a few more comparison examples.

    I'll be right there among the loudest proponents of the 105/2.5 AI. It would humiliate the 24-120 VR in a proper head to head comparison of sharpness. But there's no way the 24-120 VR is *that* bad. If your sample really is that bad, you got a lemon and need to return it to Nikon.
  38. I don't know much about digital, but in my understanding, with automatic ISO, it is relatively irrelevant whether a zoom is
    fast when used on a digital body.

    BTW, I own a 24-120 with VR and like it a lot. To me its only drawback is size, but then, nothing is really perfect.

    Have fun!
  39. Francisco, slow lenses ask the camera for high ISO settings; it means some loose on image quality. If somebody is
    looking for ultimate sharpness, native ISO will bring the best of the sensor.

    Anyway, the main reason to use this consumer zooms is convenience. Zoom power and small size at the cost of
    smaller apertures and lower resolution. It works for many people.

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