Which standard zoom for D850?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jorish, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Nothing "allegedly" about it - still inconceivable to me how Nikon could release such a poor quality optics.
    I had purchased a used copy of the lens from keh at one point - and not bothered with AF fine-tuning it either. Probably the reason for the OOF images I created with it at the longer focal lengths - it went back a few days after I received it.

    I did AF fine tune my Sigma 24-105 - but so far a single parameter seems to be sufficient and thus I haven't bothered with the dock yet.
  2. :) I just meant that I've not personally tried the variable aperture 24-120 - because I read reviews...
  3. Unfortunately, I speak from personal experience in the case of the variable aperture 24-120 VR. Definitely worse than the 1st (non-VR) version - though I wouldn't use that on any of the recent DSLRs either.
  4. A pairing of the Tamron 17-35mm and the new Tamron 35-150mm maybe?

    Variable apertures, but quite compact.
  5. I notice we're not meeting the OP's request for "one lens", and something like the 24-120 is the most flexible option there (the obvious alternative being the bigger and more expensive 28-300). Unfortunately, everything is compromised - the question is "how much?" For my use I found I'd rather have the aperture and better frame edges of the Tamron, and (knowing that I often had the 70-200 option) crop if needed - and I just decided that 120mm f/4 didn't do much for me. With my 28-200, I used to carry a 50mm f/1.8 and 135mm f/2.8 around (which were tiny) in case I wanted to shoot something with subject separation. But then I've always preferred "a bit wide" or "a bit long" to make an image look different from "normal" anyway. I kind of wish there was a premium version of the 24-85 that was still small, but designed with fewer price compromises - but I suspect the advent of Z-mount will have put the end to one of those turning up.

    If you're really stuck with one lens, I still think you may be better giving up on carrying something the weight of a D850 (which I admittedly make worse by sticking an L-plate on it most of the time) and just go with a premium compact. An RX10 or RX100VI gets you a long way in something much easier to carry than a D850 (or an original RX100 if like me you don't want to spend money).
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    The OP wants / plans an D 850 and a single lens. The Nikon 24-120 F4 is quite a good lens, better than the 28-300, and having more reach than the 24-85 which is quite good for walk around as well - I have and have used all three above mentioned lenses extensively for several years. As to other than Nikon lenses for my Nikons, I hear good things about them, but the few I have had have failed to perform and are long gone - mistakes I will not repeat. Each individual has their own particular standards and requirements - products they choose need only meet those to prove satisfactory.
  7. What have you got currently?

    Obviously makers like Sigma and Tamron can make x10 lenses, so why not a 'good' 24 - 240mm 4/5.6?
  8. Sigma and Tamron (and Nikon) can make 10x lenses. Can they make ones that look good at 45MP? Hmm. But it depends what you mean by "good" (and how much image processing you're prepared to do - like the P1000).

    As Sandy says, the 24-120 is not terrible. I happened to go with the Tamron in preference, having owned both and weighed up the benefits (literally), but YMMV - just don't expect more than "not terrible" if you're used to what the best lenses can do, and remember you can crop an awful lot on a D850 and still have a useful image.

    Good luck with whatever you choose, Jorish! I find the secret to happiness is low expectations. :)
  9. First, I need more information. You write you want a lens you can use on day trips and hikes.

    To me a day trip means I take the car. My car has a large enough trunk to allow me to securely carry every lens, flash, and tripod I own. Changing lenses is no problem; I can do it in the comfort of the car. What does day trip mean to you? (from the way you spell "theatre" and use the word "holiday" the way I would use "vacation", I suspect you are in the U.K.)

    Hike also means different things to different people. For me it means a few hours walking carrying maybe some water, perhaps a light jacket, my camera and a lens or two. For others it means a few days camping out carrying food, water, shelter, first aid kit, clothing, camera. Every ounce counts. The last time I did that was in basic training (I also was "allowed" to carry rifle, basic load of blank ammunition, steel helmet, gas mask, which weighed considerably more than camera and lens). I was much, much younger at the time. <grin>

    First, an approach to answering your question of one lens. For the first 30 years that I had a SLR, I had one lens - a 50mm prime. A good 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 will probably cover 80% to 90% of the situations you will find yourself in. Is it optimal? No, it is not. It will make you work harder to get the shot, but it will work. Since you use primes in your theatre work, you should be use to moving rather than zooming to get the shot.

    Second approach is use two zooms - a 24-70 and a 70-200. The problem, they are heavy. I found the problem with weight was how I carried it. Carrying a camera and lens weighing several pounds, either by holding it in the hand or suspended from a neck strap can become down right uncomfortable after an hour or so, or even sooner. Recently I purchased a Cotton Carrier G3 Harness

    Cotton CarrierCCS G3 Harness-1 (Gray)

    It gets the weight of the camera off my arms and neck and places it on my shoulders. It makes walking around for a few hours with my D750 with Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 lens or Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 pleasant. If you want to carry two lenses, use something like this for the second lens in conjunction with the harness for the camera body with first lens mounted.

    LoweproProTactic Lens Exchange 200 AW (Black)

    Sling it across your body and attach it to your belt to distribute the weight.

    Another advantage of the two zooms; I suspect you will find yourself using them in your theatre work, too.
    John Di Leo likes this.
  10. I think the high resolution sensors mitigate some of the optical issues of the 24-120/4, and you can clearly get better sharpness on a D810 than a D700, for example, using this lens. But still, I felt the results were inconsistent (focus on people subjects varied from shot to shot, sharpness depended on focal length, etc.) and this lens just isn't to my liking. However, the lens can more often yield and acceptable final image if used on a sensor that doesn't dampen what it can resolve. It just isn't as consistent as a 24-70/2.8, for example.
  11. I guess there must be an optical reason that x5 lenses starting around 24mm are tricky to make well....?

    Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-120 mm f/4G ED VR review - Image resolution - LensTip.com

    With 30 being the low limit for acceptable IQ, the edges never really get there beyond 60mm.

    Sony seem to make a very good 24-105mm f4 for A7 & A9, aka FX.

    Tamron managed to make a not bad 28-105mm f2.8 for FX, but by all accounts is was a bit heavy and had the unfortunate big 82mm filters, which have now become standard for fast primes and zooms.
  12. It's true that zooms that go from wide angle to telephoto, extending the zoom range rapidly seems to deteriorate image quality in at least parts of the range. I think the 24-70/4 that Nikon made for the Z system is a good range and it is compact yet (reportedly) high quality. It would be nice if Nikon could make something similar for the F mount, even if it isn't quite as small, lightweight, or (as) affordable. Canon make a lens with those specifications for the EF mount. I think a 28-105/4 range would be nice, provided that it would be optically good across the range.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  13. I just received mine - to be used mostly with the A7II and occasionally with the A7RII. Compared to the D810/Sigma 24-105 combo, the weight saving is about 1lbs. Seems I am getting pulled more and more towards mirrorless:oops:
    Definitely high quality (at least at par with the 24-70/2.8E) but I find the range quite limiting. Here are two reviews of the lens: Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S Review - Lens Comparisions (Page 4 of 7) and Nikon Z 24-70mm f4S review - Cameralabs
    Really? For me, that number appears to be more 1 out of 10:( (and for the first 25 years of my photographic life I didn't even own a 50 prime); for the others I wish I had something shorter or longer. And no, there's no such thing as "zooming with your feet"; and yes, moving is often preferable to zooming; but with a zoom, you can have both.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  14. That's a lens I would love to see, but I also have my doubts as to whether or not we'll get it.

    We do have an option for the "little brother" f/4 version of the 70-20mm f/2.8, and there's also the 16-35mm f/4 as an alternative to the big and heavy 14-24 f/2.8.

    If I had to guess, though, Nikon won't make a 24-70 f/4 in F mount because-at least in their minds-they have it for the Z mount and I'd also guess that they see the 24-120 as its sort of, kind of equivalent in the F mount. Also, I'd guess that the shorter registration distance makes the wide end easier.

    All of Nikon's 70-200 f/2.8 lenses have been quite good. I have the first version and am happy with it, although I see the corner issues that a lot of folks report with it(I think its 2003 design shows that it's definitely a product of the DX digital era even though it will cover a full frame). By all accounts the FL is supposed to be the best attributes of both the VR and VRII version, but I don't want to dig deep enough to find out first hand :) . I think this lens(and the f/4 version) show that Nikon is definitely CAPABLE of high quality ~3x zooms, but I don't know if we'll get much beyond that without a significant penalty in terms of cost and weight.
  15. (50mm)

    I got a 50mm when I shot Canon, because everyone said "a 50mm is the lens everyone should have" (even though my Canon digital is APS-C). On Nikon I got one. Then two. Currently up to four, and I vaguely admit that if Sigma updated the 50mm Art to the optical standards of their 40mm, I'd make that trade-up rather than my vague plan to do the 35mm + 50mm = 40mm swap that Mike's done.

    Despite this, few fast 50mm primes (certainly of the affordable variety) are actually "good" above f/5.6 or so, so the "cheap lens everyone should own" thing is a bit of a mixed blessing. And I find the "normal" focal length to be the most boring - who wants "normal" photos? I stand by the theory that Cartier-Bresson shot 50mm because he couldn't afford more than one Leica lens. I have the same opinion about mid zooms, and I've similarly never met a 24-70 that's as uncompromised as the best 70-200 lenses. The thing about a jack of all trades is that it tends to be a master of none.

    And yes, I understand that it may be transitioning from retrofocal to telephoto that make the mid-zooms quite so challenging. On the basis that they don't strictly need to be retrofocal to do it (telecentricity aside) it's possible that a Z-mount 24-70 could blow me away where generations of F-mount glass hasn't. I also understand that I don't know as much as I'd like about optics and could be talking gibberish. :)
    bgelfand likes this.
  16. I ride cross country on a motorcycle a couple of times a year. I do a fair amount of photography on those long rides. I also do a bit of hiking when there's something to see on the ride, or a notable hike. I'm talking backroads, country and county roads...the small stuff.
    I carry my d810 and the 16/35/4, the 24-70 2.8, and the 70-200 2.8 on the bike.
    Of the three lenses, shooting a real mix of stuff, wide vistas to street, Americana to landscapes, closeups and flowers the lens that is most used would be the 24-70, with a very close second the 16-35. The 70-200 is used far less, actually just a few times on a 2-3 week ride. This tells me I am mostly likely shooting wide angle to normal, probably mostly 20-60 mm, so suggesting that my rides are somewhat analogous to your hikes, I would look at something in that range, and not seek something longer.
    That said, there are two other cameras I carry because the d810 is not light with any lens, and heavier and bulkier with a zoom. The Nikon is in the back in a Pelican case. Kind of like having your camera in a backpack, and having to get it out. And put is back. Or, carry it. I missed many pictures because of that. So I got a little P&S a few years ago, the Sony RX100M2. I can put it in my jeans pocket. I carry it in my tank bag, right there accessible in front of me. Very convenient. And for those times when anything will do, or I don't have either camera with me, there's my Note 9 smartphone.
    You also might want to consider a lens that is water resistant, tho that info is somewhat difficult to get beyond the "wisdom of the internet." I suspect that you sometimes get rained on? If hiking were my primary focus, I'd go for the P&S, if photography, I'd bite the bullet and carry the 810 with either the 16-35 or the 24-70, or truth be told a 35mm prime and not worry about having the "wrong" lens. Like Stephen Stills sings, "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with."
    As for utility family stuff, that's wide over tele for interiors and outside you can zoom with your feet.
    bgelfand likes this.
  17. This forum never disappoints; a lot of input and suggestions, reasonings, etc. make me evaluate and question my own line of thinking, which is good.

    For those of you who are interested, a little more background and (un)reasoning behind my question and my probable solution...

    I've had a couple of Nikon DSLR's so far; started out with a D50 (which was also my starting into photography), after that a secondhand D200 (disappointed me in IQ, which was probably just my sample), then a D80 (which despite the bad rep worked for me), then a D300. That camera really clicked with me and I might still be using it today. However, my wife wanted to change to digital, so we decided she would take over the D300, and I would buy the successor. That successor kept not arriving however, so I bought the D750. Just a couple of months before the D500 was announced...
    Now the D750 is a very capable camera, and on paper more than adequate for me. Reality however proved otherwise; I never managed to find my way around the different style of controls and menus. I even lost some of the pleasure in shooting. So I decided I wanted to trade it in on either a D500, or a D8xx. And having gotten used to FX, I wanted to see what the secondhand market here in the Netherlands was like for the D800 or D810.
    Started to read up on the differences between the D800, D810 and the D850. Now, I'm also prone to GAS/NAS, so a D850 looked mightily interesting but just out of my wallet's reach. What I liked about the D850 was the flip-up lcd (one of the few things I really liked and often used on my D750), the fact that it is more recent (I plan to use this camera for the next 6 years at least), and the better AF. And yes, NAS also chipped in.

    Now, I had more or less decided to wait for a good secondhand D810, when I noticed a demo D850 at 'my' shop. I can get no VAT (or whatever you call sales tax) back on secondhand models, but that's not true for a demo model. So... 15% off new price because it was a demo and 21% sales tax back brought it just within reach. And this demo model had only 91 clicks...

    So, less than a fortnight ago, I bought the D850.

    Now. The question of a walk-around lens.
    I understand and have tried some of the suggestions made here;
    * Get a compact.
    > I had a Sony RX100III for a while. Easy to carry around, good quality images. I just found it too small, did not like the menus and buttons, and it ended up in a drawer. Gave it to a friend who is reallly happy with it.

    * With all my Nikons I have tried several solutions for city trips, day trips into nature (hills, woods, etc.), etc. I don't mind the weight so much of different primes, or even 2 or 3 zooms. Though weight does take its toll after a while of course.
    The reason I asked for 1 lens, is that photography is not the main goal of those trips, and my changing lenses leads to people waiting for me, getting annoyed, etc. I want to be able to take my camera out of the bag, aim, focus and click within a couple fo seconds (ok, maybe more like a minute, but you get the drift I'm sure).

    My experience with the D850 so far...
    Last week I was working (I work as a techie for theatres and companies). I traveled with acrobats, and tried my D850 in my spare moments. I had brought the 35/1.8 and the 70-200/2.8 VR mk1 with me. Shot out of hand and I really, reallly liked using the D850, though I'm still learning (will be for a long while) what it's really capable of. But the controls made sense, I was able to quickly change settings and try out different things. Tracking movement worked pretty good right from the start.


    In short; anyone who read the original question and my first reply really carefully, will have noticed I did not so much ask for a *light* camera/lens combo, as for a "1-unit, quick-to-grab" comb. I don't need it to be F2.8, and since I have so far never liked variable aperture, it will probably be a F4 lens. Nikon or Sigma, whichever works. And if neither of them please me, a F2.8 is more probable than a variable aperture.
    I'll keep you posted, though it may very well be a couple of months before I buy.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  18. Thanks for clarifying, Jorish. I'm glad you're getting on well with your D850 - I have very little to complain about in my one: Nikon made a pretty good one, I feel.

    One thing I'll say: 70-200 f/2.8 mk 1? Purportedly (I've never owned one, but I've seen plenty of sample images) the corners at 200mm are... abstract. While I see the benefit of a general-purpose lens, I'd be looking hard at whether that's worth a trade in - it's still a perfectly useful lens on DX. The latest FL version is visibly better than the VRII, but if you're on a sensible budget, the VR2 or the Tamron G2 version are both capable, and the Tamron keeps the Nikkor FL honest. Sigma have a newish one, too, I believe.

    As for your actual problem: If you're not worried about size, the 24-120 or 28-300 will work, with the former having better image quality, just don't expect perfection from either. (The Sigma 60-600mm allegedly does pretty well, too, if your "do everything" combo involves distant wildlife and working out your biceps.) Or I stand by the Tamron 24-70, and just rely on cropping at the long end - which admittedly gives you a smaller effective aperture. Since you've been warned about the compromise, and so long as you're not paying the extortionate price that it sometimes appears at, the 24-120 may well keep you happy. The trick to happy gear ownership is no regrets. (And not looking at your credit card statements.)

    Although I got rid of mine because it was better at showing CA rainbows than actual data, DxO actually did a half-decent job on recovering some old images, so if you're after a really cheap "do everything" then there's always the 28-200 if you don't mind doing some processing on the results - but it's absolutely variable aperture.
  19. I would still go with a 24-120/4 as the GP lens.
    This is the GP lens that I plan to get, if I get a D750.​

    I use a similar lens for micro 4/3; 12-60.
    The 12-60 is not a perfect lens, but it is a very good GP range. On my last vacation it stayed on the camera 99% of the time. I can count on 2 hands the number of times I changed to a different lens (17/1.8 for low light or 40-150 for more reach).​
  20. I agree the range is useful. Gary, what resolution is your micro 4/3? On a D750, the 24-120 may be a better lens than it would be on the D8x0 bodies - there's a lot to be said for the ability to crop on the latter. YMMV, though, and decent processing can recover some quite iffy lenses.

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