Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Review

December 4, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR is an affordable walkabout lens for Nikon full-frame users who don't want to pay the substantial price premium for Nikon's more pro-level zooms. It offers good, but not outstanding performance, across its versatile focal range, capable of capturing everything from ultra-wide-angle landscapes to head-and-shoulders portraits.

The lens' centre sharpness, while not quite as “biting” as that of Nikon's most prestigious primes and zooms, is good at most focal lengths and f-stops. Edge sharpness isn't so great, requiring quite a lot of stopping-down to get acceptable results. There are a few other weak points including some corner shading and quite a bit of chromatic aberration at maximum aperture, a somewhat “nervous” bokeh and a hefty dose of geometric distortions.

Still, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR does offer a useful focal range, well-implemented Vibration Reduction system, fast auto focus and respectable build quality, all in a relatively lightweight and compact design. While it won't win any awards for image quality, it does offer a compelling combination of portability, versatility and affordability that many Nikon FX-users will value.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4.5