Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2007

Lens kindly provided by Gustel Schrempp!


Newly designed full format lenses weren't overly popular on the Nikon side of life lately but the release of the new Nikon D3 seems to have shifted the priorities again. The Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is the first of a whole series of new professional grade full format lenses. It is obviously a replacement for the "old" AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 ED D (released in 1999). Apart from the highly useful extension at the wide-end of the zoom range the new lens features a reduced minimum focus distance and Nikon's latest development in coating technology, Nano Crystal Coat, which is supposed to suppress internal reflections and ghostings. Typical for all new Nikkors it is a G-type lens so it doesn't offer a dedicated aperture ring anymore.
Eventually you'll see full format lens tests here at OpticalLimits but the current priority is still on APS-C format sensors and within this scope the field of view of the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is equivalent to a classic "36-105mm" lens . The lens may lose quite a bit of its wide-angle appeal here but it is certainly more usable as a standard zoom than the old AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 IF-ED D (equivalent to "42-105mm").

Over the decades Nikon earned a reputation of manufacturing lenses with a higher than average build quality and the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED does certainly deliver here. It is a truly professional grade zoom lens thanks to a tough metal lens body and smoothly operating control rings. As you may notice in the product shots below the lens (its inner tube) extends significantly when zooming towards the wide end of the zoom range and a tiny bit towards 70mm. The shortest physical length is reached around the 50mm setting. This may sound odd but it is actually quite typical for fast Nikon (and Canon) standard zooms. The supplied petal shaped hood can be attached to the outer lens barrel thus providing a near-optimal protection at all focal length. The physical length with attached hood is constant.

Thanks to an IF (internal focusing) design the front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem (unless you attach the lens hood). Like all modern Nikkors it features a silent-wave (ultrasonic) AF motor providing extremely fast and near-silent AF operations. The AF accuracy of the tested sample was exceptional.

Equiv. focal length36-105 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction15 elements in 11 groups inc. 3x ED elements, 3x aspherical elements and 1x Nano Crystal Coat
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.39 m @ 35-50 mm (max. magnification ratio 1:3.7)
Dimensions83 x 133 mm
Weight900 g
Filter size77 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-40 (supplied), petal-shaped
Other featuresRubber mount seal

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