Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Review by Markus Stamm, published June 2017

Introduction

A fast standard zoom is one of the key lenses in a manufacturer's portfolio, especially if it's supposed to be attractive to professional photographers. In recent years, most of the 3rd party manufacturers felt confident enough to compete in this segment, too, often offering products that not necessarily outperformed the OEM designs, but often were considerably cheaper or provided a wider range of features, most noticeably optical stabilization.

With the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 E ED VR, Nikon catches up in terms of features by adding VR and an electronic aperture, while at the same time updating the optical construction. With now 20 elements the complexity of the design increased considerably.

On first sight, the new VR lens looks very familiar and similar to the non-VR lens... unless they sit next to each other. The new model is considerably bigger, as can be seen in the flip image below.

Move the mouse cursor over the text marks below to see a size comparison with the predecessor lens
Nikkor AF-S 24-70/2.8 VR Nikkor AF-S 24-70/2.8

Unsurprisingly, the lens has gained some weight, too, and is beyond the 1 kg mark now. At 82mm, the front filter thread is bigger, too, which however is a size that is becoming more and more common with fast pro-grade lenses.

With a retail price of well above 2100 EUR at the time of this review, the AF-S 24-70/2.8E VR is obviously aiming primarily at professional photographers. Consequently, the build quality is on a very high level. The lens feels sturdy and robust with no wobbling of any part of the lens.

Like the predecessor, the lens extends towards the short end of the zoom range. Since this movement happens inside of the fairly huge petal shaped hood, the total size of the lens (including hood) remains constant during zoom operations.

The most important new feature of the lens is the addition of optical stabilization (VR). Nikon claims up to 4 stops longer exposure times with enabled stabilization, but as usual take this with a grain of salt. Actual results depend on several individual factors, so your personal mileage may vary.

Autofocus is driven by a fast and virtually silent AF-S drive. As to be expected, the Nikkor is a G-type lens, so there is no aperture ring. In addition, it features an electronically controlled aperture.

Specifications
Optical construction20 elements in 16 groups inc. 3 aspherical, 2 ED, 1 aspherical ED and 1 HRI elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.38 m to 0.41 m, depending on focal length (max. magnification ratio 1:3.6)
Dimensions154.5 x 88 mm
Weight1070 g
Filter size82 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount (supplied)
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera, Silent Wave AF motor, Optical stabilization (VR)