Nikon 24-70mm Lens Review
Where to Find the Nikon 24-70mm Lens
Why Use the Nikon 24-70mm Lens?
The Nikon 24-70mm lens has all of the qualities you would expect from a professional grade lens. At f/2.8, it’s a fast lens. As with the Nikon 14-24 or 70-200, the quality is outstanding, both in the build quality of the lens and the optical quality it produces. There are no vignetting problems or issues with chromatic aberration, even wide-open at f/2.8.
With an f/2.8 aperture,it’s very useful in low-light, particularly when using the shorter focal lengths that are less susceptible to handshake.
The Nikon 24-70mm is my most versatile lens. It covers a very useful range from wide angle to portrait length. This lens excels at environmental portraits, allowing me to capture a person in their element, like the image below.
A Story-Telling Lens
One of the questions I often get about this lens is why bother when the focal length isn’t that much different than some of the less-expensive kit lenses. What makes it worth the cost? There are a few things working for this lens that you won’t find in less-costly lenses. There is a coating on the lens to prevent lens flare, which is nice. It opens the aperture to f/2.8. That’s major for a couple of reasons. We already mentioned how it helps in low light, but the other issue is how to use such a large aperture to tell your story. Here’s a small example below:
The human eye is drawn to some things more than the other. We look at bright spots before we look at dark spots. We also look at sharp items rather than out of focus items. By using aperture f/2.8 on this photo, I was able to bring out the sharpness in the model, but let the background fall slightly out of focus. The larger your aperture, the shallower your depth of field. The Nikon 24-70 at f/2.8 has a larger aperture than the inexpensive kit lenses.
Of course, there’s still more going on here. The quality of that soft area that falls outside the depth of field is important. It’s called “bokeh.” There’s good bokeh and bad bokeh. Good bokeh looks smooth and creamy, making the distracting background disappear into a soft, pleasing color. The way you get good bokeh depends upon your aperture blades – how many you have and what shape they have. The Nikon 24-70mm lens has nine rounded aperture blades, compared to some cheaper lenses with six blades featuring harsh angles instead of a rounded finish. These little details may have a dramatic impact on the quality of your image.
A Walk-Around Lens
Do you go on photo walks or do street photography? You don’t want to be burdened down carrying a bag of gear when you’re on the go, so you want a versatile lens. This is the one I generally choose if I don’t have any expectations of what I’m going to shoot. It has enough range to go from wide-angle to mid-telephoto.
I often visit Walt Disney World and there are plenty of photo opportunities – some traditional and some unexpected. For instance, I can use the Nikon 24-70 to shoot a wide angle scene like this one:
Using the same lens, I could pop around the corner and find an unexpected portrait opportunity. I was standing in the back row of a crowd when I spotted Captain Jack Sparrow, but I still had a long enough focal length to get a nice candid shot.
A Full Frame Lens
The Nikon 24-70mm lens works great on my Nikon D700 – a full frame (FX) camera. That’s an important consideration. A lens that works on a full frame camera will also work just fine on a crop-sensor (DX) camera. However, lenses designed for crop-sensor cameras aren’t suitable for using the full sensor of a camera like my D700. This lens is an investment that will work on a wide range of Nikon cameras, including the new Mirrorless models.
It also has a 77mm front element, which means it’s compatible with a wide range of filters.
What if I have a Canon Camera?
Then you’re in luck! You can use this adapter to mount a Nikon lens to your Canon body, allowing you to shoot with the Nikon 14-24mm lens.
Sample Nikon 24-70 Images
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Summary: The Nikon 24-70mm lens is excellent for general use, environmental portraits and travel photography.
Description: The Nikon 24-70mm lens is perfect for wide angle to mid-telephoto range photography, environmental portraits and general use.