I had the opportunity to update my Nikon Zoom Lens reviews. It seemed time to add some new insights to the reviews, including how some of the features translate into benefits.
Here's what you'll find in the updated reviews.
- A brief introduction to my primary use of the lens
- A list of the features
- A detailed discussion of how those features benefit your photography
- Plenty of sample images
- A couple of “what if” scenarios
To get to the reviews, just click the links listed below or one of the images. I've also provided links to these reviews from my Gear page.
Bear in mind that these are reviews of lenses that I own. Both the Nikon 24-70mm and the Nikon 70-200mm lenses have newer versions that include advanced vibration reduction. As I haven't tested those lenses, I can't comment to say if they're worth the additional cost. These lenses are still available and work very well for me.
The Portrait and Event Workhorse Lens
The Nikon 70-200mm lens is a professional workhorse. It's a standard for event and portrait photographers. It's built tough to withstand working conditions, yet creates a range of stunning images from soft bokeh to sharp detail.
Vibration Reduction lets you get sharp images even at low shutter speeds, which is pretty common for events, weddings and entertainment shots.
Don't underestimate the silent and reliable auto-focus system in Nikon lenses. Great image quality only matters if you can lock onto your subject, particularly in difficult conditions where things change every second.
My Most Used Lens
Most of my photos were taken with the Nikon 24-70mm lens. It's a perfect walk around lens, covering the range from wide angle to mid-telephoto. When I don't want to burden myself with a bag full of lenses, this is the single lens I choose.
Like the Nikon 70-200mm lens, it's a professional grade lens with solid construction, reliable auto-focus and excellent image quality.
The focal length offers great versatility to capture everything from a travel scene to an environmental portrait.
It's perfect for environmental portraits, when you want to push in close to your subject, yet still have a wide angle to include the location.
An Ultra-Wide Angle Lens for Special Occasions
I think of this lens like the Special Teams in football. You don't need it for every play, but it can win the game if you have it. The Nikon 14-24mm lens is one of those wonderful pieces of glass that you pull out to capture the grandeur of a location.
Like the other zoom lenses mentioned here, it keeps its f/2.8 aperture throughout its range.
It's also the perfect low-light walk around lens. When I had a private tour of the US Capitol, I couldn't take a tripod or a backpack full of glass. I reached for this lens, both to capture the expansive scenes and also to rely upon it for clean shots.
That's partly due to the f/2.8 aperture – fast glass – and also because it's much easier to hand hold shorter focal lengths without blur caused by your hand shake. The Nikon 14-24mm lens worked perfectly.
The Nikon Zoom Lens Reviews – The Holy Trinity
Nikon makes a lot of zoom lenses to fit different needs and budget. I find these to work best for my needs, so I spent the money to get the Nikon Trinity of Zoom Lenses.
You can find cheaper lenses with a longer focal range, lighter weight, and lower cost. If those are the factors that are most important to you, then you should get those lenses.
My desire was for quality over all other considerations. That means I wanted lenses with a fast, silent and accurate autofocus mechanism. I wanted a constant f/2.8 aperture available through the entire zoom range.
It also meant that I wanted 9 round-edge aperture blades instead of six, perhaps with sharp edges on the end of the blades. I like my bokeh fuzzy with round highlights, and these lenses deliver.
These factors are a matter of personal preference. Most things in photography have some kind of compromise. When someone invents a lens that covers the entire focal range, has perfect bokeh, weighs three ounces with stunning build quality and costs under $100, I'll be in line to buy it.
Any lens can take a nice photo on a sunny day. When you start shooting in difficult situations, your lens may be the difference between getting or forgetting a shot. That's why I love and recommend these Nikon Zoom Lenses.
I hope you enjoyed my Nikon Zoom Lens review. If you have any questions, ask me in the comments and I'll answer.