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Thread: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

  1. #1

    Default 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    Anyone has used the above lens before? Would appreciate feedback on quality as well as any issues encountered.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by toffeeman View Post
    Anyone has used the above lens before? Would appreciate feedback on quality as well as any issues encountered.
    Tussled between this & the 24-70 f2.8 for a long time. Read thru all the reviews - KR, Mansurov, Photozone etc. Took more than 2 thousand shots with each for the purpose its intended for - mainly portraits & travels. At f4 could not find any difference in IQ (color, sharpness, contrasts) with the 24-70 even when pixel peeping at 100%. Has the advantage of VRII which came to the rescue in many low light non-action situations. Longer reach extremely useful, almost indispensible, as I find 70mm too restrictive for portraits & travel, often have tinge of regret not being able to take longer shots I had wanted. Build quality however not as solid at the pro lens. In the end got this & am happy as a lark. No issue I encountered or know of. For the difference in price, I got the 85mm f1.8 for those situations I can take my own sweet time to compose esp for portraiture And of course, for the faster wider aperture & bokeh.... If I am earning a living from photography, or heavily into weddings, then I may perhaps get 24-70mm instead.
    Last edited by s1221ljc; 18th February 2012 at 02:25 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by s1221ljc View Post
    Tussled between this & the 24-70 f2.8 for a long time. Read thru all the reviews - KR, Mansurov, Photozone etc. Took more than 2 thousand shots with each for the purpose its intended for - mainly portraits & travels. At f4 could not find any difference in IQ (color, sharpness, contrasts) with the 24-70 even when pixel peeping at 100%. Has the advantage of VRII which came to the rescue in many low light non-action situations. Longer reach extremely useful, almost indispensible, as I find 70mm too restrictive for portraits & travel, often have tinge of regret not being able to take longer shots I had wanted. Build quality however not as solid at the pro lens. In the end got this & am happy as a lark. No issue I encountered or know of. For the difference in price, I got the 85mm f1.8 for those situations I can take my own sweet time to compose esp for portraiture And of course, for the faster wider aperture & bokeh.... If I am earning a living from photography, or heavily into weddings, then I may perhaps get 24-70mm instead.
    How does focus speed and accuracy compares with the 24-70?
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  4. #4

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    How does focus speed and accuracy compares with the 24-70?
    Hi, I did not consciously & directly compared the focusing speed of both. Having used many AFS lens, particularly the complementary 16-35 f4, I find that focusing is fast & more important accurate for all these AFS lens, including the 24-120.

    From the many shots made, I feel that overall the 24-120 may be just that tiny winy bit behind the 24-70 in speed. But for my type/style of photography the difference, if any, is hardly noticeable & is negligible. If taking fast moving action subjects, the 24-70 may give that slight marginal advantage/comfort with the wider stop.

    Focusing accuracy is more crucial for me. In this regard, I feel the 24-120 is on par with the 24-70. From all my shots using the single center focus point, I discovered that poorly focused shots were due more to shaky hands/poor hand-holding techniques (the whole gig - camera, grip etc weighs like a ton after hours in use), & most to less-than-ideal targets - targets that are not well lit e.g. shaded eyes in bright sunlight, subjects with low contrasts, lack of distinct lines/patterns etc.

    My habit is to half press the shutter button multiple times in ultra quick succession to help me avoid misfocus.
    Last edited by s1221ljc; 19th February 2012 at 12:21 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by s1221ljc View Post
    Hi, I did not consciously & directly compared the focusing speed of both. Having used many AFS lens, particularly the complementary 16-35 f4, I find that focusing is fast & more important accurate for all these AFS lens, including the 24-120.

    From the many shots made, I feel that overall the 24-120 may be just that tiny winy bit behind the 24-70 in speed. But for my type/style of photography the difference, if any, is hardly noticeable & is negligible. If taking fast moving action subjects, the 24-70 may give that slight marginal advantage/comfort with the wider stop.

    Focusing accuracy is more crucial for me. In this regard, I feel the 24-120 is on par with the 24-70. From all my shots using the single center focus point, I discovered that poorly focused shots were due more to shaky hands/poor hand-holding techniques (the whole gig - camera, grip etc weighs like a ton after hours in use), & most to less-than-ideal targets - targets that are not well lit e.g. shaded eyes in bright sunlight, subjects with low contrasts, lack of distinct lines/patterns etc.

    My habit is to half press the shutter button multiple times in ultra quick succession to help me avoid misfocus.
    Sounds good.

    BTW try setting the focus to continous, then its auto, just keep half pressed and the focus will auto adjust when subject/you move. With 24-70, its almost instant.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  6. #6

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    ........
    BTW try setting the focus to continous, then its auto, just keep half pressed and the focus will auto adjust when subject/you move. With 24-70, its almost instant.
    Thanks for the tip. Actually, I was referring to focusing on stationery subjects. Its just a personal habit to make sure focus is spot on, after which, if focus is still in doubt I will quickly change to focusing alternate target(s) at the same distance away. I strongly dislike the continuous mode (just like I don’t use the Auto exposure mode) because I like to retain, exercise some form of “manual” control over what I do. On many occasions, with the grip in use & my left hand positioned thus, I accidentally moved the switch to “C”. As a consequence, after I lock focus on my subject (on the eyes for portraitures) & reframed the picture, the focus shifted/changed, resulting in so many OOF shots without my knowing why, until very much later with regret. You can try this focusing/reframing using the longer focal lengths & understand what I mean. For tracking moving objects like racing cars, its another matter & yes the "C' mode is invaluable; its almost instantaneous for the 24-120 too, even in low light. Even then, with center focus point & continuous focus, the subject is in the center of the picture & this is not always preferred.

    Cameras & lens can & do focus very fast & very accurately but if the target is not ideal, it still result in misfocus, as is so often the case. Some people I find blame their equipments but many times, the photographers are responsible For fast moving subjects, I resort to other techniques like panning (also to give the feel of movement) & crucially to this key skill called Anticipation, & locking focus on fixed points, just like in those days where autofocus does not even exist but great photographs were still obtained! Cheers!
    Last edited by s1221ljc; 19th February 2012 at 04:39 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    If you do not need to use the F2.8 aperture, 24-120mm f4 VR is a very good choice, especially when you carry multiple lenses out, reduce some weight without compromising image quality, why not.

    Some of the photos in these two sets are using 24-120mm f4 VR, for your reference.

    稻城,亚丁 (20110930-1012) - a set on Flickr
    NZ South Island (20110520-0603) - a set on Flickr

  8. #8

    Default Re: 24-120mm AFS 4G IF-ED zoom lens

    I think you can still stick to your style of even with continueous C method. Its like a S but with option of continuous C if you keep it depressed.

    The OOF problem might actually comes from the Focus and Recompose method, and not from using A or C mode. The Focus and Recompose method is highly prone to error with thin DOF ie 2.8 aperture and larger. The best solution is to release shutter immediately after focus and to bracket several shots. C or S it doesn't matter in this case. More importantly is focus accuracy so try to stick to the cross point sensors, and crop in post. Otherwise, bracket more shots or manual focus override it. It can be hard with a smaller viewfinder, I fixed the magnifer on both my D700 bodies and it helps much.


    Quote Originally Posted by s1221ljc View Post
    Thanks for the tip. Actually, I was referring to focusing on stationery subjects. Its just a personal habit to make sure focus is spot on, after which, if focus is still in doubt I will quickly change to focusing alternate target(s) at the same distance away. I strongly dislike the continuous mode (just like I don’t use the Auto exposure mode) because I like to retain, exercise some form of “manual” control over what I do. On many occasions, with the grip in use & my left hand positioned thus, I accidentally moved the switch to “C”. As a consequence, after I lock focus on my subject (on the eyes for portraitures) & reframed the picture, the focus shifted/changed, resulting in so many OOF shots without my knowing why, until very much later with regret. You can try this focusing/reframing using the longer focal lengths & understand what I mean. For tracking moving objects like racing cars, its another matter & yes the "C' mode is invaluable; its almost instantaneous for the 24-120 too, even in low light. Even then, with center focus point & continuous focus, the subject is in the center of the picture & this is not always preferred.

    Cameras & lens can & do focus very fast & very accurately but if the target is not ideal, it still result in misfocus, as is so often the case. Some people I find blame their equipments but many times, the photographers are responsible For fast moving subjects, I resort to other techniques like panning (also to give the feel of movement) & crucially to this key skill called Anticipation, & locking focus on fixed points, just like in those days where autofocus does not even exist but great photographs were still obtained! Cheers!
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

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