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Nikon 24-120 f/4 VR

FritzImages | Nikon 24 120 f/4 VR | image name = Nikon 24 120 f4 VR

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his zoom lens has not been on my mind since it was announced in mid-August.  I was not paying attention to it, as my lens collection plan, was to pick up the new F/1.4 primes as they were released.

With my prime collection complete, this upcoming trip to PSW and my subsequent shorebird excursion in Florida, I was looking over my gear bag in a conundrum.  Where do I put the big glass and which and how many primes ?

Lens selection is a #1 travel consideration. I determine my lens selection, by understanding if I am going to shoot in low light, inside, outside, what type of subject and what kind of DOF do I need/want.  So I considered that most of PSW will be during the strong outdoor/indoor daylight, and of faces and architecture, so a fast F stop and Low DOF where not key considerations, and then I am a sucker for ultra wide angles and 85 & 100 mm are sweet spots lens for portraits, then there is weight….

So as I was still trying to decide, I took a time out and went site blog reading and researching. When I started to read Moose Peterson’s blog’s and saw his captured Images, I figured he was still shooting mostly with the 24, 24-70 or 70-200, I was surprised to see that he has been using the 24-120 for some time and was putting out some fantastic images with this lens (landscape, airscape, and some stunning airplane portraits).

Having attended three workshops taught by Moose, I know he is a stickler for quality, performance, and having glass that will provide tack sharp images. That was all I needed was his seal of approval.  So for me, here was the answer to a general zoom lens, that will give you 24, 35, 85, 70, 100,120 mm at fixed f/4 and with VR.

I took delivery today, and found that the lens physical size is similar as the current prime pro-lens lineup, it has a 77mm dia. and  VR , MA, and active sliders on the barrel. Close focus is around 1.5′ and it weights in at 1.5 lbs. I’ve taken just a few shots, so I can’t make any calls there, but I suspect Photoshop will be able to handle any barrel distortion at 24mm.  My first impression of the lens hood was not favorable, it is a massive flower and will not travel well.

I didn’t consider the 28-300, because at two workshops I attended during the summer, a few photog’s complained about the weight ~ 2 lbs, extension length, lens hood and a full stop loss at 300 mm.  But for me, I didn’t go for the 28-300 because I already have the 70-300 and feel that it is a very sharp lense, great zoom, low weight, good hood design and it is a lens which I always keep in the general purpose bag when I need some extra reach.

In any event, this will be the goto zoom for the week and for future Domke bag travels, …. oh one last thing, if you do pick up any lens, I’d recommend  you check to see that the SN is a valid US issue.  The best place to find some stats on that Nikon SN is to goto this Link Nikon Lens Serial Nos

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