Review of Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical

According provided by lens Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical many thanks to Vladimir Tarasyuk. What do all these 'letters' in the long name of the lens mean, you can see here.

Review of Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical

Review of Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical - standard universal lens for full-frame cameras Nikon fx. Released in the summer of 2012 and often comes with a camera Nikon D600 and maybe will go with D610. My guess is that the Nikon 24-85mm VR was specifically designed for the amateur full-frame cameras that became Nikon D600 и Nikon D610... Most likely in the future it will be installed on all Nikon amateur full-frame cameras. Despite the fact that the Nikon 24-85mm VR is actually a 'kit' lens for FX cameras, it performs well in real conditions. Probably Nikon did its best to ensure that the first full-length 'inexpensive' kit was warmly received by amateur photographers.

Optical lens design

Optical lens design

Nikon 24-85mm VR is a lens with all the modern features you need. Here you can find both Image Stabilizer and Internal Focus and slightly improved aperture F / 3.5-4.5 (not F / 3.5-5.6), compact body and 3,5x zoom. There is a very similar lens, but without an Image Stabilizer - Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED SWM IF Aspherical. The latter was produced from 2002-2006 in Japan and Thailand, and between 2006 and 2012 there was a 'chasm', as few people were interested in budget lenses for expensive (at that time) full-frame cameras.

Nikon D600 and Nikon 24-85 VR

Nikon D600 and Nikon 24-85 VR

The lens body is made of plastic, but well assembled - no backlash or obvious flaws. The Nikon 24-85mm VR weighs a little less than 500 grams, and will not weigh too heavily on a rather massive full-frame camera. The mount is metal, the zoom ring is rubberized, but the focusing ring is made of plastic.

The focusing of the lens is quite quiet and the focusing speed is above average. I cannot write that Nikon 24-85mm VR focuses quickly, as its focusing speed is inferior even to some old similar lenses - Nikon AF Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 2.8-4D IF и Nikon AF NIKKOR 28-105mm 1: 3.5-4.5. It’s a pity that even a 20 year old Canon Zoom Lens EF 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5 Ultrasonic focuses faster. Nikon 24-85mm VR has internal focusing with useful mode 'M / A'. When zooming, the front lens does not rotate, and the rear lens works like a vacuum pump :). In manual focus mode, the ring rotates approximately 145 degrees.

Basic TX Nikon 24-85VR

Basic TX Nikon 24-85VR

I shot a small American-style wedding using the Nikon 24-85mm VR (unfortunately, I can’t show it), but I can say with certainty that the Nikon 24-85mm VR is the best among inexpensive similar regular zooms. The weak side, of course, is not the best focusing speed, 'humped' distortion and vignetting with a drop in sharpness at the edges of the image when used on full-frame cameras. For me, vignette and weak edge sharpness are not always important. But on Nikon DX cameras, the lens is sharp across the entire field and at all focal lengths, while EGF is 36-127,5mm. I really liked that the Nikon 24-85mm VR is not afraid of backlight at all and creates images with pleasant contrast and color reproduction. If we change Nikon 24-85mm VR, then only for faster and faster Nikon 24-70 / 2.8, Nikon 28-70 / 2.8 or the universal Nikon 24-120 / 4 and Nikon 28-300 / 3.5-5.6.

The parameters shown in the photo gallery:
Everything is filmed on Nikon D700 using protective filter Hoya PRO1 Digital 72mm MC UV (0) Made in Japan without a hood. On-camera JPEG L ('optimal quality' compression). Functions: vignetting control, ADL, noise reduction at long exposures, noise reduction at high ISOs were turned off. All shot in Picture Control mode SD (standard mode): contrast correction - 0, brightness - 0, saturation - 0, hue - 0, sharpness - position 5 between 0 and 9. Used white balance: 'Auto', 'Shadow' and 'Cloudy'. The size of the photos was reduced to 3 MP.

The parameters shown in the photo gallery:
Everything is filmed on Nikon D80 using protective filter Hoya PRO1 Digital 72mm MC UV (0) Made in Japan without a hood. On-camera JPEG L Fine. Functions that enhance the image, such as noise reduction at slow shutter speeds and noise reduction at high ISO, were turned off. Everything was shot in N (Neutral) Picture Control. Was used white balance: 'Auto', 'Shadow', 'Sunny'. Photos have been scaled down to 1600px by 1071px (roughly 2MP).

Lens prices in popular stores can look at this link, or in the price block below:

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List of all Nikon FX 24-XXX autofocus lenses:

  1. Nikon 24-50 mm 1: 3.3-4.5 AF Nikkor
  2. Nikon 24-50 mm 1: 3.3-4.5D AF Nikkor
  3. Nikon 24-70 mm 1: 2.8GN AF-S Nikkor ED Nano Crystal Coat SWM IF Aspherical
  4. Nikon 24-70 mm 1: 2.8EN AF-S Nikkor ED Nano Crystal Coat SWM IF Aspherica VR + its modification of the 'Nikon 100th Anniversary Edition'
  5. Nikon 24-85 mm 1: 2.8-4D AF Nikkor IF Aspherical Macro (1: 2)
  6. Nikon 24-85 mm 1: 3.5-4.5G AF-S Nikkor ED SWM IF Aspherical
  7. Nikon 24-85 mm 1: 3.5-4.5G AF-S Nikkor ED VR SWM IF Aspherical
  8. Nikon 24-120 mm 1: 3.5-5.6D AF Nikkor
  9. Nikon 24-120 mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED AF-S Nikkor SWM VR IF Aspherical
  10. Nikon 24-120 mm 1: 4G N AF-S Nikkor ED VR SWM IF Aspherical Nano Crystal Coat

Catalog of modern lenses for Nikon can see here.


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical is a good all-round lens for Nikon FX cameras. Of course, the lens has obvious flaws, but in general it is completely a 'working machine'.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

Add a comment: Dmitriy



Comments: 258, on the topic: Review of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical

  • Stanislav Turcan

    Arkady, tell me, do the VR version and the non-VR version differ in resolution? I looked at the MTF charts of both lenses. The version without a stub is supposed to be a little sharper at the edges by 85 mm. Is it so?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      a little, in general, vr is the best option, look for it

      • Stanislav Turcan

        I understand, thanks. I have the VR version, I'm very happy with it. Great lens.

        It's just a pity to carry it with you during the day, when the stub is not needed (suddenly I drop it and break it, or suddenly someone wants to take it away). I'm thinking of buying a non-VR version for him :)

  • Dmitriy

    Ordered one for myself. I want to use it for video shooting, since the SWM motor is good, the focal lengths are good for a full frame, and the price is only 10000 rubles. I read the comments: as if everyone is filming on an open hole without a break. In landscape photos, shooting goes from f 7,1, rarely dropping to f5. Where all lenses are sharp. An open aperture is needed for poor lighting/extreme conditions or to create headroom/ISO in a reportage. Shoot on the terrible Tamron 10-24 and you will get great photos at night and during the day. Because the overall picture (exposure) and straight arms are important for the lens. There has never been a case that it was required to enlarge that leaf of a tree from the corner of the frame by 10 times. The most important parameters: focus accuracy, lack of chromatic aberration, and not sharpness at f / 3,5. I draw your attention to the diameter of the front lens - in terms of the amount of incoming light, you will have 2-3 steps more than a fifty dollars with a lens diameter of only 52-55 mm. Yes, and the price. On the secondary market, you can buy the same 24-120 for the price of 24-85, and Nikkor 80-200 f / 2.8 for change.

  • Nikita

    The lens is just great) I first bought a Tamron 600-28 / 75 on the D2.8 - I got it from the BF, so even the correction in the carcass did not help, but even with contrast focusing without the BF, the picture was not very pleasing. I decided to take a subject from the review, I found it for only 10k - fantastic, the sharpness is excellent already with the open, you can not cover it at all. It’s a little unusual that there is such a big contrast, sometimes you need to process equals from it)

    • Vladimir

      Nikita, I have the same setup, sometimes the tamron seems to underfocus, as it were, especially at one point. After all, if you use the central point, then you need to reframe it in any way, and by 2.8 in 80 percent, if the object is close, then the focus will go away. On open focus, this is flour, especially at 1.4 for example. If you get used to it, if you aim correctly, do not reframe and everything is static, then everything is in order with the focus. Magic ___)) I threw out the shots for a long time and analyzed .... for me at 75 and 2.8 it’s perfectly sharp then soap, then I realized what was happening.

  • Sergei

    Not compatible with Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n and 14n/nx!!! It is recommended to insert into the review and highlight in red ...

    • Victor

      And PHYSICALLY :-D

      It seems that this is far from the only incompatible lens)

      • Sergei

        Yes. Generally tin. There is no information about this anywhere on the internet. From the lack of a choice of normal in terms of sharpness and cost of a full-frame lens on Nikon, I am completely bewildered. I have already tried the Nikon AF 28-105mm f / 3.5-4.5D recommended here - the number of purple halos on the open (and even covered) aperture made me feel sick. Therefore, I decided to buy a modern whale. But he didn't get up! xD What's left? Expensive Nikon 24-120 f4 G ED. But I have a feeling that he will not get up on the SLR / n.

        • Victor

          I think this is exclusively the amateur performance of Kodak designers. That is, it is on NIKON that any lens will fit. And on Kodak - yes, you have to pick it up.

        • Dmitry Kostin

          Try 35-70/2.8D - it's not big and should fit.
          There is also 28-70 / 2.8D - it will probably fit, but it needs to be checked.

          • Sergei

            Yes, 28-70 is optically attractive, but I wanted a travel lens that is not cumbersome to carry around all day. Yesterday I tried 28-300mm, it gets up, but it's huge, so I won't take it. It remains to try 24-85mm without a stub and 24-120mm F4G.

            • Dmitry Kostin

              For travel, the kit may be heavy.
              I was in Havana this February with a Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX DG and a Canon 1Ds mk2.
              The problem with old cameras is their batteries. You have to take several of them and you won’t be able to charge them right away - there won’t be enough adapters.
              Even new Chinese batteries are rarely successful.
              There is also the issue of weight for hot weather. It’s not every day you want to carry 2-2,5 extra kilos at + 33-35C on vacation.

              • Dmitry Kostin

                In my opinion (maybe I'm wrong) the ideal travel kit is something like Fuji X-T3 / Fuji X-T4 and one of their kit lenses, for example 16-80/4.
                As an option, some modern UPC like Sony a7m3 or Nikon Z6 or Canon EOS R and zoom with aperture 4.0 like 24-105/4 or 24-70/4.
                By the way, at one time Nikkor 24-85 was also advertised as a travel lens.

    • Dmitry Kostin

      Curious case.
      I'm sorry.
      When I looked at this Kodak, I was also tormented by vague doubts about the lower part of the body shape.

  • Dima

    In terms of appearance and dimensions, it is very similar to 18-70 for crop)

    • Alexey

      Well, that means business 18-70 lives and wins. Essentially a similar lens, only for FF, released with the same message.

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