New Gear

Feast your eyes on two great new lenses from Nikon: an any­thing-but-stan­dard zoom, and a beefy tele­photo

NPhoto - - Contents -

Stan­dard zoom lens £1850, $2400

Nikon’s clas­sic 24-70mm f/2.8 stan­dard zoom has been re­placed by a new model. It’s big­ger and heav­ier, with a bet­ter fea­ture set, in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of an elec­tro­mag­net­i­cally con­trolled di­aphragm that gives more con­sis­tent con­trol in con­tin­u­ous drive mode, plus four-stop VR.

Build qual­ity is ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect from a top-flight Nikon lens. Along with weather seals, the front and rear el­e­ments have flu­o­rine coat­ings to re­pel mois­ture and muck.

De­spite weigh­ing over a kilo­gram, han­dling is re­fined and rea­son­ably well bal­anced on big bod­ies like the D810. The lens ex­tends to as much as 178mm when zoom­ing out to 24mm, or 205mm with the hood at­tached. How­ever, the hood doesn’t ro­tate when the in­ner bar­rel moves back and forth.

The re­vamped AF sys­tem snaps to at­ten­tion with amaz­ing speed. Cen­tre sharp­ness is spec­tac­u­lar, even at f/2.8, al­though cor­ner sharp­ness lags be­hind. Colour fring­ing is also ev­i­dent to­wards the cor­ners of the frame, but this is au­to­mat­i­cally cor­rected in re­cent cam­eras, or when us­ing Nikon’s RAW pro­cess­ing soft­ware. Bar­rel dis­tor­tion is no­tice­able at 24mm, but of more con­cern is the fact that vi­gnetting is pro­nounced at f/2.8 through­out the zoom range. Ghost­ing and flare can be prob­lem­atic as well.

Th e in­ner bar­rel phys­i­cally ex­tends when you’re us­ing the lens at sh or­ter zoom set­tings, but fo­cus­ing is com­pletely


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