Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 VR Lens Review: Nice improvements plus handy VR for Nikon’s workhorse f/2.8 zoom lens


posted Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 5:52 PM EST


A 24-70mm f/2.8 is a staple lens in practically any photographer's camera bag -- it covers a wide range of focal lengths for a multitude of subject matter. Plus, the wide f/2.8 aperture makes it a handy lens for all but the most dim of shooting conditions. For Nikon shooters, the brand's long-running 24-70mm f/2.8 lens has undergone a number of revisions and updates over the years, but the most recent version -- the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR -- goes a step further by introducing optical image stabilization, a feature not typically found on full-frame-format 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses.

We've just taken the wraps off our in-depth Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 VR review, and by most accounts it's a very impressive lens, though the steep price tag of around $2,300 gives us pause. Optically, the lens is nice and sharp across the entire focal length range, even wide-open, and shows marked improvement in corner sharpness compared to the earlier 24-70 f/2.8G lens.

D800E: 42mm, f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 100, -0.3EV

Build quality is nice and features weather-sealing as expected and other Nikon amenities like Nano Crystal Coat. The VR model is a bit larger than the predecessor, and it's also heavier. The G-version was already hitting near 2 lbs. (900g) and this new E-version goes a bit beyond that. The new lens gains Nikon's "E" designation, meaning it features their new electromagnetic aperture diaphragm, which uses a motor to operate the aperture under CPU control rather than the mechanical linkage of D/G type lenses. Nikon cameras built prior to 2007 will therefore not have aperture control with this lens -- something to keep in mind. 

For all the details, jump over to our full Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 VR review, which includes our standard image quality analysis on both full- and sub-frame cameras, test images and build quality notes. For a selection of real-world gallery images shot by our head lens technician Rob Murray using our D800E test camera, head over to our Flickr page.

D800E: 42mm, f/2.8, 1/640s, ISO 100
D800E: 70mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 640, -0.3EV

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 VR Lens ReviewGallery