The is one sharp, solid, workhorse of a lens!
I’ve shot with the 24-70AFS the longest and have to admit, it’s not a lens I thought I would end up going nuts over or buying. I was wrong. This is a fine lens delivering the image quality we’ve all come to expect from Nikon glass. The first thing I thought when I picked up the lens was, “it’s much smaller than I thought.” While it’s has a 77mm front element, the lens barrel itself is smaller in diameter than that. It feels really good in the hand; a powerful, stubby, bright, fast lens.
The first thing I noticed about the 24-70AFS is it has a much beefier lens shade. I mean, beefed up! You’ll notice that it is much thicker, the density of the shade itself is half again what we’ve been use to. It’s also one deep sucker. If you have a polarizer attached to the lens, you won’t be able to rotate it if the lens shade is attached. Next you’ll notice the front bell of the lens has a shape and design new to Nikon lenses, zooms in particular. It’s really built. The 24-70AFS is a solid lens, feels great in the hand and is nicely balanced. Its IF and big zoom ring makes working with the lens really fast and in combination with the SWM, it flies!
The 24-70 range on the FX format makes for a great combo. I can easily see many photographers, especially wildlife adoring this lens instantly, especially on a second body (D3 of course). The edge to edge performance at 24mm is quite sweet. And like the 14-24AFS, the 24-70AFS resolves amazing detail. Detail in flower pedals, grass stems and eyebrows is gorgeous, every pore in skin comes through. While it doesn’t state in the specs it’s a flat field lens, the 24-70AFS performs as if it were.
The 24-70AFS is not really a light weight lens coming in just under 2lbs (31oz) but is a heartbeat lighter than the 28-70. Even so, I find myself putting the 24-70 on the D3x when heading out the door. Its constant f/2.8 and focal length range make it a great “knock around’ lens. With its beefy shade and construction, knocking it around isn’t a real concern. While working with the IPs, I “abused” the lenses in that they don’t get special treatment, life’s knocks where blocked. This includes rain, snow and a dust storm. Not of it phased the lens. It’s a rock!