Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR

The Nikkor AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR is an affordable general-purpose zoom that’s compatible with full-frame Nikon FX bodies. Announced in June 2012, it’s arguably the successor to the Nikon AF 24-85mm f/2.8-4D from 2000. It’s optically a very little slower but currently sports Vibration Reduction to counteract camera shake and as an AF-S model it’s going to autofocus on any Nikon body.

A reasonable general-purpose zoom for expensive full-frame bodies may seem like an odd combination, but the AF-S 24-85mm provides a useful range without breaking the bank and could complement an existing selection of primes. You could equally mount it on a DX body now and enjoy 36-128mm equivalent coverage with an upgrade to full-frame penciled-in for the future. It conjointly intriguingly suggests a additional affordable full-frame body could be within the pipeline, with this presumably being the natural kit lens.

With the addition of the AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR, Nikon now offers three stabilized FX general-purpose zooms starting at a decent wide angle and zooming in to various degrees of tele-coverage: the 24-85mm, 24-120mm and 28-300mm. The big question though is whether this new “kit-zoom” performs adequately on the 36MP FX-sensor of a D800 or is it a combination that can’t be recommended? So in this review I’ll have a look at Nikon’s newest FX zoom, and find out whether the lens can deliver the goods on Nikon’s highest resolution DSLR.

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