Nikon's latest pro-spec standard zoom promises to be its best yet – on paper, at least. Phil Hall finds out whether it lives up to expectations
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR – Test Results
At 24mm and f/2.8, centre sharpness is very good, but edge sharpness does suffer. Stopping the lens down improves things, with optimum results being found around f/8. Push beyond f/8 and diffraction softens the finest details, however f/11 and f/16 are certainly useable if a large depth of field is required. Sharpness isn’t as impressive at 70mm at f/2.8, but improves considerably in the centre when stopped down at f/5.6. Edge sharpness at 70mm peaks between f/8-f/11.
The lens displays obvious vignetting when the lens is wide open at 24mm, with the corners appearing approximately -1.4EV darker than the centre of the frame. This improves to -0.8EV at f/4 and beyond that it shouldn’t be an issue. It’s a similar story at 35 and 70mm, though at 70mm at f/2.8, the fall-off from the centre of the frame is a bit more dramatic, though not quite as strong at -1/2EV.
At 24mm, there’s some noticeable barrel distortion present, with the straight lines of our test chart bowing outwards. As we’d expect, this disappears as you progress through the zoom range, with moderate pincushion distortion visible at 35mm. This becomes more pronounced as you extend the focal length and reach 70mm.