Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Home > Commentary > Blog > Have quality primes killed the Nikkor 24-70G?

Have quality primes killed the Nikkor 24-70G?

Nikon have released some stunning prime lenses of late. These include the 24mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and the 85mm f1.4. The question that now keeps coming up is ave these new prime lenses killed off the 24-70mm f2.8 lens.

We’ve decided to ask a few photographers (and some eternal  zoom v’s primes comments) and scoured some other sources to see what’s being said. See if any of these comments resonate with you.
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A zoom lens is a lens that has a range of focal lengths available to the photographer in the one lens. These have become increasingly popular over the past few years as they are obviously a very convenient lens to have on your camera as they mean you can shoot at both wide and longer focal lengths without having to switch lenses mid shoot.

As you surf around different camera forums you’ll find people who argue strongly for both prime and zoom lenses. Each have their own fans and each will pull different arguments out about them.

I’m fighting the dilemma of selling mine for a 24mm f1.4 or 35 mm f1.4. I love crazy insane AF speed and IQ, contrast, construction, but I do hate the size and weight.

Fixed focal length lenses normally have quite fewer elements and, due to this, have much less flare and are easier to correct for distortion. Zoom lenses, on the other hand, normally have more than a dozen elements and, of course, are much more prone to flare and ghosting.

Silly discussion. Both zooms and primes have their place, because they both have different strengths and weaknesses.

Also, distortion is more difficult to correct as zoom lens designs require a shifting position for the diaphragm. In fact, these two problems, which might be insignificant in certain types of photography, present bigger problems in zoom lenses than even sharpness—in expensive designs a high degree of sharpness is achievable but flare and distortion are more difficult to control. For example, even the pro–level AF Zoom–Nikkor ED 80–200mm f/2.8D exhibits very strong pincushion distortion at 200mm.

I’ve just added the 85G and am looking at the 24G.

Zoom lenses are wonderful tools if used properly. Many photographers, however, become victims of convenience and misuse them. Apart from exact framing under restricted movement, the whole point of using different focal lengths is perspective control. That means that one should first decide what perspective effect he wants to achieve and then choose a corresponding focal length and shooting position. When using zoom lenses, however, many forget about perspective effects and zoom in and out to just conveniently frame an image.

I think i will always keep the 24-70, its a great wedding and event lens when versatility and speed outweigh the prime benefits.

While zoom lenses are improving considerably in the quality that they offer their users, prime lenses are known for being high quality and having the ability to produce clean, crisp and precise shots. This is an argument that often comes out in the prime vs zoom lens debate but it’s worth remembering that in every manufacturers range that there are some lenses (both zoom and prime) that are known for being exceptionally sharp and there are some that are known as being a little muddy. While it might be true that in general prime lenses are pretty high quality it shouldn’t be an assumption you make of every prime lens.

I have repurposed the 24-70 to a D7000 body now that I have a Zeiss 35 f/2 for my D700. The 24-70 on the D7K is excellent for groups, portraits, etc. at weddings as I keep a flash on that body. The fast lenses go on the D700, which can make the most of the shallow DOF and high ISO shooting.

Prime lenses are generally simpler lenses in terms of construction. By the fact that they don’t need to zoom they generally have less moving parts and as a result they are generally cheaper to buy. Once again – there are many factors that determine the price of a lens (including quality) so not all prime lenses are ‘cheap’ (in fact some can be incredibly expensive at the Pro end of the spectrum) but do some searching around and you’ll find some that are definitely value for money. Renowned as usually being the cheapest lenses (but still not bad in quality) are ‘nifty 50′ lenses – or 50mm prime lenses, particularly from Nikon or Canon.

I don’t like Nikkor 24-70mm because of the moving front element.

I have repurposed the 24-70 to a D7000 body now that I have a Zeiss 35 f/2 for my D700. The 24-70 on the D7K is excellent for groups, portraits, etc. at weddings as I keep a flash on that body. The fast lenses go on the D700, which can make the most of the shallow DOF and high ISO shooting.

Most hobbyist I know have ~1 fast prime and a zoom. Most folks aren’t dropping $5k in primes, the ones I do run across shooting primes always have a red ring.

Because of their simple construction you often find that prime lenses are smaller and particularly lighter lenses than zoom lenses in similar focal lengths. They are great for heading out to locations where it is just not practical to haul lots of gear around with me.

No, I won’t be giving up my 24-70 zoom anytime soon. Its my #1 used lens for most subjects that I shoot. Except for landscape work when I go to my 24mm PC-E or Nikkor 14-24mm.

In general prime lenses are faster (in terms of aperture) than zoom lenses. This is slowly changing as zoom lens improvements continue to be made by manufacturers but in the Canon range if you want extra fast lenses you’ll start with prime lenses (for example the 85mm and 50mm lenses for example). This allows you to shoot in lower light without the need for a flash.

The 24-70 is still a very usefull tool especially when shooting at fast paced events. It does a lot of things very well without the need to change lenses.I would not shoot a wedding without it. Tools are tools.

One argument that gets pulled out against zoom lenses is that they make the photographer lazy. Instead of having to move around to find the best angle for the focal length they allow the photographer to stay in the one place and just zoom in and out. Some believe this sucks the creativity out of the process. I’m not sure about this one – while I do enjoy the challenge of using a prime lens (it definitely does mean you have to work harder and think about your shots a little more) you can still be a creative and hard working photographer with a zoom lens on your camera if you are aware of the temptation just to shoot from the one position all the time.

I sold my 24-70, but not for primes. I have a 24-120 f4 VR, plus an older 35-70mm f2.8D, so I really didn’t need three mid range zooms. As someone else stated most probably don’t shoot their primes at f1.4 anyway, and it’s hard to beat the versatility of zooms. There are many situations that changing lenses just takes too much time, or the environment is dirty enough that it’s not a good idea.

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One thought on “Have quality primes killed the Nikkor 24-70G?

  1. I love both prime lenses and zooms, and I also have some manual focus lenses. But I don’t think that the primes are killing hte 24-70f2.8 Nikkor. As good as the primes are, the convenience of having a zoom at a wedding for instance can’t be under-estimated.

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