CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Which lens 2485mm f284 vs 24120mm f3556 VR



I'm trying to decide between the Nikon 24-85mmf/2.8-4.0 and the 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 with vibration reduction. I currently have a 20-35mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and a 70-300mm f.4-5.6. I'm looking to fill in the gap. I like the fast 2.8 fo the 24-85 but I wonder if the vibration reduction might to good for travelling. I'm looking to use it for portraits, flowers, stills and general landscape and travel. Which should I pick?


For those types of shots, the 2.8 will not serve you any purpose. I've got the 24-120 and love it! it's a very nice focal range that is very versatile!


Active Member
I too am looking at these two lenses, though my main purpose is wedding photography. Therefor, the faster 2.8 lens is important to me since most of my shots will be in darker reception halls, etc.
Given your usage requirements, I would think the VR 24-120 mighe be the better choice. Be aware that it's focus and zoom rings are "reversed" (the zoom ring is towards the front of the lens), which does feel a little strange. The only real argument I can make for the 2.8 lens (which of course drops to f4 at the 85mm side) is that the slightly shallower depth of field it offers, which might be nice for portraits where you want to blur out the background.



it wouldn't serve any purpose in this case because Janet has a 20-35 f2.8 already, so that covers that focal range right there.

BTW, I used my 24-120 at a wedding this past weekend and it worked great for me!



Active Member
I see everyone is defending their lenses admirably. Unfortunately, no one has asked what camera Janet uses. Personally, I have an Nikon F4s and also shoot with D70. For me, the 24-85 was logical, because it has a apperature ring, so I can use it on the F4s in aperature priority. The 24-120VR is a G lens, which means it lacks that, and so would be only usefull to the newer cameras that allow you to adjust aperature through the camera in aperature priority. The 24-85 is a very sharp lens that has a better bokeh than the 24-120. It has 9 blade diaphragm which makes for a more natural out of focus elements.
On the other hand, for about the same amount of investment, you could get a 35-70D f2.8 lens that keeps the f2.8 throughout the zoom range, but it is an older and heaver lens.
It really boils down to which camera you have. If digital, you are multiplying the focal length by 1.5x.
In defense of the 24-120, It serves a wider need, and I will acknowledge that I do plan to purchase this lens for use in daylight on my D70. This is exactly why Nikon has so many lenses in production than on the outset seem to be so simillar. They all are targetted to a specific need. By the way, all the above 3 lenses are priced within a few dollars of each other.

So questions should be:

What camera will I use it on?

Will I be shooting in low light?

Do I want a specific lens fo a specific purpose an carying around many lenses is not a problem?

Do I want one lens to take care of most needs and I like to travel/photograph light?

Only after you ask such questions can you make the right decision.

Hope I haven't made matters worse.



I am the one that asked the question about which lens to buy and I use it on a N80 and some day a digital. Having a fast lens is important but the VR offers is equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed 3 stops faster. So, is there a big difference between the two? I rarely use a flash except when shooting indoors and it is absolutely required.


New Member
Hello Janet!

This is only true if you shot stillife, because VR can not work against blurr by motion, only against camera shaking.