I am primarily looking for lens experiences, not camera body tips. Anyone out there that knows about a good zoom for Nikon full frames? Is the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED the best choice? How does it compare to the Canon and Zeiss lenses mentioned above? What about Nikkor 24-85 f/2.8 - 4? The Nikkor 24 - 120 f/3.5 - 5.6 has received some less good reviews and is not considered.
The most rigorous lens test I know of are those performed by the French magazine Chasseur d'Image. Recently they have been testing as a combo with a body.
Their Jan issue had a comparison of all the pro zooms for different mounts:
- The Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 on the D700 got the best absolute mark,
- Followed closely by the Canon 24-70 f2.8
- The Sony Zeiss on the A900 was a rather distant third. Their comment was that it was excellent on the A700, but clearly weaker than both Nikon and Canon offerings in the corners when used on the A900.
Another important downside of the Zeiss deisgn compared to both Nikon and Canon is that the lens hood is mounted on the central barrel that moves when zooming in and out. On the Nikon and Canon, the hood is fixed and the front element moves relative to the hood so as to offer more flare protection in the long end, a truly brilliant design.
Sample variations might impact a bit, but there is no doubt that the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 is one of the very best mid-range zoom ever produced.
I personnally own the lens, and its image quality is excellent, but I hadly ever use it. I might in fact never have used it after the first month. I tend to prefer lighter and smaller primes but the image quality is very hard to distinghuish. I keep it because it came be really handy in some situations but it is my least used lens.