I currently own a Nikon 28-70mm 3.5-4.5D. I've enjoyed the lens and found it on eBay for $45 so it was a steal. From what I understand it was a great compact lens in the 90's that was a "kit" lens but has a rep but for being pretty sharp, which it can be. I shoot on a D600. I've had instances where I wasn't impressed with the color rendition, contrast, image quality etc. and is also annoying there is no lens profile for this lens in lightroom. I've been thinking about finding a used Nikon 24-85mm (non VR) to buy to see if I will enjoy that more as a cheap lightweight walk around do everything lens. I've read great things about it and even found a review that claimed it was optically equal to the Nikon 28-70mm 2.8D which I know is a powerhouse lens. Does anyone know how the 24-85mm compares against the 28-70mm 3.5-4.5? I haven't been able to find a comparison between the two. Not sure if I want to buy it if there's not going to be much a difference, but I've seen people say the 24-85mm is not far off from the performance of a 24-70 2.8 for a fraction of the price.
I've been thinking about finding a used Nikon 24-85mm (non VR) to buy to see if I will enjoy that more as a cheap lightweight walk around do everything lens.
Nikon has made multiple 24-85mm lenses. Ken Rockwell has reviewed several:
- Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S VR (2012-)
- Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S (2002-2006)
- Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4 AF-D (2000-)
If you enjoy trying out different lenses, it might be worthwhile to try. If you're looking for the "perfect" lens, it's futile.
... found a review that claimed [24-85] was optically equal to the Nikon 28-70mm 2.8D which I know is a powerhouse lens.
While there are very good lenses that are quite inexpensive, they usually are not "equal" to much more expensive lenses, especially when you're comparing a consumer kit lens with a pro-level lens. Something will fall short. It may be something you don't care much about, but since you're annoyed by the absence of a lens profile, it's likely to have flaws that you will notice after the honeymoon period has ended.
... annoying there is no lens profile for [28-70/3.5-4.5D] in lightroom.
Ken Rockwell provides correction factors that can be used with Photoshop's lens distortion filter:
I shoot on a D600. I've had instances where I wasn't impressed with the color rendition, contrast, image quality etc.
- Color and contrast can be scene and lighting dependent.
- You can try changing camera settings (picture controls).
- You can try changing lens settings (aperture).
Some issues may be resolved by changing camera bodies:
Be warned, the non-VR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G also lacks any lens profile in Lightroom/ACR. And it has a lot more geometric distortion than the 28-75mm f/3.5-4.5 D.
Anyway i was not impressed with the performance of the lens you’re considering. Too soft away from the center. The lens you have is better, in my experience.
For even cheaper alternatives, consider the 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AF or its successor, the 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D. I particularly liked the 28-85 and regret selling it. The 28-105 has far more devotees, but it never clicked with me. Neither of these old lenses has an Adobe profile, but distortion isn’t too bad.