Welcome to my pedestal. 

2015 Holiday Roundup with the 24-70 Lens

It was a weird Christmas. I'm likely preaching to the choir about this, but it was just about 65 degrees on Christmas day, and the days around it for that matter. In March of this year, I was ecstatic that the snow began to melt and fade away -- now I officially miss it. Nonetheless, I had balmy conditions to test my latest acquisition -- the incredible Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens. It was a strange Christmas, but a good one! 

Noank, CT long exposure

The Angel! 

As I hope the above photos illustrate, the 24-70 is perfectly at home during long-exposure/landscape conditions or for taking candid snapshots of Christmas trees. When shot wide-open at f2.8, the lens remains tack-sharp in the focus areas and renders out-of-focus areas pleasantly. It's a tank of a lens since it's made mostly from metal, but it's terrific at any focal length and at any f-stop. The weather sealing at the rear of the lens is merely the rubberized icing on the cake; if I could only take one lens with me on an extended trip in the woods, it'd be this one. I suppose the sheer weight of it could knock a bear senseless, at least for a few seconds.

Noank, CT long exposure

It's hard to ask for any more from this lens. There's a new version with image stabilization, but it's irrelevant (for me, anyway). I never needed stabilization in this focal range, and I shoot video on tripods. It's absolutely not worth the truckload of extra cash and extra girth. I used its crop-sensor brother, the 17-55, for years; it's nice to have its equivalent on the full-frame D750. While I'm a sucker for prime lenses, I've always held this wonderfully-built tank of a lens in very high regard; I'm glad it lives up to the hype surrounding it. 

Landscapes, portraits, candids, the occasional weapon as-needed; this thing does a lot. Here's to a 2016 in which I take even more photos -- but more on that later.

Noank, CT long exposure

Verdict - Nikon 24-70 f2.8 

What's Good:

  • Superb at every focal length
  • Tack-sharp when shot wide open
  • Blindingly-fast autofocus
  • The weather sealing works! (I tested)
  • Well-damped zoom and focus rings

What's Bad:

  • Weight.*
  • Autofocus is very occasionally confused by low-contrast scenes
  • Distortion at 24mm**

* Not technically a bad thing. If you want the convenience of a wide aperture in an optically-excellent normal zoom lens, you should expect it. It's good for your biceps.
** Most normal zooms have this. Lightroom or Photoshop can kill it in two mouse clicks.