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Nikon AF-S VR Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR replaces Nikon’s aging 24-120 f/3.5-5.6G VR design with a new design with ED glass and vibration reduction and a fixed f/4 aperture — all very worthwhile improvements, but coming at about twice the price.

The MTF charts suggest that the 24-120 will be a modest performance on full-frame Nikon FX cameras, but will likely prove very satisfactory on Nikon cropped-frame DX cameras.

Stopping down to f/5.6 - f/8 is likely to yield the best results, something field shooting will establish as part of a coming review.

The addition of Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat and VR II vibration reduction should lead to consistently higher image quality for everyday shooters, and the constant f/4 aperture adds versatility, because f/5.6 in the 70-120mm range was never very usable with the prior version.

Optical construction

The complex optical construction means that one will have to hope for a well-built sample that performs to specifications, and the odds of such a thing are not always so good.

Lens construction of the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR II



Per Nikon. Weights are accurate to 1g as per a scientific scale.

Nikon AF-S VR Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED specifications
Focal length
24-120 mm
Maximum aperture
Minimum aperture
Lens construction
17 elements in 13 groups
2 ED elements, 3 aspherical elements, internal focus
Nano Crystal Coat
VR II vibration reduction
Angle of view
20°30' - 84° (13°20' - 61° with Nikon DX format)
Closest focusing distance
1.5 feet (focal length unspecified)
Maximum reproduction ratio
0.24x = ~1:4
No. of diaphragm blades
9 (rounded)
Filter/attachment size
77mm screw-on
Diameter x length
(from lens-mount flange)
Approximately 84 X 103 mm
768g with lens hood and front./rear caps (as actually weighed)
708g lens only (as actually weighed)
Supplied accessories
HB-53 Bayonet Lens Hood
LC-77 Snap-on Front Lens Cap
LF-1 Rear Lens Cap
CL-1218 Soft Lens Case
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MTF chart (modulation transfer function

The MTF chart suggests excellent overall contrast (10 lp/mm) over the DX portion of the frame, but with steady loss of sharpness towards the edges and corners. Whether the dropoff in contrast is a basic performance characteristic or due to field curvature cannot be said from the MTF chart.

Performance looks to be modest on full-frame cameras, though it might be better in the mid ranges.

MTF for 24-120mm f/4G ED VR at 24mm
MTF for 24-120mm f/4G ED VR at 120mm


Click to buy at B&H Photo

My full review will be published in DAP as soon as feasible, sometime in December 2010.

Where to buy and related gear

You can get the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G ED VR at B&H Photo, thank you for using links on this site when you buy.

See also my list of recommended Nikon gear and lenses, as well as the gear pages.

√ B&H Photo PAYS THE SALES TAX FOR YOU More info...

Learn more about Nikon lenses

For in-depth reviews of lenses that fit Nikon cameras, subscribe to Diglloyd’s Advanced Photography (DAP) and/or the Guide to Zeiss ZF / Zeiss ZE Lenses.

DAP is not just about lenses, it’s about cameras and technique and making better images, written to be approachable by beginner’s, but valuable to professionals. New material is constantly being added, so subscribe now!

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