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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.

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