Zoom Lenses For Nikon 'F' Mount
Evaluations By Bjørn Rørslett
For rating criteria, please see the Lens Survey Page
Note: Many zoom lenses possess front filter threads that rotate while the lens is focused. This often is annoying if you want to use a polarising filter, for example. Whenever a zoom lacks this trait it is explicitely stated.
More frequently than other lenses, zooms do display product variability and you may have to test several before getting a perfect sample. This results because of their complex optical design. Remember that such lenses also would be more susceptible to knocks and blows than are primes, so treat them with real care. They are prone to show adverse effects from flare (stray light spilling over the glass surfaces to create a low-contrast veiling of the image) and/or ghosting (those nasty, often brightly coloured, spots showing reflections of the aperture opening). Despite today's highly sophisticated lens designs and recent advances in lens coating technology, such distracting phenomena are virtually avoidable under certain shooting situations, for example, when you shoot into the sun or experience strongly back-lit subjects.
Please note I now have broken down the former review page for zoom lenses into three different ranges, as follows from the Table below. You can either access the entire section by clicking the appropriate header, or go directly to any lens of particular interest. Since zoom lenses span a considerable focal range, the classification of them into sensible categories is not a simple task. I have taken the intended use of the lens into consideration more than the focal lengths as such.
The newest feature is the addition of IR rates for some of the lenses. Be aware that there is a strong interaction betwwen camera and lens in this case, so even though a lens is listed as being good for IR, it perceivably might show an issue (hot spots being the most common flaw) with another camera model. I cannot test all combinations, that is an insurmountable task for the unpaid reviewer.
|Wide-angle||Normal zoom lens||Telephoto zoom lens|
|Sigma 10-20 mm f/4-5.6 DC HSM||AFS Nikkor 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR G||Zoom-Nikkor 50-300 mm f/4.5 ED|
|AFS-Nikkor 12-24 mm f/4 G ED-IF DX||Zoom-Nikkor 28-50 mm f/3.5 AIS||AFS 55-200 mm f/4-5.6 Nikkor VR G|
|AFS Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8 ED-IF G FX||Zoom-Nikkor 28-45 mm f/4.5||AFS-Nikkor 70-200 mm f/2.8 G ED-IF VR|
|AFS Nikkor 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED G DX||AFS-Nikkor 28-70 mm f/2.8 D ED IF||AF-Nikkor 70-210 mm f/4|
|AFS-Nikkor 17-35 mm f/2.8 ED-IF||AF-Nikkor 28-70 mm f/3.5-4.5||AF-Nikkor 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 G|
|AFS 17-55 mm f/2.8 G DX ED-IF Nikkor||AF-Nikkor 28-80 mm f/3.5-5.6||AFS-Nikkor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 ED G VR|
|AF-Nikkor 18-35 mm ED-IF f/3.5 - 4.5 D||Zoom-Nikkor 28-85 mm f/3.5 - 4.5||Nikon 75-150 mm f/3.5 Series E|
|AFS-Nikkor 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 ED G II||AF-Nikkor 28-100 mm f/3.5-5.6 G||AF-Nikkor 75-300 mm f/4.5-5.6|
|AFS-Nikkor 18 - 70 mm f/3.5 - 4.5 DX G ED-IF||AF-Nikkor 28-105 mm f/3.5-4.5 IF||Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 mm f/2.8 ED|
|AF-Nikkor 20-35 mm f/2.8 D||AF-Nikkor 35-70 mm f/2.8 D||AF-Nikkor 80-200 mm f/2.8 ED|
|AFS-Nikkor 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED DX||Zoom-Nikkor 35-70 mm f/3.3-4.5||AFS-Nikkor 80-200 mm f/2.8 D ED-IF|
|AF-Nikkor 24-50 mm f/3.3-4.5||Zoom-Nikkor 35-70 mm f/3.5 (62 and 72 mm filter)||Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 mm f/4|
|AFS Nikkor 24-70 mm f/2.8 ED-IF FX||AF-Nikkor 35-80 mm f/4-5.6 D||Zoom-Nikkor 80-200 mm f/4.5|
|IX-Nikkor 24-70 mm f/3.5-5.6||Zoom-Nikkor 35-200 mm f/3.5-4.5||AF-Nikkor 80-200 mm f/4.5-5.6 D|
|AF-Nikkor 24-85 mm f/2.8-4 D||Zoom-Nikkor 43-86 mm f/3.5||AF-Nikkor 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR|
|AFS-Nikkor 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5 G IF-ED||Zoom-Nikkor 50-135 mm f/3.5||Zoom-Nikkor 100-300 mm f/5.6|
|AF-Nikkor 24-120 mm f/3.5-5.6||Zoom-Nikkor 180-600 mm f/8 ED|
|Zoom-Nikkor 25-50 mm f/4||Zoom-Nikkor 200-400 mm f/4 ED|
|AFS-Nikkor 200-400 mm f/4 G ED-IF VR|
Last Update 28 August, 2008