A real Value
Rated 5 out of 5
I was surprised at the quality, this lens is sharp, it is slightly slow to focus in some circumstances but it is very sharp. I purchased it for just a walk about lens for times when I felt I didn't need a bigger, faster, heavier lens and have found that it does an excellent job.
I have not had my 2.8 24 to 70mm Z-mount on my camera since I started using this one. It won't replace the others, but it is good enough to use for more than just snap shots.
Very close to the S series
Rated 5 out of 5
After much thought I decided to go for this lens. I will give you the pros and cons of this lens after having used it rigorously now for about a month. I warn you though have REAL expectations, don't compare this lens to the S 24-70 f2.8, it's an unfair comparison... with that out of the way:
SHARP SHARP lens in THE MIDDLE. Look if you're reading this review by now you have seen many videos on YouTube or seen the dpreview page where they test the corners of images from this lens. Yes the lens is not tack sharp in the corners, BUT consider this - at f2.8 your background is gonna be smooth and the bokeh from this lens is pleasing! With that amount of blur you won't really be checking the corners, your eye will go straight to the center or on the subject. Which for me has been sharp, more than adequate.
In landscape photos at f8 or more the corners were much better. I didn't see any issues with chromatic aberration either.
The weather sealing was good, used it in the beach, in the rain (not a torrential downpour, but in more than a drizzle) zero issues. Robust lens, good quality materials.
The weight! oh let me tell you I used the S series 2.8 version and that thing is heavy, this is so much lighter, when you are walking on the beach and have it on a camera strap that you have across your body, you will realize how much this is a factor. I rented the S series version and I didn't like the weight on it, especially coz it balances weird on my z6ii, for me this was much better. Look we all think that pshh I am strong enough to carry a heavy lens around, but a lot of times you will find yourself carrying things in both hands and the lens will then hang on a strap on your body, or even your neck and that's when you really notice the benefits of a lighter lens.
The colors are great!!! If you use nikon cameras and lenses you know that their color rendition is probably the best in the industry and this lens delivers on that front.
Get ready to work on the corners in your images to remove the vignettes! Look its not noticeable UNLESS you have a clean background, (think walls or sky) but if you do and you are editing the sky (especially with the sky masking tool on LR) you will get vignettes. It's an easy fix! I love editing my images, for me this isn't a deal breaker at all at this price point, but it would be wrong if I wrote a review and didn't mention this!
As I said earlier corners can be lacking in sharpness.
The focus isn't slow, but it isn't the fastest. I am really nit picking about this one. For 95% of the shooters out there you will not complain about this, but it's right to mention this. I only noticed this when taking photos of my dogs running around and darting about.
Lastly I do, I didn't think I would, but man I do miss those 4mm in the 24mm. It means taking that extra step back, or angling the lens to the right to the left to not cut off certain elements from the composition. I did find myself missing the 24mm. Again not the end of the world, but be prepared because it will surprise you if you think bah what's 4mm.
In conclusion, you are a semi pro shooter, just stepping into professional work, a casual shooter looking to get a mid range f2.8, a shooter who doesn't have the budget of the S series version, GO FOR THIS LENS! If you want bang for your buck, good sharp images, this lens will not let you down. Just understand you get what you pay for, you want the best of the best get the S version. But just know at this price point this lens is above satisfactory!