Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Nikon F2.8 Zoom Lenses

Nikon has a number of fast F2.8 zooms covering wide angle, normal and telephoto. These are the so-called "pro series" of lenses and have excellent optical and build quality though can be frightfully expensive and heavy!. These lenses can be used on DX bodies as well though I feel that other than the tele zooms, there are better DX options at a lower cost - e.g. the Nikon 12-24 f4 for the wide angle zoom and the 17-55 2.8 DX for a normal zoom. This post looks at some of these top of the line lenses:

The Wide Angle Zooms

Nikon 14-24 F2.8G New USD 1950-2100 970 grams

The 14-24 is rated as the best wide angle zoom ever made by Nikon and beats the performance of even some of Nikon's prime lenses. On the flip side it is heavy, expensive  and does not accept filters in the front of the lens. This is the lens you want to buy  if quality is paramount. For a review please do visit

Nikon 17-35 F2.8 Used USD 850-1200 745 g

This lens was the undisputed leader before the 14-24, but covers a longer range than the 14-24 on the top end! It is often used by landscape photographers and is still an extremely popular lens. Available used at half the price of  a new 14-24 it is still an excellent choice. and it is lighter.  For a review please visit

Nikon 20-35 F2.8 Used USD 400-600 640 g

This was the standard wide angle high speed zoom in the film days and it still holds its own on digital bodies. It covers four important focal lengths i.e. 20mm, 24mm, 28 mm and 35mm and with a fast 2.8 aperture can relly deliver stunning results in low light conditions. On the used market it has a very good price as well!  For a review please do visit

The Normal Zoom Lenses

Nikon 24-70F2.8G New  USD 1880-2000 900 g

The Nikon 24-70 f2.8 G is probably the gold standard for normal zoom lenses for full frame DSLRs. It is fast, sharp and effective. On the minus side the lens does not have VR, is heavy and expensive. For a review please visit

Nikon 28-70 F2.8 Used USD 800-950 935 g

This is  an almost  forgotten lens and hardly used nowadays but still very good. At around half the price of the 24-70, it is still a good choice if you can manage without 24mm! Built like a tank, it can stand a  lot of abuse in the field!  For a review please do visit

Nikon 35-70 F2.8 Used USD 250-500 665 g

This is another of Nikon's classics , way back from the film days! Smaller and lighter than the other zooms, it is capable of very good results but loses out to the 24-70  as it lacks 24mm and 28mm focal lengths! For a review of this lens please visit

The Telephoto Zooms

Nikon 70-200 F2.8G VR New 2375-2500 1460 g

This is again the gold standard in this range of tele zooms. There are two versions of this lens the new one is with VRII. With the fast aperture and VR it delivers outstanding performance again rivalling many prime lenses in the same focal length. For a review please see

Nikon 80-200 F2.8 ED AFS Used 750-1000 1450g

There are three versions of this lens and the best one is the two ring design with a tripod collar shown here. This was without doubt  the king in this focal length range  before the 70-200! The one touch versions are available for around USD 300-500 used  and are also very good value for money though I prefer the two ring version! Unlike the 70-200 it does not have VR.  For a review please visit

In another post to come soon I will review the F4 Nikon zooms so do stay  connected!

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