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04-15-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
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Nikon 24-70 vs Pentax 16-50

Does anyone have experience with the two lenses? I was thinking of going full frame and getting the 24-70, but was wondering if it'll be worth the upgrade just in terms of sharpness and image quality.

04-15-2013, 11:31 PM   #2
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I have a friend with a D600 and the 24-70. It's a great combo to play with, but for $1900 it had best be an excellent lens. I've never had a chance to play with the 16-50, but it ranked 3rd place in image quality between the Tamron and SIgma 17-50s(Per the lens test on this site.). I think the 16-50 is a competent, but not exceptional, lens. The Nikon is top notch.

Last edited by kenafein; 04-17-2013 at 09:45 AM.
04-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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It's a fantastic lens. Great IQ and blazing fast AF. However if you want to save money, the new Tamron 24-70 is an excellent choice. One notch below the Nikon, but you save hundreds.

Also if you aren't in a rush, I have a sneaking suspicion that it is due for a replacement to compete with the new Canon. Perhaps VR?
04-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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Not sure how you can compare. One is attached to a FF sensor and the other isn't. The DA* 16-50mm is a fantastic lens and while the Tamron and Sigma may be as sharp but they are not as good in low light focusing. I'm sure that the 24-70mm would be great in this area.

04-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
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The Nikon 24-70 is the workhorse of pros everywhere. It is built like a tank, and has superb sharpness and IQ.
It is also huuuuge. If you are getting paid to lug that monster around, it is great. If you aren't getting paid, would you really want to carry it around? For me, an amateur that wants to have fun taking pictures, and doesnt want to hassle, it would not be worth the expense.
04-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm not a pro by any means, but if I do spend $1,000 for a lens, I'm hoping it'll be good for the next 10 years or so.

My options have been so far (as I'm considering going D600/800 once they have fixed their dust/oil spots):

1. Nikon 24-70
2. Tamron 24-70
3. Sigma 35 1.4
04-16-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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I'd probably go for the Tamron 24-70. Sharper than the original Nikon 24-70, and practically as sharp as the new 24-70.

04-16-2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xiong Quote
Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm not a pro by any means, but if I do spend $1,000 for a lens, I'm hoping it'll be good for the next 10 years or so.

My options have been so far (as I'm considering going D600/800 once they have fixed their dust/oil spots):

1. Nikon 24-70
2. Tamron 24-70
3. Sigma 35 1.4
I keep toying with the idea of selling all my stuff and buying the Nikon D600 with the Sigma 85/1.4 and the Sigma 35/1.4. Sigma has been making some excellent lenses lately. Some are calling the 35mm the greatest 35mm SLR lens of all time.
04-16-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xiong Quote
Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm not a pro by any means, but if I do spend $1,000 for a lens, I'm hoping it'll be good for the next 10 years or so.

My options have been so far (as I'm considering going D600/800 once they have fixed their dust/oil spots):

1. Nikon 24-70
2. Tamron 24-70
3. Sigma 35 1.4
All of them will still be great for the next ten years and all of them will likely be updated at lease once. So unless you're chasing the latest and greatest, you'll be happy with any of these for a very long time.
04-17-2013, 08:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
The Nikon 24-70 is the workhorse of pros everywhere. It is built like a tank, and has superb sharpness and IQ.
+1. Ridiculously sharp.
And nose heavy to me. I was trying out a friend's on a D800 w/ battery grip and trying to take shots of their kid's birthday party but when I did the point camera and talk to kids w/o looking at the viewfinder thing, it kept drooping and I was cutting peoples' heads off
04-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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I have the Nikkor 24-70 on a D800. It's a great lens, all around. It is heavy though, and no VR. VR would be nice but it isn't a huge deal to me as the D800/600 does great at higher ISOs and I do my critical landscape shooting on a tripod anyway. The weight issue is quite real though----prepare to grow some new arm muscles!

I went for a refurb Nikkor 24-70 over the Tamron because I figured it would hold resale value better and I'd have to get new filters for the 82mm filter thread of the Tammy.

The new Canon 24-70 doesn't have IS, and I'm not sure if Nikon will really update the 24-70 real soon--though it has to be in the pipe somewhere. I won't be upgrading anyway. The current lens is very good and a new 24-70 will certainly be over 2 grand. I don't shoot events/weddings though.
04-29-2013, 04:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sol Invictus Quote
It's a fantastic lens. Great IQ and blazing fast AF. However if you want to save money, the new Tamron 24-70 is an excellent choice. One notch below the Nikon, but you save hundreds
I don't have the Tamron, but do have or have used and since gotten rid of the following...

Got rid of the Pentax 16-50, yet still borrow a friends... I'm one of the MANY whom have experienced numerous issues with that lens, both focusing and also zoom lock. So if you do happen to choose the 16-50; always try to have a spare lens available.

The Nikon 24-70 is one of the best zoom lenses on the market; there's not much that is better.

On a side note, the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 is darn close, still full frame, and also in most categories above the Pentax 16-50
04-29-2013, 08:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xiong Quote
Does anyone have experience with the two lenses? I was thinking of going full frame and getting the 24-70, but was wondering if it'll be worth the upgrade just in terms of sharpness and image quality.
DxOMark is a good starting point here. Nikon pwn this pentax.
DxOMark - Compare lenses
04-29-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xiong Quote
Does anyone have experience with the two lenses?
I own both lenses. But since they are attached to different cameras (with my Pentax being much older sensor tech) the only comparison is physical attributes. It's already noted, the Nikkor is big and heavy but sharp and focuses fast! That's one reason for the switch over at the time. I wanted a camera with more performance and reliability nailing the shot.
04-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
DxOMark is a good starting point here. Nikon pwn this pentax.
DxOMark - Compare lenses
I don't think DXO Mark lens evaluations are particularly useful for real life shooting.
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