Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED
4. Image resolution
At the shortest focal length the Nikkor presents itself splendidly, even minimally better than the Zeiss, so praised by us. The values reach not only record levels of zoom lenses but also those of prime lenses. The Canon, whose 24 mm focal length is the weakest of all range, compares very unfavourably here. Returning to the tested Nikkor, at longer focal lengths it performs a bit worse. Saying that we still shouldn’t lose sight of the proper standards for comparison. These results are in fact worse but only if compared to truly record values seen at 24 mm. In the absolute scale these are outstandingly high values which guarantee a very sharp image up from the maximum relative aperture! More than one older prime lens would like to perform in similar way. Even at the weakest combination of 70 mm and f/2.8 the Nikkor almost brushes against a splendid level of 40 lpmm. If you want to be honest you must mention here, however, that in the 45-70 mm range the Zeiss still fares a tad better. The Canon is unable to match its rival’s performance even at its best focal length – 45 mm. The fact that it is the oldest construction, designed still for analogue films and not digital sensors, might redeem its weak performance a bit. After all it is competing here with spanking new instruments, optimized in every respect to cooperate with digital devices seamlessly.
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The picture below shows how the Nikkor 24-70 mm fares on the edge of the frame.
To put it shortly the Nikkor offers definitely less here than the Zeiss, being neck and neck with the older Canon. We are especially worried by the result by f/2.8 where the lens doesn’t reach the decency level, set at 30 lpmm, at any focal length. If you want to have more or less sharp edges you must stop the Nikkor down to at least f/4.0. By f/5.6 the image will be already of very good quality at all focal lengths.