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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED

2 April 2011
Szymon Starczewski

9. Ghosting, flares and transmission

Let’s start from the transmission graph and a comparison with the transmission of another lens with the same parameters, namely the Sigma 24–70 mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Such a comparison for the Nikkor is quite painful. Not only does the Sigma boast more elements’ groups so more air-to-glass surfaces to cover, but also it fares by several percent better in the most important range from 430 to 700 nm.

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The maximum 90% of transmission with 22 air-to-glass surfaces in the Nikkor is not anything to be proud of because it means that on one surface we lose about 0.5%. In the blue part of the spectrum that loss is even increased to as much as 1%. Taking into account the fact that the best coatings we have been testing so far had losses at the level of 0.2-0.3% the Nikkor lags far behind the best instruments.

You can’t also talk about any casts given by optics from independent producers. The shape and inclination of the Nikkor’s and the Sigma’s transmission curves are almost identical (some differences can be notice only for the infrared) so if there is any visible cast in the photographs it must be exactly the same for both of these lenses.

The coatings, so touted by the producer, not only fared averagely well when it comes to the transmission but also didn’t manage to damp down flares completely during the work against bright light. Flares are present at every focal length although neither their number nor their intensity are especially high. The Nikkor compares unfavourably with the Sony, the Sigma and the Canon here, though.

Let’s have a glance how the situation looks on the smaller sensor of the Nikon D200.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Below we present pictures taken with the full frame Nikona D3x.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-70 mm f/2.8G ED - Ghosting, flares and transmission


The overall tendency is such that significant artifacts are easier to catch on stopping down a lot. Near the maximum relative aperture there are less flairs with high intensity but the whole contrast of the image is lower.