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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

27 August 2012
Szymon Starczewski

6. Distortion

The distortion on a smaller sensor is not something you should worry about. In that case at 24, 50 and 85 mm we got respectively −2.11%, 1.15% and 1.29%. You can notice such deformations but they are not especially bothersome.

On a bigger detector the situation is quite different. At the shortest focal length you deal with huge barrel distortion which level we assessed as –4.22%. It can be hardly called an imperceptible value. Fortunately it is still a bit lower than in the case of the Nikkor 24-120 mm VR where, at the same focal length, it amounted to –4.91%. The deformations decrease very quickly with the increase of the focal length because at 35 mm we deal with pincushion distortion of 0.74%. Serious problems start at longer focal lengths. At 50 mm there is 2.48% pincushion; it increases to 2.88% at 70 mm and to as much as 2.95% at the maximum focal length.

Lenses of this type made us used to noticeable pincushion distortion at the longer end of the focal range. The problem is that, more often than not, it is a level of 2% (e.g. the Nikkor 24-120 mm VR didn’t exceed 2.4%). The values of almost 3% which we see in the case of the Nikkor 24-85 mm are a very disreputable exception.

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D200, 24 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR - Distortion
D200, 50 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR - Distortion
D200, 85 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR - Distortion

D3x, 24 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR - Distortion
D3x, 50 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR - Distortion
D3x, 85 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24-85 mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR - Distortion