Nikon 24-120

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24 120.jpg Comparing the 24-120 (left) to Nikon 24-70 (right). The Internet has very strong views on both lenses.

Supposedly one of the worst lenses for Nikon

I acquired this lens out of curiosity as it was mentioned in the list of Nikon's 10 Worst Lenses by Ken Rockwell. Ironically the list only contains 6 lenses, so it must be really bad. However, I still maintain most equipment is more than good enough and I will plant to use this lens for the sharpness section.

This is a typical kit lens although I am not sure if it was ever directly bundled with a camera. It goes from quite wide and is longer than a typical mid-range zoom, but not long enough to be used as a universal zoom. It sacrifices speed (f/3.5-5.6) to reduce the weight and price and become an attractive do it all type of lens, but not quite.

An interesting comparison is Nikon 24-70. From focal length the 24-120 is clearly better, but it is also notably slower. However, not all quality is really captured by numbers. From my first experiments, there is nothing visibly wrong with this lens, but I will need more time to make experiments.


  • This is the older f/3.5-5.6 version with vibration reduction
  • The newer version is f/4 and considered to be much better (and much more expensive)
  • There is an even older auto focus version f/3.5-5.6 version without vibration reduction.
My Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D
Price Affordable, but usually comes bundled with the camera
Weight Moderate, 570g
Good for Typical kit lens lacking on the longer end
New or used Not a popular lens, very cheap secondhand, I got it for less than 60

This was designed to be used on a full frame camera. But here is the catch, it does not have the focal length range to become a universal zoom, it is meant for cameras that are more expensive so the expectation is that they care about quality and the lens is not one where the expectation is very high optical quality. Overall not a great choice.

It will technically work, but there is no sensible reason to use this on an APS-C camera, a Nikon 18-200 would be a much better and smarter choice.


These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.