Comparisons with the 24-120mm f/4 VR Nikkor
For me, the real test was not if the 24-200’s performance was on par with my top glass, but instead how it compared to my 24-120mm f/4 VR, which is a competent travel and all-purpose zoom. I set up and made a series of test shots across different apertures at 24, 50, and 120mm with both lenses. Other than some minor differences in light fall-off characteristics and axial CA, I found that the 24-200mm f/4-6.3 matched or exceeded the performance of my trusty 24-120/4. Both lenses showed some edge softness at 24mm wide-open, but at the longer focal lengths, the 24-200mm was decidedly better across the entire frame. This difference in sharpness was especially pronounced at 120mm, where even wide-open, the 24-200mm was sharp in the center and the edges of the frame.
When it came to autofocus speed the 24-200mm beat the 24-120/4 handily:
- Focus from infinity: 0.28s (vs. 0.06s) 4.7x faster
- Focus from MFD: 0.61s (vs. 0.23s) 2.65x faster
Conclusions and Recommendations
Nikon’s new 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens for Z-mount mirrorless cameras is an excellent choice for photo enthusiasts who desire a lightweight, all-purpose lens. It’s easy to handle, weighs just over a pound, and delivers sharp images across the zoom range. For many Z shooters, this might be the only lens they need for a majority of photographic subjects and situations. For me, it’s clearly a better option for travel photography than using either my older 24-120/4 VR or a three-lens kit via the Nikon FTZ adapter. When placed in the context of its target market, the Nikon 24-200mm VR Nikkor is a real winner!
Highly Recommended: Check prices on the Nikon 24-200mm VR Z lens here