I came home with my bright blue Adorama Rentals case, excited to test out the AS-F Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens and the very recent Nikon D810. As a novice to the DSLR realm (I still shoot film. I know… old school) I was curious to see how user friendly the D810 really was. Though I have worked with DSLRs before, this was to be the first time I’d gotten one right out of the box. So I truly had to start from scratch with the set up. Full disclosure, it took me a few minutes to get to know the camera and familiarize myself with all the bells and whistles, but over all I have to say I was pleased with how easy it was to work with. Naturally, I wanted to get started capturing right away. So I packed my camera bag and set out for a drive.
My first stop was Palmyra Cove Nature Park, where I knew there would be some wildlife to shoot. What I didn’t know was that they’d be ready and waiting for me. As soon as I pulled into the entrance I saw a couple of deer frolic ahead. I couldn’t grab my camera fast enough but I didn’t give up, and I was very glad I didn’t. Because soon after I found these little guys waiting for me:
I’m happy to report that the AF-S 24-120 lens did not disappoint. I knew I had to move quickly, as my subjects were already getting scared off by the passing cars. But, as you can see in the following images, the VR II feature in the lens worked great. I shot all of these images handheld, at the full extension of the lens (at focal length 120) with little time to adjust my settings and yet I was able to capture some pretty impressive images.
Of course, because I had to format my images for the web, you don’t see the images at their best. However, I think the cropped images give you a better sense of what this lens and camera pairing can do. Notice the light and texture detail in the first and last images.
Next, I drove further south to the Ben Franklin Bridge, which crosses into Philadelphia from Camden. It was about 5:30 pm at this point so I had to hurry before I lost all my light. Unfortunately, I was walking from east to west into Philly so I was shooting into the light for this part of my trip. However, both the camera and lens performed better than I expected.
I wanted to test the lens against the cityscape, where I knew there would be more unforgiving lines when using the zoom handheld and in low light. You can judge for yourself, but I think it did rather well.
I thought this was the perfect time to test out the HDR settings on the camera as well. Here are the results:
Even handheld, the HDR capture gave great results. Though I do recommend using a tripod for any HDR, with the built-in Vibration Reduction (VR II) makes this lens all the more versatile.
Over all, I was quite happy with the images I got from the full-frame sensor on the Nikon D810 and the quality of the images I captured with the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm lens. If you are lucky enough to own one of these cameras I know you will be please with it for the long haul. But if you’re not sure yet and would like to take it our for a spin like I did, I highly recommend you pair it with this Nikkor 24-120 VR lens.