Compact zoom for the Nikon Df?

One of the advantages of the Nikon Df is that it’s the smallest full frame camera with a proper mirror.

Therefore, everyone seems to think that the Nikon Df is only made for primes. I like primes too, but some occasions work better with a zoom.  Plus, I don’t own any wide angle primes because – and at f8, what lens isn’t sharp?

I’m not a grizzled Nikon veteran like some early adopters of the Df, so I’m not blessed with an extensive collection of vintage glass.  So I looked through my collection and came across the Nikkor 24-85 f3.5-4.5G.  Even though it’s just a kit lens with some recent bodies, I like even better than the 24-120 f4G.

It’s a very nice size on the Df, not too heavy, not too big – very nicely balanced.  Frankly, I enjoyed it on the Df even more than on my D800.

It’s sharp, focuses reasonably close, doesn’t “creep” or extend when hanging front-element-down in the sling.

My my most used lenses on the Dƒ:

Nikon Df Zoom-2From left to right:

  • Kit 50mm f1.8 SE
  • Nikon 85 mm f1.8G
  • Nikon 24-85 f3.4-4.5G
  • Sigma 35mm f1.4 “Art”

Here are some shots that I took while hiking this weekend.

Note: The EXIF reads D4 because I used Exifchanger (Mac app store) so that Lightroom would recognise them.  As always, you can click through to pixel peep if you’re so inclined.

So if you don’t have any compact and light classic zooms, and you’re looking for something modern that won’t cost the world and is nice to use on the Df, try it out!

I’m always on the search for the best standard zoom for all of my cameras, so if you have any recommendations, put them in the comments!


6 thoughts on “Compact zoom for the Nikon Df?”

  1. Thinking about the Nikon DF, but coming from micro43, I’m worried about size and weight. The 50mm f1.8 kit is going to be a perfect walkaround prime, and probably the 70-200 f4 plus a TC 1.7x is going to cover my telephoto needs. But, for a standard zoom (looking for a 3 lenses kit), 24-85 VR is the best option I’ve found (between 24-70, 24-120 and Sigma 24-105). It’s compact and light, but mixed reviews in the web. Another option to keep size down is to get a 24mm f2.8D. What do you think? Thanks, and congrats for your site. Regards from Mexico City!!

  2. I also like the 24-85mm on Df, but the lens doesn’t have the contrast that I’m looking for. Lately I’ve been thinking about the Sigma 24-105mm which is sharper according to reviews at all FLs than 24-85 and 24-120mm. It’s black finish even matches my black Df. But the lens is huge! I’m afraid in the end it’s just going to drag me down so I’ll end up not using it at all. Dilemma, sigh.. Back to using my 50/1.2 AIS, which is a bit limiting.

  3. Hi
    Just got a nikon 25-50 f4 manual lens. So far really good. I would recommend this. The pics are sharp and manual focusing is easymon df compared to d800. So far loving it. The lens is solid built and also partmof nikon 1001 night story

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