I know a number of people are hoping to get this combination but are concerned that the lens may not be up to the camera... however, seeing's as Nikon recommend it, and many people on-line have found the lens surprisingly good, I got one before my D800 was delivered and have been trying it out.
Firstly, in single centre point one-off focus mode I have yet to miss a single shot in any light at any distance.
Secondly, the lens is, I think, better than my old walkaround, the Canon 24-105.
Thirdly, though contrast drops a little at the longer end, it is really negligible.
Now, I am uploading to Zenfolio as we speak my standard test scene. It's not perfect but its been very useful over the years to judge sharpness of systems at medium long distance. All the files are uploading at 91% JPEG quality and 100% size. They were imported into LR4 and given Auto tone, uniform WB, and sharpening that I am using as my first flush attempt at getting input sharpening right for this camera and lens. That is 60, 0.7, 70, 20.
Lens corrections are also applied, including for CA.
Now this is a test I did for myself and am sharing, not something I am using to try to prove anything to the world. Consequently all these are handheld with VR on and with AF as described above. That's how I will shoot this lens. If I want top quality I'll use a tripod and top notch glass.
My acid test is: as a carry around, can this SYSTEM of lens and camera provide me with generally good IQ with certain sweet spots of excellence such that, should I come across something I want to work up, print and sell, I could do so happily? The answer is Yes.
Here's the link to the files:
Tim Ashley Photography | D800 With 24-120 tests | _DSC2381
Here are my brief thoughts on looking at them at 50% on screen, equivalent to a 200DPI print. I didn't bother with 100%, that's how irrelevant it is for my particular purpose here.
The shots were pretty much all very good or better on centre, so the qualitative judgements below refer to the edges unless otherwise stated.
f4 bit soft at edges but acceptable, CA bad.
f5.6 slightly soft edges, goodish, CA noticeable
f8 edges good, CA OK
f4 as above for f4
f5.6 as above for f5.6
f8 as above for f8
f4 as above for f4
f5.6 pretty good edges and CA
f8 very good altogether
f4 edges OK to good, bit of CA
f5.6 very good to excellent altogether
f8 excellent altogether
f4 edges slightly soft, a little CA
f5.6 good to very good altogether
f8 vert good to excellent
f4 good, small CA
f5.6 good to very good, CA negligible
f4 softening edges, a little CA
f5.6 acceptable edges, CA negligible
f8 pretty good overall
f4 entire frame very slightly soft, edges,a touch more so, a little CA
f5.6 entire frame goodish
f8 Entire frame good
Enjoy, and tell me if you agree!