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Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D Review
 

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Best of the best, lenses:
December 26, 2008

The Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D was the first of Nikon's pro AF
mid-range zoom lenses. The lens is of the one touch type, meaning you
zoom with a push/pull movement. The lens also has a "macro" (should
really be called close focus and not macro) setting which gives you a
maximum magnification of 1:7.7/1:4. This lens has had numerous positive
remarks since it debuted in 1987, so it's only fair that I review it in 2008
and compare it to it's newer replacement.

Specifications

Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G
Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm VR
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
Best of the best, cameras
Nikon D3s
Nikon D3x
Nikon D700
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90
Best Value, lenses
Nikon AF-S 18-105mm VR
Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8
Nikon AF 85mm f/1.8D
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm VR
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
Accessories

Lens Construction:

15 elements in 12 groups

Picture Angle:

62° - 34°20 (35mm/FX)

Minimum focus distance:

0.6ft / 0.28m

Filter Size:

62mm

Lens Hood:

HB-1

Included accessories:

Front lens cap
Rear lens cap LF-1

Size: Approx.

Dia: × length mm / x in

weight:

665g / oz

Diaphragm:

7 straight blades.

Price from:

Discontinued

Positives

l
l
l

l

Second hand price, cheap alternative to the newer lenses.
Size. Quite a bit smaller then it's newer replacements.
Sharp. It delivers impressive sharpness even wide open, though
corners are a bit soft wide open.
Contrast, even wide open contrast is fairly good.

Drawbacks

l
l
l

l
l

No DOF(depth of field) markings.
AF speed, could be better.
Light fall-off/Vignetting. Wide open there is a small amount of
vignetting visible, not so bad it's a big problem though.
Rotating front. Not very fun if you use Pola or grad filters.
Flare, flare can be quite nasty if you have the sun just outside the

Recommended memory cards

 

corners of the lens.

Verdict

I know a lot of people complain about the coverage of this lens(especially
on the DX format), I have to agree that for my use this lens is not as wide
as I want either(even on a FX camera). It does however work pretty well
in the whole range, better to have it perform well in the whole range then
to have a wider focal length that doesn't perform well at all. The optical
quality of the lens is rather good, almost at the top of the list. Corners are
a bit soft wide open, but nothing that I can't live with or work around. My
main complaint about this lens is the rotating front element and the focus
speed. On the good side is the weight and size of the lens, and of course
the Sharpness wide open. Peak performance of the lens is f/5.6-f/11
where the lens delivers stunning results. It can't really be compared to it's
newer replacements though, especially the new AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm
f/2.8G which is in a class of it's own.
Features
Performance
Build
Value

Alternatives

Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G IF-ED From: $1,649.95 USD
Nikon AF 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0D IF From: $679.95 USD
Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR From: $529.95 USD
Sigma AF 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG Price from: $569.00 USD
Sigma AF 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG. Price: $349.00 USD
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Price: $459.00 USD
*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from March 7, 2010

Sample Pictures

Images have been imported to photoshop CS3 through Capture NX 2 thus
leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening,
etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my
copyright page for information about usage of these images.
Camera
Nikon D3

Camera

Nikon D3

ISO

ISO

200

200

Picture control Landscape

Picture control Landscape

Focal Length

58mm

Focal Length

70mm

Exposure

1/4000sec f/2.8

Exposure

1/2000sec f/4

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Camera

Nikon D3

Camera

Nikon D3

ISO

200

ISO

200

Picture control Landscape

Picture control Landscape

Focal Length

44mm

Focal Length

35mm

Exposure

1/500sec f/5.6

Exposure

1/250sec f/8

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Camera

Nikon D3

Camera

Nikon D3

ISO

200

ISO

200

Picture control Landscape

Picture control Landscape

Focal Length

70mm

Focal Length

35mm

Exposure

1/125sec f/11

Exposure

1/125sec f/16

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Home

 

 

 

© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.


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