Experience with Nikkor AF 35-70 2.0 zoom?
What is your collective take on this lens? I am thinking about adding this lens to my Nikon glass; it'll be the first pro-quality lens I've owned.
What are the good points about it, and what are its drawbacks?
Thanks to all who reply.
The f/2.8 you mean?
I've never owned one but those I know who have owned one have loved it. It's a very limited range, but the lens is very, very sharp.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
It's a pretty big & heavy lens, I know that. That has prevented me from buying
it. I normally think of a 35-70mm as a light, walk-around general lens and the
size & weight of the f/2.8 contradicts that for me. I don't know what I'd use it
Actually the "lowly" AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 is a surprisingly sharp lens
and is about the same size & weight as the 50/1.8. It ain't fast but it's
a great little general use lens IMO and can be had for little money.
All reports are that it is a great lens, quality wise. I can't imagine how much use it would be though, the range is so small...two steps back, or two steps forward, is about all there is in it. For the size and weight, and only 2.8 max aperture, I would rather have a 50mm f2 or 1.4.
From the ones that I have used, it has a solid build quality. Since it has the push-pull type zoom, watch out for creap. Its sharp and a good overall lens.
If you get it, I hope that you enjoy.
M. David Farrell, Jr.
~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!
~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!
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I've always considered it an excellent lens for something, but I can't imagine what. I feel the same way about the 28-70. A 35-105 f2.8, now that would be useful!
"Pretty big&heavy"? LOL - it's by far the smallest and lightest of the f/2.8 midrange zooms Nikon made/makes...
Sharpness wise, there's nothing to complain about, IMO.
Handling is so-so, not so much for the strange push-pull design with separate focusing, but rather for the lack of AFS. You MUST switch the body to "M" for manual focus, making MF or focus touch-up basically a non-option.
Weakest point of this lens is the severe tendency to flare / loose contrast when shooting against the light (indoors towards a window often is sufficient to reduce contrast significantly...). The standard lens hood (HB-1) can only be classified as a failed joke, and does not help at all in this regard. Unfortunately, I think there's no completely satisfying alternative for the hood when using the lens on a 135 (or FX) body. I also use this lens on a DX body, and since then use a "Hama Telematic" rubber lens hood, sections of which can be folded back - it works also on a 135 body, when not fully extending the rubber hood (otherwise the hood vignettes). Although the gain compared to the HB-1 still is not that great...
Also, the zoom range (35-70, 2x) is not that useful. Nowadays I rather use a fixed 50 mm lens instead of using the 35-70 on film. Where the 35-70 still excels, IMO, is as a normal-to-short-tele-zoom on a DX digital body (when used together with a proper hood, and an UWA companion) - certainly out of scope here.
Honestly, if wouldn't really recommend it except if you really need a zoom of such limited range, and can live with the flare problem, and are on a limited budget. Otherwise, I think it's better to spend the money on a really good 50 (or other prime in the range, whatever FL suits you best). Now, if you ask me about that 50/1.4 ZF.2 ...
I bought one - an early non-D version - and I thought it was great at first. Then after taking it on a long trip, and reviewing several hundred slides taken with it I thought many seemed to have lower contrast and lower resolution than I expected. I sent it to a well-known Nikon lens specialist and he told me that the lens had a defective component, and that there were no parts available for replacement. And that the problem was fairly common in non-D lenses. So, if you want to try one, avoid the early ones for sure. They are of course, the cheaper ones.