through the F-Mount -  photography by Jürgen Becker
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Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 D review

April 30, 2012

Nikon introduced this lens in 1987 as their first professional autofocus normal zoom. In the middle of the 90s they updated it with a 'D' chip, combined with a minor facelift. But the optical design remained the same. It was built until about 2007. Over the years I have used two samples of this lens with consistent results. I tried a third one - a non-D type in heavy used condition - but that was a bad sample. I don't count this here.

I use the 35-70mm as a standard lens. I don't really know why, but this lens has been my all-time preferred one for photographing steam locomotives, too.

The 35-70mm f/2.8 at 35mm mounted on a D700. In the background: Nikon's current professional normal zoom, the AF-S 24-70 f/2.8 G, specially modified for flower photography ;o).


At closest focus and 70mm the lens reaches its maximum magnification of about 1:6.7. The distance between the lens hood and the subject is 39cm.

In conjunction with the 6T closeup lens the max. magnification is about 1:3 and the distance between hood and subject is about 17cm. Both shots were made with the D700 at f/2.8 and 1/100sec hand-held.




Sample images:

Colours of autumn. D700, 35mm, F11.

Special train, just arrived in Rheine main station. D200 on a tripod, 62mm, F5.6, 2.5sec.

Creating a larger soap bubble, "Phaeno", Wolfsburg. D700, 44mm, F4.

Evaluating corner sharpness @70mm, see 100% crop below. This shot was made hand-held with the Nikon D700 at ISO 400, F8 and 1/60sec. No post-processing was done, the image is just raw converted by Nikon Capture NX2.

100% crop of the upper left corner.

Evaluating corner sharpness @35mm, see 100% crop below. This shot was made hand-held with the Nikon D700 at ISO 400, F11 and 1/160sec.

100% crop of the lower left corner.

The flaring issue: if a bright light source is just outside the frame the 35-70mm is very prone to flare. Often you can help yourself a bit by using your left hand for shading, but I forgot it here. This image was captured with the D700, lens at 50mm and F8.

In contrast, if you have the sun in the image, there is no problem. D700, 35mm, F4.

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