Do new Nikon 35mm f/2 AFD lenses still have the oil problem?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by terry_rory, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. I want a fast lens that approximates to 50mm on a D70.

    I am thinking of either a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM or a Nikon 35mm
    f/2 AFD. I have seen many mention the Nikon 35mm having problems
    leaking oil onto the aperture petals but have also seen it mentioned
    that Nikon claim to have fixed this in all examples made after 2001.

    Can any users of a new (newer than 2001) example comment on this
    problem please?

    If this does seem to be a problem then I may try out the new Sigma
    30mm. (They are quite similar in price here in the UK with the Sigma
    only costing about 60 GB pounds more from my favourite dealer.)
  2. Mine, probably bought around 2001-2002, never had this problem. Great lens.
  3. Hi Trevor,

    As far as I know the Nikon 35mm f/2 AFD lenses do not have this problem anymore. I own one which is a few years old and I have never had this problem. Even though the lens has been stored in all sorts of positions in my camera bag the aperture blades are perfectly clean and no stickyness whatsoever.

    I have no experience with the Sigma lens, but I highly recommend the Nikon.
  4. Get the Nikon. You won't regret it.
  5. Re-assuring. Thanks.

    My gut instinct is towards the Nikon 35/2 because it is reputed to be, optically, a very good lens and it is compact and light and inexpensive.

    The Sigma looks great on paper, is one stop faster, but is quite large and heavy in comparison and is an unknown quantity. (I have seen no 'real world' user reviews or feedback on it yet.)
  6. 1. The 35mm f/2.0 AFD lens is optically outstanding and actually scored slightly higher in Photodo's MTF testing than a 35mm f/2.0 Leica R lens priced way, way higher:

    2. I had the oil problem twice with a 35mm f/2.0 AFD lens about 5-7 years ago. While Nikon in Melville repaired and eventually replaced the lens, what hacked me off was that the head of the service department would not even admit that a problem existed with the 35mm f/2.0 AFD beyond my lens. Apparently, Nikon's Torrance service department was more candid with Ken Rockwell a few years back:

    Long story short, I moved on to a 28mm f/1.4 AFD and a 28-70mm f/2.8 AFS lens for events. More recently, I replaced the 28-70mm with a 17-55mm f/2.8 DX lens. I've had no problems with the latter three lenses.

    3. If you are interested in the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, check out Carsten's posted images in this thread:

    Though the Sigma is larger than the 35mm f/2.0 AFD lens, at 2.3x3.0 inches and 15 ounces, the Sigma isn't all that big. I would also note that the Sigma has a built-in high speed focusing motor and comes with a lens hood cut for the lens' angle of view with a 1.5X sensor DSLR.
  7. Can't comment on the oily diaphragm issue with older 35mm f/2 AF-D, the lens I know personaly (owned by my father) works perfectly, but it's less than 2 years old.

    Haven't seen any professionaly done tests of Sigma 30/1.4, unfortunately the test pics I've seen at are not all that encouraging. There's visible vignetting up to f/5.6, soft corners and edges wide open and quite some distortion.

    As far as lens hood goes, a rubber lens hood designed for a standard lens(i. e. 50mm on 135 film) should work very well with 35 on Nikon's DX sensor and it's dirt cheap.
  8. Hi, Trevor,

    I have owned a pre-2001 35mm AFD and now own another sample bought about 2 years ago, but I haven't had any problem.

    The Sigma 30mm f1.4 had been attractive to me, too, but after seeing some test shots I decided that the distortion was somewhat unacceptable for me.

    Also, if you want a lens for all-round use, Sigma being able to focus up to 40cm would be frustrating. 35mm AFD can go up to 25cm, which I would call "semi-macro" range and have found very very convenient.

    When I used the 35mm AFD for my film Nikon, my standard film was Kodachrome 25 and had no problem. Now that the lowest ISO of your D70 and my D2H is 200, the open aperture of f2 will cause far less problem.

    Also, Sigma takes 62mm filters as opposed to 52mm of AFD. You can use cheaper filters!

    Hope this helps,

  9. Trevor,

    I also want to add that the 35mm f/2 stays on my D70 most of the
    time as my "normal" lens. It is great.

    I recently added for portraits the very inexpensive Nikon 50mm
    f/1.8. You could buy the 35 and the 50 for almost the price of the
    Sigma you spoke of. And in my opinion come out way ahead.

    Good luck.
  10. I got mine new in 2001, no problems and a great lens.
  11. Nikon 35/2 it is then. I will ensure I buy a brand new fully UK guaranteed version from a reputable dealer.
  12. I recently bought one here in the US and it came with a 5 year warranty, which I guessed Nikon would *not* be offering if they hadn't fixed the oil problem. I've used the 35mm f2 AI as my standard lens for many years but this AFD is miles better -I can't get it to flare and the overall rendition is stunning.
  13. ky2


    We all have that oil problem. $60 per barrel? give me a break!
  14. Yaron, Not if you are associated with an oil company/economy! Norway is doing very well, for example.
  15. I just received my out of warranty 50mm 1.8 AF back from Nikon - Torrance. They repaired the oil on aperature blades free of charge. I purchased this lens in 2000. They obviously know they had a problem with some lenses back then.

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