Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D Lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_s|8, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. I can't afford the new 24-70 2.8, so I'm considering this lens for my D80. This lens would replace my Tamron 17-50 2.8.
    Can anyone comment on this lens on the D80 body?
  2. Mark, 35-70/2.8 AF-D lens is known to be a great performer on DX fromat digital bodies.
    By the way, if you are going to replace your 17-50 with 35-70, you are in fact replacing a standard zoom with a mid-tele zoom (on DX format). Are you really sure to do that?
  3. So long as you are fully aware that it is the equivalent of about a 50-105 f/2.8 on a full frame, you'll be fine. It is sharp and contrasty, with a funky push-pull zoom and not the fastest focusing. I had and used one for many years. It will certainly be significantly cheaper than a 24-70 which may be overkill unless you are planning a full frame purchase in the short term future.
    Good luck.
  4. I can't comment on the D80 but I use it on the D300. It's very sharp (my copy is almost as sharp as my 50mm 1/4D which is quite something) at ALL focal lengths, even wide open plus it has wonderful contrast. The only negative is that was made before many of these special coatings so can suffer from flare and haze if pointed at the sun. I think it's a great studio portrait lens and I love it to bits (in fact, I own two).
  5. As a principle, I always direct lens questions i cannot answer myself ( ;) ;) ) to my fellow countryman, Bjørn Rørslett: What that man does not know about Nikon lenses, you will never need to know.... Kudos to Bjørn.
    I really reccomend that you visit his website
  6. I have the 35-70 2.8, and used it on my D70s, and now my D90. It's a good lens for what it is, built like a tank. It's a push-pull zoom, so that may take some getting used to. Also keep in mind that this lens is not AFS (no built in motor) so autofocus is a bit slower than motor equipted lenses.
    You say you want to replace your 17-50 2.8. I wouldn't 'replace' it, but perhaps have the two lenses for whatever you might need. With Nikon's 1.5 crop factor, the 17-50 is a much more usable range for most typical photography. I use my 35-70 mostly for people events, such as parties, graduations, etc., with an effective focal length of 52.5 - 105mm... its good for portraits.
    If you can find a good used copy, this lens is a steal. The 35-70 weakness is on the wide end... it's never wide enough! (Try to get that group shot, back to a wall, with an effective 50mm, and you will see what I mean). Overall its a good inexpensive option to the more pricy 24-70's and 28-70's out there.
  7. As mentioned by some, as long as you can live with the focal length on a DX camera, go for it. I love this lens and its performance is really awesome; it's sharp throughout and really worth the little money.
    You can compliment it with the Nikon 20-35mm f2.8 and I think you can safely sell off your 17-50mm without worrying about the wide end.
    Together, both the Nikon 20-35mm f2.8 and the 35-70mm f2.8 should cost less than half of the 24-70mm f2.8 and you'll still have the range totally covered.
  8. Alvin, that was my thougth, as I want to also get rid of the Tamron 11-18 and go will all nikon glass. The 35-70 seems the place to start.
    Great comments...thanks so much.
  9. mark,
    The 35-70 is AWESOME, but of VERY limited usefulness on DX. As a "portrait and candid zoom", it is unbeatable, imho. However, I can understand wanting to get rid of the Tamron 11-18 (I tried it and hated everything about it), but don't let it sour you on ALL "non-Nikon glass". There's some great stuff out there. My Tokina 11-16, for instance, is better built than any of the Nikon stuff I have and takes extraordinary pictures.
    Also, it doesn't "replace" the lens you have now, as it barely even overlaps it. That Tamron zoom you mentioned in the OP is known to be pretty great. If you have one lens that goes from 17 or 20 - 35 and another one that goes from 35 - 70, that will be VERY frustrating on a DX camera body. VERY! That's why the 24-70 is worth what it costs...
  10. It is my standard lens on D700 when I can not change lenses as I want.
    I think it is too long for DX as a regular lens.
  11. Mark, what is it about your 17-50 that you are trying to improve on?
    For me, a 35-70 lens is not a good focal length range on DX, and even if I also had something like a 20-35 I would always be needing to switch between those lenses, which I would not greatly appreciate. (Also, for me, 20mm is still too long!)
    I had a 35-70/2.8D and while it was an acceptable lens I did not think the overall picture quality was as good as Nikon's newer lenses. The non-Nikon lenses I've owned recently, such as Tokina's 11-16, are just as good as the Nikons, so I don't know that you would be improving things with the switch you're contemplating.
    Compared to my 16-85 VR, admittedly a slow lens (but with VR!), the 35-70 was less sharp, less contrasty, and heavier despite having a fraction of the zoom range.
    My humble two cents worth.
  12. Great lens but a limited focal length. In the last wedding I shot I kept wishing I could go just a little bit wider. On a full frame camera it would probably be great.
  13. hmm, not really sure why you would trade a 17-50 for a 35-70 for use with a DX body. also not sure the 35-70, while a nikon, is any better optically than the 17-50. the 17-50 is a newer design, made for digital. the 35-70 is an older lens made for film. but, hey, it's your money.
  14. Like most here, I can't imagine not having the 17-34mm range covered with a crop sensor but hey, if you don't use that focal length, then the 35-70 will serve you fine.
  15. Although I chose the 28-70mm instead, I looked long and hard at both the 35-70mm and the 28-70mm. Personally, the push-pull zoom was not for me. But if it doesn't bother you, you'll get one heck of a lens for the money. Just make sure you can live without the short end before selling off the 17-50mm!
  16. As a "portrait and candid zoom", it is unbeatable...​
    That pretty much says it all. Even with 35mm or FX format, it's an ideal focal range for portraits. And perfect for DX format as a normal-to-short-tele zoom. Nikon should consider updating it to AF-S but keeping the price affordable as an alternative to the very pricey 24-70/2.8 and 28-70/2.8.
  17. I use a 35-70 on a D80 and agree with the above -- near perfect for portraits and candids at events, excellent addition to but in no way a replacement for a 17-50. Pros: Built like a tank, inspiringly heavy, and tack sharp even at 2.8. Cons: Prone to loss of contrast due to flare when pointed directly at a light source, different (cooler?) colors than newer nikon lenses, not wide enough to be your only lens if you're shooting indoors.
  18. Lex, Nikon does offer an inexpensive alternative to the 24-70. The 24-85 f/2.8-4 has been around for about ten years. Yes, it would be nice to see them add AF-S and the newer coatings to this lens but then it wouldn't be as inexpensive an alternative.
  19. Mark,
    I'll chime and give the 35-70mm AF-D Nikkor another tick of approval. I use mine on D700 - it's still an excellent high end zoom lens and represents great value for money. However, I concur with many here and ask you if you really want it as an effective 50-105mm lens on your DX body?

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