Possible upgrade from Nikon 35-70 F2.8D to Nikon 28-70 F2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by martin_glazer, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. HI
    I have the Nikon D90. I also have the Nikon 35 - 70 f2.8 D, I am considering upgrading to the Nikon 28mm - 70mm f2.8. The reviews on the net are generally favorable for the Nikon 28 - 70mm f2.8. Does any one have an opinion on how improved the Image quality would be? How much of a difference in Image quality is the Nikon 24 - 70 f2.8 over the Nikon 28 - 70 f 2.8?
  2. The improvement in optical performance is practically nil from the 35-70 range as both are excellent by any standard. The lens has obvious benefits if you need the extra 7 mm on the wide end, faster AF and a non-rotating front thread. The drawback is the significantly larger size and of course the cost. If you need the wider end, the 24-70/2.8 is a far better choice as the size is not significantly different than the 28-70 and optically it's one of the very best lenses in Nikon's arsenal equaling or exceeding performance to primes. Also of course, 24 mm is a bit more useful for wide angle fans than 28 mm. I personally own the 35-70/2.8D and suppliment it with a 24/2.8 AIS when I need the wider coverage.
  3. Do you also have a wider kit lens? Neither of those lenses is a great choice for DX imho.
    the Nikon 17-55 or Tamron 17-50 are far better choices for most folks.
  4. I agree with Alan that the old 35-70mm is an excellent lens.
    However there is a tendency to flair when shooting into light even if this is not a point source but a wide source of light.
    In addition some of these lenses acquire some fogging of the lens that increases the flair considerably. this seems a widespread phenomenon.
    If your lens is especially "clean" (like the one I own) than only the first part of my comment applies.
    Knowing about the problem I tried to avoid it as much as possible and I personally used the 35-70mm f2.8 zoom for quite a while with good success before upgrading to the 24-70mm f2.8. Quite a positive upgrade in range but also quite a difference in price.
  5. HI
    I have the Nikon 12 - 24mm F4, I also have the Nikon 35mm F1.8. I guess the lens to beat is the Nikon 24 - 70 f2.8? I also have the older Nikon 80 -200 f2.8
  6. Martin: What is the problem with your current gear? What is it not doing that you think the 'upgrade' will fix? It will NOT make you a better photographer. If you are not printing larger than 11x14, I suspect there will be NO visible difference. Even if you make larger prints, only a very close, deliberate examination would reveal any difference. Most people looking at prints do NOT look a the very corners to see if they are sharp.
    What tripod are you using? The best 'upgrade' I know for better 'Eye-Cue' is a good solid tripod with a suitable head, and a remote release for the camera.
  7. And you like the idea of switching from one lens to another every time you want to go wider than 24? That would drive me batty, but if you never shoot anything but set-up landscapes where you have loads of time, I guess...
  8. I switched from the 35-70mm to the 28-70mm; but that was because I dropped and damaged the 35-70mm and Nikon wanted 400$ to repair it. So I sold it on eBay "as is for parts" and bought a used 28-70mm (to use on a D700).
    I wish I hadn't dropped the 35-70mm though, I really like the 28-70mm, and in terms of image quality, not sure that I really see any difference (both are excellent!), but that 28-70mm weighs quite a bit. I mean it's massive. Having a D700, 200mm micro-nikkor, 17-35mm, 28-70mm and assorted accessories all in the same bag is a lot.
    As for the 24-70, it was simple; I felt the price difference between the 28-70 and the 24-70 didn't justify the gain in image quality for what is, for me, only a hobby.
  9. that would be a marginal increase in IQ. the main advantages are AF-S, more modern design, wider focal length. not sure it's really worth it for amateur/casual photography.
  10. The 35-70mm f/2.8 worked well with my Nikon 35mm film cameras.
    When I started shooting DX, I had to add a Nikon 20-35mm f/2.8 to compensate for the loss in wide-angle coverage of the 35-70. If I were forced to replace my 35-70 and 20-35, I would seriously consider the 24-70mm f/2.8. However, since it does not have an aperture ring, it will not work on my older manual/mechanical film cameras (Nikon F2).
  11. Thank you for your posts. I like technology that is one step behind the leader. You can usually get a proven performer for a big discount in price. I agree the 28 - 70mm wont make a me a better photographer. I have a Manfrotti table tripod. I had a Pentax KM 35 mm film camera. I still have it. I had a 50mm f1.8 lens and a Tokina 80 - 200mm zoom. The lesson I got from that camera,was to get the best lens, that I could afford. The thing about getting a real good lens is, it seems that there is one less problem to go wrong with the image.
  12. My 35-70 has been a warhorse--it's been disassembled once to clean haze (mentioned by others above) from internal elements, and had the lens mount come loose a few months ago. And the barrel of the thing is banged up and ugly. But it keeps soldiering on! I use it for 90% of my studio work, and it takes all of my boxing photos (some of the older of which you can see here).
    I am, like you, considering strongly the move to the 28-70, for the following reasons, some of which also echo what you and others have said:
    1. Compared to the 24-70, it's a lot less expensive.
    2. I would hope that the AFS is faster than the screw-drive autofocus of the 35-70. I use a D300, so the 35-70 does focus reasonably quickly, but I'd prefer something just a bit faster for boxing and MMA, as the action happens so quickly that even the tiniest advantages can save a shot sometimes.
    3. I would like just a little wider wide end, especially on my DX camera. The 24-70 would be much better in that regard, but 28 would still be a definite benefit.
    4. The 28-70 should suffer from a bit less flare than the 35-70. In situations with bright lights in the frame (as in boxing, often) this is highly problematic with the older lens.
    5. The non-rotating front end permits the use of a proper lens hood proportioned for the film/sensor; the 35-70's spinning hood is all but useless.
    6. The internal focusing would be very useful for shooting MMA. When I've got the front of the lens pressed up against the cage, I don't want it grinding against the wire as it rotates during focus, and the lens racking in and out to focus is a real pain in that situation.
    I will probably pick one up soon. The reason I haven't so far is the price, which is still pretty substantial compared to even an immaculate version of the 35-70, the beastly size of the thing (I'll probably still keep the 35-70 around as my casual carry-around lens), and the fact that the 28-70 isn't that much sharper than the 35-70--if at all, at least amongst the used samples I have tested against my lens. Old as the 35-70 is, it's still a heck of a fine performer and stacks up well against current lenses.
    I get a bit of a chuckle when I shoot professional boxing and look at the other photographers at ringside. All of the other guys shooting for publication (I'm working in London) have the latest and greatest Nikon and Canon 24-70 zooms, while I'm firing away with a 35-year-old lens that looks like it was dropped from a speeding truck. But quite often, I get the better photos--I've had shot of the week in Boxing News several times now. So, yes, the 35-70 can definitely hold its own, even today. I wouldn't be in a hurry to upgrade unless there's a set of specific reasons for it--image quality alone shouldn't be persuasive, and make sure you consider the caveats of the newer lenses. Including my semi-rant below.
    (Back to the size thing...I've "upgraded" my 20-35/2.8 to the 17-35 AFS and the 80-200 AF-D/IF to the 80-200 AFS. I've not been displeased, but I haven't been overwhelmed, either--except by the size and weight of the newer lenses. Both of the AFS lenses are sharper--but only marginally so--than their older counterparts. Unfortunately, they are both huge, monstrous and heavy. The 20-35 seemed just the right size, while the 17-35 feels often obtrusively heavy and oversize in comparison. The 80-200 likewise seems obnoxiously larger and heavier than the previous version. Comparing the relatively svelte 35-70 to the 28-70 exacerbates this problem by another order of magnitude. The 35-70 is almost perfectly sized for what it does. You might get slightly better shots with the newer lenses overall, but I can see times where the bulk of the new lenses could get in the way of making good photographs. Or even wanting to take photographs with them! I do sometimes long for my 20-35 back, especially.)
  13. If you're shooting dx with the 35-70 have you considered the HN-24 lens hood? That's what I use and find that it really helps reduce flare.
  14. Thanks, Mark. I'll have a search round for one. It certainly looks like it will work better than the HB-1, and vignetting shouldn't be a problem on DX. With the 35-70's propensity for flare, would be nice--but impossible owing to the rotating front threads--to have one of the petal-shaped type.

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