Replacing 35-70mm 2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jenniferk, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. I am currently considering replacing my 35-70mm. My main problem with this lens is the flaring. I am outdoors a lot and always seems to have flaring/ghosting. I have the lens hood as well but really does not seem to help all that much. Would like some opinions from others on options besides the famed 24-70. I don't doubt that this is a fabulous lens however the price tag for me is unrealistic at this time unless I find a supremely sweet deal!
    A weakness of mine is post processing. I am not very good and it takes a large amount of time so usually I try to avoid unless necessary. So I am looking for a lens that has as few faults as possible. Trying to avoid fringing and distortion, doesn't have to be a super speedy lens however crisp images.
    My camera is a d300. I use my camera primarily for family and fun. Earlier this year I sold my 50mm lens and replaced it with an 85 1.4. My only other lens is a 300mm f4. I typically lean towards primes however I have not been impressed with 24mm. I do have a trip coming up to Disney so this new lens will probably be my walk around lens for a couple weeks.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Hi Jennifer, what is your price range? And would you like a DX or a FX lens?
  3. Fairly flexible on both. No plans of upgrading to fx anytime in the near future. Staying under $1000 would be great, $600-$800 even better. I don't swap around lenses very often so I consider them worth the investment. Just can't justify so much for the 24-70.
  4. Tamron 17-50?
  5. Hi, I just thought I would mention that I use an hn-23 hood on my 35-70mm on my dx body instead of the recommended hood. It definitely helps with the flaring as it is a bit deeper (but does not completely eliminate it). I haven't found any vignetting on dx at all. Thought that might be an option for you. Good luck!
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am outdoors a lot and always seems to have flaring/ghosting.​
    In that case you can rule out the Nikon 17-55mm/f2.8 AF-S DX. It is otherwise a great lens for DX, but it has serious flare problems.
  7. I actually just ordered the hn-23 hood this morning! That will be my last ditch effort to salvage the 35-70. Otherwise it may
    help until I decide and purchase my new lens. The thought of going to Florida though with the 35-70 is pretty unappealing
    to me though between the beaches and the parks.

    It is just as helpful to know what lenses to avoid so thanks for that feedback!

    I'm a little hesitant going 3rd party. The reviews always seem mixed on whether you get a good copy. I also like the idea
    of Nikon holding a better value in case of resale. However when it comes down to price if it is inexpensive enough the
    what do you have to lose attitude might come into play.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I also like the idea of Nikon holding a better value in case of resale.​
    Jennifer, it always cuts both ways. Yes, 3rd-party lenses tend to lose the value faster. However, that also means if you are willing to buy used, you can get better deals buying used, 3rd-party lenses. Just deal face to face, e.g. via Craig's List; test before you buy. Last month a friend bought a used Nikon 16-85mm DX. I went with her with my D7000 and laptop. I took a few test shots on the spot and checked them out in PhotoShop immediately.
    The same applies to DSLRs. They do depreciate quickly, but if you are willing to buy used DSLRs introduced 3, 4, 5 years ago, e.g. the D3, D700, and D300. Sure, they are no longer state of the art, but they are still quite good and you can get them at a fraction of their original prices.
  9. Jennifer, I am having the same problems as you do with the 35-70mm lens. I am now using my Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR most of the time. It will do the trick, but I wish I had a faster lens. I can't turn up the ISO much because of noise in the D300. Luckily the camera has a good built-in flash, and you can always turn up the ISO a bit when you are using the flash - to get decent ambient ligting.
    Was it the 24mm af-d you tried? What was it that you didn't like about it? To bad, since it would have been a good alround focal length on a DX camera.
  10. There is the 20mm f2.8 AF-D lens which is selling for around $550,- I have no personal experience with it, maybe someone else has tried it. There is a AF version as well, but you would want the AF-D version with distance meetering.
    There is a 20mm f2.8 flickr group showing a lot of great photos shot with the two lenses.
  11. I second the idea of the Nikon 16-85 for a D300 if you are against third party lenses. This lens, along with a 35mm or 50mm prime make a dynamite combo for a D300. I used to own a 16-85, and even though it was variable aperture, the lens was tack sharp even at its widest setting. If you must have f/2.8, then the 16-85 is a non-starter. But if you are flexible, you won't find a better zoom lens (purchased new) in your price range in the Nikon brand.
  12. If you are happy with the focal range of the 35-70mm on DX, want to keep f 2.8 and don't want to mortgage your house you should have a closer look at the Tamron 2.8 28-75mm. Optically it is a very good performer on DX and has very little flare problems. It is very small and light for its optical specifications. You wrote, you are hesitating to buy 3rd party lenses as their resale value is low - but this lens has a considerably lower price than the Nikon 24-70. Even if you loose a higher percentage, you loose a smaller absolute amount on resale. Sample variations aren' t a big issue wit this lens today, its is in production since several years, Tamron should have fixed possible manufacturing problems.
  13. Here is another vote for the 16-85 mm DX lens for your D 300. It and the Nikon 35mm f 1.8 DX are my two favorite DX lenses. I guess I am lucky in that I have not had a lot of flare problems with my copy of the 35-70mm f 2.8 which I bought used a number of years ago. My 24mm f 2.8 AF D lens does not perform well on my D 300 for some reason. My 20mm f 2.8 Af D does perform well on the D 300.
    Joe Smith
  14. I really enjoy the 35-70/2.8D AF Nikkor but it is prone to occasional problems with ghosting flare. In actual practice I've seen it only in nighttime photos of emergency responders where there are lots of headlights and flashing lights from fire trucks, etc. So far I haven't experienced any problems in daylight photos.
    I need VR so I'd go for the 24-120/4 or even a good copy of the older 24-120/3.5-5.6 VR - I had one and stupidly sold it. It was very resistant to ghosting and veiling flare even when shooting into the sun.
    I haven't tried the 16-85 VR but I've seen plenty of excellent, sharp and flare-free photos taken by other folks, even nighttime photos with lots of lights in the scene.
  15. I love the 35-70mm f/2.8 on my D200 and F100; I used the HB-15 with the D200 and the HB-1 with the F100 and haven't
    had any trouble with flare or vignetting.
  16. Thanks for the suggestions! I will look further into all the mentioned above!

    How strange that we have such different experiences with the 35-70!
  17. Hi Ann,
    The 24mm that I used was the d version. Maybe I should try another one to give it another shot before completely ruling it
    out because you are right that it would be about perfect as a general lens!

    I only used it for an afternoon and I was shooting the awards at a softball tournament. I was switching back and forth
    between my 50mm and the 24mm depending on the amount of space I had available. There was a noticeable difference
    in the pictures between the two lens. I printed 16 pictures to mount on a photo board of each separate team and posted
    their ranking. The images using the 50mm were much more clear and crisp. Especially near the edges. More so when I
    lowered the f stop. Maybe it is not a totally fair comparison between the 2 lenses however I was not expecting to notice
    such a difference so easily detected between the two. Especially to an untrained eye such as I have.

    On a different note I also thought the manual focus ring was small. It would take some getting used too.
  18. Jennifer, I have the 24mm f/2.8 Ai, which should optically be identical to the AF-D you tried. While I loved the focal length on a D300 quite a bit, optically it was a love-hate affair. It was plenty sharp in the centre from f/2.8 on, but the corners much less so, and stopping down never fully solved it. So I can understand your experiences - I kept mine, though - small, f/2.8. And glad I kept it, as on my D700, this lens seems a lot better in nearly all ways.
    I've had the 16-85VR, and really liked it a lot. For a do-it-all lens, about as good as it gets, and most of all I found it an excellent landscape lens. The only issue with it, in my opinion, is that it's relatively poor value for money. It's not a cheap lens for a f/5.6 zoom. I find the 18-105VR -despite less construction quality- a much better value. It's a lens worth considering, unless you insist on a metal lens mount. Add a 35mm f/1.8DX for the fast aperture shots, and you've got a pretty great kit.
    For the wider end (below 35mm), most primes aren't great. Frankly, I would not bother with them on APS-C, and look for a DX-zoom, such as those mentioned already. (For completeness sake, probably I should make an exception here for the 24mm f/1.4, which I never used and which costs a lot more).
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon has not updated the optical design for the 24mm/f2.8 since the AI version. Way back in 1978, a year after Nikon first introduced the concept of AI, I bought one of those. Needless to say, that optical design is now quite dated.
    Today, I have a 24mm/f2.8 AF-D. It is still OK now but certainly is not the best lens on modern high-pixel DSLRs.
  20. Lex Jenkins, if you have some time available I would be very interested if you could provide more details about your experience with the 24-120. Especially since you have used the f4 and the 3.5 version. Covering this wide of a range does the lens struggle on one end verses the other? I believe I would use it more on the 24mm end and am curious about the strength optically.
    I was also curious if there is a size and weight difference between the two.
    Is there anything in particular, quality wise that you would cause you to lean towards one lens verses the other?
  21. Any new f/2.8 lens (Ulrich mentioned the Tamron 28-75) should have fewer flare problems, as more modern lens coatings are generally much more resistant to flare. However, they will have slightly different colour and more contrast ... if you prefer the look of the older lenses, your best bet is to use the lens hood and make do.
  22. I don't believe that any of the f/3.5-5.6 kit lenses can be called a replacement for an f/2.8 lens. I'd second (or third) the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 suggestion. You see these on eBay in good condition for $250 or so all the time. They're not as good as options like the Nikon 24-70 but they'll give you fewer problems when facing the sun than your 35-70.
  23. What a shame about the 24mm lens. Wonder why Nikon has let it go for such a long time without improving it?
    The tamron looks like a decent lens. I am going to keep that on my radar when I am searching. Locally there is none available on the used market and I'm not sure I would pay the price tag for a new one.
    I do like the idea of the 16-85. Seems like a great range and I do like the idea of have the wide side for whenever the situation arises. Never used anything quite that wide before. The price is a little surprising considering the aperture. My thought process is that it must be a great little lens and overcomes the aperture somewhat that others are willing to pay the price.
  24. Any opinions of the 24-85mm 2.8-4?
  25. The 16-85 lens is overhyped. It's not worth the money unless you really, really want something with that particular range, because aside from the 16mm wide end and somewhat better build quality, in terms of optical performance it's not better than other decent variable aperture kit lenses like the 18-105 and the Sigma 17-70.
    The 24-85 2.8-4 is pretty good. It gets good press but I don't think it's any better than the newer 24-85 lenses. The newest 24-85 is the best, and since Nikon just gave away a ton of them in D600 discounts you can get one cheap on eBay.
  26. Every year I go to the Carlisle Pennsylvania Truck Show, and photograph for the Ford group. The light is always horrible,
    bright hazy going into the mid-day when most of the main stuff is going on and then everything in between. Dust and dirt
    and usually rain to deal with, flare city. I shoot the whole show, several hundred shots, with an old Tamron SP 28-85
    Model 27a with a B+W K1.5 filter and no hood, and an old 300mm Nikkor f4.5 straight lens, no filter or hood. I didn't lose
    one shot from flair or other defect, even in the most extreme light. That zoom can usually be had for $40-80 plus a mount
    $15 or so, but no AF of course or fancy D metering....
  27. The nikkor 28-105 AF f3.5-4.5D is a nice lens.
  28. "Lex Jenkins, if you have some time available I would be very interested if you could provide more details about your experience with the 24-120. Especially since you have used the f4 and the 3.5 version. Covering this wide of a range does the lens struggle on one end verses the other? I believe I would use it more on the 24mm end and am curious about the strength optically."​
    Ah, my previous comment wasn't clear. I've owned and used only the 24-120/3.5-5.6 AFS VR, not the current f/4 version. Shun owns that version and can comment on it.
    I found the 24-120/3.5-5.6 VR sharp enough for my purposes but I had only a 4mp D2H to use for evaluation. I had both the 24-120/3.5-5.6 VR and the popular 18-70/3.5-4.5 kit zoom at the same time for a year or two. They were entirely comparable in every way, pros and cons, and comparable to the 35-70/2.8D AF. Both were satisfactorily sharp and flare resistant. Both suffered from noticeable barrel distortion at the widest end. Today, distortion correction software like Lightroom 4 would resolve that problem. The 35-70/2.8D AF Nikkor didn't suffer from any significant barrel distortion at the wide end.
    Today, I'd chose the 24-120/3.5-5.6 VR over the 18-70 DX because I need the VR more now to offset my shaky mitts. The 16-85 VR would probably suit me as well.
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The current constant f4 version of the 24-120mm AF-S VR is a fairly good lens. I have it on my D800 a lot, but you need to keep in mind that it is a 5x zoom so that there are some optical compromises. At 24mm, corner distortion and chromatic aberration are moderaterly serious, but if you are going to use it on a DX body, you won't be using that corner, problematic areas.
    Personally, I think you are better off getting a DX zoom that starts from 16 to 18mm for a better wide coverage.
  30. The 16-85 lens is overhyped....
    The 24-85 2.8-4 is pretty good.​
    The 16-85VR on photozone has consistently a higher centre resolution than the 24-85 AF-D, and nearly equal border resolution - for a DX lens versus a FX lens, that leaves that "pretty good" 24-85 with pretty poor border performance. This is comparing the tests they did with a D200. The 24-85 is similar priced as the 16-85, offering a stop more aperture, in exchange for less range and no VR, and no optical benefits. I wouldn't call it a good deal for DX users.
    Their tests on the D7000 show that the 16-85VR holds up better than the 18-105VR (especially the borders, but overall resolution is higher throughout). The Sigma 17-70 is a nice alternative, but also that one doesn't outresolve the 16-85VR. Yes, I still concur the 16-85VR is a bit overpriced, and the 18-105VR a better bargain, but to call the 16-85VR "overhyped" is in itself overhyped. It's better than that.
    I currently have the 24-120 f/4VR; good lens, but for landscapes I think I still prefer the 16-85VR (for all other kinds of photography the f/4 aperture at the long end is nicer). Just seems a bit crispier with photos focussed at infinity - not by a whole lot, though. It is however noticeable heavier and larger. And it costs more than the budget you indicated before.
    As Shun, I think you'll be happier with a 16 to 18mm wide end. You may not use it now, but once you'll have it you will see in how many scenarios this extra wide angle does come in useful.
  31. I greatly appreciate all the responses! It is very helpful to know what others are using and for what circumstances. Last year when I was searching for a lens with some reach to use at softball games I asked here and ultimately ended up purchasing the 300mm f4. Love the lens and it has served me very well. To say the least I greatly value each of your opinions.
  32. I didn't say the 16-85 isn't also pretty good. It is a good lens. But it's clearly not, given the comparables and their price points, a lens that's worth more than $600. For that money you can buy a Tamron 17-50 and a Nikon 35mm 1.8. Given this, it does not seem sensible that everybody who asks a question in the form "what lens should I get for [Nikon DX camera]" without being a lot more specific gets "Nikon 16-85mm" as their response. That should really be the answer in a small percentage of cases. Hence, it is overhyped.
  33. At this point I think I just might alter my direction slightly. After reading some feedback and plenty of reviews over the past few days I haven't been overly impressed with any particular lens. I'm actually thinking of saving a little longer and getting the 14-24mm.
    This lens was already on my list as my next major lens purchase however I wasn't expecting to get it until much later. We are planning a rather large (for us anyway) cross country vacation and this is the wide angle lens that I would like to have to go along with this trip.
    Most likely to fill the gap I will get either an inexpensive third party such as the Tamron mentioned or possibly a simple 35mm prime. Never tried either!
    Again, thanks for sharing your opinions!
  34. Jennifer, to be honest, the 14-24 - excellent as it might be - is not a very logical lens on DX. You pay a lot and carry a lot (it's huge!) for extreme wideness you're not using. A lens like the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 is a far better match - smaller, nice price, equally f/2.8 and wider, and optically really good. Personally, I had the 12-24 f/4 Tokina which is a bit more versatile. At these wide angles, I did not miss that one stop of aperture much.
    Most of all, as it seems now like you have relatively little experience with wide angles (given your current lenses), do take note that extreme wide angle lenses are quite a different thing; using them effectively requires a bit more thought with regards to composition. So whichever one you get, be sure to get it well in advance before the vacation, so you'll have ample time to get used to it before you're making those "once of a lifetime" shots.
  35. Thank you Wouter! All very valid points you have made. I will do plenty of research before I purchase and now i will add
    the Tokina into that search. We do have a wide angle class that is fairly local that I hope to fit into my schedule next year.
    Not sure why exactly but it also includes architectural photography for a few weeks. Should be interesting either way!

    Now my dilemma if I hold off and purchase a wider lens is what to do about Florida next month. I really don't think the 35-
    70 will do well at all with so much sunlight.
  36. I second the 12-24mm f/4 Tokina it is a great lens and is very reasonably priced. I shoot architecture for my firm and I use this more than any other lens for both interior and exteriors (on a D200). Good luck.
  37. The 16-85mm holds up quite nicely in bright sunlight. I have read it in tests, too.
  38. Matterhorn D300 16-85mm@28mm
    Praha D300s 16-85mm@16mm
    You will have distortions in some form on any wideangle lens, I believe. The distortion you are seeing in this photo can be corrected in post.
    Architecture D7000 16-85mm
  39. I didn't take the time to look for very long, but this HDR photo is an example of the distortion you would get from a 14-24mm on a D800@14mm. I don't think he has done any post proseccing on the distortion (not that he had to..).
  40. That is not distortion, it is caused by tilting the camera upward.
  41. The 14-24 is a heck of a good lens. Also expensive, heavy, etc. The 16-85 - I have experience with this on a D7000. It's good in bright light. Not that much better than other kit zooms, but good. It's crap in low light - terrible to focus, slow, and people tend to rely heavily on VR which doesn't correct everything. Back when I had a D90 and my father had a D7000, we'd be on a family trip and go somewhere in the evening, I'd have a Tamron 28-75/2.8 and Nikon 35/1.8G ($450 total) and he'd have his 16-85 ($650) and I'd come away with almost nothing but sharp shots while he got almost nothing but soft or blurry shots, even though his camera body had the edge in low light in every regard and I wasn't doing much differently from him.
  42. Ann, I think Brad is pointing out the difference between distortion (which makes straight lines curved) and three point perspective (makes vertical lines vanish toward a point above if the camera is tilted up or below if the camera is pointed down; this is a normal effect that is corrected only by "perspective control" lenses and similar rigs).
  43. Brad Farlow, when using the 12-24 did you shoot indoors or out? If using indoors did you need to use flash?

    You as well Wouter, I know you mentioned not missing the stops. Was this with use outdoors with good light?
  44. Brad Farlow, when using the 12-24 did you shoot indoors or out? If using indoors did you need to use flash?

    You as well Wouter, I know you mentioned not missing the stops. Was this with use outdoors with good light?
  45. Brad Farlow, when using the 12-24 did you shoot indoors or out? If using indoors did you need to use flash?

    You as well Wouter, I know you mentioned not missing the stops. Was this with use outdoors with good light?
  46. Brad Farlow, when using the 12-24 did you shoot indoors or out? If using indoors did you need to use flash?

    You as well Wouter, I know you mentioned not missing the stops. Was this with use outdoors with good light?
  47. It's crap in low light - terrible to focus​
    No, IMO it is not. Maybe not very fast, but it will focus easily on subjects that stand fairly still. In an almost completly dark landscape with a tiny light, it will focus on the light without any problems (when used on my D300).
  48. Andy, the camera is not tilted upwards in the HDR shot as far as I can tell.
  49. Not sure why my comment/question posted so many times. Sorry about that! Trying to find a way to delete the multiple
    posts now.
  50. Ann, The HDR shot is is extremely tilted upward causing the convergence of the lines (although it is a nice shot). Distortion is usually seen as curving lines that are really straight. You can read more about it here:
  51. Jennifer, I use the 12-24mm Tokina indoors and out. Usually when shooting architectural shots, I use a tripod. If you bump up the ISO I'm sure you could use it indoors without a flash. Here is one with the 12-24mm hand held.
  52. Jennifer, here's one with the 35-70mm. I've thought about selling it since they are going for quite a bit these days, but it's too good a lens to sell IMHO.

Share This Page