Want a 24-70 but don't have ~$2k?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by xaphod, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. I have a d90, and live in switzerland (where everything is more expensive - except electronics and luckily in most cases the same goes for optics). I've always wanted the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 - but it's too expensive for my budget. So I started looking for alternatives - this is about half a year ago - and there were many candidates. The DX-type lenses from Sigma/Tamron, the 28-70 f/2.8 from Nikon... and it was difficult. I tried the Sigma (I think 24-70 f/2.8 DX-style) and it was ok, but the build quality wasn't great and I didn't like the autofocus performance.
    Then I saw on switzerland's ebay equivalent, the Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8 D. It's FX-style (good for when I upgrade from DX to FX, which will happen within 3 years), and 1/3rd less weight than the 28-70 or newer 24-70 f/2.8G. Oh, and it has macro mode. Which the 24-70 f/2.8G does not. I debated for a while and then pulled the trigger.
    A couple of months has passed, and I'm happy to report: this lens kicks @#$. Sometimes "old" is better value!
    I had borrowed the up-to-date Nikon 24-70 f/2.8G several times, and this lens beats it in my opinion: the image quality is, on the D90 at least, the same. But the 35-70 f/2.8D is lighter, much smaller in length (hint: I didn't have to change my small lowe-pro camera hip-bag that i love), and has that awesome retro style (i like it a lot more than the newer lenses' looks...)
    [​IMG]
    IMO its AF performance is absolutely superb - it is super SUPER fast-focusing. I worried about the fact that it is push/pull to zoom (i am used to twist), but it was super easy to adapt to this (2 days). I also thought about the fact that it is missing 11mm on the wide end. But then I realized that at least on a DX camera like mine, even 24mm isn't wide enough for shots that need wide-angle (because 24 * 1.5 DX factor = 36mm in reality). So i'd need to use my existing Nikon 16-85mm for wide angle shots anyways (another great lens IMO). So I rationalized that I didn't need the extra 11mm on the wide end. Sure enough, I find a lot of the shots I take with this are taken between 50-70mm...
    Anyways, I bought this lens for ~$400USD. I bet you could get it for less if you tried. It is awesome - a great alternative to the $2000 24-70 f/2.8G. Kudos to Ken Rockwell's site for being one of the only sites I could find that has plenty of info on this older lens...
    Some examples of my obviously amateurish photography skills with this lens are below (they are lower qual jpgs but you can see the quality of the lens regardless). Please giggle quietly. I'm learning :) (and having a ton of fun doing so! suggestions for improvement always welcome)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    macro shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    hope this is useful,
    X
     
  2. I have the same lense and agree it is awesome! Congrats on saving the $1,600!
     
  3. Glad you are happy with your lens......
    The 24-70 is a superior lens to the old 35-70. But if the higher specification and IQ is worth the cost is up to the buyer.
     
  4. @Anthony: well, define "superior" - higher MTF ratings? Sure. Useful in areas other than print? I'm not so sure...
     
  5. Xaphop,
    24mm to 35mm is important, the range of the old lens is not really useful to me. AF-S is also important as I like to be able to manually tweak autofocus.
    The old lens is prone to lens flare which I find a problem, and personally I hated the push pull zoom.
     
  6. Ok, those reasons all make sense. Definitely makes sense to have the 24-35mm range if you're lucky enough to have a FX camera.
     
  7. pge

    pge

    I also have this lens and I have never found lens flare an issue. I think it is an absolute winner.
    Now add the 20-35mm f2.8 to your collection for about the same price as the 35-70mm f2.8, another older winner.
     
  8. thanks for sharing, but to me 35 is too long a starting point on Dx for a walkaround lens. when i was upgrading from the kit lens three years ago, i considered the 35-70 but ended up with the tamron 28-75 (which is still a bit long on the wide end) but has excellent IQ. i've heard a lot of d700 owners really like it too (i use mine on a d300).
     
  9. "(T)he Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D ... has (a) macro mode(;) ... the 24-70 f/2.8G does not."
    Even with its so-called "macro mode," the 35-70mm f/2.8D lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:7.7. That ain't my idea of macro- see Tech Specs:
    http://ns3.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5&productNr=1963
    The 24-70mm f/2.8G lens has a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.7. Again, not what I'd call a macro lens, but useable close focus for event shooting- see Tech Specs:
    http://ns3.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5&productNr=2164
    Don't get me wrong; I've owned the 35-70mm f/2.8D, its a swell lens and a relative bargain in Nikon glass. It's just that the 24-70mm f/2.8G lens is THE best event-shooting I've ever owned.
     
  10. It's a great candid portrait lens on DX. I shot a family gathering almost a decade ago with nothing but that lens, a D1 (it was the hot big camera at the time, this is before D1h, x and D100) and an old Vivitar flash. I got amazing results.
    As a walking around lens, neither it nor the 24-70 would do it for me. forget about 35 not being wide enough for me, heck 24 isn't wide enough for me.
    But, again, for the kind of photography you just showed, it is a GREAT choice, especially at the price you can find it at.
     
  11. @Eric: the 35-70 gets 1:4 in macro mode on FX. I guess you are quoting non-macro mode specifications.
     
  12. @Peter, I am curious, what is your walking around lens if 24 is not wide enough?
     
  13. Eric's statement is exact and correct.
    Nikon's archive web pages show:
    "1/7.7 (1/4 at 35mm focal length and macro setting)"
    Source:
    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/i...es/lens/af/zoom/af_zoom35-70mmf_28d/index.htm
    So, 1/4 in macro mode at best, and closest is 1/7.7 in normal mode.
    The source Eric mentioned says:
    "Maximum Reproduction Ratio (Macro Setting): 1:7.7"
    The 24-70 does not have a macro mode or "micro" mode by name, or macro switch, but it focuses closer and provides ability to take closer detailed picture. "Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.27x"
    Most Nikon lenses are great lenses in hands of experienced people, and there is no need to loose any sleep over getting lower quality lens for less, which may be good enough, as your pictures show.
     
  14. I don't understand how you can say Eric is correct. He stated that the maximum repro is 1:7.7. You state lower in your post, from a different link, that the maximum repro is 1:4. I agree that Eric quoted what should be correct and he didn't do anything wrong; this is not the first time i've seen incorrect tech specs published on the Nikon USA site... probably they paid some intern to type up archived lenses like this and a mistake was made. No big deal. Yes - 1:3.7 is closer than 1:4. But, not by much...
    Anyways - the point of the thread wasn't to establish that the 35-70 is in any way better than the 24-70. Of course it isn't - the 24-70 is newer and better.
    The point is, if you prioritize the things you need and compare them against what the 24-70 does better than the 35-70, then assign metrics and divide by cost (~$2000 for 24-70 new, ~$400 for 35-70 used), I am pointing out that some people will get a lot more value per $-spent on the 35-70. And these may be the same people that don't necessarily know the 35-70 exists. It was certainly news to me!
     
  15. Xaphode.... Peter's walking around lens is a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 :)
     
  16. Actually... I use my Tokina 11-16 a bit, but I usually have my 18-200 on the camera (or the 35mm f1.8 DX which I LOVE). A good number of my shots are in the 18-24 range, and I bet that half of them are under 35. And then a lot are in the 70-200 range... So if I only had a 35-70 on DX, I'd feel very handicapped. Back when the D1 came out, a lot of shooters had a 17-35 (no DX lenses were available yet) and an 80-200 and they just zoomed with their feet to cover the in-between range, which is, curiously, the range the discussed lens covers.
    Again, as a "party lens" where you're taking a lot of candid portraits, the 52 - 105 equivalent (to FX) focal range is really actually kinda cool, but as a main walk-around lens, I think it suffers for most people.
     
  17. Peter, I agree (and I love my 35/1.8 and 18-200 combo) that the best range is wide zoom and long zoom. Throw a 50 in your pocket for the middle, or zoom with your feet.
    Xaphode, great job on finding a good sleeper lens and not falling for any marketing hype, but using what you can to make great photos. Unless it's specialized photography or weddings, 2K for a midrange zoom, IMO, just can't beat a 50 or "feet zooming." Enjoy your lens!
     
  18. mizore

    mizore A Gringa in Nicaragua

    I have the 24-84mm f/2.8-4 and for what I do, on a D300, my copy works fine. And has a 1:2 macro mode. I also got the 80-200mm AF-D f/2.8 rather than the higher priced 70-200mm AFS VR f/2.8. Again, for what I do, it works fine. My other lenses include the 105mm f/2.8 macro and a handful of manual lenses and a 50mm f/1.8.
     
  19. Rebecca, I was just about to post the same, I've been using an AF 24-85mm f/2.8-4 with a D70s for the past four years and find it to be plenty wide for 90% of my needs, and the 85 is perfect for portraits, plus the 1:2 macro has served me very well. Having said that, I did just recently buy a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC because I've been shooting more concerts lately and wanted the faster aperture and vibration control, but I still highly recommend the 24-85.
     
  20. I have the AF-S 24-70/2.8 (the monster) the AF 35-70/2.8 and also, the 35-135/3.5-4.5 AI-S and the are very sharp lenses. The 24-70/2.8 my sharper a hair line at the corner, but producing images, same subject, same time/lighting at f/4-5.6-8 all this lenses equally sharp lenses. You going to be very happy with the 35-70/2.8 a super lens if you are not a landscape or wide angle crazy like me. And the price is 1/4 or lease of the 24-70/2.8 and also the bulk is half the size then the 24-70/2.8 Good luck and good shooting with the 35-70/2.8
     
  21. Xaphod, nice work with that lens and the coffee house pics. I love finding great older, oldish lenses. I'm still using my old 1980s 28-80 Tamron SP which has been a solid workhorse for me, so I can very much appreciate your find. I bought it new and if I eventually get a D700, it will go on there too.
     
  22. Thanks guys, nice to read replies like these when coming home from the bar... :) @Toby: i will, thanks!
    Re wider lenses - in daylight / outside hours, my "walkaround" is the 16-85mm VR which is what i bought with my d90 (kit). I thought about the 18-200mm, but i rarely go over 85mm (I guess my "feet do the zooming", as written above!) and I wanted the extra 2mm on the wide end. (Plus all the mtf-50 stats were better for the 16-85mm but I realize now that this is splitting hairs!)
    @Peter & wide lenses, funny the Tokina was mentioned -- the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 is definitely the next lens i'd buy if someone said "here's $600, have fun!". Who knows, the taxman might surprise me... :p
    I own the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 (DX) and the 50mm f/1.4D (FX). To be honest, I am going to sell the 35mm. In the year I've owned it, I have not really been happy with it because of the large amount of chromatic aberrations I get (even after fixing as best as possible with lightroom). This might be my fault and not the lens' (perhaps there are ways to avoid the problem other than not stopping-down in bright light), but I find that when I limit both my 50mm and 35mm fixed lenses to f/2.8 (what I normally shoot at), my 50mm makes far fewer "broken photos" (strong green/red fringing like my 35mm makes). Plus now the 35-70mm covers the f/2.8 anyways... There are definitely times when the 50mm is too intense (too zoomed in vs 35mm) but I guess I now hope the 35-70mm will be there to take these photos.
    Thanks all for the comments, i have enjoyed reading them!
     
  23. Terrific lens. Looking at a histogram of my D2H EXIF data over the past few years, I probably use the 35-70/2.8D AF about as often as the 18-70/3.5-4.5 DX. And I tend to use the 35mm focal length quite a bit anyway, so the 35-70 isn't a drawback... assuming statistics mean anything.
    Depends on whether I anticipate needing the wider focal range of the DX Nikkor or the better quality and speed of the 35-70/2.8. One of the drawbacks to the 18-70 DX is the long end is closer to 50-55mm at close range.
    So even in close quarters I often prefer the 35-70/2.8 for tight framing - it remains effectively a 70mm near minimum focus. I tend to regard it as a very flexible portrait lens.
     
  24. For me, the 24mm part of the 24-70 is invaluable, particularly when I already own it, whereas I do not own the 24/1.4. I can still get 24mm shots, which I couldn't do with either a 28-70 or 35-70.
     
  25. This lens is excellent, I tested it against my 50mm f/1.8 AIS and it was sharper at the corners at f/2.8. AF is very fast with my D700, I'm not mad on wide angles and the push-pull zoom doesn't bother me at all. Build quality is solid and it is much smaller and lighter than the 24-70. When it does flare the whole image seems to wash out which is something to watch.

    This has to be one of the best kept secrets in the nikon lens line - it's a proper pro lens for ~£250.
     
  26. I have the d700 and the 24-70mm, i would say nothing compares to its sharpness, and its extremely versatile, price is high, but you get what you pay for.
    id say save the money and get a 24-70mm as the 35-70mm has too much colour fringing.(look closely at above images)
    but if your not too picky, its fine i guess.
     
  27. On Nikon's current U.S. page for the 35-70mm f/2.8D, it states "Maximum Reproduction Ratio (Macro Setting): 1:7.7(.)" See Tech Specs:
    http://ns3.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5&productNr=1963
    The original post indicated that the 35-70mm f/2.8D lens was superior in that it had a "macro mode." Even if the 35-70mm f/2.8D does go down to 1:4, its maximum reproduction ratio still falls short of the 24-70mm f/2.8G.
    Again, though, the 35-70mm f/2.8D lens is a swell lens at its pricepoint. I almost bought another one when I first switched from D200s to D700s and 24-70mm f/2.8G lenses weren't available for an extended period.
     
  28. And it has an aperture ring... =)
     
  29. The 35-70 f/2.8 Nikkor is optically a great lens -- I used to own one -- but it has push-pull zoom.
    That was a deal-breaker for me. I hate using push-pull zooms.
    Also, the zoom range is VERY short. The rap on this lens when it was new was that you could zoom that much with your feet, a step back, a step forward, and you have the zoom range on this lens.
    The purist argument was that you ought to buy a 50 mm f/1.4 for less money and much more control of depth-of-field.
    On the other hand, the rumor mill has it that Nikon is due out with a 24-105 f/4 zoom with VR. If its as sharp as the 28-105 variable aperture zoom, I'll stand in line.
     

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