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Is Nikon 35-70mm f/3.3-4.5 Worth Buying?

Albert Darmali , Sep 07, 2006; 02:15 a.m.


Just wondering, is it worth buying second hand Nikkor 35-70mm 1:3.3-4.5 AF?

Someone at my uni is selling it cheap, but just wondering whether it worths it or not (no point buying cheap lens if the quality is horrible).

Can someone who's got experience on the lens give some comments about it please?

Maybe some photo samples if possible.

Thanks a lot in advance!


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Jan Van Laethem , Sep 07, 2006; 04:03 a.m.


I had one of these lenses, but I sold it when I got a fixed 35mm lens. It's not a bad lens, but not especially brilliant either. If you want a nice little zoom lens for holidays or street photography where changing lenses is difficult, you can check it out. But I think there are better zoom lenses around. A 35-70mm f:2.8 will be more expensive, but I've heard good reviews about it. Unfortunately, I haven't used the f:2.8, so I can't compare. And as I use several lenses during a photo shoot, I can't post you any images taken with it, as I usually don't keep notes.

If it's cheap, I suggest you buy it and give it a try. If you're not convinced about it's optical quality, you can always put it up for sale again. You won't loose much in the process.

Kevin Nha , Sep 07, 2006; 04:11 a.m.


i have it. i'm using it well. it's compact, light, and good quality prints if you're not going over 8.5x11. if you're just using it for weekend family photos.. it's good.. if it's for professional work then no good. you should look for f/2.8 ED ones.. simple!!

José Javier Vicente , Sep 07, 2006; 04:58 a.m.

I had this lens and was a decent performer, even very good at f8 and usable for close-up at 70 mm, even coupled to a 4T.

Very compact and lightweight, I mainly used it for mountaineering, as a versatile alternative to carrying just 1 prime. It is worthy if you like the range, unluckily 70 mm was too short for me.

For additional info, check Bjorn Rorslett's page http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

Riccardo Polini also comments on this lens: http://xoomer.alice.it/ripolini/

Albert Darmali , Sep 07, 2006; 05:11 a.m.

Thanks for the info.

I was wondering, for digital, which one will perform better, 18-55mm DX lens (the kit from D50) or this one?

I assume this one will have much better build quality than 18-55mm DX (the 18-55mm is practically like holding a plastic), but in terms of image quality, I wonder if that old 35-70mm is better?


Jan Van Laethem , Sep 07, 2006; 05:54 a.m.

"I was wondering, for digital, which one will perform better, 18-55mm DX lens (the kit from D50) or this one?"

That is a question you would need to ask to someone who has actually used both lenses on the D50. It's not very clear from your post (or maybe I overlooked it) if you already own the D50 or not. If you do own the D50, then you can try both lenses and find out for yourself.

Go to a good camera shop, say you're interested in buying the 18-55 (if you can buy it by itself, not just in kit form) and ask if you can try a few shots on your D50. Then ask the same question to the person who is selling the 35-70. Try and get the same type of shots, that is, both indoors in low light and outdoors in sunny conditions. Don't judge the pictures on the camera screen, download your pictures on your computer and compare.

Although this will not be the best way to find out the differences (you would have to shoot the same subjects, under controlled light conditions and on a tripod with both lenses, and even that would not be a technically perfect test), at least you can get a feel for the 35-70mm lens and find out if it performs well, reasonably well or not good at all.

Alan Clayton , Sep 07, 2006; 07:03 a.m.

I have the AF & MF - the MF (AIS) lens is much better. If it's really cheap (less than 50USD) I'd say yes, but otherwise there are many better AF lenses around.

Brad Farlow , Sep 07, 2006; 07:39 a.m.

It's not a bad little lens for walking around...

Here are a few examples


Brad Farlow , Sep 07, 2006; 07:40 a.m.




Brad Farlow , Sep 07, 2006; 07:43 a.m.

Another one.............

Most of these shot were at about f4 or f5.6


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