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35-70 vs. 28-70 - Need advice

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by frede, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. frede


    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    I am in need of a fast zoom with 70mm reach. Will I be disappointed if I purchase the 35-70 instead of waiting for the 28-70 to come off backorder forever. Have you used both? Is the 35-70 comparable in image quality? If it's a matter of taking a couple of steps back, I might as well go with the 35-70.......right?? I shoot people 95% of the time.

  2. This has an issue that comes up regularly Fred.
    Optically the 35-70 f/2.8 is at least as good as the 28-70 f/2.8, while costing a lot less.

    The nice thing about the 28-70 is AF-S focusing vs. regular AF for the 35-70. For shooting people I doubt that this would be an issue at all.
    Consequently the 28-70 is much more bulky and heavy. For shooting people I find the 35-70 to be less intimidating.
    The 35-70 is a push-pull zoom. No big deal to me, but some folks dislike that.

    So, if you are OK with push-pull zoom and regular AF capability, I would strongly recommend the 35-70 - you would keep a lot of cash in your pocket while getting the same outstanding image quality.
  3. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I agree with Frits...I believe that is the main reason that nute is selling his 28-70 and keeping his 35-70 as it is lighter and the image quality is just as good.
  4. I've owned and used both extensively. I went with the Beast because I needed to go a bit wider. There's not enough difference in the quality of images to justify the extra expenditure if you're primarily shooting people - unless you're just mad at your money. Get the 35-70. It's a steal.
  5. Tosh


    May 6, 2005

    MPEX usually doesn't list an item on their site unless it's in stock. Not sure if $1499 is the going rate, but it might be worth a call if the price is competitive.

    Still, I'd have to agree with the others who suggest the 35-70. Unless you need the lightning quick AF and the additional 7mm on the wide end, the price and image quality of a 35-70 makes that lens a great bargain.
  6. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    Frede, you'd get stunning results from a coke bottle ..lol..;-)

    the 28-70 i had was/is the finist zoom lens i ever played with, no doubt. putting aside all it's other attributes, i found it gave me a "look" like none other, especially on SKIN! however, the 35-70 is close and i just love it. but there is a difference. i suggest picking up a 35-70 and giving it a whirl. if u don't like it you're basically out a rental fee....;-))

    another thing, the 35-70 is one hefty little lens. it feels even more robust than the beast and i absolutely dig the push pull thing....;-))
    ..i also suggest talking to Woody concerning this. he used to shoot a 35-70...;-))
  7. frede


    Dec 9, 2006
    Princeton, NJ
    Thanks for all the very helpful info. I am seriously considering the 35-70.
  8. fjgindy


    Jan 21, 2007
    Frede..if 35mm end is wide enough for you, you won't be sorry! You can't beat the IQ of this lens for the $$$! I've thought about getting the 28-70 but I just can't seem to justify the $1000 difference.

    It's my walk around lens now...
  9. Palacios' article is a pretty casual comparison, Ed. There's not much science in the way he tested the lenses, and not a lot of merit in his conclusions. There are some significant performance differences between the 35-70 and 28-70 that should be considered by any potential buyer. Bjorn Rorslett's site would be a good starting point. His reviews of both lenses are on this page.


    He rates the 35-70/2.8 as 4-4.5, but gives the 28-70/2.8 a solid 5, and includes it in his Best of the Best listing.
  10. unless you're just mad at your money
    Pffffffft LOL now that's funny, Mark... That's a good one, I love it. :biggrin:
  11. Price is as low as it's going to be.

    That article EdwardNeal linked to has higher prices then they are currently (at BHphoto as the article references them). This would be the time to buy the 35-70 before all new stock is gone. Personally, I just bought one before all the new ones were gone https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=120342
    and seemed to have inspired tommyc to purchase one as well near the bottom of the thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  12. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    and he rates it a "solid 5" with good reason, Frank. the 28-70 is "ALL THAT" but the 35-70 is "O SO CLOSE" ..lol, and fora quarter of the price it makes it one of the very best Nikon values out there, PERIOD!
  13. That depends on what you're using it for, Nute. It's not a fast enough focuser for event or pj work. But it would be just fine for slower moving stuff, like portraiture.
  14. Frank,

    No argument that the Beast is faster, but I'm hard-pressed to believe that the 35-70 isn't fast enough for events or especially PJ. The 35-70/f2.8 was the PJ lens in film days, and the F5 is surely no faster than modern bodies. I've used the 35-70/f2.8 in events on a D100, and I honestly cannot remember losing a single shot due to focus speed. And I'm positive that the F5 is faster than the D100, even if it is probably not as fast as my D2h. (I have gotten dirty looks from people - always women - who didn't like the focusing noise, though.) Even a full-stroke seek is not too bad on this lens.
  15. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    focuses darn fast on my d50...not as fast as the 28-70, but fast none the less. i've done event/pj work with mine, not an issue ...;-))
  16. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    I have both lenses, both bought new, and agree with the others. If you don't need the focus speed and extra 7mm on the wide end, the 35-70 is the best value out there. For most subjects, the 35-70 focus speed is fine. Of course, the 28-70 excels for focus speed, with fast moving subjects. A lot of that has to do with the body used, too. :smile:
  17. Let's put a slightly quantifiable measure on this focusing speed. Say "one" out loud. That's about twice as much time as it takes to focus the 35-70/f2.8 on a D100 in normal light.

    I think that's fast enough if you can avoid an AF hunt, because if your subject is moving around faster than this, you should be using one of the AF-C follow focus modes and not AF-S.

    Avoiding an AF hunt on any given lens comes down to three things: ambient light/contrast level, the sensitivity of the AF sensor (fixed for any given body) and your skill.

    Would I prefer a Beast? Sure, it's certainly even faster, it's definitely quieter, and it seems to be even sharper. But I've got close to a dozen lenses higher on my priority list (*) competing for the $ and attention, mostly due to the 35-70/f2.8 serving my needs very well.

    (*) thank you to the folks on the 200/f2VR thread...
  18. Some points to consider.

    The 28-70/2.8 is big, heavy, and expensive, but it's more useful for a studio or event shooter than the surprisingly ubiquitous 70-200/2.8, and not nearly as big, heavy, or expensive.

    The OP never raised the issue of money, and clearly has champagne tastes and a budget to match, cause he has the 85/1.4 in his kit.

    There are more differences between the 35-70/2.8 and 28-70/2.8 than there are between the 85/1.8 and 85/1.4, and the OP was willing to spend the extra $800 for the 85/1.4.

    If he's a pro or a well heeled hobbyist specializing in people pics, the 28-70 might be his best choice. Jmho.
  19. ffb2t


    Jan 16, 2006
    OTOH, if he is either of the above he probably wouldn't need to ask the question. :wink:
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