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Need opinions on the 35-70 f2.8

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    Well, here I go again. Damn lens lust, it's incurable I'm afraid. Here goes. I have the 18-70 that came with the D70 and like it very much. I have the opportunity to pick up a 35-70 2.8 at an incredible price from someone I know. I can't find a single review on it except Ken Rockwell, and he was not helpful. He's never even used it.

    Here's the dilemma :?: , I know I'll lose on the wide angle end, but what about quality? I love that 2.8.

    Opinions/comments greatly needed & appreciated. Thanks!!!
  2. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY
    The focusing will also be slower than the 18-70, and louder. Are you sure you won't miss the wide end? A lot of people say the 35-70 is really useless with a crop factor. Also, it is a push-pull instead of your conventional rotation zoom, which increases the chances of dust.

    It's a great lens though, sharp, it'll give you your moneys worth.
  3. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    Missing the wide angle is my only worry. I wish there was a good site for Nikon lens information including ratings.

    I think I may pass on this. I really like the wide end of my 18-70.

    Thanks for the comments!!
  4. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    Great article. Thanks.
  5. Jonathan, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this lens. If you're seriously thinking you'll miss the wide end, that's one thing, but if you're afraid the lens isn't that great, that's another. I did a lot of research before I bought mine and every place I searched, it was highly recommended. The negatives as I recall were the "push-pull" zoom (which never bothered me) and the rotating front element which causes difficulties when using a polarizer.

    From what I recall, it is one of the highly rated lenses of Nikons. A classic. It does have a small(er) zoom range but that's not always a bad thing. It is a constant f2.8 and it also has macro capabilities.

    In all the pics I've taken with that lens, I haven't been disappointed in the quality: sharpness, clarity, color are all superb. Granted it's not AF-S but I'm not sure what you'd be shooting that would make a difference. It hasn't for me.

    Check Bjørn's site for more information: http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zoom_02.html#AF35-70D. Photozone.de also has some user reviews of the lens.

    For a comparison, I bought mine on eBay for $245 before Xmas. Make sure it's a "D" version.
  6. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  7. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    Thanks for the rfeplies and links. They were a tremendous help. Geez, Kevin, if you got your's for $245, I need to shop harder. I never got that good of a price, but the lens has only been used about 3 times. Decisions....
  8. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY
    Or you can sell the kit lens + 85mm 1.8 and use the $350 you were going to use on a 35-70 to buy a 28-70! Perfect! :cool:  or a 17-55 for that matter.
  9. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    I looked but the 28-70 is really expensive. I almost fell over. I'm afraid what might happen if I tried it. Have you tried it??
  10. twig


    May 23, 2005
    no offense to Uncle Frank, but just because he has gotten sloppy with love over the 28-70 doesn't make it the ideal lens for everyone. Yes, he gave it a great nickname, yes lots of people bought one this past month and are posting good pictures now, but still if everbody at Nikon Cafe was jumping off a bridge...

    Aside from the slower AF, you are looking at a lens of comparable quality at 1/3rd the price and half the size.

    Instead of expensive pro glass I think at this time I would go for a discounted d2h body if I was a serious photographer. The image quality is comparable to your D70, and the enhanced CAM2000 will allow older AF lenses like the 35-70 and your 85's to perform much faster and more accurately (ie lessening or eliminating the need for AF-S lenses)

    What is the price from your friend, if you don't want it, I might, I think it would compliment my 17-55 well.
  11. The problem with the 28-70 and the 35-70, which are true pro lenses in every aspect, is with digital crop.

    I can't shoot a wedding with a single 28-70 while I'd have no problem to cover an event, to go on vacation, to cover the war in Iraq, to go in the jungle for a whole year with only one lens: The 17-55.

    People are too often missing something:

    28-70 on film = 17-55 on digital.
    The 28-70 got its superstar status on 35mm cameras.

    I own the 28-70 myself and it's all it's said to be. However, I wouldn't hesitate to switch it for a 17-55. 28-70 is not enough to cover an event by itself because of the 1.5 crop, sadly.

    This is where the 35-70 will miserably fail.

    I only can recommend the 35-70 for studio use, where the zoom focal lenght seems to be ideal and so is the glass.

    Jonathan, you work in clubs and such, then the 17-55 is just about the only lens you might be needing.
  12. Forgot to add:

    Of course, since you are a working photographer, so you can always have 2 cameras. One with the 17-35 or 12-24 and the other with the 35-70. But this combo is much more expensive then a one-lens solution.

    You seem to be quite confused at the moment with all the lens offerings.

    Remember: nothing beats simplicity in life, a thing we all know but rarely practice. unfortunately.
  13. No offense taken, Twig, and if you check my posts both here and on DPR, you'll see I usually make the same comment. The 28-70 range just happens to fit my personal needs, based on my style of photography.

    Just like they're jumping off the bridge about the 17-55 and the 70-200VR. But I think people do that because of the examples they see, not because of a nickname. And even that's not a good way to make a decision, because they're seeing results not only from the lens, but also due to the photographer's capture technique, compositional ability, and photoofinishing skills.


    Don't skim over the AF speed, Twig. AF-S is invaluable for event photography. And to put a price on it, check the used market differential between an 80-200/2.8 AFS and an 80-200/2.8 non-AFS, or a 300/4 AFS versus a 300/4 non-AFS.

    Plus the 28-70/2.8 is like owning the 35-70/2.8 and a 28/2.8... with the added advantage that you can't buy a 28/2.8 with AFS at any price.

    I agree on the price, but not the size.

    The 35-70 is 3.7 inches long and weighs 23.8 oz.
    The 28-70 is 4.9 inches long and weighs 31.3 oz.
  14. On the other hand, I've covered several events with the 28-70, and never felt the need for anything wider. So wouldn't it be fair to say it's a matter of personal style, rather than something carved in stone... or am I doing something horribly wrong?
  15. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    I decided that I wanted a faster and constant normal zoom instead of the 17-70 kit lens.
    A friend had the Sigma 24-70 F2.8 and was pretty happy with it so I started looking on Ebay and found one for $200 (I was the only bigger, I got lucky)
    I am very happy with it, and you talk about a beast of a lens that sucker is huge. 82mm filter size.
  16. I only use two lenses in the studio for 90% of what I do. The 60mm micro for portraits and the 35-70 for everything else. The 35-70 lens rocks... tack sharp, built like a tank, push-pull can be manipulated with one finger and the AF doesn't wind, it snaps on a D2X.

    There ain't no way I'm giving this one up... and believe me I've spent a king's ransom experimenting with lenses.

    Now, whether or not it suits your particular needs is another issue.

  17. Thorgal


    May 2, 2005
    I love that lens, very sharp

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Second hand for 230€ (285.441 USD) :D 
  18. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Completely endorse the views of the preceding contributions - the 35-70/2.8 is possibly the best nikkor value for money right now. Try KEH - they sell very good condition lenses with a return policy. The lens is sharp right across the range. Check out the review on the nikkonins web site, it compares well with the primes in its range, and they are some of the best out ther (50/1.8, 35/2, 60/2.8). Build construction for a lifetime.
  19. GreenCountry

    GreenCountry Guest

    I've had the 35-70 and 28-70 Beast for a couple months side by side, and in my good-enough-for-government-work lens tests, the 35-70 is *almost* as good as the 28-70. The only area where the 28-70 noticeably (noticeably, that is, in an artificial lens test) pulls away is at 70mm - it's really tack sharp at 2.8 (I'm talking grain in the test paper sharp), and the 35-70 falls just a touch short of it. I decided to let the Beast go because the difference in image quality didn't justify the cost for me, and the the size of the 28-70 was a minus also. I don't think I will be hurting too much without AF-S - I think my photog instincts are still slower than any of my equipment, so until that changes and I start feeling the equipment can't keep up with me, the 35-70 is good enough. YMMV. :) 
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