Review Nikon 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 (push-pull)

Mar 20, 2017
Central Ohio
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After our failed attempt to bond with the Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6VR, next lens into the testing queue is an oldie....the Nikon 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5

Again, the desire is to find a lens that can be an everyday walk about and useful focal length. While 35mm may not seem wide enough for a lot of people, I find that I crave more for a longer field of view than I do a wider one.

There was not a lot of information out there on this lens, but for the price, it was worth the gamble.

Onward with the testing to see if our gamble payed off!

Majority of the testing was done on a Nikon Df.

135mm | 1/640 | f/4.5 | ISO 200

Initial testing of the 35-135mm was definitely more favorable than the 24-120/3.5-5.6VR we tested. Contrast on the lens is very good and the sharpness is there. No, it is not as good as the newest lenses out today, but it is not far behind. I was honestly surprised. I probably should not have been as we have similar performance with the older Nikon 28-85/3.5-4.5.

135mm | 1/640 | f/4.5 | ISO 200

This is where I thought I would hate this lens, but turns out, the push-pull zoom is not that hard to get used to. In a way, I kind of like it.

On the Df, I use the lens aperture ring to change the value instead of the control dial.

70mm | 1/400 | f/5.6 | ISO 200
There is even a macro mode at 35mm. Press the silver button on the side of the lens and twist to put it into macro mode. In this mode, it is manual focus only.

There is no VR on this lens, so when shooting at the longer focal lengths, you'll want to make sure you keep your focal lengths in the realm of the hand holding rule.

85mm | 1/800 | f/4.2 | ISO 200

While a bit on the heavy side(it is an all metal constructed lens) it balanced well on the Nikon Df. It fits nicely into the side pocket of the Lowepro Transit 250 AW attached to the Df.

135mm | 1/200 | f/4.5 | ISO 200

Auto Focus
Auto focus was acceptable for this lens. On the slower side, but I expected as much for a lens of this age and design. It focus' accurately and the slower AF is better than no AF at all. I'm not going to complain about it! :D

98mm | 1/100 | f/5.6 | ISO 280

This is a dandy of an old lens and for the sub $100 price tag, it will be able to perform its job admirably and to our needs. I envision this being used when I want to run with the Df and only take one lens.

135mm | 1/200 | f/8 | ISO 200

135mm | 1/400 | f/8 | ISO 200

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