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{SOLVED} 35-70 vs 24-85

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Dayo, May 25, 2007.

  1. I have gone as far as putting one of into my B&H Cart but just before clicking the buy button, the maddening questions came up again.

    28-70/2.8: Not really a contender but one that is vaguely in the mix. It is just too big.
    24-85/2.8-4: 72mm filter = -ve (I am partial to 62mm lenses as they tend to fit my size/weight criteria and can take my CPL and 6T - I managed to bag probably the last two at B&H).
    35-70/2.8: 62mm filter = +ve for reasons stated above. Push/pull & rotating front = -ve although my 70-210 rotates as well and I live with that. Constant f2.8 = +ve.

    I went to look at pics on PBase for the two candidates and summary is....

    Pics from 35-70 are generally of a higher standard. Not sure what that may mean apart from the fact that the shooters using it are more accomplished as I am sure they can produce similar work with the other as some shooters show. Although one might wonder why they have tended to select that lens for the range given the more limited cover. There are more wedding / pro type portraits with this lens.

    24-85 seems more popular in the Far East or at least most of the shots appear to have been taken there. This might partially explain the pic quality thing. Not that Far Eastern photogs are bad but that many of the shots are probably by travellers packing this as a travel lens. Also shots are generally older. Obviously the lens is not as popular these days what with the Creeper and the like about. Is this down to quality or convenience?

    The 24-85 will mess up my "integrated filter policy" with no complementary 72mm lenses I can think of. I suppose it could be paired with the 180 and the wide end could be left to take care of itself. This will mean goodbye to the 6T, a replacement CPL, and the Fogcutter and 70-210 will be left in limbo.

    You guys in the States can afford to buy knowing you can easily sell off if not suitable but the secondhand market is basically non existent here and I'll have to wait for long spaced trips to the UK to dump any gear I don't want. Having said that, there is one due this summer.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2007
  2. Many go for the 35-70 because it is a high quality lens that is pretty comparable to the 28-70 but at a third of the cost.

  3. Your right, it is big, its heavy and it produce fantastic photos…. This is one of my favorite lenses as it so close to giving me IQ of a prime but with a zoom…

    I was looking at getting this, but decided to go for the 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 as it was reported to give better IQ, and seeing that the f/2.8 is only at 24 and you only loose a half stop at 85 I went for the “G” version. Another benefit was that it had AF-S which is incredibly quick to focus. I have found the IQ at 85 wide open is superb and is still very good at the 24… For the price it’s a winner…

    The 35-70 is practically on par with the 28-70 f/2.8 but at about a third of the price. If you are after a f/2.8 lens with superb IQ for a bargain base price and you don’t mind the wide end starting at 35, this is the lens to get. I had read articles were owners of this lens say it equivalent to the 35 f/2 prime, but you have the extra zoom to 70 thrown in on the deal… BTW, I nearly got this lens but at the last moment decided to go for the 28-70…

    I don’t know if this has help you or made it harder, but the bottom line is either of these lenses will give you very good photos, so you have to decide on what FL you want and what your budget is….. Good luck…
  4. Perhaps I better sleep on it .... again.
  5. In my opinion the 35-70 is the better choice here.
    At least as good image quality as the 28-70 (less the AF-S and internal zoom / focus - was not important to me). Constant f/2.8.
    Can be had used for a very good price. Even new it is a relative bargain.

    Good luck with your decision making!
  6. I had the 24-85 F2.8-F4. I finally sold it because of flare in backlight. I liked the 72mm filters. It matched up with my 180mm F2.8. The sharpness was fine for people pics and I really like that set of focal lengths in the zoom lens.
    I tried the other version and it was awful in the flare department with colored streaks and was not usable at 24mm because of so much nasty internal flare/fog.
    The lens I use at the beach is the 35-105 F3.5-4.5 push pull.
    You have to understand that everything is a compromise and that zoom lenses in particular usually have more flare.
    Why is everyone so excited about zooms anyway?
  7. I own a few fixed focals (17, 35 & 90 for KM as well as 50 & 85 for Nikon) but prefer zooms for convenience in general shooting. There are times when fussing about changing lenses is not quite a welcome option.

    Call me lazy but I am just a hobbiest and convenience ranks high in my shooting decisions. No large, heavy lenses for as I know they will just spend time sitting on the shelf and from cruising the FS forum, it seems aI am not alone as I notice quite a few people sell off lenses such as the 70-200 having "used it about 5 times" in six months or similar.

    I go oh ah on the top shots from the top lenses but since I carry a very small bag that has to take my camera, lens(es) and flash, I know they are not for me.

    So in summary, I think we like zooms because we are lazy! :biggrin:
  8. The 35-70/f2.8 has a few other characteristics that aren't as well known:

    • It has a pseudo-macro mode at 35mm. Not bad, but not up to the standards of the lens otherwise. Of course, most of its alternatives have no such capability.
    • It is very resistant to flare, at least compared to most other zoom lenses and especially compared to most f/2.8 zooms. However, you do get a fairly drastic loss of contrast when shooting directly into the sun.
    • It is a push-pull zoom, which some people like and some people do not. Ignore the urban legend that says that push-pull zooms "suck dust" - this is demonstrably not the case. But some folks really can't stand push-pull zooms.
    • It's big and heavy for a 2x zoom, but it is small and svelte by comparison to The Beast, which has its nickname for good reason.
    I use one as my digital walk-around lens at places like Yosemite and Shenandoah.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    fantastic lens...built like a tank and if u get your hands ona good sample u will have no regrets - will probably end up being your favorite lens..btw, that macro feature really works too ....;-))
  10. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    Actually, the 24-85 D 2.8-4 is a Macro, 1:2, and is pretty good at it:


    Both Photo zone and Bjorn rate this lens as a four. As a walk around lens I find it very useful.

    Needs only a half stop before it matches my 12-24 at 24 or My 80-200 at 80.

    A used one is a good bargin I think.
  11. Dayo,

    Might vote/suggestion is for the 35-70. I've found this range to be very useful, and when I traded in my 35-70/3.3 for the 2.8, I've never been disappointed.

    Sharpness is excellent, contrast as well, IMHO, and flare and CA are all manageable. And to top it off, it's a 2.8 lens a great price.

    My previous lenses were push pull, and like previous posters, I never had an issue with sucking dust. As to the rotating front, for sports it is a bit of a pain with a polarizer, but for other subjects I've found it to be something that can be worked around.

    I think this lens is one of those hidden Nikon gems. It holds it price well and if the range is good for you, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
  12. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    looks good Lee ...is the one Rockwell raves about?
  13. fjgindy


    Jan 21, 2007
    If you're ok with 35mm as your wide end, the 35-70 2.8 is the best high IQ bargain lens out there IMHO. It's become my walk around lens. Outstanding quality pictures consistently. If you look around and are patient enough, you can find great deals on one. Especially a non-D version.

    Its almost stupid that I bought my non-D in excellent shape for $200 shipped, the same I paid for my 18-70!

    I sold my 18-70 about two weeks later. Fast glass has ruined me for life....:smile:
  14. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    No, this is "D" a variable f stop (2.8-4) that has real Macro. I like mine and like I said it compares well to my 12/24, Tamron 90, 80-200, and my 300 AFS f4 -all pretty good glass.
  15. exposinglife


    Apr 12, 2007
    I had the G version of the 24-85 and don't miss it much except on the wide end. Right now I only own a 35-70 and love it. Sharp, relatively light and easy to use on the D80. I have a few shots on my site with it. Here's a natural light (in macro mode.)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  16. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    I think that the "D" was seen by Nikon as the better of the two 24-85, and that's why it was retained when the afs version was discontinued.

    I like the range as well as the true macro settings.
  17. Solved!

    Thanks to all those that gave some advice. I also got a tip to check out the 28-105.

    Today, I went to the service centre to check on my busted Creeper (It had been tipped off a shelf by one of the cats). While there, I decided to check up on a feeling I had seen the 24-85 there. Turned out I was wrong and it was the 28-105 they had.

    I chatted with the sales guy and took some test shots. He then informed me one of their other branches had a copy of the 24-85 AF-S. So I drove down there to have a look seeing it was in a Mall near my office and I wanted to use the scanner there anyway. They did have the 24-85 AF-S and while there, I finally solved this issue by buying .... the 17-55!

    I know I wrote that rambling stuff about "62mm integrated filter policy" and "size/weight criteria" etc. I guess that has all gone out of the window because yesterday, I placed an order with B&H that includes the 35-70 but since I was using a new card and they need a scanned copy to guard against fraud on foriegn order (that was why I was going to stop by the office), the order is still pending and I will be changing the order to replace the 35-70 with probably the 180/2.8 as my new filter policy is centred around having no filter policy. I wouldn't ask for advice on that since I will probably take a totally different tack anyway seeing that I have been drolling over the 135 DC. :biggrin:

    Actually, I figured that since I had the Creeper, there was no point get any other consumer lens in the same range and to just go for the big hitters.

    Here is the obligatory cat shot.

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

    Tiny, the cat in the pic, was adopted as a tiny kitten after I found him in my car engine on way at work. He has repaid me by busting my creeper and breaking into the bathroom today while I was out and having a party with the loo roll amongst other things (I know he did it, not the other two).

    Le Significant Other is out of town and these guys are driving me up the wall lol. I suppose I am as naughty as the cats given my recent spending spree on camera gear.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  18. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    While the so's away, the cats and Dayo will play! Congrats on your solution.
  19. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    lovely use of the macro on this one ...:biggrin:
  20. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    Nice! A man after my own heart. :) 

    Lens Lust Forum +1

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