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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Nikkor 35-105 f 3.5 / 4.5. Oldie but goodie

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

One of the classic zoom lenses from Nikon is the 35-105 AF f3.5 - 4.5, which is not the push-pull type but the regular rotating zoom ring. This lens was introduced in 1987 and discontinued in 1998, but it still has a loyal following among Nikon users. The lens offers a versatile focal range from wide-angle to telephoto, and a fast aperture of f3.5 at the wide end and f4.5 at the long end. The lens also has a macro mode that allows close focusing at 35mm and 105mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.25x. The lens is compact and lightweight, measuring 69 x 76 mm and weighing 435 g. It has a metal mount and a plastic barrel, with a rubberized zoom ring and a focus ring that switches between manual and autofocus modes. The lens uses a screw-drive autofocus system that is compatible with most Nikon DSLRs, but not with entry-level models that lack an AF motor. The autofocus is fast and accurate, but not very quiet. The lens has 15 elements in 11 groups, including one aspherical element to reduce distortion and aberrations. The lens has a 7-blade diaphragm that produces smooth bokeh, especially at the longer focal lengths. The lens has a 52 mm filter thread and accepts the optional HB-2 lens hood to prevent flare and ghosting. The lens performs well in terms of sharpness, contrast and colour rendition, especially when stopped down to f5.6 or f8. The lens has some vignetting at the wide end and some chromatic aberration at the long end, but these can be corrected in post-processing. The lens also has some barrel distortion at 35mm and some pincushion distortion at 105mm, but these are not very noticeable in most situations. The lens is suitable for various types of photography, such as landscapes, portraits, streets, travel and macro. It is a good option for those who want a versatile and affordable zoom lens for their Nikon cameras. I just picked one up for $40, what a bargain.


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