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Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D AF

Review Date: Dec 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Exellent definition and colour rendition. Tough, well made. Useful constant maximun aperture. Reasonably compact for the quality and performance. Well balanced on the heavier Nikon bodies despite the weight
Numeric markings rub of over the years. Push pull zoom sucks in air leading to possible fungus problems.

This review is for the non-D version of this lens which I understand is exactly the same optically and mechanically (except the aperture lock which was improved in the D version and easily snapped off in the non-D).
I used it over a period of ten years and it took considerable battering and survived without a mechanical glitch. The distance markings run off after a while which is annoying and reduces the resale value of the lens (I suppose one could try and treat it with more respect than I did).
It seems heavy by todays standards but that's comparing with lenses that just aren't as tough. It's very well balanced with bodies like the F90/N90 or heavier F4/F5.
The optical quality is truely excellent; sharp to the frame edges and very good even at f/2.8. I sometimes wished for the zoom range to go down to 28mm but you can't have everything. In fact I would suggest that, unless your photography doesn't give you time to change lenses, you're better of with this lens and a separate 28mm prime (the Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AIS is stunning)
In the end it suffered from a fungus attack. I think this came about since the push pull design of the lens sucks in a lot of air and in my case probably fungus spores on a trip to humid Cambodia! Nikon couldn't clean the elements and I had to sell it off as a soft focus lens (yuk!)