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Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

1923NCP_180
Review Date: Apr 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $270.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: - Inexpensive - Great IQ - Perfect "normal" focal length on FX - Lightweight
Cons:
- Build quality (not bad, could be better)

This (along with the 50 1.8) is one of the best values around. If you're on FX, then the slightly wider angle makes for a really great all purpose lens. In fact, since I've gotten this lens I've barely touched my 50mm. In addition, having this lens means I feel more comfortable leaving my 28-70 2.8 at home.

Image quality is outstanding, it's really nice wide open and stopping down gives damn near perfect results. This is one of those lenses where things just seem to "pop" - color, contrast, all of it is uniformly excellent.

I'd recommend buying new, unless you have time to cross reference the serial number for a used lens to make sure you don't get a copy with faulty (oily) aperture blades. My used copy was about 270 and has been working flawlessly.


 
Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D AF

1963NAS_180
Review Date: Jan 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great image quality bordering on the spectacular Almost as sharp as a prime Ratio of quality to price is high
Cons:
Flare (buy the lens hood!) AF hunts in low light AF not as fast as newer lenses

I've had this lens for 2 months now and I'm extremely happy with it. You can read the previous reviews here for the background on this lens. For my part, the lens build quality is pro-level - big, heavy, very solid. Image quality is excellent - you're really nitpicking if you can find any faults in the IQ. The big exception to this is lens flare - if you use this near any source of light this lens will flare. Be sure to buy the recommended lens hood if you're on FX (I found it on Adorama used for $12). You can substitute bigger hoods if you're using DX (other lens hood will vignette on the wider ends on FX). I've been using a hood and it really does work wonders.

Backwards compatibility is also a big plus over the 24-70 - I can swap this on my FM2n, N90s, or F4s and it works perfectly.

All in all, this is a great purchase at a great price. If you find one at a reasonable price snap it up. Don't worry about the short zoom range - when walking around I usually carry this, a 24mm, and maybe a 105mm and I'm set.