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Nikkor 35mm f2.0 AF-D
- Filter Size: 52mm
- f/Stop Range: 2.0-22
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.85 feet
- Magnification: 1:4.2
- Angle of View: 62 Degrees
- Groups/Elements: 5/6
- Length: 1.7"
- Maximum Diameter: 2.5"
- Weight: 0.45 lb (7.2 oz.)
- Usable Teleconverter: TC-201 or TC-14a (manual focus only)
- Optional lens hood: HN-3
- Optional case: CL-30S
This lens has a full metal mount and mostly plastic outer body. The manual focus ring is rubberized. It is shipped with front and rear lens caps. As of early 2005, it sells for just under $300 (US).
The Nikkor 35mm f2.0 AF-D is a wide-angle benchmark in terms of its optical performance. Yes, some medium format lenses have even better optical properties, but few 35mm wide angle lenses can rival the performance of this fine Nikkor. Compared to earlier manual focus versions of this lens, the AF-D is a comparable performer optically, although with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Corner to corner, this lens produces very sharp images. Like nearly all lenses, it is best "down the middle" - from f2.8 through f16, this lens exhibits all the sharpness expected from a professional lens. I have noticed a loss of detail at f2.0, but not as much as I expected. In other words, f2.0 is still very usable, in my opinion. Color rendition is excellent and among the best I've seen (although probably not the best). I haven't noticed any vignetting, even with a Nikon L37C filter and the HN-3 lens hood attached. There has been no ghosting whatsoever in any of my slides with the 35mm AF-D. Lens flare can occasionally be a problem, but a little bit less so than with the Nikkor 24mm AF-D or Nikkor 28mm AF-D. With the HN-3 attached, flare can be dramatically reduced. As with any wide angle lens, there is some barrel distortion, but it is minimal, when I can detect it at all.WWW.CAMERA.CO.ID Large apertures at close distances are most likely to produce distortion, but close up the blades a little and it's usually not a problem with this lens. Compared to both the Nikkor 24mm AF-D and the Nikkor 28mm AF-D, this lens has noticeably less distortion in every situation I've used it in so far, although that may not always be the case. Indeed, this lens seems to be an overall slightly better performer optically than either of these other wide angle Nikkors.
The minimum focus distance of approximately 10 inches is good, but not exceptional. This is not intended to be a macro lens. With a magnification ratio of 1:4.2, you can still get some nice close shots, but don't expect the performance of the Nikon 60mm 2.8 AF-D Macro.
In the field, this lens really performs. Its compact size keeps it unobtrusive, which is nice for street-shooting or other situations where a big lens gets in the way. Its low weight (less than half a pound) means I don't even notice that it's on my camera. On my Nikon F100, this lens' high speed, both in terms of autofocus and maximum aperture, means I can get the shots I need with less concern about film speed, focus times, etc. (autofocusing is particularly fast on the F100, maybe the fastest I've ever seen). And of course its low weight and compact size contribute to its handling speed; I can whip this camera-lens setup around my shoulder easily without worrying about hitting it against something. For manual focusing, the focus ring is just slightly under-dampened, but still very usable in just about any situation. The plastic aperture ring is approximately the same width as the manual focusing ring and has a fairly substantial "click" at each f-stop. For Nikkor 24mm or 28mm f2.8 AF-D users, this lens is very similar in terms of its size and overall handling characteristics.
Compatibility with Nikon bodies has been perfect. On the F100, FM3A, and F5, this lens has worked flawlessly every time. I did have a slight mounting problem with the F100 but only once and I think it was due to the user (me) not seating the lens completely onto the camera mount. This was soon after purchasing the lens and the F100 and I was probably just getting used to the mechanics. Since then, it has mounted perfectly every time. I only mention this to help out first time users, not because I think there's a problem.
The optional HN-3 lens hood is worth mentioning. I like the retractable rubber hood that Nikon makes for the 50mm 1.8 AF-D because it's nearly impossible to damage it. On the other hand, the solid metal HN-3 has already saved the front of my lens from some potentially damaging impacts; I'm not sure a rubber lens hood will provide as much protection. Although the finish on the HN-3 is now scratched, it remains completely functional and never leaves the front of my lens.
I do have a minor complaint, which I hesitate to mention because it's inherent to the design of the lens and not the fault of the manufacturer. The manual focus ring is narrow and therefore not as easy to grip as the rings on some of Nikon's slightly larger fixed-focal length lenses. However, this is the trade-off: If you want compact size and lightweight, you're going to end up with a small manual focus ring. On my manual-focus Nikon FM3A, I depend on this ring as the only method of achieving focus and I've become accustomed to the smaller ring. Still, it requires some getting used to if you're used to the larger rings on the Nikon's telephotos or zoom lenses.
Overall, this is a very nice handling lens with excellent optical properties. If speed is a requirement for you, this lens is unlikely to disappoint, both in terms of handling and aperture. It is well-suited to photojournalistic purposes, but may lack some of the field-of-view required for landscape photography.
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