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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Wide Zoom 35mm AF-S Tested


Registered: October 2009
Posts: 3
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by Gatorowl
Review Date: 1/18/2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent center sharpness throughout FL range, very good corners, lightweight, takes filters, good flare resistance, competes well against more expensive options
Cons: distortion at 18-20mm, no VR

I had to throw a 10 in here to balance out the relatively low ratings. Some earlier ratings gave this lens effusive praise with little criticism and left 8s! Compared other lenses ranked here, this one should be above 9.5.

I'll keep my review short by listing the flaws first: noticeable distortion at the wide end (but better than the 16-35 VR), and soft corners at the long end. The lens is very sharp in the center and only the 14-24mm has (barely) better corner sharpness at overlapping FLs.

If you shoot Nikon FX and you don't need VR or the build quality, there is little reason to buy the 16-35mm over this lens.
Prime Minister

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 39
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by Prime Minister
Review Date: 6/13/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, lightweight, nice handling, sharpness, contrast, silent autofocus
Cons: Could be a little sharper at 35mm

I tried this lens as a replacement for my Nikon AF 24mm f/2.8 D and I was pleasantly surprised. It's sharper and it has better contrast than the 24mm. It's also very lightweight and compact for a full frame wide angle zoom. I like how this lens handles/feels on a Nikon camera body. Ergonomics are great.

Sharpness, color, and contrast are very good. This lens renders like my other AF-S lenses (28mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8). When you look in the corners at 100% magnification on your high resolution screen, you'll find some softness, but in real use this is hardly noticeable. Only real pixel peepers worry about this. Stopped down to f/5.6 this lens really shines. CA is very low and the lens doesn't flare easily. Optically it beats most (if not all) older lenses like the AF20mm, AF24mm, AF-S17-35mm and the AF20-35mm. It's also more comfortable to carry than the older behemoth zooms.

Autofocus is reasonably fast, silent and very accurate. Zooming is smooth and easy and the focal lengths are well spaced on the zooming ring. I don't know if it's the low weight or the design (probably both), but this lens just feels right on my D610 and D800.

Some people say that the Nikon 16-35mm VR is a better lens, but I don't believe that to be true. Not only is it significantly more expensive, it's also noticeably bigger and heavier. It does have VR but it's just a very different kind of lens. I seriously doubt there's a real life difference in image quality.

If you've got the money and if you don't mind the extra weight and bulk and if you got shaky hands, get the 16-35mm. For everybody else this 18-35mm really is perfectly fine. Just get one if you're looking for a wide angle for your full frame Nikon. You will not regret it.

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 2
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by ho72
Review Date: 7/23/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, quite acceptably sharp
Cons: None that matter for my purposes

My experience with this lens has been limited to a couple of outings and one brick wall shoot; thus far I am satisfied. I've read differing opinions on this lens, some backed up by data, that make me wonder about sample variation. All I can say is that I've got a good copy.

On the D700, there's a little vignetting on the 16mm end wide open which is much less noticeable by f5.6 if not before. Sharpness is a bit diminished on the long end but still very good across the frame at f8. CAs are essentially a non issue and the distortion is handled well by software. I've read complaints about the bokeh, but who buys a wide for bokeh? I know it's not built as well as the Nikkor pro lenses, but I don't tend to abuse my gear.

If money were no object, I'd have bought the 17-35. But money is always an object and I'm glad this Nikon was available at a price point I could afford. Given its performance, I'd say it punches above its weight.

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 1
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by kgp
Review Date: 7/12/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, Lightweight, Compact, Cheap.
Cons: 18mm distortions

I was recently upgrade from D5000 to D600 and as my favorite focal lengths is on the wide side, i do a lot of searching and thinking about my pick on wide zoom lens. 16-35mm f/4 & 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G was my "finalists" and i ended with 18-35 in my bag. The main reason was that this lens is noticable lighter & compact (not to mention chaper!) compared to 16-35 and IMHO is more suitable to D600 as a combo. In terms of optical performance, im not the guy whos pp at 200x magification, im just very pleased with the results @ f/5.6 - f/8 & suprised (in a possitive way) with the results wide open. I think that 16-35 do have more "contrast" (maybe the coatings?), i mean colors pop-up a little more and there is a kind of more clarity-ness, but not so much to justify the price difference... again IMHO, 16-35 is a no brainer if someone is a perfectionist, wants +2mm on the wide & VR, 18-35 is the value for money king, a lot of performance with less money.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by pixnat
Review Date: 5/27/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light, good flare and CA control
Cons: 35mm could be better, distortion

This is a very nice lens that does its job very well!

In the 18-28mm range it's very sharp across the frame on the D600. It's well built, super light, AF is fast and accurate, so it's a pleasure to shoot with. Flare is well controlled and CA is minimal.

On the downside, at 35mm, corners aren't that sharp even stopped down, but it's nitpicking, because pictures are more than useable.

A great UWA zoom for landscapers, travellers and hickers!

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 2
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by Leiduowen
Review Date: 5/23/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $715.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: lighweight, cheap, solid optical quality
Cons: variable aperture, no aperture setting (G-lens)

I'm an enthusiast photographer. I've used this lens on a F80s body and run it through several rolls of film (mostly Fuji X-tra 400 and Kodak Ektar 100) so far. It is all plastic yet feels quite reassuring in my hands. The results are comparable to the AF-S Nikkor 12-24/4 DX (a much more solid lens) that I used on my D300s before and much sharper in corners than the Tokina 20-35/3.5-4.5 (also a much more solid lens) I have used. (I would be able to do a pixel-for-pixel comparison except that I don't shoot a digital SLR any more.) Of course, this is not the behemoth Nikkor 14-24/2.8 nor does it pretends to be. Also, the results will vary with different camera bodies, esp. the digital. In terms of overall sharpness, I have no complaints, esp. when I shoot the lens stopped down a little to f/5.6 or f/8. Knowing the shortcoming of your lens you can get around them to produce stunning photos. By the way, this sentence from Andy's review on raised me from the chair: "For a few dollars more, you can buy the 16-35mm lens." Are you nuts or what? These two lenses are more than US$500 apart! Moreover, the 16-35mm is a beast almost twice as heavy. Obviously, this 18-35mm was intended as a travel lens, which perfectly fits the bill for me, esp. on a lightweight body like the F80s (the 2nd lightest full-frame Nikon body, and among the cheapest, by the way). I am quite happy with this purchase, and would recommend it to a friend!

Registered: May 2013
Posts: 1
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by tomasm
Review Date: 5/17/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, contrast, size, weight, look, price
Cons: not weather sealed, distortion at 18mm, not as wide as some alternatives...but for that price all cons are pretty acceptable

I was previously using Tamron 17-35 attached to my D700. After about a year of Tamron experience and comparing nowadays to this lens...its a nonsense to compare it.
The vignetting is well controlled, the sharpness and contrast are outstanding. Thinking of an image stabilization, its nice addition but not that needed for the lens that wide and especially when you are used to capture landscapes using tripod. AF operation is faultless and accurate.
When comparing to Nikon 16-35 owned by my friend, its hard to find any difference in IQ, but it is lighter, smaller and needless to say it is fairly cheaper.

Registered: April 2013
Posts: 1
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S Nikkor review by breivog
Review Date: 4/13/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, sharp. good autofocus, smooth zoom and focus rings.
Cons: no VR, Variable f-stop, not weather sealed, significant distortion at 18mm, not a wide as some alternatives.

I have compared this lens to the 17-35 2.8 and the 16-35 f4 VR myself on a D800. IMHO, this new lens is better than either (at the same focal lengths) - and much cheaper and lighter. At f8, all of these are fairly similar, but at f4, the 18-35 has considerable sharper corners than the 16-35, and a bit sharper than the 17-35.

Used it as a primary lens on a trip to Death valley. Results were very good. Quite a bit better than the 24-85G at 24mm.

This lens is weakest at 35mm, but still pretty good.

For hiking, it is and ideal wide angle when weight and size area consideration.


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