by Jakub

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I am planning to buy a 24-70 but I saw a second hand 35-70 AF in a store nearby, I did some research and again, I stumbled upon Ken Rockwell's 35-70 review, in which he states:

This 35-70mm f/2.8 AF-D was Nikon's flagship professional midrange zoom of the 1990s, and has pretty much the same optical performance as the newest 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS, with a lot less size, weight and cost.

As some people here have noted, Ken Rockwell's reviews are sometimes not that accurate, so before investing on that 35-70, I want to get some more professional opinion. I plan to get either the 24-70 or 35-70 for studio shots, because my 18-105 does not yield the sharpness I want without post-processing.

Is the 35-70 AF at par or at least close to 24-70's sharpness or image quality?


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You might want to update the title to indicate you're only interested in image quality to indicate you're not interested in AF speed/noise etc. –  Shizam Sep 8 '12 at 22:34
done! thanks for the heads up! –  Ygam Sep 8 '12 at 22:38
oh wait, I think I want to know about that AF speed too XD –  Ygam Sep 8 '12 at 22:39
If you are in the studio, I would think you are looking for excellent quality. I would spring for the newer version. –  dpollitt Sep 9 '12 at 4:59

1 Answer 1

If you believe Bjorn Rorslett archive page here the AF-Nikkor 35-70 mm f/2.8 D is an extremely good lens, and the AFS-Nikkor 24-70 mm f/2.8 ED G FX is utterly stunningly gloriously marvellous. ie the old lens is extremely good, but the new lens is about incomparable. This is possibly the most glowing technically well supported lens review I have ever seen. Reading t makes you absolutely sure that you want to own the lens :-).

His summary specifically answers your question , provided that you believe him.
He says:

  • I have used several randomly acquired samples of this lens and they all have behaved in a very similar fashion. However, some users complain about severe light fall-off or field curvature. Since these reports are at variance with what I could observe, there is always the possibility of QC issues.

    But personally I consider the new 24-70/2.8 Nikkor to be the reference for all other midrange zoom lenses.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the new lens trounces the old favourite, the 28-70 AFS, in terms of sheer image quality.

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