AF Zoom-Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF-ED (1.9x)
Posted 28 December 2007 - 17:00
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Posted 15 February 2008 - 16:05
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Posted 08 November 2008 - 22:13
I like this lens very much. To my eye it is quite sharp at all focal lengths. I am mostly shooting stopped down (between f/8 and f/16) at/around the hyperfocal distance. When I've used it wide open, I have still been quite happy with the results - but I haven't shot anything critical, so don't take that as a definitive comment. Corner performance is quite good.
- How long have you used the item? I've owned this lens for about five months now
- What did you specifically buy it for? I bought it as a lighter, cheaper alternative to the 17-35, since I was mainly looking to shoot landscapes using smaller apertures
- Has the lens lived up to your expectations? Most definitely
- Would you recommend the item to others? If their needs were similar to mine, I'd recommend it without hesitation.
Posted 19 January 2009 - 18:35
Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:04
THe 18-35 appears a touch sharper whilst the 18-55 was more contrasty.
I certainly liked the 18-35 when I was shooting film with it and I'll probably keep it in case I ever want to shoot film again or get round to upgrading to FX digital.
Posted 12 October 2010 - 19:54
I like this lens! I always liked the little 24-50AF as it has a decent range for scenics and landscapes, is affordable and travels well. The 18-35 is the equal for the DX sensors (though it's not a DX lens) and I find it quite handy. It's not too good wide open, but perks up very nicely by f8-11. That's what I would say is the best aperture range for this lens, f11 is probably the optimum. Beyond that, on a DX DSLR, you will get diffraction softening, FF film will do somewhat better. It's a fun, economical very wide for FF film, just average in AF speed. Very solid feel, even though it is on the light side. Easy to pack, travels well. Use the hood and watch for stray light hitting the front element.
I like this lens. Sharp, not so heavy, good colors.
Posted 02 September 2011 - 20:19
I'll start by saying that I don't particularly like the 18-35's results right out of the camera. I use it on a D700. The direct images are softer than average vs. my other Nikkors.
However everything changes when DxO is used for the raw conversions. It's like Nikon designed this lens with post-processing in mind. DxO's correction profile for the D700 makes this lens absolutely come alive. It's been stunning for landscape work where I use it primarily at f/7-ish through f/16. The lens + DxO at those apertures rates about 4.5 on the Review scale although I would still rate it as a 3 at wide open. The absolute extreme corners will often be soft but I noticed that the is more of a problem if distant scenery is what is in those corners. Whenever there is very close scene content at an extreme corner they look good. That makes me suspect that some field curvature may be present.
Photoshop CS5 makes perfect panoramic stitches from this lens' images, even handheld if the situation forced it. The proper pivoting point is approximately one inch behind the front edge of the lens. This ideal pivot point shifts only about 6mm throughout the full zoom range so if you do use a nodal slide you don't have to be fanatic about optimizing it.
People will want to compare it against the 16-35 which I have done using online posted 16-35 image samples (also processed in DxO):
1/3 the cost if purchased used
2/3 the cost if you also throw in DxO
Better image quality (DxO converted) than direct images from the 16-35
The shipping box for my copy of 18-35 was smaller than the 16-35 lens itself!
Much less weight
You won't leave it at home
You don't lose as much coverage when you correct the distortion (18-35 has "moustache", 16-35 is more "barrel")
It's better than the 18-35 (comparison of out of camera images)
It's better than the 18-35 (comparison of DxO-processed images for both)
A very usable f/4 (if and only if you have DxO)
I bought the 18-35 when I realized how expensive and huge the 16-35 is. Now that I have it I have NO plans to upgrade any time soon.
Post Script: Adobe has a downloadable user-contributed Camera Raw correction module for the 18-35 on the D700. However it does a poor job on distortion correction which to me is a major shortcoming. I've made some of these correction modules myself and I can confirm that it can be quite difficult to do them well on wide angle lenses at short shooting distances. I'm sticking with the SW recommendation I've already mentioned several times here. As a matter of fact that also goes for the 16-35.
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