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Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s wide-tele zoom lens
Introduced: Oct. 1986; Discontinued: Sept. 1988
Back in 1984, Nikon introduced their MF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5 Ai-S, despite it was introduced as a variable aperture zoom (dual maximum apertures, lens sped decreases at focal length extends to its longest setting) which I thought was quite a good zoom lens. Those days, 28mm opening focal length for zoom has limitation and they usually had their longest reach restricting at most on 85mm. The MF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm has a larger filter diameter than the MF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm where both share basic specification in maximum aperture of f/3.5~4.5 in Ai-S spec, although it has not mentioned officially offering a MACRO function but it actually delivers an impressive Reproduction Ratio: 1:3.8 life-size at 0.4m (1.3ft) where the macro function is provided via a useful 135mm focal length, which provides a very comfortable working distance for photographers as well as maintaining a more natural perspective for close-ups of subject shooting through its longer focal length.
The equivalent of the 35-135mm in an autofocus outfit was introduced in October, 1986, and sold along with the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s as alternate choice for Nikon photographers. For those who wished to opt for a startup wideangle-to telephoto zoom in the early version of AF Zoom Nikkor lens family, Nikon only offered the AF Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5s, so, tendency was more inclined to moderate wideangle of 35mm and the followed up decision is whether to select the 35/105 or this 35/135mm. Naturally, the 35/135mm is priced higher than the comparing 35/105mm and possibly this was the reason why we see more 35/105mm surfacing at the used market today.
There are two non-D versions of this Nikon AF Nikkor zoom were available where a D-spec version was never been introduced. However, all the two models were Ai-S in nature and can be used for both AF and MF Nikon SLRs in basic autofocus operation. IF your Nikon is a D-SLR or a mid range film SLR models introduced after the F90(x)/N90(s) onwards, all you miss is the advance Matrix and Flash exposure/Metering capability to include the focused distance as part of exposure calculation. Other AF and exposure AE modes remain the same.
The first model of the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s has a very simple and straight forward appearance Unlike the manual focus equivalent in one-touch sliding design, this lens uses a rotating zoom mechanism for zooming. Physically, it shares many basic exterior and on lens design features found on the many first generation AF Nikkor zoom lenses.
The lens can be easily distinguished from the late version via its thin and narrow plastic manual focusing ring at the front section of the lens; it has a focusing window and a zoom range markings around the the top of the zoom ring circularly. Further, it uses a twist-type minimum aperture lock.
Credit: Image(s) courtesy of 'Peter Pickering' (e-mail) from Australia who specializes trading of new, used collectable Nikon and other cameras/lenses/accessories. Peter also operates a popular Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Well, the narrow, plastic manual focusing ring has always been the center of debate among Nikon photographers during those days. But I guess Nikon designers have too much of an emphasis on autofocus in design while underestimating the market was still dominantly preoccupied by manual focus SLR users. One who might be purchasing a lens may not be an out right AF photographers or could be maintaining a manual focus system. It can be a very drastic experience to adjust yourself from manual focus to autofocus immediately. After all, early autofocus system with Nikon F501, F401 series were not entirely very responsive and in many cases such as close-up or low contrast subject may require users to revert back to manual focus; hence the thin manual focusing ring can be very unfriendly to work with and when an early negative impression was created, it can be difficult to revert. Well, I guess on the other hand, designers are designers in the studio and most often when they have been asked to perform a designing task, they delivered. In this case, I shouldn't conclude they made a mistake 0 because they were being asked to deliver a design based on "Autofocus" and manual focus is being relegated as secondary. The problem is just they never thought the autofocus development is just at its infancy stage, the market is not mature yet and it was introduced in a transitional change from MF to AF, that is all. Anyway, those are history now - if it was introduced as in today probably it won't had such negative responses.
I provide a side by side comparison photo of both the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm and 35-135mm as comparison. Both actually looks alike except that the 35/135mm has a longer and larger dimension. Yes - the AF zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5S has a smaller 52mm filter attachment size while the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5S uses 62mm diameter filter accessories Internally, the optical construction is rather complex as a 15 elements in 10 groups design was adopted. I guess some may ask why couldn't a f/3.5 was provided ? well, IF a constant aperture of f/3.5 design was used, I guess probably the dimension will even be larger and perhaps a 72mm filter diameter is required to accommodate the light gathering capability. Beside, don't expect this will be offered cheaply and it doesn't make a wise commercial decision for Nikon for mass market appeal either huh ?
For those who may be used the color depth of field (DOF) lines presented in a typical MF Nikkor zoom those days, this feature has been removed from the AF zoom. There were no DOF indication / assistance near the focusing distance window either for you to refer but infra index for 35-135mm were provided. Come to think of it - in terms of percentage in lens usage, chances of DOF should be much higher than an infra index isn't it ? The lens is a rotating zoom type, so- it operates differently from a sliding zoom where you push and pull for zoom control but in a rotating zoom - it operates differently as it turns the ring while it zooms. The rotating action is smooth and quite effortless and it turns 45 degrees from 35-135mm. Primarily, this was to offset the less responsive operation as compare to the easier way in a sliding zoom type.
Inside a new construction site... My friend's new Pasar Rakyat at IMbi.
Interim photo ONLY. Waiting for suitable / usable images from contributors.
Nikon has also designed the lens with a MACRO mechanism within where you will find an index line after the 105mm zoom setting. First, you would require to depress the MACRO button in order be able to go to the MACRO range. The maximum reproduction ratio at at its closest focusing distance 0.38m (normal focus @1.4m is 1:3.5X. Nice huh ? So, other that it provides one of the most frequently use zoom range of 35-135mm for general photography, the lens also delivers quite a useful macro performance at its closest focusing distance. The only complaint is, the macro works in 35mm focal length as oppose to the 135mm found in the MF version. This may present some distortion. Whatever it is, it delivers an extension for those who may require it when one need it most.
Credit: Image(s) courtesy of 'Peter Pickering' (e-mail) from Australia who specializes trading of new, used collectable Nikon and other cameras/lenses/accessories. Peter also operates a popular Ebay Store. All image(s) appeared herein are Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.
For those who may be more particular in its optical performance, on a brief shooting test drive where I loaned from a friend, the resulting images were consistently crisp and sharp. The contrast is on the higher side but details in shadow areas hold well. Probably the lens was aged, the zoom ring is too smooth for comfort. Probably the manual focusing ring was not used too often, it provides just the right feel. Nikon has a dedicated HB-1 lens hood for this lens. Overall, I would think the lens is still considered as a lovely zoom to own and use. Both lenses have been phased out by Nikon in 1988 for the original lens and 10 years later 1998 for the next upgrade. Some may think the later version is a better and/or wider choice but I don't think it has significantly has absolute advantage over the original version. The difference could be just preferences but still if the prices between the two is not too much of a difference, you may just go for the update as the manual focusing ring has a better operationally as well as other minor improvements which combinedly make it a better choice. However, if the variation in prices is too great, why bother ? As AF Nikkor zoom lens development has expanded in varieties and other more practical zoom lenses are appearing over the years, those who may prefer the choice of a more conservative 35-105/135mm zoom range could have other reasons on their own (primarily speaking, it is still a cost factor related decision) but I guess photography may not entirely be zoom lens-type related, those may opt for this may still be able to deliver many surprises in creative visual creations.
Technical Specification for Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s lens:-
Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor zoom lens with built-in CPU and a metal rear Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 35mm to 105mm; Maximum aperture: f/3.5; (35mm=1:3.5; 135mm=1:4.5) Minimum Aperture: f/22
Lens construction: 15 elements in 10 groups; with close focus Design
Picture angle: 62° - 18°
Focal length scale: 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Focus control: Via focusing ring
Zoom control: Via rotating zoom ring
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 1.4m (4.6m) at normal focus to infinity (OO); close focuses at its nearest distance at 0.39m at MACRO mode
Distance information: Output into camera body with CPU interface system IS NOT POSSIBLE with this lens; Option for manual focus provided
Aperture scale: f/3.5/f/4.5, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and 22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Mount: Nikon bayonet mount with CPU contacts;
Attachment size: 62mm (P=0.75mm); Meter Coupling Prong: NONE
Depth of Field Scales: NONE
Reproduction ratio: 1:3.5 maximum
Minimum aperture lock: Provided. Via twist button - an alternate way to verify this early version
Lens Coating: NIC (Nikon Integrated lens Coating)
Exposure measurement: Via full-aperture method with Ai cameras or cameras with CPU interface system; via stop-down method for other cameras
* Notes on optional original bayonet hood HB-1. If the hood is not attached properly, vignetting is likely to occur. To attach/detach the hood properly, make sure to hold the lens side of the hood (not the tip of the hood) when attaching/detaching.
Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of "t2-CRT@EBAY" via his EBAY STORE on their own. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Infrared compensation index: Two. Provided for the 35mm and 135mm focal length setting
Standard accessories: 62mm front lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1; Original hard lens case CL-41
Optional Accessories: 52mm screw-in filters; Bayonet hood HB-1 *; Flexible lens pouch No.62. CP 9 may also be possible
Dimensions: Approx. 72mm dia. x 109mm; overall length is approx117 mm after zoom extension
Weight: Approx. 630g
Usable Tele-Converters: - TC-201S; TC-14A (Note: MANUAL focus only); Nikon does not encourage the use of early AF Tele-converter TC-16S with this AF zoom.
Colors froma blossom next to the road side..
Interim photo ONLY. Waiting for suitable / usable images from contributors.
* Other information: A. Be careful not to soil or damage the CPU contacts. Do not attach the following accessories to the lens, as they might damage the lens' CPU contacts: Auto Extension Ring PK-1, Auto Extension Ring PK-11*, K1 Ring, Auto Ring BR-4**. Other accessories may not be suitable for use with certain cameras. This lens cannot be used with AF Finder DX-1 attached to the Nikon F3AF camera. * Use PK-11A instead. **Use BR-6 instead; B.
Startup Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5S lens may has been began from:
AF 35-135/3.5-4.5 plastic focus ring 200001 < 2462xx > Sep86 - Sep88 15/12 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.
| NEXT | 1/2 The second upgrade of Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s (MK II)
Original Version (1986~1988) | Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s MK II (1988~1998); Relative: Manual Focus Nikkor Zoom 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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