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Nikon's AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5 lens group - Index Page

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Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s N (MK II) wide-tele zoom lens
Introduced: Sept. 1988; Discontinued: 1998

The first update of the AF Zoom-Nikkor-35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s was occurred barely two years after introduction of the first version. It has enjoyed a product cycle of approx. 10 years and that was why most of the used 35-135mm surface at the used equipment market are of this model. Well, that doesn't mean the original version has a high collectible value simply because the upgrade was essentially to patch some of the criticism Nikon had for the first generation of their AF Nikkor in exterior design.

Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N Ai-S  (NEW) MK II wideangle-telephoto Zoom lens side view with various details
Optically, the update has no surprises and the same number of elements and groups (15E-10G) was retained. However, one significant change in the new update was the zooming control as it has been reverted like the Ai-S MF Zoom Nikkor which uses the one-touch sliding zoom design. Thus, the change was more confined to mechanism in this respect. Next, two areas in lens handling have been improved as well.

Firstly, the plastic manual focus which has a narrow grip has been slightly broaden, the thinly ridge grip has been altered with a hard rubberized pattern to offer photographer with a better grip during manual focusing. Another area was the zoom ring, which has been generously widen and when couples it with the sliding action, it is made more effortless and ensuring smooth operation.

Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of betteroffblu/Jenny® where the EBAY STORE is also one of my favorite spot to look for great images on used photographic equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

As the lens changes from rotating to sliding design for zooming, Nikon also removes the customary focus distance window; replacing it with a rotating distance scales for manual focus only. Technically, there is no visual to refer except you have to depend inside the viewfinder to see the subject snap into focus or out. When it was announced back in the late 80, I thought at least Nikon will begin patching the earlier AF Nikkor by incorporating back the colored depth of field scales onto the zoom ring barrel - NO it didn't and from here onwards, I know Nikon will never revert back to this feature for their subsequent zoom that followed. Well, if that is disappointing, don't be. Nikon did put in some effort at other minor areas. At least the distance scales are now easier to differentiate via the colored scales in feet; further, the MACRO index now is also being colored in orange. Both were not been attentive on the original lens. Overall, these minor cosmetic has improved its quality appeal from exterior.

Front lens element and lens coating of a Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N Front section of the lens controls in a Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N
Credit: Image courtesy of Jeff@photocreative ® where Jeff's Company PHOTO CREATIVE INC> has a very popular EBAY STORE on its own. Tel: (905) 629-0100 Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

I have been using this lens for about three months back in mid 90. It was not mine but a friend left it for me to use when he moved to Australia. It takes time to appreciate what it has to offer. I know modern days photographers are more fond of a wider angle than 35mm in a wide-to-tele zoom lens but back it the late '80, this lens was an incredible offer from Nikon who used to be so conservative in zoom design. In fact, I find the third party labels such as Tamron, Tokina and the emergence of Sigma during this period were more innovative and daring to bring wide/tele zoom to the market. The primary set back if you intend to find an affordable zoom lens for all general purpose photography is the 35mm and its maximum aperture of f/3.5 with variable aperture while it extends its focal length longer. Ideally, it would be a hit during that time if a 28-135mm was produced that would enable photographers on the move or intend to travel packs in a lightest possible package with a Nikon AF SLR. As compare to the 35-105mm which shares many similarities (except for 135mm), the current lens is not entirely too compact either but if it comes with a wider angle of view such as 28mm, I think most people can live with the extra (weight/dimension) it might come along.

Side deatil view of Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N

Lens extension (zooming) in Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N

Well, using a less restrictive 35mm is not entirely disastrous either - provide you know its limitation and how to counter during shooting. For an instance, if you intend to handle some shots in a tight area, just move a few steps backwards from your subject will resolve the issue. The lens speed may presents some issues with some oldies Nikon (The K screen on most Nikon MF bodies may just dim, a common issue with most slow speed zoom lenses); you can choose a E or B screen to counter this. Unless you can have a good support, shooting in dimly lit area would require some form of artificial illumination such as flash. However, the best combination was always bring along an additional compact 20mm or 24mm prime wideangle with a brighter lens speed (or a TC-201s to extend the reach at the other end of the focal length) as companion lens if you anticipate any possible usage of such wide field of view. The built-in MACRO range of 1:3.5 should be adequate if your planned trip is not specifically on close-up. To remind you, this is NOT a D-spec Nikkor lens. However, it is an Ai-S Nikkor optic 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 Nikon F90(x)/N90(s) onwards, all you will be missing would be the advance Matrix and Flash exposure/Metering capability to include the focused distance as part of exposure calculation. Other AF and exposure AE modes operating sequences remain the same.

The car park down under my office
The car park down under my office....

Interim photo ONLY. Waiting for suitable / usable images from contributors.

IF I can offer an opinion, if you are committed to be a Nikon photographers and may think of toying an idea in upgrading to a digital SLR in the future, this lens may not suit you because the CURRENT state of Nikon DLSR are showing little signs of Nikon commitment in MF lens compatibility. If you are still confined yourself in a capsule of manual focus hardware, this lens will suit you then. Anyway, as your next upgrade unlikely will be a latest Nikon DSLR as you would put priority on system backward compatibility because you would like your manual focus gears to be used on your first Digital SLR. As most of the latest Nikon DSLR are "engineered" by Nikon to irritate (such as no metering info will be shown when a mid range Nikon D70(s) etc. is used; so the option to shoot happily with a MF Nikkor lens is only confined as an exclusive feature for higher end models but "higher end" usually means they are more expensive.

Minus what I have tried to alert you, on its own this AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s (New or MK II) exhibits excellent optical results while providing a very friendly way in lens handling for photographers. The versatile focal length can be used for a wide varieties of shooting topics such as travel, scenic, nature, candid, head and should portrait, indoor studio shootings and other forms of general / leisure photography.

A: Dual indexes for Zoom range (35mm (green) and 135mm (light yellow); B: theminimum aperture sliding switch (differs from original lens); C: MACRO setting release button, press while turn the zoom ring to go MACRO mode; E: separate focusing indexes for 35 and 135mm infra compensation.

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

Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N
Depth of Field Scales: NONE
Reproduction ratio: 1:3.5 maximum
Minimum aperture lock: Provided. Via a newer slide switch
design - 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.

Bus Porto... by Armindo Lopes
Bus, Porto

Credit: Image copyright 2007 Armindo Lopes from Portugal. All rights reserved. You can access Armindo's portfolio at Pbase for more creative visuals. 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 approx 117 mm after zoom extension
Front view of Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N Rear view of the metal lens mount in a Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5N
Weight: Approx. 630g
Usable Tele-Converters: - TC-201S; TC-14A (Note: MANUAL focus only); Nikon does not encourage the use of early AF Te-converter TC-16S with this AF zoom.

: Image courtesy of Jeff@photocreative ® where Jeff's Company PHOTO CREATIVE INC> has a very popular EBAY STORE on its own. Tel: (905) 629-0100 Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
* 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.

Rear section view of Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5s MK II (1988~1998) with dedicated lens hood HB-1
Startup Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N (MK II) lens may have been began from:AF 35-135/3.5-4.5 New rubber focus ring 4+ < 3239xx - 524037 > Sep88 - 1998 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.

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Original Version
| 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

Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of betteroffblu/Jenny® where the EBAY STORE is also one of my favorite spot to look for great images on used photographic equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

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