Part Two Nikon's AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8S MACRO original version of the wideangle-moderate telephoto zoom lens
Year Introduced: December, 1987; Discontinued: 1992
The excellent Nikon Manual Focus Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 zoom lens was first introduced as a non-Ai version in 1976 and followed up with an updated Ai-spec version in 1979. Subsequently, the 1981 Ai-S update was considered as an interesting upgrade because despite it shares an almost identical optical structure internally, the Ai-S Nikkor zoom has a built-in MACRO function to deliver an impressive 1:4 magnification ratio at its closest focus distance at 0.5m. The 35/70 f/3.5 Nikkor zoom lens was used to be one of the most expensive wideangle zoom lens in the Nikkor lens family. I remembered it was sold almost at par with the famed Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/4.0S Nikkor tele-zoom and it was just a basic 35-70mm zoom lens with a constant maximum aperture of f/3.5. But those days Nikon was used to be very careful in dealing with any zoom lenses that carried their "Nikkor" name tag. And even at later stage when other budget zoom lenses were streaming out, the MF Nikkor zoom 35-70 f/3.5 was still stuck firmly with its original high price tag from where it has started. Of course, the whole scenario changed after the autofocus era began during the mid '80.
From street candid to documentary or journalism, you can find this lens a good companion zoom lens with its constant fast lens speed of f/2.8. Shanghai Internatinal Airport, 2006.
Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to replace this.
Introduced in 1987, that was roughly a year ahead of the classic AF Nikkor Zoom 80-200mm f/2.8S telephoto-zoom , both of these large aperture Nikkor zoom lenses were like a standard lenses for professionals who uses the Nikon 35mm SLR system. So, from 35mm all the way through to 200mm all you need was to have two lenses to cover their basic needs in this range. Beyond these focal length, one can use an ultrawide as well as super-telephoto at the both ends to aid other system needs. Nikon didn't took a short cut in this autofocus 35-70mm zoom lens by replicating the manual focus version into an autofocus zoom. It was actually being designed from ground up. As a start, it has been boosted with a faster constant aperture of f/2.8 which maintains throughout its entire zoom range from 35-70mm. Since it carried the benefit of being introduced a year later after the initial batch of Nikon autofocus lenses surfaced, Nikon has taken into consideration with the initial negative reaction from Nikon photographers who had so much of criticism on the poor manual focus ring design and so, this original AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8S actually has quite a different appearance, look and feel from from those early series of AF Nikkor zoom lenses.
Different? Yeap. Firstly, this AF Nikkor zoom does not has the familiar focus distance window display as found on other AF Nikkor lenses. It actually looks very much like a conventional manual focus zoom lens when view from a distance. Although it looks like a dual ring zoom lens, it actually adopts a one-touch SLIDING ZOOM design where zoom action is via push and pull method. However, it does carry with a few things over from the Ai-S MF Nikkor Zoom f/3.5s such as a button for release the mechanism of its close focusing to MACRO mode. The MACRO lock is actually placed at the zoom ring where the close up extension is represented by a bright orange index line on the zoom ring. Further, one may feel very different in how to zoom the lens from 35-70mm works in this 35/70 as the 35mm is actually at the outward end of the zoom. So, it may be different from other Nikon zoom in its in basic lens handling.
The optical composition of this 35/70 f/2.8 uses an all new 15 elements in 12 groups design. Where some of you may remember how the MF predecessor performs so well with its close focus capability; this AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8S never disappoints either in this area. The minimum focusing distance reaches to approx. 0.6m (2') at normal, marked distance scale but after activation and release the MACRO button on the zoom ring, it can close focus as close as to 0.28m (11"). At such close focus distance, it delivers an equally impressive 1:4 Magnification Ratio - almost comparable to the Manual Focus Nikkor Zoom. Further, Nikon advises if uses the zoom in conjunction with a Nikon 6T close up filter - an amazing near-1:1 is possible with this AF zoom lens ! Nice to find such feature in a zoom lens huh ?
Another feature found in this lovely Nikkor zoom lens is the zoom lens permits focus to be set with zooming control. It doesn't has the internal focus design but while you push and pull, only the focus rings turns while the zoom lens barrel stays put. Both the manual focusing ring and zoom ring use a common design in a hard rubberized covering. Personally I think they should have been designed differently so as to permit feel of the hand during shooting to differentiate the two respective purpose. Anyway, that is not important as all you need is to spend a little time to get the feel of it and you should be easily got adaptive and be able to distinguish their functions (where the MF ring is the the front, it is thinner while the zoom ring is closer to the camera body and has a wider grip).
Solidly built and very rigid. Weighing at 665g (approx. 23.5oz) , the feel of the weight is just about right when mounted this zoom onto any of the mid range or professional grade Nikon SLR body. The additional weight probably has indirectly projects the quality feel of it and even if it has been using some polycarbonated parts in its construction Despite other good changes that separates it from the original batch of autofocus Nikkor lenses, this lens still uses an old twisted knob for the minimum aperture lock - it provides as an alternate mean in how to verify this original version from the D-spec zoom introduced later in 1992. Further, another easier way for verification is at its lens description where the original does not has a "D" behind the maximum aperture value of 1:2.8.
Other than the pool of professional photographers who formed the basis as its largest consumers, this fabulous fast speed Nikkor autofocus zoom lens does attract many other serious amateurs and users. The primarily appealing element with this fast speed zoom lens was with its high speed f/2.8 constant aperture. If you are observance enough, you may notice those early days around the Nikon F4 era, the Nikkor lens family heavily missed a fast speed wideangle zoom lens option in the wideangle zoom category. For an example, the AF Zoom Nikkor 20-35mm f/2.8D was only being introduced late in 1993. Other than this 35/70mm, for those who prefers a wider picture angle, Nikon has only an AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5S to offer and it comes with only a so-so maximum lens speed. So, this 35/70 f/2.8 Nikon zoom actually stands up alone in the Nikkor lens group as the only pro-calibre fast speed wideangle zoom. The moderate 35mm startup angle was actually its main weakness as it restricts itself for a more extensive range of usage. But that was how lens development evolved itself from demand and needs in the market.
Due to its extraordinary light gathering power, the crystal clear front and rear lens elements are quite a quite large piece at the front as well as the rear section. The lens coating is typically green and pink based.
Credit: Images courtesy of Jeff ® where Jeff's Company PHOTO CREATIVE INC. has a very popular EBAY STORE on its own. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Framing a modern building. A shot between the tree trunks. Kuala Lumpur.
Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to replace this.
Technical Specification for Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8s MACRO wide-tele zoom lens:-
Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor wide-telephoto zoom lens with built-in CPU and a metal rear Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 35mm to 70mm; (Magnifies approx. as a 120-300mm zoom lens for Nikon DX format Digital SLRs)
Maximum aperture: f/2.8; Minimum Aperture: f/22
Lens construction: 15 elements in 12 groups; with close focus design built-in
Picture angle: 62° - 34° 20; (44° - 22° 50' for Nikon DX format Digital SLR cameras)
Focal length scale: 35mm, 50mm and 70mm printed on zoom lens barrel
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Focus control: Autofocus. Camera driven autofocus. Manual focusing ring at the front end
Zoom control: Via one touch sliding zoom ring at the center
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 0.6m at normal focus to infinity (OO); close focuses at its nearest distance at 0.2.8m (9") at extended 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/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and 22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout (ADR) scales
Mount: Nikon bayonet mount with CPU contacts;
Attachment size: 62mm (P=0.75mm);
Meter Coupling Prong: NONE
Depth of Field Scales: NONE
<<<--- Comparing both the first generation professional grade Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8S with the pin-size consumer grade AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5S will reveal how both lenses in their differences in size/dimension. Naturally, they have different price categories as well. The f/2.8 lens has a 62mm bayonet filter ring diameter, uses HB-1 lens hood.
Credit: Image of the AF Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens on Nikon F4s courtesy of Leo.K ® from Montreal, where I have found this picture from his Portfolio at PBASE. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Framing a picture, from architecture to close-up of flowers.. the zoom versatile picture angle and reasonably good close-up range of 1:4X (possible for 1:1 with 6T filter) provides a good feature.
Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to replace this.
Infra compensation index: Two settings; for 35mm and 70mm
Reproduction ratio: 1:7.7 (normal); 1:4 maximum at MACRO mode (1:1 possible when Nikon 6T close-up filter is used)
Minimum aperture lock: Provided. Via older 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
Standard accessories: 62mm front lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1; lens case CL-33S
Optional Accessories: 62mm screw-in filters; Lens hood HB-1 *; Flexible lens pouch CL52. No. 62, CP 9 may also be possible
Dimensions: Approx. 71.5mm dia. x 94.5mm; overall length is approx. 97.5mm from the lens flange
Weight: Approx. 665g
Usable Tele-Converters: - TC-201S; TC-14A. Due to its extraordinary lens speed of f/2.8, Nikon suggested the TC-16AS may also be used with this lens. Note: All TC will only work in MANUAL focus only);
* Other information: This lens cannot be used with AF Finder DX-1 attached to the Nikon F3AF camera. Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8S lens may have been began from: AF 35-70/2.8 twist aperture lock 4+ 200001 < 203078 - 322669 > Feb88 - Sep92 122669 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet
previous | NEXT | 2/3 The Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D
Page One:- Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5S MK 1 (1986~1989); MK II (1989~1995/6)
Page Two:- Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8s (1987~1992)
Page Three:- Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D (1992~2006)
Relative: Nikon Manual Focus Zoom-Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5; MF Nikon Zoom Auto-Nikkor 3.5~8.5cm 1:2.8; Nikon MF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5; Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5S; Nikon Series E Zoom 36-72mm f/3.5S
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Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E
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
Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site
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