Nikon 18-35mm 3.5-4.5 G mark II - Review: WOW!

Started Aug 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
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GlobalGuyUSA Senior Member • Posts: 2,016
Nikon 18-35mm 3.5-4.5 G mark II - Review: WOW!

Dear all,

Although my review of 58mm was quite complex and verbose, that's only because that lens is quite complex and verbose. You need to really understand it, so that potential buyers dont receive it and become severely disappointed & so those who need it can understand why.

That being said -- the 18-35 mark II, sums up like this:

"Wow! This is what a variable zoom should be! I love this lens."

Some things you may want to know (on a D810):

- It has what I think is regular simple barrel distortions at its widest setting all the way to 35mm (no big deal, except for architecture), which you might want to correct post processing,
- Its sharp, its very sharp, its lovely lovely sharp, as sharp as my 14-24/2.8!
- Its zoom ring is very stiff, so you can set it where you want and leave it without moving,
- Its focus ring is loose, with a little play, which isn't bad, could be a bit tighter, but at this wide, it doesn't really matter anyway, you'll pretty much be in focus,
- Its AF is very accurate,
- Its lighter than some prime lenses!!?? And at least half the weight of a 14-24, 16-35VR, etc!
- You could basically compare it to an 85/1.4G in terms of weight and size (approx).
- I put it sharpest at f/5.6 at 18mm, and f/8 every other length, but still "good" wide open,
- Its a dark lens -- not the darkest, but don't use it for indoors on a D810, you'll get blur or have to have high ISOs (which is fine, but obviously the 14-24 is f/2.8 and brighter), at 18mm this is bright enough with its f/3.5, but still, I've never considered f/4 lenses to be bright,
- I don't want to admit it, but it will probably replace my 14-24/2.8 for travel & daytime shooting, leaving that lens a specialty lens in my bag for night, night events and when I need wider than 18mm.
- This lens does NOT totally replace the 20/2.8. The 20/2.8 is much LESS sharp, but stopped down, its pretty OK except in corners. But its main advantage is its size.  Its practically a pancake lens compared to modern primes and zooms. If you're on the TELE end for travel, you'll probably just want to pop a 50/1.8D and a 20/2.8D in your bag, still. Both will be better in low light, are MUCH smaller (I said this is similar to the weight/size of a 85/1.4G, which is a big-ass prime -- but its actually slightly longer),
- That being said, if you're on the WIDE end, this lens covers 18mm to 35mm, so you can basically couple it with a 60mm Macro or 58G or a 50/1.8D/1.4 and/or a compact tele like a 70-300 or 70-200/4 or a 180/2.8 or 135/2, etc, etc, etc.... and this thing has you covered on the wide end. No worries.
- Its cheap, but it does NOT behave like a cheap lens; its what you'd want a variable zoom to be, snappy, confident AF, very light, very sharp, compromised only by slightly less build quality and darker range of lighting conditions.
- No VR, but doesn't need it (just get the 16-35VR for twice as much money if you need VR).

I really am loving this lens.

Strongly recommended for you to buy for a light-weight D810 lens. Couple with a bright tele-prime like an 85/1.4G & a 50/1.8D, and you're set!

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 GlobalGuyUSA's gear list:GlobalGuyUSA's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +9 more
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