Zoom Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D ED-IF AF OR Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D AF ???

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Pat, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Hello Everybody,

    I recently got Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D AF fixed lens and would greatly
    appreciate your feedback on the following:

    1) How does Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D ED-IF AF compare with Nikkor
    24mm f/2.8D ?

    2) I really love fixed lens, but it seems that zoom 18-35mm could be a
    good choice in terms of convenience and also cost(around $150 price
    difference). Is there a big difference in the quality of images
    obtained by these two lenses (sharpness, barrel distortion etc.)?

    Thank you very much.
    Pat, Aug 20, 2003
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  2. Pat

    Jan Smit Guest

    Hi Pat,

    Can't really answer your question, but I do work with the 18-35 for about a
    year now and I love it. It's sharp, it's a nice range to work with and it's
    reliable and durable (is that an English word???). BUT, the biggest
    disadvantage in my opinion is the distortion within the super wide angle
    range (let's say between 18 and 25 mm). A lot more then other comparable
    zooms, and fixed lenses for sure! You might wanna take that into account!


    Jan Smit, Aug 20, 2003
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  3. Pat

    Matt Clara Guest

    It's my understanding that the 17-35mm rivals its prime counterparts at most
    if not all magnifications. I don't know myself, as I don't own one.

    The 18-35, which I do own, isn't bad at 24mm. It's not nearly as sharp or
    well corrected as the 24mm. I own the 24mm Ai-S, which isn't as good a
    performer as the AF-D, particularly at close focus ranges. Still, I use the
    18-35mm more often as it's more versatile, excepting the speed, and I love
    the ultra wide-angles. My biggest complaint concerning the 18-35 is the
    soft corners, particularly at 18mm. It's visibly soft through the
    viewfinder. This is why I'm planning on selling it and a few other pieces
    of equipment and buying the 17-35mm lens.
    Matt Clara, Aug 21, 2003
  4. Pat

    Nick C Guest

    I have one Matt and it's one of my most used lenses. The lens is not only
    super, it's super-duper. :)

    Nick C, Aug 21, 2003
  5. Pat

    T P Guest

    Yes, there is a very significant difference in image quality.

    The 18-35mm has low contrast and is never particularly sharp. It has
    noticeable barrel distortion at 18mm and pincushion at 35mm and
    noticeable light fall-off at 18mm. It is also a cheaply made lens.

    The Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is a much better buy, with better
    sharpness and contrast and about the same amount of distortion, all at
    half the price of the Nikkor. Alternatively, the Tokina AT-X Pro
    20-35mm f/2.8 costs around the same price as the Nikkor but offers
    much better resolution and much lower rectilinear distortion.

    The 24mm f/2.8 Nikkor is an outstanding wide angle lens and is a far
    better optic than all the zooms mentioned, except perhaps the Tokina
    AT-X Pro, which is much closer to the performance of the prime lens
    than all the other zooms.

    My personal recommendation would be to find a good used 20-35mm f/2.8
    AF(-D) Nikkor. This is an outstanding zoom lens which comes as close
    as any zoom lens to the performance of the 20mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm
    AF Nikkors. Make sure you don't get one with colour fringing, which
    is about the only problem these lenses have.

    I regret selling mine. :-(
    T P, Aug 21, 2003
  6. I sold my workhorse 20-35 when I went digital. I still contend the 20-35 is
    a better lens than its replacement, the 17-35, even though I now own the
    newer unit. (Someday I'm going to learn not to sell the good stuff!)
    Gerald G. McGeorge, Aug 21, 2003
  7. Pat

    T P Guest

    I agree entirely. The 20-35mm is a gem.
    I wish I had learned not to do that too. :-(
    T P, Aug 21, 2003
  8. Pat

    Matt Clara Guest

    I'll take exception with the first part of this statement. Mine has never
    shown poor contrast. Galen Rowell did use this lens, and while his primary
    consideration in choosing it was its low weight, his images speak for
    Matt Clara, Aug 21, 2003
  9. The two are compared in the 17-35mm article at:
    David Ruether, Aug 21, 2003
  10. Pat

    Bhup Guest

    I can tell you about the 24mm F2.8 AFD It has very high contrast, zero
    distortion. The first time I used mine I was amazed.. even now . the results
    are breath taking . I always tkae the 24mm F2.8 AFD nikkor If I take a SLR
    with me. sorry .. i have no experince of the zoom you mentioned . If the
    Zoom is as good as the fixed.. then I would buy one
    Bhup, Aug 27, 2003
  11. Pat

    Pierre L Guest

    I just recently made exactly the same decision. I considered the 18-35 zoom,
    but I got the 24mm 2.8D in the end. Why? Distortion. I will be using the 24
    a lot for shots with straight lines in them (buildings, etc.), and the zoom
    has a bit of distortion throughout its range, from 18 right to 35.

    After I bought the 24, I had some second thoughts, which were completely
    eliminated after I got my first pictures back. Wow! is the only word I can
    think of. I deliberately shot a building front with lots of lines right to
    the edges. The pictures are sharp (razor sharp, compared to a zoom - and I
    have a 28-105), with no distortion whatsoever that I can see.

    Pierre L, Aug 27, 2003
  12. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Jan, Gerald, Matt, Nick, T P, David , Bhup and Pierre:

    Thank you very much for your help and valuable feedback. You guys are
    the best. Thank you again.

    I got my pictures back yesterday and they are very sharp. I took
    pictures of the tall buildings and there is no distortion in the
    pictures. Comparing to the Nikon 24-120 lens results, I see a big
    difference in terms of sharpness and contrast.

    T P, You had suggested a used 20-35mm f/2.8 AF(-D) Nikkor. I checked
    out the used lens price. It's around $750. At this point I am not
    considering to get it, but would keep it in mind.

    Thank you.
    Pat, Aug 28, 2003
  13. Pat

    T P Guest

    You're very welcome, Pat.
    If you think of it as a replacement for your 20mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm
    Nikkors, like I did, the 20-35mm looks like extremely good value, even
    at $750, which is about what I paid for mine.

    Best regards,

    T P, Sep 2, 2003
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