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Nikon 35 f2D

I have a decent sized and growing lens collection, but one of my most used lenses is the Nikon 35mm F2D. Simply put, it is small, light-weight, is fully compatible with all of my cameras and is a really good focal length for most uses.

Sunrise on the Pear River, Guangzhou, China 2010, D700

Being a prime, it of course weighs a lot less than my other Nikon lens that covers that focal lenght, the beastly 24-70 2.8G (and the 35mm also has a slight edge in low light environments.) A quick comparison shows that the 35mm is about 7oz, and the zoom is 31oz, more than 4 times the weight of the small prime. It is also much bigger, and more expensive. Finally, the “G” on the 24-70 means it doesn’t work very well on my older film bodies. So there are several reasons why I like the 35mm prime so much.

Left: A woman exits the metro. Right: Plum Blossoms. Both taken with a D300 in Japan, 2009

Shrine, Japan 2009, D300

While I will take the zoom if I’m really going out to photograph something, I use the 35mm if I’m just out and about, or using one of my film bodies. A couple of years ago, while in Japan, I started to leave all my heavy gear behind in the hotel and just take out the 35mm on my D300. This wasn’t as wide as I would have liked (one of the reasons I got the FX D700) but I still think it was better than carrying around the Sigma 18-200 that I had at the time.
As for all the characteristics which people judge a lens by, I don’t see anything wrong with this lens. Seems sharp enough to me, and if there is much distortion, I don’t notice that either. Anything that is wrong with this lens is probably my fault from whacking it on something.

A seagull and a man take opposing directions in life. Beppu, Japan 2009

Japanese Castle, Japan 2009

This lens seems pretty rugged. There is a lot of plastic on it but despite being banged around a bit, there is no damage that I can see. I use it with a UV filter (52mm size) on the front for protection (remove this at night time or you’ll see ghost lights) but don’t use a hood. I don’t find the lens to have too much trouble with flare.

LEFT: Katherine and I spend some time together, China 2010, D700. RIGHT: A statue of some long gone hero watches the sunset. China 2008, D300

China 2011, D700


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