I’ve been thinking a while about buying a faster auto focus lens for my D300. I’ve been shooting with fast manual focus lenses (mainly primes) and although the results are very good, a fast auto focus lens would be very convenient. When I say “fast” I mean: f2.8 or faster.
The fast Nikon auto focus lenses like the 24-70mm f2.8 or the 17-55m f2.8 are pretty expensive (both over 1000 Euros new price) and, but this is a minor issue, they do not have a manual aperture ring. For me that would be nice to have as it would enable me to use the lens together with my video camera and 35mm adapter. These two things held me back from purchasing one.
By accident I stumbled upon the Nikon AF 35-70mm f2.8 D and started looking for it on eBay. Last week I won an auction for one and received it in the post today. I shot with it all afternoon and I am very pleased with it. It offers the convenience of fast auto focus and better control over depth of field. The current AF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 is just a bit too slow for my taste.
Below I selected a few images I shot today with this lens.
Macro, ISO 200 35mm f2.8 1/50sec
ISO 200 35mm f3.2 1/80sec
ISO 200 70mm f2.8 1/1000sec
ISO 800 62mm f4.0 1/160sec
I can really recommend this lens. One warning though, this lens does not have an internal focus motor so auto focus does not work with the Nikon D40(x), D60, D3000, D3100, D5000, D5100 or other camera’s without a focus motor. You can of course still use it in manual focus mode.