Author Topic: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?  (Read 3315 times)

CardBoardBoxProcessor

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I just did some testing of my old lenses. I previously had a Tamron G1 24-70mm F/2.8. The croner sharpness drop off was sort of noticeable but I mainly ditched it as I rarely used anything but 24mm. So I got a Sigma 20, Nikkor-PC 28mm, Nikkor-PC 35mm Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. All quite nice and sharp. and small! easy to keep and bring anywhere while mostly using the Sigma.

However I recently decided to try this cheap 35-70mm f/2.8 D out and it si pretty amazing. It is sharper centrally than the Primes and edges are not much less sharp than the primes. And its drop off is only the far edges.


Are there any other cheaper old zooms that hold up as well?  For example how nice is the 20-35mm F2.8D? Might it compliment this 35-70 quite well? Mostly do landscapes. Opinions?
 

richardHaw

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 04:39:50 »
the Tokina 28-70 was pretty good for it's time. when I was still doing paid stuff that was the lens that I used the most :o :o :o

the 35-70 is also pretty good like hwat you just found out.

gryphon1911

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 14:41:03 »
I tried a 35-70/2.8.     I really loved a lot about it.  However, it had a severe issue at f/5.6 where everything was blurry.  Not sure why that happened, but I don't know enough about lenses to fix it myself so got rid of it.

Otherwise, it does quite well, even wide open given what it is.

I've used quite a few other legacy lenses.

The 35-135/3.5-4.5 is a very good lens with an excellent range.  I've also had the pleasure of using the 70-210/4-5.6.   It worked decently as well.

My 2 favorite wide to medium lenses are the 28-85/3.5-4.5 and the 28-105/3.5-4.5. 
Right now, my Df is loving the 28-105 and the Nikon 80-200/4.5-5.6D.  The 80-200 has a plastic mount, but for the price I paid, the optic is excellent and the weight is very low for the range.
Andrew
Nikon Z6/D500/Df Shooter (Various lenses), Olympus PEN-F (Various lenses), Fuji XPro2/X-E3 (various lenses)

longzoom

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 16:13:16 »
The best middle zoom what I had in the past, was Tokina 28-70 f2.6-2.8 ATX PRO II, copy of the famous Angenieux made zoom. Very rare, so hard to find in good condition, this one was ahead of its time. So this one is what I may recommend, without second thinking. Just pay attention: F2.6-2.8 28-70 ATX PRO II version, not the PRO I or SV versions!  Good luck!  LZ

CS

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 16:45:17 »
I really liked my 20-35 2.8 on film, but I've never tried it on my DX bodies.
Carl

the solitaire

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 00:20:02 »
The best middle zoom what I had in the past, was Tokina 28-70 f2.6-2.8 ATX PRO II, copy of the famous Angenieux made zoom. Very rare, so hard to find in good condition, this one was ahead of its time. So this one is what I may recommend, without second thinking. Just pay attention: F2.6-2.8 28-70 ATX PRO II version, not the PRO I or SV versions!  Good luck!  LZ

The Angenieux is indeed in a class of it's own when it comes to lens character. John Geerts, who frequents this forum as well, uses one.

The Tokina is based off the Angenieux design, but is not an exact clone. It lacks a bit of punch wide open, compared to the manual lens. It's still nice though, and does show up on ebay quite frequently. Was offered with a threaded lens hood at first, bayonet style lens hood later. In Europe they are listed as f2,6-f2,8 but in Japan as f2,8 only. They sell for around $350'ish. As hinted at by longzoom, there is quite a bit of confusion in the Tokina 28-70mm lens range, so be aware to pick the right version if you decide against the original Angenieux or the manual Nikkor

Another really nice lens in this range is the Nikon 35-70 f3,5 Ai (with 62mm filter thread)
Buddy

richardHaw

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 04:00:22 »
the 28-70 was very useful to me  :o :o :o
only focuses down to .7m but i don't mind.

longzoom

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 10:46:11 »
If not the f2.8 lens, the real best among Nikkors is the 28-70 f3.5-4.5 AF-D, from very last series ##, 32....... and up, as its cleared by Roland. Take a look at the previous post down there. The old pro 35-70 AI f3.5 is good one, but MF is not for me today. LZ

John Geerts

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 21:16:54 »
I just did some testing of my old lenses. I previously had a Tamron G1 24-70mm F/2.8. The croner sharpness drop off was sort of noticeable but I mainly ditched it as I rarely used anything but 24mm. So I got a Sigma 20, Nikkor-PC 28mm, Nikkor-PC 35mm Nikkor 50mm f/1.2. All quite nice and sharp. and small! easy to keep and bring anywhere while mostly using the Sigma.

However I recently decided to try this cheap 35-70mm f/2.8 D out and it si pretty amazing. It is sharper centrally than the Primes and edges are not much less sharp than the primes. And its drop off is only the far edges.


Are there any other cheaper old zooms that hold up as well?  For example how nice is the 20-35mm F2.8D? Might it compliment this 35-70 quite well? Mostly do landscapes. Opinions?
I used and tested a lot of zooms within that range as it is a useful and sometimes necessary combination in my line of work.

There is a lot of sample variation with the 35-70/2.8  Earlier versions may develop 'fog' or 'haze' due to incorrectly glued glass elements.  This was fixed in later versions.  The last batch of the 35-70/2.8 AF-D which were made after 1995 are the best. Production stopped in 2005.  If you can find a late mint sample it is a top class lens: Very sharp and neutral, natural colours.  It's relatively small size compared with the later 24-28-70 versions is a great bonus.

The Angenieux is unique in rendering, both with light, colours and bokeh, but not really a cheap zoom.

For landscape and architecture the  Nikkor 35-70/3.5 Ai (72mm) is  very good choice, pretty cheap (around +100 euro) but difficult to find a good sample. Not sure if it is sample variation but I like the latest version with the circular rear protector best.


Another really nice lens in this range is the Nikon 35-70 f3,5 Ai (with 62mm filter thread)
I think that is the Ai-S version. Distant objects are not the strongest points of this lens, but closer objects and the macro capabilities are unique. 

For landscape the Nikkor 25-50 f/4 is the winner. Not a cheap lens (200 euro plus), and difficult to get in Europe, most (good) samples come from the US or Japan. 

The Nikkor 28-50/3.5 is also a good versatile lens, very compact. 

If you want wider the Nikkor 17-35/2.8  AF-S  is hard to beat, but that is not a cheap lens.

Matthew Currie

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2017, 23:02:44 »
I just found a somewhat shabby and fungus-blotched Tokina 28-70 (the original 2.8 not the Angenieux version, of course) in a bargain shelf for $5, so bought it despite the fungus.  Couldn't resist.  At 2.8 it's not much to write home about, and I suspect that the fungus is decreasing contrast,  but at 5.6 it's surprisingly sharp.  The AF is accurate and not too sluggish, and all in all, I suspect a good sample of it would be quite nice to use.

Alas, I think the fungus is going to be the death of it, and I'm not up to disassembling it, but I might leave it on a windowsill for a while. 

richardHaw

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2017, 05:18:14 »
for some reason, i find that the Tokina 28-70 and Nikon 35-70 prone to haze and fungi on the middle elements closest to the iris :o :o :o

you see those problems in the majority of the lenses being sold here in Japan and elsewhere that it is more than just a coincidence. in fact, mine had haze too. this was from many years ago.

benveniste

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 17:19:21 »
Was offered with a threaded lens hood at first, bayonet style lens hood later. In Europe they are listed as f2,6-f2,8 but in Japan as f2,8 only. They sell for around $350'ish. As hinted at by longzoom, there is quite a bit of confusion in the Tokina 28-70mm lens range, so be aware to pick the right version if you decide against the original Angenieux or the manual Nikkor

If I could get $350 for my Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6~2.8 (second version), I'd sell it in a heartbeat.  Even on film, my copy suffered from mushy corners at the shorter focal lengths.  I think that $225-$275 is a more realistic price.  It's one of my least used lenses in F-mount.  Perhaps if I did more even photography, I'd use an f/2.8 mid-range zoom more often.  But I prefer a wider range for unplanned "freestyle" shooting.  When I do pack my 17-35mm and 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms, I'll typically "fill the gap" with a 50mm instead.

the solitaire

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 18:41:37 »
I did some event photography recently, and will be doing some more in the near future, but that still doesn't quite prompt me to fill, as you say, the gap. I do indeed agree that a wide and a tele lens cover the more interesting and important aspects. If I had the funds, I would pick up a cheap, used D800 and a 120-300 to go with another D800 and Sigma 35. Pocket the 16mm Fish eye and an 85mm f1,4 and there wouldn't be much to wish for.
Buddy

longzoom

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2017, 23:11:24 »
If I could get $350 for my Tokina 28-70mm f/2.6~2.8 (second version), I'd sell it in a heartbeat.  Even on film, my copy suffered from mushy corners at the shorter focal lengths.  I think that $225-$275 is a more realistic price.  It's one of my least used lenses in F-mount.  Perhaps if I did more even photography, I'd use an f/2.8 mid-range zoom more often.  But I prefer a wider range for unplanned "freestyle" shooting.  When I do pack my 17-35mm and 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms, I'll typically "fill the gap" with a 50mm instead.
    Yeah, sample variations...  Very sad and cruel reality of our life...   LZ

Paolo Navarrete

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Re: Any other amazing old classics like the 35-70mm f/2.8D?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 06:44:12 »
for some reason, i find that the Tokina 28-70 and Nikon 35-70 prone to haze and fungi on the middle elements closest to the iris :o :o :o

you see those problems in the majority of the lenses being sold here in Japan and elsewhere that it is more than just a coincidence. in fact, mine had haze too. this was from many years ago.

yes! I don't watch sales of the 35-70 as its a bellows type of lens but that and the 28-70 are fungus/haze prone. whenever i see an affordable 28-70 in ebay, i know its gotta have optical issues. the ones that don't are double or triple the price and make you think, 'if i'm gonna pay that much, then i'd should get a better lens instead'

I like the tokina 28-70/28-80 btw because its a rare internal focus and internal zoom lens, i don't think that there is another if-iz lens of that range by other brands. all other 28-70/24-70 extend.