Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Announcement

UPDATE: An in-depth Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G Review has been posted.

Along with a slew of new point and shoot cameras (which we at Photography Life do not particularly care about), Nikon announced an updated version of the Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens – a budget lens designed for both DX and FX cameras. The new Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED replaces the 13 year old 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D lens, which had never been a popular lens to begin with. So it was about time to update the lens with better optics, AF-S and other newer technologies.

Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

So what does the updated 18-35mm bring to the table compared to the previous model? First of all, the focus motor has been replaced with the latest generation AF-S motor, which means that autofocus will work on any modern Nikon DSLR, including entry-level models like D3200 without a built-in motor. Second, the optical formula has been updated – the new 18-35mm has 12 elements in 8 groups, versus 11 elements in 8 groups on the AF-D version. More ED and Aspherical lens elements have also been added for better clarity and contrast. Third, thanks to this updated optical design, the minimal focus distance has also been shortened to 0.28m from 0.33m. Fourth, the new lens is of “G” type, which means that the aperture ring is no longer there. Fifth, the lens exterior has been completely redesigned to make it look just like all modern AF-S lenses and the typical M/A / M switch has also been added. Lastly, the new 18-35mm is slightly larger than the old version and also weighs 15 grams heavier.

Overall, these are all very modest changes aimed at improving the lens performance. Unfortunately, Nikon chose to skip on the much-needed Vibration Reduction (VR) technology for some reason. To be honest, I do not understand the reason for skipping on VR, when the Nikon 16-35mm has it (heck, even the cheap Nikon 18-55mm kit lens is equipped with VR). On the positive note, the new 18-35mm seems to be much better than its predecessor optically, as evidenced from its MTF charts. Here are the MTF charts for the older Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D:

Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D MTF

And these MTF charts are for the new Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED:

Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G MTF

Both center and corner performance seem to be improved, which is never bad news…

Here is the comparison of optical design between the two lenses:

Nikon 18-35mm AF-S vs AF-D Lens Construction

As usual, we will start reviewing this lens as soon as it becomes available. We will compare it to the older version, as well as the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR in our upcoming review.

Preorder Links

The Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is available for a preorder from our partner B&H for $749. Expected availability is March 2013.


  1. 1) Ken
    January 30, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Looks like it’s going to be a great lens. Keep the review coming!

    • January 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Ken, we’ll see, I already have the 18-35mm pre-ordered for testing purposes.

  2. 2) Hoeras
    January 30, 2013 at 2:20 am

    No VR?

    I don’t see the “VR” on the lens.

    • January 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Hoeras, I stated it in the article – there is no VR.

      • 2.1.1) Hoeras
        January 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Sorry. Wish it did.

  3. January 30, 2013 at 2:26 am

    I would like to see how it compares with the old 17-35 f2.8 lens too !
    Has current design and technology improved it to the point where it out performs the older “Pro” lens ?

    • January 30, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Michael, the 16-35mm f/4 VR outperforms the 17-35mm f/2.8 already. But I do not expect this one to, not on a D800.

      • 3.1.1) Michael
        January 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        Lo0oks like I may have to try the 16-35mm f/4 VR out then so thanks for that Nasim

  4. 4) Sebastiano
    January 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I own the old 18-35, and what I feel needed an upgrade are improvements against flare and CA.
    Regarding AF-S I think it’s not so necessary in lenses like wideangles, I use with slow subjects like panoramas.

    VR could be a plus, instead, allowing the use in low light.

    • January 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Sebastiano, with all that ED glass and coatings, I am sure the new one is better at flare and CA. No Nanocoating though, so it won’t be like the 16-35mm…

      I think AF-S is a must on any modern lens. It doesn’t cost Nikon much to add it, so why not? :) It’s not just about the speed – AF-S is also less noisy and more accurate. But yes, I would take VR instead of AF-S on this particular lens…

      • 4.1.1) Sebastiano
        January 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

        :) Also I forgot DSLRs that cannot focus with AF-D, but need AF-S (i.e. D60)

  5. 5) Adnan Khan
    January 30, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Well , certainly going to be better than the old one, with no VR looks kind a odd in this new “age n range” :)
    LOL I was just checking Nikon’s site and Nikon has 3 18-35 lenses (the 16-35 F4 VR is actually good in 18-35 range) and then there is 17-35 2.8 which I dropped for the 16-35 F4 VR for just having VR :)
    Nikon loves this range :) they still have the older model included in Wide zoom section :)

    • January 30, 2013 at 11:58 am

      Agreed, skipping on VR is not a good idea. I hope Nikon releases a 16-35mm f/2.8 with perfect corner performance and no vignetting sometime in the future :) The 16-35mm f/4 is superb, but an f/2.8 pro version with Nano coated glass and VR would make it even better. At the same time, I would most likely not buy it anyway, since the price would probably be over $2K!

      • 5.1.1) Spy Black
        February 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm

        VR is going to sacrifice a lens’s optical formula. Granted, the concept can be engineered into the design, but a floating element is always going to be a loose canon (no pun intended). This would be more so with a wide-angle optics than longer lenses.

  6. 6) jason
    January 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

    I do not understand this lens at all in light of the 16-35 f/4 VR for FX and the 16-85/18-55/18-200/etc. lenses available for DX. I just don’t get it (and wouldn’t get it either).

    • January 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      Jason, cost is the major reason – the 18-35mm is cheaper than the 16-35mm for full-frame cameras.

  7. 7) Beyti
    January 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I was about to buy 24-85mm from a friend to use on my D600 (I bought body only) to use for city-urban photography. 50mm is not enough for that job. And I saw this announcement. I compared MTF charts and as far as I could see this lens doesn`t have any big advantage against 24-85mm. And for urban photography 18mm on FX too wide in my opinion. I`ll going on with 24-85mm. What do you think?

    • 7.1) Beyti
      January 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Sorry about my grammer, I was writing on my cellphone :)

      • 7.1.1) Adnan Khan
        January 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

        24-85 is Ideal focal range for nearly everything in general shooting and with D600’s high ISO capability with 24-85’s VR it sounds like you will have a great pair :)


        • Beyti
          January 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

          Thanks…I have 50mm f1.8 but when I use it in NYC, I realized it`s very limited.

          • Spy Black
            February 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm

            The 24-85 is a total piece of crap. Stay away from it. This is especially so if you’re going to shoot in urban environments. The insane amounts of pincushion distortion in the lens will drive you nuts. Sharpness is not all that great either, although stopped down it may be OK. If you’re going to shoot people or landscapes it may not be as bad, but overall the 24-85 is just a bad choice. Even the 24-70mm Sigma is not as bad(!). Look around for other options, whether from Nikon or third-party.

    • January 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Beyti, this lens will probably perform similarly to the 24-85mm between 24-35mm, probably edging it out a little here and there. If you do not need to go wider than 24mm, then the 24-85mm is a good choice…

  8. 8) Wally Kilburg
    January 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I wish Nikon had some semblance of a direction or roadmap when it coms to lenses and even camera bodies. I don’t understand the use time and resources for a lens like this. Variable aperture? What about a 16-35 2.8? Or an updated 24-70mm….or better yet maybe put some money into QA?
    I’m about to spend a very significant amount in lenses, enough for me to consider dumping Nikon and looking at used Phase One DF bodies and equipment. Supplement a Fuji body and a few lenses for when I’m more mobile. I’m just tired of Nikon’s scatter approach to providing products with no apparent plan.
    Sorry to rant. This probably isn’t the place but I just don’t get their business plan.

    • 8.1) Rob
      January 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      It’s simple, Nikon knows there are more users on a limited budget than those who can spend $1000+ on a lens. This lens will have a big appeal to new D600 users who want a light weight kit. Consider this kit…

      18-35mm, 24-85mm VR, 70-300mm VR.

      • 8.1.1) Wally Kilburg
        January 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        Why would one want to marry their D600 to a bunch of mediocre lenses? The DX side has plenty to satisfy this niche. And even if thats so, Nikon then figures to abandon those that do need newer and better glass? I think they sold a few D800/E’s too.

        • Rob
          January 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm

          Mediocre only in the eyes of some. My guess is that if you are shooting landscapes at F8-16 the difference between the 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G and the 16-35mm F4 will be minimal at best. Not everyone pixel peeps at 100%.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          January 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

          Wally, I will have to agree with Rob on this one. The D600 is a budget FX camera, so it is very likely that D600 owners will be picking budget lenses to go with it. The D600 + 24-85mm kit, for example, has been quite popular, especially after Nikon set the price to lower than $2K.

          • Wally Kilburg
            January 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm

            I think thats what DX is for. It makes more sense and that has been the playground for this class of gear in the past.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              January 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

              Wally, yes, but the price of full-frame cameras has been steadily dropping, so more and more people are looking at FX for better image quality. Naturally, the need for budget FX lenses increases as well…

            • Wally Kilburg
              January 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

              Nasim, I don’t think mediocre glass on a FX sensor is going to provide you all that much beyond a D5200 and similar DX lens. Anyway, its a moot point.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              January 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm

              Certainly true for the D800, but can be a good alternative for the D600, especially when stopped down to f/8…

              Personally, I would not buy the 18-35mm for my needs, knowing what to expect from it. I do not own a single mediocre lens, because I want the best out of my equipment. But not everyone can afford high-end glass and sometimes people need general purpose lenses for occasional situations. For example, for a portrait photographer that heavily relies on an expensive portrait lens, it is nice to have something light and inexpensive in the arsenal that can occasionally capture wider perspectives. The 24-85mm and 18-35mm are such lenses and thus have their uses :)

            • Spy Black
              February 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm

              “I think thats what DX is for.”

              It’s a matter of perspective. The D600 may be a “budget” camera, but there’s little budget about it’s performance. The same cannot be said of the 24-85 lens Nikon has so shockingly decided to schlep with this camera.

              This may sound crazy, but take some shots with the above combo, and then take identical shots with a D3200/D5100/D5200/D7000 with the little plastic 18-55 kit lens. Which one looks optically better to you?

        • Hoeras
          January 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm

          Mediocre is a bit strong.

          I have the 24-85 VR and I did some portraits where I didn’t need a lot of corner sharpness, and this was on a D800E. When I showed them the results at F8 and F11, they were gobsmacked. One even said there is a “D800 look” – and that was still coming through.

          Yes, I have some of the sharpest lenses around, including the 16-35 F4 VR and 70-200 F2.8 VR2. I did some tests (again portraiture) with 50mm 1.8G @ F5.6 – that is the sharpest I have even seen versus ANYTHING.

          But sometimes we do tend to go a bit overboard, including me. But then I get some results that I can still be amazed at with a Nikon lens that doesn’t have that Gold Ring. Then a little reality check steps in.

          I say to myself, “It is the Photos, Stupid.” A great shot is a great shot, a great photo is a great photo if it does something for you.

      • 8.1.2) Adnan Khan
        January 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        Yes ,it’s a nice mediocre range and since I’ve noticed from early 90’s Nikon and Canon both have this kind of range in primes and zooms and now Nikon is catching up redoing old lenses I’m very eager to see a new 80-400 or a 70-300 F4 :)
        In film it didn’t matter as 95% of prints were 4×6 but in digital we see the whole image on large monitors and that’s where the “myth” of sharpness begins :) and that’s where “holy trinity” comes :)

        In 20 yrs I’ve had 6 or 7 24×36 prints from film and none from digital in that size :)

        In short if one is not printing 3 ft and larger prints or not making their living from PGy ,then mediocre class is the one to get for normal PG. :)

    • January 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Wally, a roadmap would be great, I agree! However, considering how many lenses need to be replaced/updated, Nikon might get in trouble for publishing a roadmap. Some people might switch to other brands if the lens they want is not on the roadmap :) So that’s probably why they are not publishing it.

      I would love to see a 16-35mm f/2.8 or an updated version of the 24-70mm f/2.8 (preferably with VR). But if you look at the grand scale of things, not many people would be interested in such high-end glass. The 16-35mm f/4 VR is one of the most popular lenses today and it certainly impacted the sale of 14-24mm and 24-70mm lenses. B&H and Adorama have been out of stock for a while now and it gets sold out as soon as they receive new batches. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 outsell the f/1.4 variants by a huge margin. So Nikon is naturally trying to bring some budget lenses to the market. That’s not to say that we won’t see more high-end lenses – I expect to see at least 2 high-end lenses this year and the 16-35mm f/2.8 is one of them. With popular high-resolution cameras like D800, Nikon needs to add more pro-level lenses to the line quickly. The 24mm tilt/shift also needs replacement – I have been waiting for that one too.

      • 8.2.1) Wally Kilburg
        January 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        Nasim, there is much truth perhaps in why they don’t do a roadmap. I did the analysis to switch to Canon and finished last night. Its really not better “over there”. In fact based on what I need even worse. Canon doesn’t have a roadmap either and suffers from the same blending of their DX/crop and FX/full frame systems.
        I owned the 14-24 and the 24-70 and sold both. Long before the 16-35 f4 came around. I shot with the 16-35 and found it wanting. I’m buying another 14-24 now but will stick with my old tired 28-70 2.8 D. I need the extra stop of a 2.8 for focusing wide open in the studio and outdoors in poor light. So F4 lenses have little attraction.
        Its not just lenses with me either. I’m using a D800 now and my D700, which I prefer for build, WB and exposure. I don’t need the pixels of the D800 and would love to see a D700 build with no video using the D600 sensor. But Nikon didn’t do that, and that didn’t make sense either. I’d buy a D4 but so far, I can’t see dropping $6k and crossing my fingers hoping it works. A friends new D4 is in the shop…..sorry, I got way off topic. I’m not a super pro either, just a guy with a job that makes a decent living who has shot since he was 14 and works hard to be the best part time photographer he can. I just would like to see equipment once more that matches my passion. Or, the promise of such equipment. Rant over guys. Thanks.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          January 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

          Wally, the grass always looks greener on the other side :) I am glad you did your thorough analysis and understood that Canon is in no way better. Both Nikon and Canon have very similar products, with advantages and disadvantages on both sides. There is no clear winner in my opinion. As for the D700 vs D800, I personally like the D800 better in terms of exposure and WB. Don’t know if it is my taste, type of photography or some other factor, but I often have to adjust the exposure on the D700, while the D800 seems to be dead on most of the time. I don’t particularly care for WB, since I shoot in RAW and correct it in post, if needed. But I can understand your frustration, a D700 update with the D600 sensor would have probably been popular for those that own the D700. I just think that Nikon does not want to have two competing products at different price points anymore, similar to what they had with the D3 and the D700. So in a way, it makes sense to differentiate cameras by resolution, speed and high ISO capabilities.

          • Wally Kilburg
            January 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

            Nasim, thanks for the comments and views. I might not agree but its good to have this sort of discussion. As far as Nikon looking at price points and competing products for bodies, I don’t think they even did the analysis. They could have done a D800 without 36MP and I think provided a better mix of resolution, high ISO and DR. I would prefer they look at what they can provide as a tool, not who can deliver the most pixels or AF points. a properly developed camera would sell better. They could have done something for the same price as the D600 or close to it and just skipped the D600. This is what i mean, they just release stuff without thought, rhyme or reason. Mostly it looks like they do it cause they can. I find this troubling, for pros, for amateurs, and for pro-am’s.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              January 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

              Wally, true, there is some of that unexpected randomness that sometimes comes from Nikon. However, if you look at the sales figures, the D800 was a huge success for Nikon. It easily outsells the 5D Mark III, at least according to B&H. If it wasn’t for the stupid AF issues on the D800 and Nikon’s reluctance to admit its fault and fix it, the D800 would have been even more popular. If you ask me, I would actually prefer a higher resolution camera like the D800 instead of a D600 with advanced features. Why? Because overtime I understood that pixel size does not matter as much as we have been told all these years, it is the size of the sensor that does. But that’s a whole different discussion – I am thinking about writing an article on that within the next few weeks. Dynamic range is also not necessarily related to pixel size, it is again related to the physical size of the sensor and efficiency in AD conversion. The only part that makes us suffer with high resolution cameras like D800 is speed and file sizes…

              There are different ways to look at a situation. I believe the D800 is the best thing that happened to Nikon since the D3 was released :)

            • Wally Kilburg
              January 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

              I didn’t mean to imply that 36 MP offered better DR or affected anything else other than pixel density. I’m in the embedded software business, developing and selling the type of software that would do the AD conversion, processing and other functions with the data garnered from the sensor and filters. The processors available today (and under development) with their core structures is astounding. I simply meant that we didn’t need 36 MP, that a similar sensor of lesser pixels of the same size and using the same processing engine might be a better deal and sell better than even the D800. Many of those D800’s sold by B&H and others are also on the buy and sell lists all over and have watered down the price somewhat. Sure the Af issue that I think was overblown has affected resale but I think too that people realized that the camera they got wasn’t necessarily what they thought they were getting. I myself would prefer something in the 22 to 24 MP range on a FF sensor with the more advanced processors and software. I think that offers the best pixel density and could offer the best ISO performance coupled with DR (for a FF sensor size) if done correctly. Nikon obviously knows how to since the 36 MP is a good performer due to its processor and software selection.
              I’ve been looking at medium format systems with near the same pixels as my D800 but on a sensor that is much larger. DR is off the charts but ISO suffers if you need higher than ISO 800. With a leaf shutter and higher sync speed my flash units power can go 2x or 3x higher mitigating the need for real high ISO. Some times. We are getting off topic for sure and I welcome seeing your article on sensor sizes but there are some issues yet to be worked out for ISO, DR and very large sensors…and with that I will close cause this could get real long! Thanks again.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              January 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm

              Wally, ah, in that case we are in agreement :) I do agree that most people don’t need 36 MP, but for specific use, whether it is landscape, fashion or architectural photography, the more megapixels, the better!

              I believe most people are frustrated because of the D800 focus issue, not because of 36 MP resolution. Yes, processing images has gotten slower, but the PCs have gotten faster too. And with high resolution retina displays coming up in more devices, it will soon be clear that more resolution will be needed for high-end work. In that sense, the D800 is a little ahead of its time…

              I would love to try out MF digital, but dang, those machines are expensive. And as you noted, their ISO performance is terrible, so their use is limited to certain situations. In a studio environment, coupled with a leaf shutter, they make all the sense in the world.

              It is good to have a discussion with someone who knows what they are talking about. Would you consider doing a guest post on AD conversion perhaps? I am sure others would find it very useful!

  9. 9) Wally Kilburg
    January 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Medium format reminds me of way back days….pushing Tri-X to 800 or, gasp, even 1600 to get a shot. We all made some great photos back then without the need of high ISO (ASA) speeds.
    AD conversion in a camera is interesting…not as complex I think as it is in music systems for one and telecom communication for another similar case but the proximity of components, often layered in to compact spaces poses unique problems in a camera.
    I’m flattered at your request but truly have to think about it to see if I have anything to offer.

  10. 10) mark
    January 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Hope the MTF article will be coming out soon ;)

  11. 11) Hoeras
    January 31, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Isn’t it true that MF manufacturers and their expensive MF offerings were caught with their pants down when the D800 and especially the D800E came out. They have been lazy and they thought they had their market well and truly cornered.

    So pro photographers had to show up to their shoots with expensive cameras, because there clients expected this – or they were open to “anybody can afford THAT equipment” and so they had to separate themselves from the “amateur” shooters, hence MF was “expected”.

    This suited MF manufacturers – and they got lazy. Their large sensors are now effectively old technology and there was little reason to push the boundaries – they fell into a comfortable sleep. The D800/E kills them when it comes to dynamic range, especially when ot comes to shadow detail and high ISO.

    The D800/E has caused significant price drop in MF prices. The shake-up in MF ranks can only be for the good in the long run.

  12. 12) Tony Luu
    January 31, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Thanks Wally and Nasim for all off-topic díscussions but very interresting about cameras. Sorry for another off-topic question, I am about to update my camera before spring vâcation from very old D50 which was with me from 2006 til now , and torn between two beautiful lovers of D800 vs D600. I am only the above beginer, very amatuer which like to take photo mostly landscape and street life when on travel trip and family picnic on the weekend, but keen on the nice , quality picture. Actually from my skill and needs (the price difference are not a big problem here in my case), I feel the D600 suit me better, for the more amateur-friendly and size for travel and actually feel more than 24MP are too much, but other thought ask me that Buying D800 will save me at least 5-6 years more in no more need update camera. And for storage and processing, agree wwith you, Nasim, I do not think a problem now. Any advice on which camera o put me go ahead, Nasim?

    • January 31, 2013 at 8:18 am

      May I offer these thoughts ?
      If you buy a hammer to knock in nails and it does exactly what you bought it for, its not damaged or worn out, then it does not need replacing or upgrading.
      Cameras are the same.
      If your D50 is satisfying your needs now then unless your needs change it will continue to do so till it dies.
      In 5-6 years people will be selling D800s on ebay for the price of a meal out :-)

      I shoot raw,always, and if you are considering a D800 you should too and be prepared to replace or seriously upgrade your computer to handle the larger files.
      If you are content to open one at a time and wait while it opens you may be OK but if you need to open batches and adjust them before converting to tiff etc a quad core or higher system using 16+gb ram,SSD boot and scratch disc etc will be required.
      Just my take on the upgrade question :-)

      • 12.1.1) Tony Luu
        January 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        Thanks for your comment and really useful advice.
        I can not say Nikon d50 satisfy my need even in some years back and should have changed camera 2 year ago with d7000 but for some reason do not have much time those days and now when I can let myself for hobby and find such great FX cameras right out, even better than d7000 or even its rumoured replacement ( i.e D7200?).
        I sold all DX stuff and consider with all your advice and other’s below, I am well set to go for D600.

        • Spy Black
          February 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

          Unless you have a need for an FX format body, you may just want to stick with a new DX body. I would say look into the D5200.

          You said you sold all your DX stuff, so you can start fresh, but unless you have a specific need for an FX body you’re better off sticking with DX. The image quality of the lenses and cameras are just as good, really, and DX is a hell of a lot cheaper. FX lenses, good ones anyway, will cost A LOT.

    • 12.2) Adnan Khan
      January 31, 2013 at 9:09 am

      Get the D600 ,it fits your needs.
      If you are not so serious hobbyist or a full frame camera is not what you need, then in same price a D7000 with a nice lens can be bought :) ,without any other upgrade ,and you are good for next 4-5 yrs :)

      These are electronics ,as we upgrade our TV ,toaster,washing machines ,microwave ..etc. so, according to our needs and budget we should upgrade digital cameras too.
      I didn’t buy F6 (still available new) as I have a F100 whose sensor (film) is same as it will be of F6.

      And yes ,digital system is expensive ,it comes with the whole PC upgrade and everything that needs an upgrade with the convenience of showing you pictures on spot :) ,it’s better for commercial use though.


  13. 13) JR
    January 31, 2013 at 8:24 am

    This new 18-35mm lens is priced outrageously high; like most other Nikon lenses. This lens should cost no more than $475 USD and the 16-35mm f4, which I own, should cost at most $850 USD.

    • 13.1) Adnan Khan
      January 31, 2013 at 10:56 am

      LOL :) ,I think looking at the new 800mm’s price tag it’s free with Nikon’s compliments :)
      The older model was around $600 ans is made in Japan ,this one maybe from Thailand and after a 13yr upgrade the price is fair IMHO :) ,with VR it might have the 16-35 VR’s price tag and weight :)
      Good for daylight city and landscapes and will need a cheaper or lighter tripod for night.
      This one is going to be a good mediocre lens for D600 ,apart for not having VR ,the D600’s high ISO capability will equalize that.
      I already paid $1200 for 16-35 VR so please do not mention this wishful price tag :)

      • 13.1.1) JR
        January 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

        Well, sure, if using the 800mm as a point of reference then most every other lens is a bargain. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? We’ve grown to accept that Nikon, and Canon, will overcharge us and we’ll accept it, as if they’re doing us a favor(see the 5D markIII).

        It hurt when I parted with $1250 USD for the 16-35mm f4. I know darn well that Nikon is making a killing on that lens. There’s no way that a lens made in a Thai factory, with so many plastic parts, should cost that much. But, having committed to Nikon I had few choices in wide angle zooms.

        • Hoeras
          January 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

          I am not so sure.

          All in all, I don’t think they are that expensive – not that they are cheap either – but it does just come down to the “price of plastics” – is not a good guide.

          Take a look at some MF lenses and your eyes will water when you see the price. I think that some of Nikon’s lenses are better than others, and some are positively bargains.

        • Adnan Khan
          February 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

          JR , both lenses were announced on same day and you are complaining about the mediocre lens’s price , while having a better 16-35 already ,I don’t think so you will ever buy it :) so , better to forget about price and shoot some :)
          I already made up my mind for the 800 at around 9K so it is hurting me more :(
          As I said before imagine spending $600 USD 13 yrs. back with the then new (old) lens ,so with superior optics the price is not that much high apart from the build quality.
          I’m pretty sure that this “budget” lens is for D600 shooters.

          That’s why actual masters have always used 2 or 3 lenses at most and they all say less is more as it compels one to take good photos rather than worrying about lenses.
          Photography can be a very expensive hobby if one keeps spending on more unneeded equipment , especially lenses. Therefore pros built their system very wisely, as it’s a investment for their business.

          I have no commitment with Nikon ,in film I shoot with Canon too :) ,though I have more Nikon lenses now compared to Canon but one can switch overnight if ones photographic needs are special.

          I hope Nikon is reading this blog and see how people are pissed off about the prices :)
          Cheers! :)
          Hoeras ,
          I agree, but we can wish for lesser prices ,right ? LOL … compared to the well built made in japan older model this lens will be optically better but all these G lenses or AF-s lenses are fragile compared to older AF-D or AI-s tougher built ones ,one or two hard bumps can kill the VR or the SWM :)


  14. 14) Rohan Machado
    February 3, 2013 at 3:58 am

    IMHO, the distortion control will make or break the deal on this lens. If it gets straight lines straigt… that would be excellent !

  15. 15) TonyB
    March 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I’ve had the opportunity to handle the D600 coupled with the new 18-35mm lens at the Focus on Imaging exhibition in Birmingham, UK, which closed yesterday.

    As an owner of the D700 + 16-35mm lens, the instant impression was of the light weight of the new combination. I couldn’t see the rationale behind the new lens until I handled it. The new 24-85 is also very light compared with my 24-120 lens, and it also couples well with the D600.

    A constant complaint I hear, and one I also voice for myself, is the combined weight of an FX camera and higher quality lenses, when out hiking to a photogenic location. None of us are getting younger!

    I believe there is a trend within Nikon towards lighter equipment/lenses to meet their perceived customer needs.

    I have to confess, the weight is a definite issue for me; a D600 + modern lighter lenses might just keep me photographing longer, whilst putting added profit into Nikon’s bank account as the years pass.

    What do others think?


    • 15.1) Michael W
      March 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

      I dont see weight as an issue,I started out as a photographer using 5×4.Camera lenses dark slides and a tripod all carried by hand :-)
      It clearly depends on usage,mine is in the studio or factories, and as there are far more enthusiast buying kit than Pro,s then Nikon needs to supply the volume sales that enthusiasts provide.For me its about image quality irrespective of weight so whatever works best is what I load into my Peli case on wheels to drag around as the D800 really does show up lens flaws.

      • 15.1.1) TonyB
        March 7, 2013 at 10:54 am

        Michael W, I agree with you for your type of photography. The Peli takes the weight.

        My comments related to the out-and-about/landscape photographer. Try dragging your Peli up a mountain!

        And yes, I’ve used 5×4 kit in the wilds (whatever they are in the UK), but as age takes its toll, lighter kit becomes increasingly attractive.


        • Michael W
          March 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

          I agree with you Tony,
          Even the Hasselblad kit was getting heavy so the Nikon stuff is lightweight by comparison and like you age has reduced ones capacity to tolerate discomfort for unneccesarily long periods :-)

  16. 16) alessandro
    March 26, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Hi Nasim, I don’t want to put pressure on you -:), but any idea about when the review will be available? I’m especially interested in the comparison with the 16-35, to understand if the bulk of the difference in real world use is 16vs18, VR and construction quality, of if there is more in favour of te more expensive lens. I take this opportunity to let you know that I found this site truly interesting. It’s helping me quite a lot on both technical and composition aspects. Congratulations to the whole team.

    • 16.1) Adnan Khan
      March 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

      alessandro ,
      This 18-35 G lens is equally good vs the 16-35 VR ,with half stop faster on wider end and half stop slower on tele end ,not much of a big deal when shooting with latest FX cameras.
      2 steps back and and it’s at 16mm and the 16-35 is actually good in 18-35 range ,only advantage is VR otherwise this lens is better in much less weight n money and has less distortion compared to 16mm of 16-35 VR ,which can easily be corrected :) . For night shots I use 16-35 on tripod so not much help there from VR.
      if you want it ,just get it ,I’m sure you will like it.
      Great for landscape,street and architecture :)
      For low light shots at 1/15 shoot bursts of 4 to 5 shots and one or two will be good :) ,below that it’s better to use tripod.


  17. 17) Ola B
    April 1, 2013 at 7:10 am


    This was great fun. Reading all the inputs regarding these new lenses puts me way back to the seventies, when the “war” between the Nikon and the Canon supporters was at the highest level. The arguments are still somewhat beyond reality. Most participants quite loudly claims to know the truth about which are the best lenses. And hardly any has even tried to work professionally as a photographer. In my opinion most of you guys will never need anything “better”, or should we say “fancy” or expensive than the nice lens reviewed so well by Mr.Mansurov. I am a professional photographer in Norway, using the D3x and D3s, and for daily work, most of Nikon’s “mediocre” lenses works just fine. (I still have some “real” glass among them, but see advantages using the cheaper things)

    My customers never complain, and the lenses never let me down… As always, the quality of a picture isn’t judged by MTF charts or price tags on the equipment. It all comes down to the picture’s content and technical quality. With a nice and well done file opened on the customer’s screen, he will hardly ever bother whether your equipment is cheap, mediocre or expensive, as far as it suites his picture needs.

    And to be honest; I’ve earned more money from one single shot made by my old D100, than from any single one from the thousands of exposures made by my professional cameras…

    I believe a lot of people look at amateur and semi-pro photographers as dollies, hanging their much too expensive “jewellery” on their shoulders. Prove that you can make excellent pictures with your mobile phone, before you spend thousands of dollars on cameras and lenses…

  18. 18) Sachindra
    April 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

    My 2 cents input is that 70% of a picture is dependent on a quality of a lense regardless of a body you use.Therefore a 2.8 or 1.4 lens does matter due to its interior construction quality/design. The other 30% depents of the photographer.

  19. 19) Ad
    April 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I finally bought this lens to use on my D600. I knew distortion would be on the high side, especially at the wide end. But that’s what Nikon’s in camera distortion control is for, or so I thought. Apparently this lens is not in the latest firmware yet. So now I have a 2300 euro set and I can’t even turn on auto distortion control. I think it’s ridiculous Nikon doesn’t release new firmware together with a new lens (or even a group of new lenses like the 18-35, 80-400 and 800).
    You might ask why I don’t correct distortion in post processing. Well, I don’t post process. I use my pictures (often jpg although I also shoot raw) the way they come out of the camera. I don’t like to play around with pictures after they are taken. I just set/adjust the camera and take the shot and that’s it.

  20. 20) John
    June 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I am waiting on the full review of this lens before I pull the trigger. I am planning on coupling it with my D600 for a “lighter” wide-angle travel option. The 16-35 is about 60% more expensive here in South Africa (you guys think you are getting ripped in USD for lenses, think again. We already pay a 20-30% premium on the dollar price since we have a third world currency). Also the 16-35 is double the weight and probably not that much better (in decent light) at F8-F16 where I’d be using it. No doubt the16-35 is a better lens but the 18-35 trumps it for value-for-money & weight IMHO :) Still waiting Nasim!!! Thanks for the amazing site. Check it EVERYDAY.

    • June 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      John, a preview of this lens will be posted later today, hopefully within the next few hours.

  21. 21) Greg Lamb
    September 11, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Nasim, I enjoy your posts. Eighteen months later I have given lots of thought to the release of an updated 18-35 3.5-4.5 wide angle lens. Personally I have used the 18-35 AF-D for several years and I understand the distortion that this lens has at the wide end. All lenses have limitations and work-arounds that a photographer contends with as he works. As you said, the modifications are “modest” in fact I would say most of them were cosmetic. I use Promaster Digital filters to almost eliminate CAs. For older digital bodies like D90 and D7000 the aperture ring is absolutely necessary to change exposure during live view. G lenses disappoint in live view. The wild distortion of the D version is only slightly tamed in the G version. Coatings and a few extra elements make differences on charts but does it matter in real life? When I take a photo at 18mm, Man! that is wide on a D600, I do my best not to compose my shots parallel to straight horizontal lines near the top or bottom edge of the composition. If per chance I do, I crop in a bit and problem is solved. The distortion is only visible along the edges. A DX camera will crop out most of the distortion by default! I love this lens, yes the AF is noisy in live view because it doesn’t have a built in motor but in terms of pure photography there is no reason to upgrade if you are a current 18-35 owner. I just want to make it clear that what distortion there is does not effect your image unless you really need to take pictures of architecture or the sides of barns. The D version is incredibly useful and remains a workhorse in my photography.

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