This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G lens, which was announced on January 27, 2013 together with the super telephoto Nikon 800mm f/5.6E VR. The lens replaces the existing 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D, an old autofocus lens released back in August of 2000. With its rather weak optical design optimized for film cameras, the old version was never quite considered to be among Nikon’s top performing lenses. It suffered from decreased corner performance, strong distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration issues, making it a weak candidate for modern DSLR cameras. After 13 long years, Nikon finally completely revamped the design of the lens and reintroduced it to the market as a budget lens for modern full-frame cameras. The AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED went through drastic changes in optical design and now looks nothing like its predecessor both physically and optically.
While Nikon already has a constant aperture optically-stabilized Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR (see our in-depth review) in its current line-up, this particular lens has a shorter zoom range, variable aperture, no stabilization and comes at a much lower price point. So in a way, it can be considered as a budget version of the 16-35mm f/4. In this review, I will be comparing the Nikon 18-35mm to its AF-D predecessor, as well as the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G VR in terms of optics, features and handling.
1) Lens Specifications
- Wide-angle to standard zoom versatility
- 77mm screw-on filter thread
- ED glass and aspherical lens elements are utilized for a new optical design that achieves high resolution
- Ultra fast and ultra quiet focusing with built-in Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
- Two focus modes selectable – M/A and M
- Focal length: 18-35mm
- Maximum aperture: f/3.5-4.5
- Minimum aperture: f/22-29
- Lens construction: 12 elements in 8 groups (with two ED glass and three aspherical lens elements)
- Angle of view: 100° – 63° (76° – 44° with Nikon DX format)
- Closest focusing distance: 0.28 m (0.92 ft.)
- Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.2x
- No. of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
- Filter/attachment size: 77mm
- Diameter x length (extension from the camera’s lens-mount flange): Approximately 83 x 95 mm
- Weight: 385 g/13.6 oz.
- Supplied accessories: LC-77 Snap-On Front Lens Cap 77mm, HB-66 Bayonet Lens Hood, LF-4 Rear Lens Cap, CL-1118 Soft Lens Case