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Review by Markus Stamm, published May 2013
Special thanks to Lars Hofmann for providing the lens!
The Nikkor AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED was announced in January 2013 as an affordable consumer-grade wide angle zoom lens for FX cameras.
As many FX wide angle zooms, the lens is also of interest to DX shooters, where it leaves its original scope and behaves like a standard zoom instead. There are of course many dedicated DX standard zooms nowadays, but at least on paper a FX lens should have some advantages over dedicated crop lenses, for example regarding distortion and vignetting, since the lens is designed for a larger image circle than required for DX sized sensors.
So, let's have a look at how the lens performs on our current DX test camera, the Nikon D7000.
The lens shows the typical build quality of Nikon consumer zooms: a plastic barrel based on a metal mount. For its size the lens feels rather light.
The rubberized zoom and focus rings both operate smoothly and are well damped.
During zooming, an inner lens tube moves slightly, as can be seen in the product shots below. So, the total physical length of the lens remains constant at any zoom setting.
The lens features an internal focusing (IF) design so the front element does not rotate and using a polarizer is no problem.
Thanks to a silent-wave AF drive (AF-S) the lens is fully compatible with all Nikon DSLRs, including the entry-level DX models. The AF-S drive works silently and autofocus action is quite fast.
A petal-shaped hood is supplied with the lens.
The AF-S 18-35 is a G-type lens, so it does not offer an aperture ring anymore.
|Equiv. focal length||27-52.5 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/5.3-f/6.8 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||12 elements in 8 groups inc. 2x ED and 3x aspherical elements|
|Number of aperture blades||7 (rounded)|
|min. focus distance||0.28 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)|
|Dimensions||83 x 95 mm|
|Filter size||77 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Nikon HB-66, petal-shaped, bayonet mount (supplied)|
|Other features||silent-wave AF motor|