Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D set to 35mm (52mm filters, 14.6 oz./413g, 2.8'/0.85m close focus, about $75 used.) enlarge. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to this lens at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.
Not for: I wouldn't bother with this on a DX camera. I'd use any DX lens, like the 18-55mm kit lens, instead. This lens won't autofocus with the cheapest D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000, D5100 or similar cameras.
Katie's First Day of Art School, 02 July 2012. (Nikon D800E, Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D at 62mm, f/11 at 1/250, SB-400 flash, AUTO ISO 100, AUTO A3 M1 White Balance, STANDARD Picture Control with +1 Saturation and 6 Sharpening.) bigger.
Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, 26 June 2011, 9:36 AM. bigger. Shot with Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5D set to 35mm at f/4 at 2 seconds on Fuji Velvia 50 with a Nikon engraved-red-letter A2 filter on a Nikon N8008s hand-held (rested on a pew). Not bad for a 2-second exposure! Watch the limited depth-of-field.
This could be the only lens you every need, and for $75 used you can't go wrong, although you have a huge choice of new and used FX lenses for Nikon SLRs at every price.
Advantages of this 35-105mm are fast speed, almost a stop faster than most zooms at 105mm, handy zoom range, and better build quality and ergonomics than most newer zooms. It zooms longer (105mm) than almost anything else its size, and is smaller than anything else comparable.
It's plenty sharp as shot on my Nikon D800. It's a tough little lens that covers exactly the range I need for family and travel photos. The only other lens I might need to cover everything is a 20mm f/2.8 AF-D. If 105mm isn't long enough, nothing else will be, either.
Focus is entirely internal; the lens and filter ring don't move at all as focused.
The only disadvantage is limited close-focus range. At the 35mm end, the 2.8'/0.85m close focus distance is difficult for self-portaits. At 105mm, this is a very good close-focus range, the same 2.8'/0.85m.
This is an FX lens, and works especially well with on FX, 35mm and DX Nikons like the D4, D800, D800E, D7000, D700, D3X, D300s and F6. It works fantastically on manual-focus cameras like the F2AS, F3, FE and FA, since it has real manual-focus and aperture rings that work exactly as they should.
The 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D works great with almost every film and digital Nikon camera made since 1977. If you have a coupling prong added to the diaphragm ring, it's perfect with every Nikon back to the original Nikon F of 1959.
The only incompatibility is that it will not autofocus with the cheapest D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000 or D5100, but if you focus manually, everything else works great. These cameras have in-finder focus confirmation dots to help you.
See Nikon Lens Compatibility for details on your camera. Read down the "AF, AF-D (screw)" column for this lens.
Unlike many Nikon lenses of this era, this optical design was only offered in this lens seen here. There have been many 35-105mm Nikon lenses, but this AF-D version is the only one with these internally-focused optics.
You can see the other versions chronically at Roland Vink's site.
Nikon made about 60,000 of these 35-105mm AF-D lenses.
* Gray market.
** At full NYC discount. Very few people bought their lenses this inexpensively before 2005.
Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D set to 105mm. enlarge.
Nikon calls this the Nikon AF NIKKOR 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5D.
AF: Auto Focus.
NIKKOR: Nikon's brand name for their lenses.
D: The lens tells the camera the distance to the subject, which helps the exposure meter, especially with on-camera flash.
13 elements in 10 groups.
Internal focusing: only the focus ring moves as it focuses, not anything else externally.
It's multicoated, which Nikon calls Nikon Integrated Coating.
7 straight blades.
Full-stop clicks and two indices, one for 35mm (green) and one for 105mm (yellow).
Focal Length top
2.8 feet (0.85 meters).
1:9.4 at 105mm.
This is great for astronomy; just turn to the stop and you have fixed laboratory-perfect focus all night.
White index near focus scale, only for 35mm.
Does not rotate, but moves in and out with the lens as zoomed.
Nikon specifies 2.85" (72.5mm) extension from flange at 35mm by 2.7" (68.5mm) diameter.
14.585 oz. (413.45g),measured.
HB-5 plastic bayonet.
Made in Japan.
TC-200/201 and TC-14A, but they disable autofocus, so who cares?
The Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D works great. It's small, fast and light, with performance typical for its era.
AF is moderate; one full turn (two half-turns) of the AF screw pulls focus from infinity down to 8 feet.
AF was always dead-on.
Manual focus is a bit fast at the tele end.
The entire focus range is covered in just one-eighth of a turn.
Bokeh, the character of out of focus areas, not simply how far out of focus they are, is usually quite nice.
It usually looks great, and only looks poor at 105mm and the very closest focus distance.
Color rendition seems to match my other modern Nikkors.
Coma is minor.
Coma, also called saggital coma flare, is weird smeared blobs that appear around bright points of light in the corners. They happen with fast and wide lenses at large apertures. Coma goes away as stopped down, and tends not to be seen in slower and tele lenses. Coma is an artifact of spherical aberration.
The Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D has potentially strong, but easy to correct, distortion.
Shoot it at around 45mm and there is no distortion.
It can be corrected at other settings by plugging these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.
© 2011 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D set to 50mm. enlarge.
Ergonomics are great.
Just grab the big, fat middle waffle-pattern section to mount and unmount, and to zoom.
Zooming is easy: just push and pull. It's so easy that one fingertip can zoom when shooting with one hand! It's cammed to be logarithmic, as it should: equal displacement of the zoom control gives the same percentage change anyplace along its travel. It moves so well that it can flop forward if your camera points down; no worries, it zooms with a fingertip as soon as you draw your camera to your eye.
It zooms in the correct direction: longer is away from you.
EXIF data always agreed exactly with the focal length indicated on the lens.
There is no macro mode to befuddle things. The internal focus works great, and the lens stays small and tight regardless of you you have it set.
The only gotcha is that there is no macro range, and likewise, close focus at 35mm may not always be close enough.
Falloff on FX is minimal, and only barely visible at the largest apertures.
There is no problem with vignetting with thick 52mm filters.
Don't try to stack filters, at least at the 35mm setting, or you will get some vignetting.
The filter ring never rotates.
Of interest mostly to cinematographers focusing back and forth between two subjects, the image from the Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D gets smaller as focused more closely.
The 35-105mm AF-D has no special macro ability.
Most lenses get much closer.
Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D set to 105mm. enlarge.
The mechanics are better than most lenses today. It's a very solid lens, especially for the price.
Metal and plastic; rubber covered.
Solid plastic, rubber covered.
Aft Barrel Exterior
Seem like plenty of metal.
Plastic with painted numbers.
Painted on barrel.
Laser engraved onto bottom rear of aperture ring.
Ass-Gasket (rain seal at mount)
Noises When Shaken
Mild clunking from the diaphragm blades and actuation system.
With those caveats, the Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D is good. It's always sharp in the center. The corners on FX can be softer at the largest aperture, sharpening-up very well when stopped down a stop or two.
For a mid-priced zoom intended for 35mm use, it works extremely well on FX and DX digital cameras, especially my D800E. On the 36 MP D800E it's a little less sharp in the corners, but super-sharp and contrasty everywhere it matters.
Fast, long lenses often show spherochromatism, which is when out-of-focus highlights take on slight color fringes, and as a slower lens, I didn't expect to see any.
Laymen sometimes mistakenly call spherochromatism "color bokeh."
With its straight 7-bladed diaphragm, this 35-105 makes magnificent Nikon-standard 14-pointed sunstars on bright points of light.
It's much better than any of the newer "rounded" diaphragm blades that make poor sunstars, if any at all.
The Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D seems pretty tough, since focus is internal.
My biggest concern is not to damage the push-pull zoom mechanism
I suspect if it takes a hit, the biggest problem might be chipping the front hard plastic filter thread.
Nikon has made a zillion 35-105 zooms, and even more if you open up the focal length range, so I'll keep this simple.
Compared to other 35-105mm zooms, this is Nikon's newest. As Nikon's newest 35-105mm, it offers the refinement of internal focus, which both improves ergonomics and offers a smaller size than any other Nikon 35-105.
In exchange for the small size and great handling, this 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5D loses any macro ability.
The fully professional Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D has the same outward appearance with more speed, less distortion and an even tougher package, but with a more restricted zoom range at a much higher price and with a lot more weight.
The Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-D is a great, basic lens with which you could shoot for a lifetime on 35mm or FX. It's light, flexible, inexpensive and has great performance.
There are a load of choices in this focal length range, and at about $75 used today, is a bargain.
If you find this review helpful, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to this lens at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.
I'd pitch the flat Nikon cap that came with this lens when new, and get a new "pinch" type cap. I'm not kidding: these new, fatter, caps are much easier to use.
If I was working in nasty, dirty areas, I'd forget the cap, and use an uncoated 52mm Tiffen UV filter instead. Uncoated filters are much easier to clean, but more prone to ghosting.
Help me help you top
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links to Adorama, Amazon, eBay, B&H, Ritz, Calumet, J&R and ScanCafe when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!
July 2012, August 2014, April 2015