- Backwards compatibility
- Wide-open performance
- Review Price: £200
Nikon’s AF-D 35mm f/2 predates digital photography, and, as a result, it was designed to cover the full 35mm film area. As such it can easily accommodate both full-frame and DX sensors, making it just as useful on the D80 (used for these tests) as it would be on the D3. In addition, the inclusion of an AI coupling ring and a visual aperture scale for viewing through pentaprism windows means that the lens is also fully usable on Nikon film cameras that are 30 years old or more. In short, compatibility is the Nikkor’s strong suit.
Given that it is the oldest lens in this test, and that it was not designed specifically for digital use, it wouldn’t be surprising if this lens left a little to be desired in the performance stakes. Indeed, that turns out to be the case and the Nikkor really cannot be recommended for use at its maximum aperture if its results in combination with the D80 are anything to go by.
Significantly, however, the Nikkor’s performance improves as the lens is stopped down, reaching around 0.3 cycles/pixel, but even so the test results never achieve true greatness. The discrepancy in the results between the left and right sides of the field may suggest a lack of optical alignment of this particular sample, so it could be that the data recorded here might be an underestimate of the lens’s true abilities. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain an alternative sample. That said, the lens has a solid feel and a very usable front-mounted focusing ring. The semi-matt eggshell finish looks smart and the depth-of-field window is meaningfully marked, complete with an infrared focusing mark (another indicator of its film-based origins).
Overall it is a solid performer at a reasonable price.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7