Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
£520, $745 A diminutive, budget-friendly wide-angle lens that delivers impressive image quality
Considerably smaller than the other Nikon zoom lenses on test, this one also costs much less to buy. The maximum angle of view isn’t as generous, but it’s not massively narrower than the Nikon 16-35mm or Tokina 16-28mm, and it beats two of the prime lenses in the group. It lacks the VR (Vibration Reduction) facility and the constant-aperture design of the Nikon 16-35mm lens but overall build quality feels of an equally good standard.
The closest focus distance of 28cm equals that of the two Nikon zoom lenses but, unlike the other Nikon lenses, this one has only a sevenblade diaphragm. Even so, the aperture is quite well rounded. Another downgrade is that the 18-35mm lens has Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating rather than Nano Crystal Coating, but resistance to ghosting and flare is still pretty good.
Helped by the inclusion of two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, chromatic aberrations are well controlled and, in this respect, the budget Nikon beats all other lenses in the group. Fine detail is generally retained very well even in the extreme corners of images, although overall sharpness at the short end of the zoom range isn’t a match for the Nikon 16-35mm.