I’m after a wide-angle zoom lens for my D750. Can you suggest a cost-effective secondhand option?
Jason says… I’d go for the Nikon 17-35mm. Unlike old-school ‘D’ type lenses, this features an integral AF-S (Silent wave) autofocus system. It’s achunky lens that also goes large on build quality. This wide-angle pro-grade zoom is a real heavyweight. All the barrel parts and the mounting plate are made of metal rather than plastic. As such it’s big and hefty, measuring 83x106mm and tipping the scales at 745g. Even so, it feels very well matched to Nikon’s FX (full-frame) bodies.
The optical path includes two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements to boost sharpness and contrast, while minimizing colour fringing, and three aspherical elements. Thanks to IF (Internal Focusing) the front element neither extends nor rotates throughout the focusing range, the near limit of which is impressively close, at just 0.28m. The filter attachment thread is a convenient size at 77mm.
Image quality is impeccable in terms of sharpness and contrast, with good control over distortion, colour fringing, ghosting and flare. Naturally, some secondhand examples are nearly 20 years old now and have been heavily used, but the lens is still in production, so fairly new examples are also available, which means it’s worth shopping around.
Full metal jacket The barrel, filter attachment ring and mounting plate are all made of metal, which adds to the lens’s high-quality feel. The zoom and focus rings are also metal, with non-slip rubber coatings. Focus scale There’s a focus distance scale at the rear, and the focus ring is at the front of the barrel, but there are no depth-of-field markings. Aperture ring As with other ‘D’ type lenses, this lens has a mechanical aperture ring that needs to be locked at its minimum setting (f/22) on DSLRs. Doing this enables the camera to control the aperture. Specs Elements/groups: 13/10 (2x ED) Autofocus: Ring-type ultrasonic Minimum focus distance: 0.28m Maximum magnification: 0.22x Filter thread: 77mm Supplied accs: Hood, case Dimensions: 83x106mm Weight: 745g