24 September 2023


just sharing…photography, car, IT, computer, ocean engineering, God, Christianity, life…

Nikon Df and the Old Nikkor AF 35-70mm F/2.8 Zoom Lens

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Was poisoned to get the Sony A7 II or A7R II to replace my Nikon D3s…but after trying out the Sony in Japan, the feel just wasn’t there.

I shoot for fun, and I enjoy technology. Hence the feel must be right. No excitement at all when holding the Sony A7 series. The buttons don’t feel right. The electronic viewfinder doesn’t feel right. The camera does not feel right. So, no…no A7 series for me.

Bought a Nikon Df with Nikkor AF 35-70mm F/2.8 Zoom Lens from a customer few days ago. My heart is pounding strong when I saw the box, yeah! Nikon Df! Immediately I checked the condition and offered the seller a reasonable price for it together with the 35-70mm lens.


I have heard about the Nikkor AF 35-70mm F/2.8 Zoom Lens for long, but I have not had the chance to test it out myself. This particular copy that I got looks clean. No fungus or scratch on the glass. For a 20 years old lens, the body has some paint peeling and scratches, which is acceptable to me.


Shutter sound from the Nikon Df is quite different from other Nikon DSLRs. It is quite soft and low key. Not distracting at all to my ears. I hate those high pitch shutter sound.

I set the camera to Auto ISO, let the camera judge to use ISO till the max, and Auto Minimum Shutter Speed (1/focal length). This Auto Minimum Shutter Speed is what missing in Nikon D3s, although it has the Auto ISO but without the auto minimum shutter speed, it is still not so useful. Imagine at 20mm wide angle, the minimum shutter speed that one can go should be around 1/30s, while when shooting at 200mm focal length, minimum shutter speed to ensure sharp images is 1/200s. Nikon could have done this update to their D3s easily, but they don’t bother to do it with new firmware. Shows how selfish Nikon is leaving their users behind once the camera gets discontinued.

The other setting I done on the camera is Focus Mode changed to AF-C 39 points 3D focus tracking. This is one of the best features in Nikon. Don’t use just one point manual focus selection.

Now some test shots with the lens and the camera. Emmanuel is my subject.

This is the original full frame shot.

ISO800, 1/30s, F/2.8, focal length 62mm. (I forgot to change to auto ISO and auto minimum shutter for the shot below)


This is the 100% crop.


Slightly image blurry due to low shutter speed.

Here’s another shot with Auto ISO and Auto Minimum Shutter Speed on the camera.

ISO800, 1/30s, F/2.8, focal length 70mm.

Original shot


100% crop


There is no image shake detected in the shot above, and sharpness looks great to me!

Push pull lens is not so easy to use. Can’t push or pull the focal length to the exact position that I want, especially if I want to zoom in or out a little.