|Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5|
First published on April 2016
Revised: November 22, 2016
According to Nikon, this lens is their most popular zoom lens ever. It first appeared as a lens that was fixed to the Nikkorex camera, but later made it to the market as a stand-alone lens for Nikon F SLRs. The second version, which I'm reviewing here -- has a black rim at the front and improved optics with multicoated glass.
Years of Production: 1963 - 1981
Focal Range: 43-86 mm
(DX = 64.5 - 129 mm)
(DX = 64.5 - 129 mm)
Max-Min. Aperture: f/3.5 - f/22
Aperture Blades: 7
Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.4 m / 4 ft
Macro Mode: n/a
Build: All Metal
Filter thread size: 52 mm
Can be used with: FX and DX
Serial#: 875885 (Made Around 1977)
Made in Japan
Made in Japan
This is a one-touch design (aka 'push-pull'). The focus and zoom is just one single ring. This is perfect for capturing fast action scenes, so you don't have to waste time tinkering with separate focus and zoom rings.
The focus ring is buttery smooth, you can actually turn it with just your pinkie finger.
Focue Breathing. I noticed that if you're focusing, the area tends to get wider or narrower. Look at the photos below... can you see the difference?
|43mm, nearest focus|
|43mm, infinity focus... I guess this is now 35mm! lol|
|Nikkor AF 35-135mm at 35mm.|
This is the second version of the lens with vast improvement to the optics. I haven't seen or tested the first version, but word is out that it's so bad.
The second version can be easily identified, with its front name ring being all black (the first version has a silver rim).
This lens is a Nikkor glass. No doubt, the images are always sharp, contrasty, and has great resolution/clarity when shooting.
The lens has a constant aperture of f/3.5 so you will always get bright images throughout the focal range.
It has a 2x zoom, meaning 43mm to 86mm. It is known that the shorter the zoom, the better the image quality.
Durable all-metal build
Compact and lightweight for travel
Single focus/zoom ring, one-touch design
Fixed aperture of f/3.5 makes this lens excellent for videos
f/3.5 is a bright aperture
It has excellent sharpness, contrast and resolution/clarity. But unlike modern lenses that have a tendency to look very dark, I always get images with good dynamic range. (I mean, you can still see details in the shadows, instead of seeing all black).
Neutral and no color shift
No zoom creep
Ultra smooth focus ring... look, I'm using my pinkie finger! =)
180 degree focus throw for precision
The 43-86mm focal range. Some don't like this lens because it is not wide or long enough at either end. But this should make a nice lens for street photography, candid or portrait.
The Minimum Focusing Distance of 4 feet / 1.5 meters. If you're using this lens for portraiture, it shouldn't be a problem. That's one big downside if you're doing product shots and especially need closeups or macro.
I swear that I love the image quality of this lens, and the bright constant aperture of f/3.5. The focal range isn't an issue, but the MFD is, since I love to shoot closeup. It may or may not satisfy you, depending on your shooting preferences and goal. But if you are open for options, this lens should be one of them.
For the full resolution samples:
Product Macro (Used with +1 Macro Filter)
The background objects are merely 3 inches behind.
Landscape / Street Photography
Low Light Scenes
|Evening outdoor portrait with environmental light, no flash|
# # # E N D # # #