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LENS PORN: Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)
Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)




The Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX was introduced to the market in 2004 as kit lens to the D70. One might wonder why Nikon decided to drop this beautiful kit lens considering it had a very useful range and the variable aperture of f/3.5-f/4.5 is more desirable than those f/3.5-f/6.3 zooms today!

If this was a full frame or FX lens, it would be equivalent to a 28-105mm. The lens is about the size of my palm and I don't see any shadows cast when shooting a flash with it. What surprised me is that the focus and zoom rings are in a swapped position than I'm normally used to. 


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SPECS


Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX G IF

ED = Extra Low Dispersion Glass

DX = APS-C or crop sensor

G = Gelded, no aperture ring

IF = Internal Focusing

Focal Range: 18-70mm (28-105mm equivalent in 35mm)

Minimum Focusing Distance: 0.38 meters

Filter Thread Size: 67mm

Rotating Filter Thread: No

Aperture Run: f/3.5 - f/27

Maximum Aperture: f/3.5 at 18mm, f/4.5 at 70mm

Made in Japan

Also works with those old Nikon film SLRs.

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)


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SUMMARY


For

18-70mm is a useful range for general or all around photography.

The variable aperture of f/3.5 - f/4.5.

It is close focusing with a Minimum Focusing Distance of 0.38 meters in all the focal range. It's not a macro lens, but at least gets close enough to get most of the job done.

I don't notice any shadow when using flash with this lens.

Internal focusing

Can autofocus on all Nikon bodies.

Front filter thread does not rotate when zooming or focusing

Silent focusing mechanism

Barrel distortion is unnoticeable.



Neutral

The swapped position of focus and zoom ring.

It can also work with those old Nikon film SLR's.

My copy had a broken filter thread from the previous owner.

My copy had a broken AF, so there's no comment about the AF. If you've owned any of those noisy screechy old Nikkor AF lenses from the 1980s and 1990s, you will surely appreciate the AF-S (Silent) mechanism of this lens.

Being an older lens from 2004, what instantly struck me was that it's sharp but not as too contrasty and dark like the newer 18-55mm kit lens, that's why I love it! (Some of you may not, if you're a stickler for contrast.)



Against

The focus ring is a tiny 1 inch in width. If you're composing through the viewfinder, it takes a while for me to feel and find the ring.

The copy that I have does not stop turning even when reaching the minimum focus and infinity mark. Is this specific to my copy?

The zooming mechanism is jagged and is not ideal for video work.

The zoom marking has uneven distance -- 28mm is only about right to the 18mm mark, while 70mm is far away from the 50mm mark.

67mm filter thread size is uncommon for me. The ones I often have are 52mm, 62mm, 72mm and now a 77mm.



Conclusion

Oh, how I wish Nikon just retained this lens and made improvements in later versions rather than discontinuing it in favor of the newer 18-55mm zooms. I would still love the variable aperture range here over the dark images I always get from the 18-55mm.

The image quality of this lens is generally acceptable. I really bought it for the purpose of product shots, but now I found that the MFD of 0.38 meters is not close enough and 70mm is not long enough a reach. I'm still sticking to my Nikkor AF 28-105mm D for that purpose.

If you're looking for a good kit lens for your DX camera, I'd recommend this 18-70mm kit over the 18-55mm lenses. I'm not the only one saying this, others hail this as THE standard kit lens. =)


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SAMPLES


The copy I had has some scratches on the front glass when the previous owner sold it to me. This DOES have an effect on the image quality as faint spots, but only when I stop down to f/22 and in bright sunny outdoor. Otherwise, the image quality is generally acceptable.


Nikon D5200 Settings:

Photo Size - Basic/Small
White Balance - Preset
Picture Profile - SD (Standard)
HDR/ADL/Flash - Off

All photos are unedited.

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)
18mm

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)
70mm

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)
28mm

Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 ED DX (2004)
18mm



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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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