Photographers who love to travel and capture remote landscapes in all their grandeur are always looking for the best balance of both in a wide-angle lens: incredible sharpness and versatility in an affordable, compact and lightweight package. The AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ultra-wide angle zoom lens might be the perfect fit for globetrotters like these. (Photo and report by Tom de Waart)
D750/ AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED/ FL: 18mm/ Manual exposure (f/11, 8 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Manual
In this particular shot I wanted to capture the Niagara Falls in its full extent, and since the AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is able to achieve an ultra-wide angle of view of 100° on an FX-format DSLR like my Nikon D750, I was able to do so. And as it only weighs 385g, I think it is a perfect fit for any active traveller and/or landscape photographer on the move, who is looking for a compact wide-angle zoom lens.
D750/ AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED/ FL: 35mm/ Aperture-priority Auto (f/18, 1/160 sec, EV -0.6)/ ISO 100/ WB: Manual
I looked out of the window in the morning of my return flight and saw this amazing terrain near Xian in China, a scene passing quick before my eyes. Shooting through an airplane window makes it hard to properly focus on something, and the landscape was covered in fog which created a low-contrast scene, making it additionally difficult, but I was amazed how accurate the autofocus of the D750 is and how fast the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) of the lens attained focus in such a fleeting moment.
Since the start of my photography I have enjoyed shooting with the AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. This latest incarnation utilizes 2 Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and 3 aspherical glass elements for a new optical design that achieves high resolution, resulting in pin sharp images from edge to edge.
For travellers like me, who go to places where you would encounter a lot of dust and other unsavoury particles, it is good to know that the lens features an internal zoom design—the lens barrel does not extend physically during zooming, which reduces the risk of dust getting in the body. That, in combination with the D750’s excellent weather sealing, makes this a perfect combination for protection against ingress of dust and resulting dust spots on your images, which is a hassle for every landscape photographer. Everybody has been there before, using the spot removal tool to get rid of dust in post-processing.
As you might know, travel and landscape photographers are normally walking around with about 3 to 4 lenses on them. With a weight of only 385g, this would be my lens of choice as it makes it a bit easier carrying my gear, without compromising on image quality. Overall, I believe this lens is nearly, if not as sharp as the top-of-the-line AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses, but at a fraction of the weight and size. Another plus point is that this lens is also more affordable.
I would recommend the AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED to any photographer who is looking for incredible sharpness and versatility in an affordable, compact and lightweight package.
ED lens elements
Aspherical lens elements
For more details, click: AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Tom de Waart
Born in the Netherlands and now working in Hong Kong as a professional pilot. This self-taught photographer runs a shared events photography company in Hong Kong called pixels2project.
Tom’s passion is travelling, and thinks there is no greater joy in life than to capture amazing landscapes, people and wildlife. His job allows him to travel and explore every corner of the planet, and he makes full use of his photography skills by photographing the impressive landscapes, people and wildlife that he comes across.