Review Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

According provided by lens Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S) huge gratitude to Alexey Shashov.

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

In short

The Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 was introduced in October 1984 and is an old general purpose zoom lens for Nikon film cameras. It only has manual focus. The lens uses the PUSH-PULL (trombone) design - one ring is responsible for focusing and changing the focal length. To change the focal length, pull or push the piston ring, to focus - rotate it. The lens is very well made. Weak at open apertures, but not bad overall.

Main technical specifications of Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35 ~ 135mm 1: 3.5-4.5:

Name of instances from review Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5 ~ 4.5 250545
Basic properties
  • FX (for Nikon FX) - lens designed for Nikon FX full-frame cameras
  • MF (MAnnual Pass Focus) - manual focus only
  • AI-S (Automatic Indexing Shutter) - automatic transfer of the aperture value to the camera
  • Non-g (Non gelded) - presence of a diaphragm control ring, automatic aperture control
  • ZOOM - zoom lens
  • Metal case
  • Design PUSH-PULL
  • NIC (Nikon Super Coating) - multi-coated optics
  • M (Macro) - special mode for macro photography (pseudo macro)
Front Filter Diameter 62 mm, metal thread for filters
Body materials All parts of the lens housing are made of metal
Focal length 35-135 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 52.5-202.5 mm, EGF for Nikon CX cameras is 94.5-364.5mm
Diagonal viewing angles 62 ° to 18 ° for FX cameras
Zoom ratio 3.86 x
Designed by for Nikon film cameras with Nikon F mount
Number of aperture blades 7 straight (not rounded) petals
Tags guidelines on the focus / zoom ring with focusing distance in meters and feet, orange mark for 'M' mode, depth of field scale for F / 22 (orange arc), F / 11 (blue arc). Infrared label (red arc). Ring with aperture values, there are markers for F / 3.5, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 + intermediate position for F / 4, other intermediate values ​​cannot be set. There are values ​​for focal lengths of 35, 50, 70 and 135 mm. The green dot shows the aperture value for 35 mm, the orange dot for 135 mm.
Diaphragm 35 mm from F / 3.5 to F / 22, 135 mm from F / 4.5 to F / 22. The maximum value for 50 mm is F / 3.8, for 70 mm it is F / 4. The lens has an aperture ring (Non-G - lens type)
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 1.5m in normal mode, 0.4m in 'M' mode, with a maximum magnification ratio of 1: 3.8 (pseudo 'macro')
The weight 600 g
Optical design 15 elements in 14 groups. The lens does not use special optical elements.

Optical design Nikon 35-135 MF

The image is clickable.

Lens hood Nikon HN-22 metal lens hood screwed into front filter thread
Period It was produced from October 1984 to 1989, was sold and was relevant until 1998. In December 1985, it was supplemented by the Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-200mm 1: 3.5 ~ 4.5 lens.

There are two autofocus counterparts:

Manufacturer country MADE IN JAPAN (Lens made in Japan)
Instructions See
Prices The catalog of modern universal Nikon Nikkor lenses is available see here.

The focus ring rotates about 100 degrees. During focusing, the front lens rotates and extends forward.

To switch to macro mode 'M', set the focal length to 135 mm and rotate the focusing ring towards the MDF. In 'M' mode, the focal length cannot be changed, it always remains at 135mm. To change the focal length, exit the 'M' mode by rotating the focusing ring towards infinity. In 'M' mode at minimum focusing distance, the effective focal length is visually much less than 135mm. Unfortunately, the lens can only shoot a weak 'macro' with a maximum magnification ratio of 1: 3.8. On the sample from the review, the transition to the 'M' mode is a little tight and with a backlash, for this is mentioned in the instructions and, perhaps, it should be so.

Unfortunately, the lens changes the focal length under the weight of its own piston, especially when the lens is tilted with the front lens down.

With Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S) it is pleasant to work, in the hands it feels like a good thing, performed for centuries. Touch version Nikon AF Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (MKI) many times worse AI-S versions from the review.

How to work with manual lenses is described in detail here и here.

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

Image quality and sample photos

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S), despite its age, it can still please with a high-quality picture.

At maximum open apertures, the lens does not shine, but it is worth covering the aperture to F / 5.6, as normal sharpness appears in the center of the frame; if you aperture to F / 8.0, the sharpness becomes completely good.

Unfortunately, vignetting is very noticeable at F / 3.5 and 35 mm focal lengths.

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S) poorly tolerates back and side light. From bright light sources it loses much contrast, creates a lot of glare.

I was pleasantly surprised that at 135 / 4.5 both in normal and macro modes you can get a pretty decent picture (considering that this is a 'dark' zoom lens).

The gallery shows photos without processing. Download RAW c source photos Nikon D700 can at this link.

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S) on the camera Nikon D70.

List of all Nikon FX 35-XXX autofocus lenses:

  1. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70 mm 1: 2.8 (MKI)
  2. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70 mm 1: 2.8D (MKII)
  3. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70 mm 1: 3.3-4.5 (MKI)
  4. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70 mm 1: 3.3-4.5 (MKII)
  5. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-80 mm 1: 4-5.6D (MKI)
  6. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-80 mm 1: 4-5.6D (MKII)
  7. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-105 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (MKI)
  8. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-105 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (MKII)
  9. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-105 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 D (MKIII)
  10. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-135 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (MKI)
  11. Nikon AF Nikkor 35-135 mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (MKII)

The catalog of modern universal lenses for Nikon can be look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment.


Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S) is a classic example of lens building of the last century. Perfectly assembled and for its age, it creates a good image quality. A rather pleasant drawing at 135 / 4.5 is surprising. Nowadays, this lens is not of particular value, however, if desired, it can be used to obtain great shots.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

Add a comment:



Comments: 31, on the topic: Review Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-135mm 1: 3.5-4.5 (AI-S)

  • Alex carduelis

    Oh, and this property was annoying - floating focal! And not only when the camera is fixed on a tripod and tilted literally 20 degrees down, but also simply “from the hands”. Move your fingers a little - it crawled away! After fixes with separate rings, it's just a hysteria. Although there was one more unique - Exakta 18-36 / 4, it was also zoomed in from a slight breeze! Such "independence" is in the firebox - the lens must keep the given parameters!

    • Jury

      so this is the fate of all "trombones", even prof. 80-200 2,8 MK1 and 2 behave this way, with the difference that the lens size does not change in them

    • lesa

      Nikkor Ai-s 80-200 / 4 (the same ramble only more than 2 times minimum)
      I shot quite a few different stories in conjunction with the Sony A7m2. Including children in the class (contests).
      For manuals just tambour is more convenient.
      Of course, maybe it’s not convenient for taking statics .. you’ll move it over there, touch it while it’s on a tripod at a slow shutter speed or time-lapse .. Previously, we fixed it with tape and did not steam; D

    • Ivan ...

      There is no fault of the lens ... The fault of the “crooked” handles. An excellent lens for its time. Yes, he still gives out good drawings. An example of this ABOVE. And whatever “crawled away” you have to learn to shoot, not tryndet ... I have several “ramps” and not on one of them anything else has not “crawled away”

      • Alex carduelis

        Really, the trombone "creeps" (changes fr under its own weight) due to "crooked handles" and "tryndeniya" ?! Oops, a discovery in objective engineering, honestly! And what does the picture have to do with it if you were discussing a design flaw? Or do you deny such a defect?

        • Dim

          I only have one 80-200 2.8 rambon and nothing crawls anywhere either, but only under my guidance. Perhaps you just completely killed copies? I try to buy only from Japan, from there the lenses come, as a rule, in perfect condition, even old ones.

          • Rodion

            Do not worry, time will take its toll anyway and your trombone will walk on its own. Physics!

            • Dim

              So he came to me second-hand and far from new, he, of course, someday he will go bad, I will not argue. Another question is in what state by that time I will be and whether at all :)

    • anonym

      After fixes with separate rings? Are you definitely a photographer?

      • Alex carduelis

        Ahh, I don’t understand, the diaphragm is controlled by the pedal, or what? Are you definitely not a minibus driver?

        • KalekseyG


        • Yarkiya

          Type got out? It was about changing focal points and focusing. And where is the diaphragm?

  • Rodion

    It is a fact that trombones are inconvenient when shooting statics. My same Vivitar 70-210 will deign to change the FR arbitrarily under the weight of its weight, which is not always useful and tolerable.

    • Igor_K

      As for the "Vivitars", apart from the "single-ring" trombones, they produced several "multi-ring" ones. They usually have the phrase “Close focusing zoom” in the name. But unfortunately, I haven't seen Series 1. Came across only with aperture ratio of 1: 3,8 with focal points 70-150 and 70-205 (Arkady has one in the review)

  • Igor

    The same rarity from the canon. Glass was produced from 1988-90, total in the region of 1000 pcs.

  • Ilyas

    someone has a dirty matrix)))
    not bad.

  • Victor Drozd

    Good lens. Nice "film picture". The trombone has its own charm. This can only be understood by those who have worked with manual focus film for a long time. This is especially true for reporters ...

  • reader

    Arkady, in my opinion, definitely oppresses the old and over-praises the new technique and tamrons. no matter what old optics you take, everything is wrong and it is not that way. but for sony it is already quite - it is better to write sony gauno right away and not do reviews. I had a sony a55v, a normal camera and the results were awesome. there is a horizon and a longitudinal level and a built-in stub, I can not easily achieve the same results on nikon 3100. with nikon you need to wriggle and twist (what is already built into the dormouse and at hand, at least elementary rotary screen, horizon, panoramic shooting, bracketing ) so that the frame is then not skewed in 4 dimensions (a55v makes a ready stable, predictable result). torment with Nikon is the norm, and why there is no masterpiece button on Sony, it's outrageous - what an injustice! In general, Arkady do not follow the crowd, but go your own way and do not be angry with me. I often read here when I need to clarify something and, having decided to change the brand, read about Sony and you like everyone else. criticism is helpful. look at yourself from the outside.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I can afford to specifically point out the shortcomings that others are embarrassed to write about. Of course, I have subjective opinions. If you do not agree with something specific, then please write on this specific occasion. For example, you write that I oppress the old optics, let's take this review - what and where exactly is oppressed?

      • anonym

        The troll throws a hook; it is not necessary to swallow it.

  • reader

    I'm not a troll. I'm just trying to find my own optics and read reviews and recommendations to make as few mistakes as possible. for example, about the nikon 60mm f / 2,8 d micro people write and bring photos and do not complain, and Arkady writes that he “expected more sharpness” from this lens. I want to buy this lens because it is attractive for the price, but now doubts are gnawing. maybe, in fact, it is not so sharp, but in people the cited cockroach flies look nothing to themselves. how to be now? I don't want to miss either. once again forgive me Arkady, did not mean to offend you.

    • Jury

      The passer-by, in my opinion, it is obvious that in that lens people who do not complain are satisfied with the sharpness, but Arkady does not. They have different quality criteria. If a person is completely satisfied with the Zhiguli, then why transfer him to the Mercedes? Check out the Nikon 60mm f / 2.8D shots and draw your own conclusions, rather than guessing which of the comments is closer to the truth.

      • Jury

        I beg your pardon, I wrote something wrong - Reader, not Passer)

    • Dmitriy

      Sorry, but Arkady is right: 60 f2.8 is not a masterpiece at all. Got rid of it, left 55 f2.8 ais - it is a little better (but also clearly chromatite).

  • anonym

    Thank you for your useful work.

  • Oleg

    Inexpensive. Today at OLH I saw an ad for 1000 UAH.

  • Konstantin

    In the spring, I bought something like the Nikon Series E 75-150 mm f / 3.5 in the Aucro review. It’s very shabby, the front lens dangled on the bayonet lacked bolts and with fungus, but it’s cheap 165 UAH. It turned out to be a very good lens, for Nikon 7000, sharp at all focal lengths on the open aperture, 150 sharp in the center closer to the edges soft, but in the aisles. And the picture is not bad.
    On this page with the children I was in the zoo. I took animals from this lens, practically did not cover the diaphragm.

  • Vadim

    Good afternoon.

    Tell me who knows whether this lens will be convenient for video shooting or what other advise. Thank you in advance.

    • B. R. P.

      Zoom and focus with one ring - should be convenient for video.

      • Vadim

        Thank you, you are probably right. And as an example, what do you recommend from manual zooms for Nikon F, with aperture of at least 3.5?

  • sliding

    I used to have an ais 75 150 3.5,excellent iq, but really hard to shoot with as the fr creeps almost freely all the time that I had to hold it still extremely carefully as its an IED boom

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article

Versión en español de este artículo