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Lens Reviews

Nikon AF-S 17-35mm hands-on

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Keywords: wide, angle, lenses, nikon, nikkor, f5, f5a, 17_35mm, 28_70mm, 80_200mm, tokina, at_x, f100, konica, konica_centuria, paris, france, konica_supra, architecture, film

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So I entered the store, trying not to run, approached the counter and talked to the lady sporting a Nikon Millennium polo shirt. After confirming they did not carry Tokina lenses, I asked her to show me any AF-S lenses she might have. Knowingly, smiled and proceeded to hand me a F100 and a monster lens which she extracted from an elegant Nikon leather case. After saying softly "Careful" as I mounted the lens, she then added, almost innocently, "Just look trough the viewfinder."

The super wide angle zoom Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D ED IF on a F100



It was dangerously instantaneous, love at first sight.  The image through the viewfinder was bright, straight, crisp, without any apparent distortion. I zoomed out and noticed it did not change it's focus, nor the front element rotated!. Wow! 17mm is wide!. Moved the camera's focus mode to "M" and the switch on the lens to "M" for manual focussing and it slided gently, without a sound. The barrel focusing ring also slided effortlessly and silent........ Switching back, auto focus was almost painfully fast, as if I wanted it to last longer to enjoy its soft whirl.

So I had no choice ...

Captivated, with NAS in hyper mode I uttered: "Could you please mount it on a brand new F5?."

Her smile was now wider; showing a set of perfect teeth over her very attractive Cuban face, she mounted the beast on the marvelous F5.


Pretending not to be astonished after seeing through the viewfinder, and as if I had been long acquainted with and accustomed to the F5, with some effort not to stammer I added: "I'll take them both, thank you. Any other AF-S lens in stock?", strangely with the hope to sound casual.

Unfortunately there were no other AF-S lenses in stock.

Nevertheless, before I left, a Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/2.8D, a Nikon SB-28 speedlight, several Nikon filters, including a huge polarizer, lens wraps and a new Tamrac 709 Convertible bag were added to my tab.

And then she insisted on helping me pack. The Velcro strips of the Tamrac partitions voluptuously went hooked and unhooked as she tried several two tier configurations.

After a few careful and dedicated attempts she was satisfied. In the process, she confided to be the proud owner of three F3 bodies and several classic MF prime lenses. She finally finished packing, the way she would have wanted it if the long trip back home were hers. And so she said it.

Don't ask me why or how but our last glance at each others eyes almost felt like if we just had great sex, sadly knowing we had to part. Maybe simply because we both are, after all, Nikon lovers.

(3 Votes )
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Originally written on January 25, 2002

Last updated on December 30, 2020

J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 46058 posts