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Nikon's AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 lens group - Part II

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Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N MK II wide-tele zoom lens
Introduced: Sept. 1991/2; Discontinued: 1995

It was 5 Years after the original debut of the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5S, that Nikon has unveiled an update in 1991 for this popular compact wide-telephoto zoom lens. It was part of the process in a general lens updating program by Nikon which involved quite a number of other popular series of AF Nikkor lenses. A few examples of the autofocus Nikkor lenses which went through similar updates were AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8s, AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8s, AF zoom Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s etc. From a commercial point of view, this lens update was essential as it carried a purpose to counter negative impression generated by the early designs adopted on all those Nikon autofocus lenses which had caused some criticism in the market. Some referred these lenses as "N" which stands for "NEW" - an example is the AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8N but I prefer it to be referred it with a term MK II.

As compare to the many general facelift done on other Nikkor AF focus lenses during this period, the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5S has received some attention as they involved not only on the exterior cosmetic upgrade but it actually involved a change in lens design which relates directly to handling. One of the main difference of this revision for this AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s was the change of rotating zoom design to a one touch/push & pull zoom design which makes the difference from the original version introduced in 1986. As I said at the previous chapter, over the years we have seen many Nikon users debating various good and weak elements on single-touch and rotating zoom design; actually each has their strength and weaknesses but personally I'd always thought one touch zoom is more responsive as it provides easy handling for zooming action as rotating type. Well, as autofocus lenses have made manual focusing not a commanding factor anymore in any investment decision and neither how the zooming operation is an important factor as it is all a matter of personal preferences. However, I guess for those who may be living between both MF/AF Nikon system, this one-touch zoom design will present a more appealing factor as during the early '90, Nikon was still offering users with a few manual focus SLR camera models like Nikon FM2N / FM2/T, FM10/FE10 and even an evergreen Nikon F3HP etc. so, partly this could be a reason why sometimes design in an autofocus zoom lens may take these into consideration to enable a lens with a broader targeted audience and in particularly, enabling bridging use for both AF/MF SLR. That was not all, as Nikon also took the opportunity of this update to improve many other areas which had significantly made this version two of the AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N very user friendly.

second version of the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N (Mk II) wideangle-telephoto Zoom lens side view with various details
The AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N / MK II has little trace of the original version in overall presentation. The improvement made to the manual focusing ring was a delightful touch. Instead of a thinly plastic ring as found on the original version, it has been widen slightly and had an approx. 1/2" hard-rubberized covered hand grip. On the other hand, the zoom ring has been generously with an extra-wide dimension and almost takes up half of the entire body length. This change to an extra wide zoom ring is due to the reason as now zooming action is one-touch. It does improves lens handling for easy manipulation during quick shooting session. Further, for those who like to explore its close focusing capability, the MACRO setting of this upgrade has a brightly painted orange index line which combinely gives the lens an all new experience for both lens handling as well as its overall presentation.

Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of betteroffblu/Jenny® where the EBAY STORE is also one of my favorite spot to look for great images on used photographic equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

side comparing view of 2nd version of Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N side comparing view of original version of Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s
Credit: Image courtesy of shutterblade*com where the Company has a website on its own. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
A side by side comparison between the original and the revision model above will provide you an easy visual identification on their respective features at a glance. Well, other than the manual focusing, and widen zoom ring along with a brightly marked orange MACRO index line; if you are observant enough, you may also notice the missing of the distance window in this onet-touch zoom upgrade. Further, the minimum lock has been changed to a slide switch (from the twist button type as used on earlier model). The distance scales are now colored in feet and the zoom range setting are indicated on the lens barrel rather than on the zoom ring. All these had helped making this new AF 35-105mm wide-telephoto Nikkor zoom lens a very friendly zoom lens to use indeed.

Bangkok new airport waiting / arrival area
Outside the arrival hall of the Bangkok new Suvarnabhumi Airport. Security level has raised after series of bomb attacks on public premises in 2006.

Interim photo ONLY. Waiting for suitable / usable images from contributors.
Zoom extension on 2nd version of Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N
I have been locating a usable picture of the lens to show the difference in its zoom operation as compared to the earlier rotating zoom and had found this photo at Roland Vink site. It helps to illustrate the zoom in its slide / one-touch action which is similar to many of the manual focus Nikkor zoom lenses. Perhaps, missing from the feature list is the colorful depth of field index lines that usually being clearly illustrated on the lens tube. As the focusing is usually done by camera-driven AF mechanism but the zoom control is still manually operated. I had a trial at a used equipment outlet some time ago, and the zoom action is very smooth and effortless. The manual focusing has a slightly stiff action on this lens version but can still be considered to be easy to operate.

There is a button on the outer edge of the zoom ring for you to unlock the lens to MACRO mode, unlike the original lens where it was indicated by a "M" which stands for MACRO, this button has no mark or indication. For the first time user (or those who may have purchase this lens from used equipment market), the button is meant for extending the zoom to shoot at its closest focusing range where it delivers a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.5. You need to depress the button in order to release the zoom to this macro mode as indicated by an orange macro index line.

Comapring both original and updated version on the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 lenses
The zoom range setting is hidden on the lens tube which is different from the original version with engraving settings printed circularly around on the zoom ring. It will reveal the corresponding zoom setting when you slide the zoom ring outwards: the relative marked settings are 35mm (light green); 50mm, 70mm and 105mm (light yellow). The indexes for 35mm and 105mm are different, represented by a yellow and green dot near the aperture ring. Lastly, the minimum aperture of f/22 is pained in orange, you can slide the minimum aperture lock which is just located on the right hand side to lock the value for accidental switch during any AE mode shooting.

<<<--- A comparison between dimension of both the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 MKII and AF Zoom Nikkor 35-135mm f/3.5~4.5 MK II. Both shares many similarities in their exterior and cosmetic. The latter uses a larger 62mm filter attachment size.

Twist lever of Minimum aperture lock MACRO button release MACRO setting
The MACRO release button Macro setting where you have to press the button in order to release the zoom ring to the macro mode. It close focus down to 1.4 ft but macro mode enables it to go nearer at 0.28 ft. after activation.
Minimum Aperture Lock A feature that began implementing with the Nikon FG of 1982 and subsequently, virtually all Nikon SLRs with program AE and shutter priority AE use this method. For programmed auto or shutter-priority auto shooting, use the minimum aperture lock lever to lock the lens aperture at f/22. 1. Set the lens to its minimum aperture (f/22). 2. Press and slide / lock so the white dot on the lever aligns with the orange index; 3. To release the lock, press and slide the switch in reverse direction. If you have forget to set the minimum aperture when shooting in certain AE mode, the viewfinder and LCD panel will blink with a reminder.

Rear lens mount view of an early AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s (N) MK II wideangle-telephoto Zoom lens
Despite the change in zoom mechanism to a one-touch design from rotating type as used on the previous original version, Nikon had indicated the optical design of this revision has remained identical. I have heard many people have commented optically, the newer sliding zoom performs better than the original. I have no comment on this but physically, I have to admit it has been made far superior in every aspect as compared.

This revised 35-105 Nikkor zoom lens actually weighs slightly heavier than its predecessor (now weighs 510g from 460g) and measures 70mm x 87mm (69mm x 87mm as measures on the older version). The close focus ability remain the same for both. Along with the new release, Nikon has also introduced a new HB-5 lens hood for this remake of the 35-1055 zoom lens. I am not sure if the older HB-2 still fits.

Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of betteroffblu/Jenny® where the EBAY STORE is also one of my favorite spot to look for great images on used photographic equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

Personally, I guess newer or older version of this AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 wide-telephoto zoom lens doesn't make too much of a difference for leisure photographers. The operating sequence can be of a personal preference but admittedly, the revision model has far superior built quality and lens handling property. The remake is more like patching the weaknesses with its new facelift. If the prices of used units between the two is not great, by all means - go for the MK II version for its overall improvements being made. For some of you, you may have to get used to a zoom lens that comes without a conventional distance scales focusing window and reverting back to manual lens configuration but that is just a minor issue and after a few session of shooting, you should get used to this change. For the photographers who may be owning a digital or newer series of Nikon film SLRs, you may consider the subsequent AF-D version which other than offering a better system compatibility (in particular if your Nikon is a 3D Matrix enabled camera model), it also has an IF design. Virtually all the versions (except for the AF-D Spec 35/105 zoom lens which never indicates a close focus function) can deliver commendable close-focus performance, the f/22 minimum aperture can be incredibly useful in this respect. But I guess the maco-failitity may not be a decisive factor to affect a buying decision.

Today, the issue of which version should be your choice may not be the main factor as Nikon has so many other zoom lenses with extended zoom range and varying degree of performance such as AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D etc. which may be even offers as a better consideration as your startup Nikkor zoom lens. Each of these mentioned zoom lenses has a little compromises here and there; for an example, the 35-135mm may provide a longer reach at 135mm but its dimension/weight is bulkier and heavier; the newer 28-105mm costs higher as it offers a better lens spec; the alternate 28-85mm has a useful wideangle setting but lack the reach of the telephoto etc. This AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N/MK II version offers an approx. 3X zoom range; the wideangle section of 35mm is less functional for tight interior shooting; the maximum aperture may also require some compensation of a faster film type to provide hand held shooting in low available light shooting but I guess it serves a different group of market audience, in particularly the budget minded photographers who just wish to own a practical zoom lens with excellent optical performance for their casual and leisure photography.

Rubber seed..
Rubber Seed. One of the main commodity export income for Malaysia. The close up feature of the lens can be used for a wide varieties of topic.

Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to replace this.

Technical Specification for Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N (MK II) lens:-

Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor zoom lens with built-in CPU and a metal rear Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 35mm to 105mm; Maximum aperture: f/3.5; (35mm=1:3.5; approx. 70mm=1:4.0; 105mm=1:4.5) Minimum Aperture: f/22
Lens construction:
16 elements in 12 groups; with close focus Design
Picture angle:
62° - 23° 20'
Focal length scale: 35mm (Light Green), 50mm, 70mm, and 105mm (Yellow)
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Focus control: Via focusing ring
Zoom control: Via one-touch / sliding zoom ring

Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 1.4m to infinity (OO); close focus nearest 1.2m (38cm) at MACRO mode

Front lens element  of the next updated version of the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s (N)  wideangle-telephoto Zoom lens
Distance information: Output into camera body with CPU interface system IS NOT POSSIBLE with this lens; Option for manual focus provided
Aperture scale:
f/3.5/f/4.5, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and 22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Mount: Nikon bayonet mount with CPU contacts;
Attachment size
: 52mm (P=0.75mm); Meter Coupling Prong:
Depth of Field Scales: NONE
Reproduction ratio: 1:3.5 maximum
Minimum aperture lock: Provided via slide switch

Lens Coating: NIC (Nikon Integrated lens Coating)
Exposure measurement:
Via full-aperture method with Ai cameras or cameras with CPU interface system; via stop-down method for other cameras

* Notes on optional original bayonet hood HB-5. If the hood is not attached properly, vignetting is likely to occur. To attach/detach the hood properly, make sure to hold the lens side of the hood (not the tip of the hood) when attaching/detaching.

Credit:- Image courtesy of John Preston® <>, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved

Infrared compensation index: Two. Provided for the 35mm and 105mm focal length setting
Standard accessories: 52mm front lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1; Hard lens case CL-33S
Optional Accessories:
52mm screw-in filters; Bayonet hood HB-5 *; Flexible lens pouch No.62. CP 9 may also be usable
Dimensions: Approx. 70mm dia. x 87mm; overall length is approx. 95.5mm
Weight: Approx. 510g

An side view of the  updated version on the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5N lens
Usable Tele-Converters: - TC-201S; TC-14A (Note: MANUAL focus only); Nikon does not encourage the use of early AF Te-converter TC-16S with this AF zoom.

Other information: A. Be careful not to soil or damage the CPU contacts. Do not attach the following accessories to the lens, as they might damage the lens' CPU contacts: Auto Extension Ring PK-1, Auto Extension Ring PK-11*, K1 Ring, Auto Ring BR-4**. Other accessories may not be suitable for use with certain cameras. This lens cannot be used with AF Finder DX-1 attached to the Nikon F3AF camera. * Use PK-11A instead. **Use BR-6 instead; B.

Startup Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5S lens may have been began from: 3000001 < 3000984 - 3044078 > Jun91 - Dec94 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.

| NEXT | 2/3 The last version of Nikon AF zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5D with an IF design

Original Version (1986~1991) | NIkon AF zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s MK II (1992~1994) | NIkon AF zoom Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF MK III (1995~2003/4); Relative: Manual Focus Nikkor Zoom 35-105mm f/3.5~4.5s

EXTERNAL LINKS:- information on this lens on the Internet is scarce. Here are some:- A write-up of this brief encounter of the Nikkor zxoom by
Liang Wu-Cia; Version History by Roland Vink

Main Index Page - Autofocus Nikkor lenses

| Message Board | for your Nikkor Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for new/used Nikon/Nikkor photographic equipment

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Nikkor Link.jpg   Special Application lenses:
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Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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