Nikon 35-105

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An older macro zoom

This is out of the curiosity cabinet. I got this for under 50 used more for curiosity than anything else. It is a manual focus lens that can focus closer and have a reproduction ratio of 1:4 at 35mm and 1:5.5 at 105mm, letting you focus somewhat closer but not as much as what you are used to from a real macro lens that manages 1:1 or 1:2 ratios. In fact the Nikon 35 has also a reproduction ratio of 1:4. So technically it is hard to call this a macro, however it has two modes of operation, in one the minimum focus distance is more than a meter, and when you move to its macro mode, this drops significantly to about 30cm.

It has a very solid build (and therefore a bit heavier) and quite a curious shape.

My Nikon 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Price Very cheap
Weight Moderate, 500g
Good for Close ups, plants, daily
New or used Not so common, but can be had for very cheap (under 50)

It is a decent lens for walking around and challenging yourself. Manual focus lenses require quite a bit of patience, they are not your typical click and shoot lenses, but dealing with such a lens is rewarding, once you get around the initial frustration. It is a bit of a longer version of Nikon 24-70 (and slower), so it can serve more or less all your needs, and will let you also come closer (not usual macro range, but still), very good for flowers for example.

This is essentially a 50mm-160mm lens on an APS-C. While on a full frame it works quite fine, any cheaper kit lens like Nikon 18-105 would cover the same range and more, making it quite unnecessary addition to your collection. I would not recommend it, if you want to have the challenge consider the manual focus version of Nikon 70-210 for example, or a prime lens like Nikon 24 AI-S. Notice that most AI-s lenses do not work on older APS-C cameras like the Nikon D90.


These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.