|Closest Focusing||0.5 m|
|Max. Magnifcation||1:6.7 (0.15x)|
|Filter Size||52 mm|
|Diameter x Length||63 x 84.5 mm|
|Weight||315 gr (0.69 lb)|
What a totally remarkable lens. Cheap and cheerful, yet the bottom line is that this 1981 zoom is better wide open than my Zeiss Contax 35-70mm f/3.3. Tested on a Sony A6300, the results were indistinguishable from my EF 24-70mm f/4 IS. I will happily use this lens at f/4 at 35 and 50mm - 70mm at f/4 is not so good, but is excellent at f/8.
This (kit) lens came with my A-1 when bought it in the late eightties and shot half of my slides with it. (The other 35% with an nFD 50 f1.8 and 15% on a vivitar 70-210 zoom.)
It zooms and focusses not as butterly smooth as most nFD primes, but that never bothered me. It is lightweight, affordable and has a practical range. MOD is only 50 cm, so close-ups are possible. My version has a metal hood wich has to be mounted with a small screw. An ideal holiday lens.
I don't know why i have never used this lens on my A7Sii.
This must be one of the most underrrated lenses in the nFD lineup. Yet, it has a lot going for it : image quality is stellar, resolution and contrast are already very good wide open and this even with a full frame body like the Sony A7 - i compared it to the latest version of the Minolta MD 35-70 f/3,5 Macro and the FD offers better sharpness at all focal lenghts while the Minolta seems to be much more popular around buyers. In a nutshell, the nFD 35-70 f/4 offers prime lens quality in a small and lightweight package, the MFD of 0,5 m enough leeway for nice close-ups.
On the flip side, the mechanical consruction of the FD is pretty flimsy - the bearings inside the lens degrade with time, introducing play and and rendering the operation of the focus and zoom rings much less precise. While the lens presents a sort of integrated (short) lens hood (a inner barrel with the lenses moves inside a outer barrel offering protection against stray light), it makes the handling of filters very difficult and sometimes even impossible (polarizers).
For some reason, this lens is rarely discussed (perhaps shadowed by the legendary Minolta 35-70/3.5). As a result of this, it is very cheap on the market. I got mine in near pristine condition for $40.rnrnThe image quality is excellent starting from wide-open: sharp across most of the frame except slight softness at the corners. As others have pointed out, the build quality of this lens is quite bad and seem to suffer from mechanical failure over time. My copy has a somewhat loose and wobbly zoom ring.rnrnThe aperture is only f/4, so it is not very usable in low-light setting. I find the bokeh produced by this lens to be quite nervous, and the slow aperture and 6-blade diaphragm isn't helping at all.
I used this lens on a Sony A7. It was dirt cheap to buy. Image quality was amazingly good -- not just good for a cheap lens, but good (sharp across the zoom range, good colour and contrast). The only problem is the zoom and focus mechanisms degrade over time (as others have noted), so they get sloppy and loose. It's not fixable (or worth fixing) unless you have the parts on hand. It still worked, but focusing accurately was hard.
This lens is a must-have on vacation and other situations, where you just don't like to carry (or can not carry) two or more lenses with you. Therefore, this lens is always on my A-1, and any other lenses I leave at home unless I know for sure that I need them. rnrnAs a previous reviewer already wrote: this lens is life time limited, and mine has exceeded it's time, unfortunately. While the outer focus-ring is still accurate, I can vary focussing by moving the focus ring in an axial movement, but once I got used to that, the lens is still useable, though unrepairable. Nonetheless, this issue means only 7/10 regarding build quality. rnrnBefore the zoom-group went loose, I was able to maintain focus while zooming and vice versa. With a slide-zoom, any shot needs to be refocused and rezoomed, since lowering the camera hat influence on the lens due to its weight. The unbeatable advantage of a slider is swiftness, so look at the glass half full or empty, as you wish. rnrnThis lens comes with a protective cap that is down right useless. It will come off, as soon as you look at it. Fortunately, the "barrel" is deep enough to protect the outmost lense, even when that cap is off.rnrnImage quality is equivalent to prime lenses, though f/4 is quite dark and can be anoying at dawn or in the night. Then I rather take a 50/1.4 with me. But, as wise Mick Jagger said: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need", and that's the thing with this lense: Not everything one may want, but everything one may need.
I have owned this lens for 25+ years, traveled all over the world with it, thousands of images. It is the perfect travel lens.
Mine wore out -- a first for me -- and found out from the repairman that the zoom and focus followers or guides use a sort of semi-elastic ring to maintain friction in the zoom and focus helicals. New followers are no longer available from Canon, so the lens can't be repaired. Too bad -- it's a winner otherwise.
An photography student just some time ago did a test comparing the Canon FD 35-70mm f/4 and Canon FD 85mm F1.2 and found out that although 85mm lens is a lot better, the sharpness of the 35-70mm is the same, if not even a bit better and for the sharpness, a lot of professional photographers can back it up.
I love the lens, my only problem is that it's f/4 all way around and it's a bit dark because I'm used to fixed lenses with f/1.4 to f/2.8. I am just so spoiled that I don't understand how is it possible to shoot with lenses which don't have around f/2 - how?! If ofcourse your not in a good lighting situation like with sun, flashes, etc.
But if you will be shooting outdoors or indoors with good light or flashes, OR you just find it comfortable to shoot with 1/30 or 1/15 of a second or on a tripod than this is the lens for you!