> Posted by Larry de Guzman (Tangigi) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - > 8:27 am: > > Hello, which is a better lens?
For what? One is a lens designed for film and the other specifically for the characteristics of the Nikon DX digital sensor. I would expect the 18->35mm ED to be superior with film and the 18->70mm to be useless with film. How well the 18->35mm works with a sensor is a craps-shoot.
Both are depressingly slow, entry-level lenses. In absolute terms, the ED glass /should/ provide a bit of an advantage with film - if you are shooting film - and can endure trying to see the rather dim image through a lens of that aperture in a focal length range that is normally served by primes of f-1.2 to f-1.8.
One expects apertures in the f-3.5 to f-4.5 range with extreme telephotos, but not with normal lenses. This is the aperture range of both lenses and represents a compromise to lower the price making the lens nearly painful to use.
The 18mm->70mm used on a dSLR is the equivalent of a 28->105mm lens. If you are a D70 owner without enormous aspirations, it does cover a very useful range. It lacks the speed of the lenses supplied with Nikon compact cameras with built in lenses. The CP8400 for ex&le, has an f-2.6 lens at the wide-angle length and uses digital through-the-lens viewing, which can boost the light. It also has a lens component that produces a true 18mm view at that aperture. The D70 uses optical projection on a ground-glass screen for viewing, so the faster the lens (wider the aperture) the easier the camera is to use.
If you are shooting film and don't mind living with a rather slow lens, the 18->35mm probably offers reasonable value for little money. If a true high quality superwide is needed, Nikon does make a superb 18mm f-2.8 prime lens.
Which is to say, there is no way to compare the lenses. One may be fine on film and very chancy on digital. The other is probably useless for film, but a decent entry-level lens somewhat near the equivalent of those supplied with the Coolpix line. On film, 18mm=18mm. On digital 18mm=27mm. They are vastly different lenses for vastly different purposes and there is absolutely nothing in common other than their minimal apertures and thus dark view through the finder.
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