Nikon Zoom-NIKKOR 43mm~86mm 1:3.5 Ai Lens (43-86mm f/3.5)

Review of the Nikon Zoom-NIKKOR 43mm~86mm 1:3.5 Ai Lens (43-86mm f/3.5).

Overall Rating:

This less-compact-but-still-compact, multicoated lens performs worse than its predecessor in terms of bokeh but better in terms of color and contrast, while its construction remains the same high quality that early Nikon Nikkors are known for. Like the pre-Ai ones, these Ai Zoom-Nikkors are a joy to use except for the rotating front element when focusing which makes use of a polarizer difficult. This is a push-pull zoom making it possible to zoom and focus at the same time.

This lens is very sharp and constrasty. Little to no color fringing. Only a 2× zoom range and no wide angle. Distortion is very heavy on the wide end (barrel) and the long end (pincushion).

The bokeh of this lens is very harsh and busy particularly on the shorter end.

bokeh at f=43mm/3.5
bokeh at f=86mm/5.6

Color fringing detail at 3-to-1.

color fringing detail at f=43mm/5.6

Infrared performance is decent with only the faintest sign of a hot spot. It's really not enough to worry about.

infrared at f=43mm/11
infrared at f=86mm/11

This lens has a depth of field scale and focus scale.

By f/8-f/11, diffraction has begun.


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