A must have lens for all DX users

Started Jun 23, 2014 | User reviews
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DAG Photo New Member • Posts: 3
A must have lens for all DX users
4

Perfectly sharp, lightweight and dirt cheap, this lens is ideal for evening and indoor photography. Its 35mm focal length is roughly equivalent to the human eye's perspective (on a APS-C sensor).

Advantages

  • Very sharp
  • Fast - great for low light
  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Filter thread does not rotate

Disadvantages

  • Prone to some purple fringing on high contrast areas when shooting wide open
  • Fixed focal length
 DAG Photo's gear list:DAG Photo's gear list
Nikon D5200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +1 more
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
Prime lens • Nikon F (DX) • 2183
Announced: Feb 9, 2009
DAG Photo's score
4.5
Average community score
4.4
Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,287
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

DAG Photo wrote:

Perfectly sharp, lightweight and dirt cheap, this lens is ideal for evening and indoor photography. Its 35mm focal length is roughly equivalent to the human eye's perspective (on a APS-C sensor).

Advantages

  • Very sharp
  • Fast - great for low light
  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Filter thread does not rotate

Disadvantages

  • Prone to some purple fringing on high contrast areas when shooting wide open
  • Fixed focal length

If I am shooting with crop sensor, the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 is my "must have" lens.

anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 8,097
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

Hey Dan,

So, you picked up the Sigma 18-35? I don't shoot DX any longer so I sold mine, but man, THAT lens was sweet. Killer performance in a lot of the range, peaking about 24mm near and far IiRC...

-m

Rick_Hunter Senior Member • Posts: 1,021
Re: A must have lens for all DX users
11

I would add to the disadvantages list: "butt-ugly bokeh"

That's the trait I remember most from years ago when I had that lens. Nervous, harsh, unpleasant bokeh, especially wide open.

 Rick_Hunter's gear list:Rick_Hunter's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon D600 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +11 more
Ceridan Regular Member • Posts: 315
Re: A must have lens for all DX users
1

I really like the lens! Lightweight, cheap, fast... and can be even used on FX cameras as a sort of wide-angle cheap lens! Yeah, the vignetation is very noticeable, but not beyond the artistic level for center-focused photos

 Ceridan's gear list:Ceridan's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED Nikon D40 +3 more
Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,287
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

anotherMike wrote:

Hey Dan,

So, you picked up the Sigma 18-35? I don't shoot DX any longer so I sold mine, but man, THAT lens was sweet. Killer performance in a lot of the range, peaking about 24mm near and far IiRC...

-m

Hello Mike,

No I don't have a crop body any more, sold my D300 a while back and kind of waiting for the "D400"  type of camera, but I did have a chance to play with this lens on my friend's Canon 7D and it is a really really nice lens, so I consider that my "must have" if I ever get another crop body. Like you said, real killer performance in almost the whole range, I don't really noticed any real weak area when compare to other competition,  the F1.8 itself already worth every penny, not to mention it's actually a very useable F1.8 lens.

stevesayskanpai Regular Member • Posts: 316
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

I'm about to return this lens, the focal length just didn't do it for me! Find I need to go wider, or closer in (e.g. 50 1.8 > 35 1.8 for portraits). I had no problems with the quality though.

-- hide signature --

D5100 user. Twitter @stevesayskanpai
Feedback always welcome:
www.stevenjamesmartin.com

 stevesayskanpai's gear list:stevesayskanpai's gear list
Nikon D40 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +1 more
StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

anotherMike wrote:

Hey Dan,

So, you picked up the Sigma 18-35? I don't shoot DX any longer so I sold mine, but man, THAT lens was sweet. Killer performance in a lot of the range, peaking about 24mm near and far IiRC...

-m

I picked up the 18-35 today. Auto focus works fine on the D7100 except 35mm F2.8 it tends to miss sometimes. It also sometimes misses on the D5300 at the same setting. That is when using AF-C. Going to try AF-S later. All other focal lengths and apertures appear good. It is a really sharp lens. This is with the latest firmware update.

 StillLearning's gear list:StillLearning's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Shooting into the sun wide open.

I was actually surprised by the results.  F2.8 at 35 still a problem even with AF-S selected.  Hopefully I can correct it with the USB Dock

Crop of 35 mm F1.8

The problem area 35mm at F2.8

 StillLearning's gear list:StillLearning's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 3,306
Tried 35mm F2.8 on my older D7100

I guess the problem pertains to my newer D7100'  Old one is fine at that setting.  I'll need to test out the other FL and apertures in the morning.

 StillLearning's gear list:StillLearning's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Andrew 3 Contributing Member • Posts: 545
Re: A must have lens for all DX users
4

Rick_Hunter wrote:

I would add to the disadvantages list: "butt-ugly bokeh"

That's the trait I remember most from years ago when I had that lens. Nervous, harsh, unpleasant bokeh, especially wide open.

I'll add to that the harsh and abrupt transition from in-focus to out-of-focus regions. Did not look natural to me at all.  Cheap, yes. Must have, I'd say no.

 Andrew 3's gear list:Andrew 3's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR +3 more
iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

Another advantage is that it has the continuous manual focus override, so you can just turn the manual focus ring whenever you want without first having to switch the lens to manual focus.

This works especially well with back button focus, so you press the AE-L/AF-L button to autofocus or turn the focus ring to focus manually.

Bokeh complaints are usually overblown unless you like to shoot shallow depth of field portraits at night with small lights in the distant background.

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 12,814
I would not want this lens
3

iljitsch wrote:

Another advantage is that it has the continuous manual focus override, so you can just turn the manual focus ring whenever you want without first having to switch the lens to manual focus.

This works especially well with back button focus, so you press the AE-L/AF-L button to autofocus or turn the focus ring to focus manually.

Bokeh complaints are usually overblown unless you like to shoot shallow depth of field portraits at night with small lights in the distant background.

You seem to not get what bokeh is. Bokeh is everything not in focus, and how it is rendered. It is not just about OOF highlight shapes.

The 35mm f1.8 DX renders bokeh very nervously at a variety of distances, which make it a very unattractive lens to me. I would not want to buy it if I had a Nikon APS-C body.

Luckily there are alternatives that behave better: Sigma 30mm f1.4, Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.8, Micro Nikkor 40mm f2.8 DX.

Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,586
Re: A must have lens for all DX users
2

IMO there is nothing wrong with saying it's a "must have" lens for all those DX users who buy a small, lightweight, inexpensive Nikon DX camera for their first DSLR.  For $200 you get into the f1.8 game with a super sharp & contrasty prime.

I rented the Sig 18-35 f1.8 and didn't like it.  I don't think I'd put it on anything less than a D7100.  Ridiculous size & weight, missed focus (just slightly) far too often for my taste and I found the focal range less than ideal.  Too big for probably anything less than a D7100.

iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: I would not want this lens

brightcolours wrote:

Bokeh complaints are usually overblown unless you like to shoot shallow depth of field portraits at night with small lights in the distant background.

You seem to not get what bokeh is. Bokeh is everything not in focus, and how it is rendered. It is not just about OOF highlight shapes.

My point is that for stuff that isn't an out of focus highlight, the quality of the lens' bokeh rendering is much less important than the bokeh connoisseurs let us believe. I did some test shots to prove my point, but between the light and available time not all of them show what I want to show. I used a 50 mm f/1.8 D, the 35 mm f/1.8 DX, the 28-80 D at 50 mm and the 70-300 VR and 70-210 D at 70 mm, all wide open, all cropped to a similar size.

In any event, this is a church tower from my window:

This is the same shot with focus on the side of the window. Note how weird things happen to lights that make up the clock, but the tower itself just gets blurry. That is the point I was trying to make.

Here is the lens of the hour, which IMO actually does better:

The zooms at 70 mm:

And last but not least, an old 28-80 kit lens from the turn of the century:

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
Stacey_K
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 7,864
Re: I would not want this lens
2

brightcolours wrote:

The 35mm f1.8 DX renders bokeh very nervously at a variety of distances, which make it a very unattractive lens to me. I would not want to buy it if I had a Nikon APS-C body.

+1 Yes it's "sharp" but there is nothing special about the images this lens produces at wider apertures.

-- hide signature --

Stacey

 Stacey_K's gear list:Stacey_K's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Sony Alpha 7 +14 more
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Veteran Member • Posts: 9,953
Re: A must have lens for all DX users
1

The 40G Micro is much better.

DAG Photo OP New Member • Posts: 3
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

anotherMike wrote:

Hey Dan,

So, you picked up the Sigma 18-35? I don't shoot DX any longer so I sold mine, but man, THAT lens was sweet. Killer performance in a lot of the range, peaking about 24mm near and far IiRC...

-m

Just picked up my 18-35 a couple of days ago and sold the 35.

UPDATE: The 35 was my must have lens until I tried the 18-35!

Have not been disappointed (although it is a heavy beast)! Much prefer the flexibility of shooting wider if necessary and the IQ doesn't drop off at wide apertures.

 DAG Photo's gear list:DAG Photo's gear list
Nikon D5200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II +1 more
Mlobert New Member • Posts: 5
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

It is lightweight and low priced, fun and easy to use, I think a great buy !

Not the best composition but shot wide open :

 Mlobert's gear list:Mlobert's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM +3 more
Phathom
Phathom Senior Member • Posts: 1,097
Re: A must have lens for all DX users

Dan_168 wrote:

DAG Photo wrote:

Perfectly sharp, lightweight and dirt cheap, this lens is ideal for evening and indoor photography. Its 35mm focal length is roughly equivalent to the human eye's perspective (on a APS-C sensor).

Advantages

  • Very sharp
  • Fast - great for low light
  • Lightweight
  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Filter thread does not rotate

Disadvantages

  • Prone to some purple fringing on high contrast areas when shooting wide open
  • Fixed focal length

If I am shooting with crop sensor, the Sigma 18-35 F1.8 is my "must have" lens.

Ditto to this... the 18-35 f/1.8 replaces three prime lenses and is just as sharp.

 Phathom's gear list:Phathom's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +3 more
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