Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G DX review
4 Conclusion & samples
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent image quality when stopped down just a little
- Fast and accurate autofocus with full-time manual override
- Generally attractive rendition of out-of-focus regions ('bokeh')
- Resistant to flare
- Low price
Conclusion - Cons
- Slightly soft and low in contrast wide open
- Lateral chromatic aberration somewhat higher than traditional 50mm 'standard' primes
- Prone to purple fringing and bokeh chromatic aberration, most visible at large apertures
The AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.8G DX is a lens which certainly caused a degree of dismay on its release, with many Nikon fans disappointed by the decision to make it compatible with the DX format only. However the main benefit of that decision is plain for all to see - even at its introductory price the lens costs rather less than the venerable AF-Nikkor 35mm F2.0D, despite the addition of an AF-S motor to allow autofocusing on Nikon's entry-level D40 / D40X / D60 bodies. It's also less than half the price of the few other DX format standard primes currently on the market (such as the Pentax 35mm F2.8 Macro, Tokina 35mm F2.8 Macro and Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM), so Nikon has managed with this lens to produce the first genuinely inexpensive (sub-$200) fast standard prime designed specifically for digital SLRs.
Within this context, the lens's performance is very impressive. It produces finely detailed images at all apertures (although with somewhat low contrast wide open), focuses quickly and accurately, and handles well in a small, light package. In particular, it's much sharper than typical DX standard zooms such as the Nikon AF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 DX VR or Nikon AF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 DX VR. The fast maximum aperture allows pictures to be taken hand-held in low light levels, while maintaining relatively fast shutter speeds to avoid blur from subject motion (a key advantage over image-stabilised, but slow, kit zooms when photographing people without flash indoors). The slightly less tangible aspects of image quality - such as resistance to flare, and the rendition of out-of-focus regions of the frame - are also dealt with nicely.
If the lens has one major flaw, it is a certain propensity to show chromatic aberration, of both the lateral kind (which can be corrected by the in-camera JPEG processing of the D90 and D300), and the longitudinal (which cannot). To be fair the latter is a pretty well unavoidable with a fast prime, but the 35mm F1.8G DX suffers from it to a rather high degree, and in particular can give some unpleasant purple fringing effects if you're not careful.
Overall, though, it seems almost churlish to complain about these flaws in a lens so inexpensive, which gives otherwise such fine results. It's good to see Nikon finally addressing the lack of purpose-designed, inexpensive fast primes for DX format DSLRs, and we hope they - and other companies - continue with this trend. As it is the 35mm F1.8G DX is, for its winning combination of high image quality, large maximum aperture and low price, a lens which deserves to be on many a Nikon shooter's shopping list.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.5|
There are 25 images in the samples gallery. All pictures are shot in RAW and processed using Adobe Camera RAW to bypass the test cameras' automatic chromatic aberration correction in JPEG. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.
Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. To provide the fairest impression of the lens itself, images are shot in RAW and converted using Adobe Camera Raw at default settings (to bypass the test cameras' automatic JPEG chromatic aberration correction). A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.
Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8G Review Samples
Preview Samples Gallery
There are 17 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.
Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.
All images with ACR in the filename have been processed using Adobe Camera Raw v5.2 with corrections made to white balance but no attempt made to remove chromatic aberrations.
Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8G Preview Samples
|Sophisticated construction by the nature by Orchideon|
|After the Rain by Flor Tempra|
from Macro - Something Pink
|Asilah by Limburg|
from Cozy Corners
With card readers disappearing from MacBooks, USB-C card readers are now a necessity. Macworld's helpful guide compares five models and decodes the current mess of card speeds and certifications.
A Sony a7S II mounted on the outside of the ISS' Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO) for the last seven months has sent back some impressive 4K video and stills.
A Federal judge has refused to throw out a copyright case against controversial artist Richard Prince, who used an image by photographer Donald Graham in an exhibition.
Sony has teased its customers with news of an upcoming announcement: it will soon take the wraps off a new CineAlta motion picture camera, one sporting a 36x24mm sensor.
QuikStories is integrated into the latest version of the GoPro app and automatically creates 'stories' using the video clips you've shot during a day.
Journalists photographing a protest in the US Capitol building claim they were told by Capitol Police to delete photos and videos of arrests.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus secondary display can be used for music playback, date and weather-related information, or as viewfinder when taking selfies with the rear cameras.
Nikon is marking its 100th anniversary in many ways, including the creation of a new scholarship program for 'future visual creators' in the USA and Canada.
Take one Digital ELPH (or IXUS), rotate it vertically, add a fully articulating LCD and a lens with a camcorder-like focal length, and what do you get? Why, the Canon PowerShot TX1, of course. In this week's Throwback Thursday we revisit Canon's one-of-a-kind hybrid stills/video camera.
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind, here's the definitive video proof that yes, a $50,000 cinema camera beats the pants off a $50 camcorder in a side-by-side test.
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.