Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 S Review
Nikon has spent the last year steadily filling out its Z-mount lens range, and a handful of further optics should expand the line to nine native options by the end of the year. But the Z 35mm F1.8 S is one of a trio of optics unveiled right at the start of the system – and with a classic focal length and usefully wide aperture, its appeal should be broad.
As with the Z Nikkor 50mm F1.8 S that was launched at the same time, Nikon is keen to stress that this isn’t any ordinary 35mm F1.8 lens, but rather one that’s been designed specifically for superior optical performance to match high-resolution sensors, such as the Z7’s (and presumably those of future bodies). It’s neither the smallest lens of its kind nor the cheapest, but being part of a new generation of optics, we should perhaps expect it to deviate a little from what we’re used to.
This is currently the widest prime lens available for the Nikon Z system, although it will soon lose that status to the Z 24mm F1.8 S, on Nikon's roadmap for later this year.
All pictures by Matt Golowczynski unless otherwise noted.
- Focal length: 35mm
- Aperture range: 8-16 (In 1/3 EV stops)
- Filter thread: 62mm
- Close focus: 0.25m (0.82ft / 9.8in)
- Maximum magnification: 0.19x
- Diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm)
- Hood: HB-89 petal-shaped hood (supplied)
- Length / Diameter: approx. 86 x 73 mm (3.4 x 2.9in)
- Weight: approx. 370g (approx. 13.1oz.)
- Optical construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
In contrast to Canon's cavalcade of pro-grade, big, pricey, fast aperture L-series lenses for its new RF mount, Nikon seems intent on courting enthusiasts with a solid lineup of smallish, fairly affordable (all sub-$1,000 so far) F1.8 primes (plus the more pro-focused Z 24-70mm F2.8 S). With the just-announced Z Nikkor 85mm F1.8 S joining the F1.8 lineup, and the 24mm and 20mm F1.8 both also in the pipeline (the 20mm is slated for 2020), it's clear that Nikon believes F1.8 is a sweet spot.
Nikon cites four factors in particular that should make the Z Nikkor 35mm F1.8 S’s overall optical performance shine. The first is high resolving power, which is credited in part to the optics used but also to a multi-focusing system to keep things consistent wherever you happen to be focusing in the scene.
There’s no Vibration Reduction system in the lens itself, but both current Nikon Z-series bodies offer in-camera stabilization
A pair of extra-low dispersion elements help to banish chromatic aberration, as well as three aspherical lenses to combat spherical aberration and distortion. Those low-dispersion elements are also behind the second claim, namely reduced axial (longitudinal) chromatic aberration, which is often an issue with fast-aperture prime lenses of this sort.
The third claim is superb point reproduction of point light sources at night (ie minimal coma and spherical aberration) while the final claim regards natural bokeh, with nine rounded diaphragm blades in the design to help keep out-of-focus points of light circular. Incidentally, these are the same four claims made for the Z 50mm F1.8 S that was developed and launched at the same time, late last year.
|The Z 35mm F1.8 S is sealed against dust and moisture at several key points (shown here in yellow).|
Nikon’s venerable anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat technology has also been employed in order to boost light transmission and minimize flare and ghosting, and this is joined by multi-layered Super Integrated Coating that serves much the same purpose.
There’s no Vibration Reduction system in the lens itself, but both current Z-series bodies (and presumably most if not all future models) have been furnished with their own sensor-based Vibration Reduction systems. In the absence of any VR switch or programmable buttons on the lens barrel, that also means that Vibration Reduction is controlled through the menu (you can’t assign this to any function or customizable buttons).
The lens comes with a petal-shaped hood as standard, and a lens wrap is thrown into the box too.
Firmware version 1.30 adds a number of new customizability settings and addresses a number of issues present in past firmware versions.
You've seen sample photos from a pre-production Fujifilm X-A7 shot by our friends at DPReview TV – here are some of our own.
A new type of ultra-thin lens uses a large number of microstructures to focus light onto a sensor.
We would expect the iPhone 11's Portrait Mode to outperform the Pixel 3, and it does. But Google has its work cut out in more than one way if its next-gen flagship is to stay competitive.
Researchers from Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart have developed a pixel design with the potential for massively increased dynamic range thanks to the ability to 'count' the number of times an individual pixel resets when it becomes saturated with light.
The redesign brings a new interface and a number of other fixes to the desktop app used to manage Adobe's Creative Cloud apps and services.
Founder of Imaging Resource Dave Etchells has confirmed that the site he created more than 20 years ago is set to close at the end of the year.
The small change could be a sign of things to come in later iOS 13 updates for the default Camera app
Pixelmator Pro version 1.5 Avalon comes with a number of upgrades, including support for macOS Catalina, the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, as well as machine-learning powered noise reduction and improved performance.
Nikon's Z mount just evolved to include an APS-C product line. So what does this tell us about the company's APS-C strategy?
If you want a camera that you can pick up and use without having to page through the manual first, then this guide is for you. We've selected seven cameras ranging from compacts to full-frame, all of which are easy to operate.
Following a successful Indiegogo campaign earlier this year, Canon has now announced the impending public availability of its compact IVY REC camera.
In news that won't surprise anyone with a basic understanding of physics, a new promo video shared by Canon Korea confirms canon's forthcoming RF 70-200mm F2.8 lens will feature an extending zoom barrel.
The 'new' film is a re-worked formula of Lomography's Berlin Kino B&W film that's said to add ''an upgrade in [photographers'] freedom of creative choice, no matter if they shoot with 35mm or 120 format.'
Sigma has announced the pricing and availability of its compact full-frame mirrorless camera, the fp. It will cost $1,899 for the body-only and $2,199 as a kit with the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens.
Nikon says it made the Z50 for Instagram users, but technical editor Richard Butler finds little evidence of this, which leaves him wondering who's going to buy it.
Tech analyst firm TechInsights has broken down the components inside Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Max and estimated the camera components to cost $73.50.
Need more Z50 sample photos? This gallery was captured using a pre-production Nikon Z50 while filming this week's episode of DPReview TV.
The Nikon Z50 is here. Nikon's latest Z-series camera features an APS-C sensor and is being launched alongside two DX-format kit zooms. Take a closer look at the Z50 in this hands-on article.
Nikon has announced a roadmap for its Z-mount mirrorless system. The roadmap includes high-end primes, 'compact' primes and a selection of zoom lenses.
The Z50 is Nikon's first Z-mount mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor, and it launches alongside a pair of DX zoom lenses. Chris and Jordan had a chance to use a pre-production model and share their experience in this hands-on preview.
We were fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with a pre-production Nikon Z50 ahead of the launch, so we brought it to some of our favorite Seattle photo spots to see just what it can do.
Nikon's 58mm F0.95 'Noct' lens could be the most impressive optic yet for Nikon's Z-series mirrorless cameras. Find out what Chris and Jordan think of this flagship prime lens for Z-mount, and why it may become their new unit of measure.
The Nikon Z 58mm 0.95 'Noct' is Nikon's fastest ever lens, described by the company as a flagship prime designed to take full advantage of the new Z mount with no compromises. We've had our hands on one - click through to learn more.
Nikon has announced the Z50, its first Z-mount mirrorless body to use an APS-C sensor. While it lacks in-body stabilization like the Z6 and Z7, it does have a 21MP sensor, on-sensor PDAF, 11 fps bursts, and a weather-sealed body. Also announced are 16-50mm and 50-250mm kit lenses.
After over a year of teasers, Nikon has finally announced full details of the Z-mount 58mm F0.95 Noct. It's the fastest Nikkor lens ever produced, shipping October 31st for $8000.
Nikon has finally announced the long-awaited battery grip for its Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras. The MB-N10 is simply a battery holder: no controls are offered for portrait-orientation shooting.
Rumors have swirled for the past two months around a forthcoming DJI Mavic Mini release. Today's FCC database filing has confirmed it.
The new tool makes it easy to remove distracting or unwanted backgrounds in images directly within your browser.