Nikon 35mm f/1.8G full frame lens review

Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens1
Riccardo Serra will share his first impressions from the new Nikon 35mm f/1.8G full frame lens ($596.95):

Few days ago I got one of the first production samples of the new Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G FX lens. I've been dreaming of this lens since I bought my D700 in April 2012 and I was eager to give it a try. In my opinion the lens was really worth the wait. So I took it for a short evening session and here are my first impressions:

Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review1
Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review4Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review3Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review2

The lens is a bit longer (a couple of centimeters) than my 50mm 1.4G and of comparable weight. The lens hood is made of what seems a far better plastic blend than the usual Nikon hoods (it's clearly thicker) but extends quite much from the front of the lens, so if I'm trying to be discreet I'm leaving it at home. The build quality is in line with the other 1.8 versions (I had the 50mm and the 85mm), so nothing to complain about for this price range (€ 550,00/$596.95).

AF is very, very, very fast (I would dare to say 24-70 grade) and always locks at the first try. Bokeh is delicious for a 35mm, and that's the greatest surprise of this lens: this makes it a very good choice for environmental and wedding portraiture.

Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review7Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review6
On a DX camera it feels just as good, and gives an equivalent 50mm with far better bokeh than my wife's 35mm DX lens (taken with Nikon D7000):

Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens sample1
The new Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G FCX lens shows excellent sharpness wide open but noticeable barrel distortion and a bit of focus breathing. The lens also focuses very closely: the minimum focus distance is only 12,5 cm /5" from the front element:

Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review10


Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review11


Nikon 35mm f-1.8G full frame lens review12

f/1.8 sample

Summarizing, I love this little gem. As a wedding photographer I will certainly benefit from the fast AF and nice bokeh and it will probably replace my 50mm 1.4G as all-around travel lens.


  • Excellent sharpness wide open and vey good bokeh
  • Small and well balanced without lens hood
  • Good build quality
  • Exceptional autofocus
  • Great on DX


  • Cumbersome with lens hood on
  • Noticeable barrel distortion
  • (Maybe) niche lens: a bit expensive for what delivers. You must love that specific focal length.

Some of the shots are slightly post-processed in Lightroom 5 (only in contrast/exposition/color balance, no manipulative or destructive post processing).

High resolution samples are available on flickr.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

This entry was posted in Nikon Lenses, [NR] Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Polygon

    Whoa i didn’t expect THAT much distortion..

    • lallo

      I have one bought yesterday and i sold the sigma 1,4… the nikon is lighter, same quality and smaller

      • Hierro

        Maybe this is the main reason why so many people worldwide actually selling their incredible performing sigma 35 1.4 Art Nikon/canon mount. many used ones on the market…..i’m still surprised it is like a phenomenon if the sigma is such a good lens (maybe a bit overhyped?) and tooooo heavy…

        • leroi

          sima is heavy, 35 mm is a best-seller in travel street photography, with the sigma your nek hurt after 3 seconds

          • sandra

            and sigma has quite focus problem on the long term.. i sent mine 3 times back because af lost my corrections made ​​with the deck, yeah im thinking buy nikon

          • Sleeper

            Yeah I bet no one use Zeiss 21 cos the weight of that lens will kill you.

          • JC

            If your neck hurts, get a better strap. Seriously, why compromise quality? My D800 with a 24-70 on a black rapid, doesn’t feel that heavy. And I’m only 120lbs.

            • crymore

              better yet! They should stick to point and shoot cameras and leave the real heavy work to the rest of us 😉

    • jintoku

      What do you mean? I hope you are not referring to the image with the cobblestone street as that is highly convex.

  • Rafa R

    Never mind that lens, looking at that picture all I can think of, is how i miss my D700, such a beautiful camera

    • reductron

      D700 is like the perfect girlfriend. If it’s refreshed with D800’s dynamic range, it’d regain the first go-to camera on my list.

      • Eggo

        I kept my D700 even after purchasing the D800. I wish they could swap the innards of both cameras. The D700 body and MB-D10 are better constructed.

        • Henri De Vreese

          Construction on the D800 is quite superior imo…
          No experience with the MB-D10, but the new battery grip feels as good as the body itself does.

        • reductron

          Ditto. I kept mine too. Subjectively, I enjoy working with the 700 more; feel, acoustics, etc. The 800’s dynamic range though is clearly superior.

      • What about the depth of the grip. My d700 fit my hand sooo much better. The d800, the tips of my fingers really press into the body, making me strain my hand just to hold on it it. The d700 had just a tiny bit more size, and it fit like a glove. Still love that camera. D800 is great, but its more like an okay looking girlfriend, with a wealthy family. Okay to have around, but not always as nice 😉

        • reductron

          Ergonomics of D700 fit my hands better, hands down. Like the girlfriend of perfect size, such that, the crotches align.

          • silmasan

            ahahah… snug fit!

        • xaphod

          I absolutely agree with you. Here is what I did to my D800 to fix this, and now it feels as good as my d700. It’s called “sugru”, works well.

          • Whoa !
            I was reading this article as I am checking to maybe get this lens and then I saw your image.
            Automatically I felt compelled to take a picture of mine and share with you.
            I’ve done this to mine over a year and a half ago and it’s the first time I see another similar.
            Sugru is a very great product and I keep recommending it to my friends all the time.
            This little add-on/tweak is very helpful and reduces the finger fatigue quite effectively !

    • Eric Duminil

      Bought one used D700 yesterday on Ebay for less than 900€ with grip. I’m in love with Nikon again 😀

      • Rafa R

        I envy you 🙁

  • oingo boingo

    @600$ it better had an outstanding bokeh – otherwise it’ll have a hard time competing with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 A which is amazing. And I say this owning mostly Nikon glass…

    • Russ Barnes

      Agree 100%. The Sigma is unbeatable in my view, there is no current contender and I own a lot of Nikon glass…

      • Alex

        Yes, although i find the autofocus not entirely reliable … (Even after calibration with their thingy)

  • Thanks for posting.

    I’ve been using this lens as much as my Sigma 35/1.4 “Art” and I seriously can’t make up my mind about it. I like the low weight and size a lot, but the Sigma’s rendering more. In some cases, the Nikkor is actually sharper.

    I did some testing, and it’s obvious that it’s very, very good, but it’s missing that certain something that the Sigma has.

    My test:

    • veggie

      nice website 🙂
      maybe the “softer” bokeh at 1.8? i dunno.. i might not even know whats what. but the nikkor seems abit harsh closeup…

      • Hierro

        that “harshness” is the fact of the 1.8 vs. 1.4….shallower dof….less harshness…

    • crana

      nikon way better for that price and weight

    • Eric Calabros

      at center I cant see any difference in sharpness. color rendering is also very close

      • Any guess about the difference in bokeh? I really don’t know, except maybe a small apparent focal length difference.

        • Eric Calabros

          in your samples its a bit hard to compare bokeh. It would be great if you test both outdoor at night, with far subjects in background, I like to see how they render out of focus light spots

          • Hierro

            I definetely agree…


            i would also love to see this test at night….could you do it in your leisure???…just quick & dirrty lol ;)!

            Would be awesome one open question less and another point for an easier decision between both models…

          • silmasan

            Check cameralabs’ review, they have just that in the image samples section. For the 35/1.8 ED that is, haven’t checked for the Sigma.

    • Spy Black

      I’m not sure why you’re thinking the Nikkor looks sharper. The Sigma is the better lens here. Perhaps you’re not noticing that the Sigma is a bit more front focused than the Nikkor in your examples, that may be throwing you off.

      In the areas where they’re both in focus, they look more or less the same. However look at the clock face at any aperture on any of the Nikkor shots and notice the chromatic aberration that’s non-existent in the Sigma shots.

      Also notice how smoother the out-of-focus transitions are, as well as how much smoother and creamier the bokeh is on any aperture on the Sigma.

      In the macro shot the Sigma is vastly sharper at the in-focus point, the Nikkor suffering from spherical chromatic aberration, and the Sigma’s bokeh is once again superior.

      The Sigma is clearly a better lens.

      • cocca

        yeah by 0,1% and the wight-price is 70% more

        • Spy Black

          You didn’t do well in math at school I see…

          • mikeswitz

            Spy Black,
            Weren’t you the guy who kept posting that you would never buy Sigma again after a couple of your lenses fell apart in a few months? That you totally didn’t trust Sigma’s QC.? :=(

            • Spy Black

              Nope, that wasn’t me.

      • silmasan

        The bokeh on the Sigma can be somewhat busy and harsh-looking, I’d definitely not call it “creamy”, unless you’re talking about way out of focus background (then again it’s just “blur”, not exactly “bokeh”).

        That said however, the 35/1.8G doesn’t seem to be that much better either. Looks slightly better than 24-70/2.8 but nothing special.

        Overall, can’t say I’m as enthusiastic about it as with, say, the AF-S 24/1.4 …

        For apochromatic correction + real creamy bokeh, you’ve gotta look into the Otus, 135/2 Zeiss APO, or 200/2 VR. There’s also Voigtlander 125/2.5 APO-Lanthar if you could find one.

        • Spy Black

          “I’d definitely not call it “creamy”, unless you’re talking about way out
          of focus background (then again it’s just “blur”, not exactly “bokeh”).”

          Um, that IS bokeh…

          And yes, the Sigma’s bokeh is much better than the NIkkor’s.

          • silmasan

            I’m in lazy mode right now. I’ll leave your homework to you… Also I’ll leave you to your opinion as well.

            • Spy Black

              That 500px article is trying to redefine bokeh. It’s the OOF areas, period. Google bokeh and pick any hit and see how it compares to that article. That article is simply splitting hairs. Now you can accept that as your definition of bokeh if you like.

              Is a longer focal length lens going to be better at this? Of course. Comparing either of these lenses to a longer lens is moot.

              As for the the Nikkor/Sigma images here, the Sigma is clearly smoother at, yes, the OOF areas.

            • silmasan

              Actually a longer focal length lens isn’t necessarily better. It depends on the design goals and the compromises made.

              I referred to that article because distance matter, a lot, to out-of-focus area. Just because it’s “blurred” more doesn’t mean the bokeh is better. It just means the characteristics are less observable.

              The lenstip’s test actually made it easier to see this evenness, and therefore, to give a good glimpse of the lens’ bokeh quality.

              But since you seem to refer to Inthemist’s test, alright. At least the last samples (the closeup ones) seem to be “blurred” more than the Nikkor, which I suspect is due to different distance or some other factors in play. Not only it’s inconclusive, but it’s far from being a bokeh torture test.

              Really, I can take it if the new 35/1.8 ED turned out to be no better than the Sigma in this regard. But call it “creamy”? That’s quite a stretch.

            • Spy Black

              Well, OK, let’s not “creamy”, let’s just say the Sigma’s OOF area looks significantly smoother that the Nikkors. 🙂

              I think the Nikkor is an OK lens, but not at it’s price. I think $400 would have been a more reasonable price for that lens.

              I do like how Sigma has gone out of their way to correct their 35 to be quite useful right out to full aperture (which I have seen in other full res shots, here it is at f/1.8, not far off however). It shows here in it’s lack of chromatic or spherical aberration even at f/1.8, along with good sharpness.

              Oddly enough, some early Nikkors, in the S series I believe, were surprisingly well corrected lenses in CA. Obviously not as sharp as a modern lens and nowhere as coated, but once you’re around f/5.6 with one of those lenses, well, Nikon didn’t become a legend for nuthin’ 🙂

      • Anthony

        I agree with Spy Black… the difference in most of the photo is minimal, but the clock shows more CA on the Nikon.

        Also, in the close-up shot, the Sigma is clearly a lot sharper in the in-focus portions (the Nikon actually looks really bad there).

        I would say that you end up paying 2/3 of the price (unless you buy your Sigma used for like $700) for 80% of the IQ (and +2/3 stop) and like.. half the weight? (didn’t look this one up). Depends if you value weight vs. absolute IQ.

        The Sigma is extremely sharp even wide open at F1.4 though, so I think I’m going to be keeping mine 🙂

    • lera

      sigma has sometyhing more: price, weight try to walk a 1/2 day and the choice is done

  • zoetmb

    Good review. Thanks for posting. Sometimes such distortion doesn’t bother me – it’s almost part of the artistic decision in using a WA. I’m much more concerned with bokeh and crispness and the lens looks good in those respects.

  • Aldo

    Testing new lenses with the d700… it doesn’t seem right. Like reviewing the old noct from a d800 perspective.

    • manassa

      yeah so do it by yourself or go buy a fuji

    • Kynikos

      The old Noct works just fine on my D800E.

      • Henri De Vreese

        Yes, but it looks WAAAAY better on film.
        The D800e just makes it look cheap and unattractive.
        The new 58 1.4g looks a lot better on the D800e (and is actually about a stop brighter overall than the 1.2 where you would need +2 stops of vignetting control)

        • Kynikos

          We’ll have to disagree on that, but I think both 58s are pretty subjective.

    • Anónimo

      At this sized web images why is it so odd?

  • TeaBreak

    Don’t like the distorsion. Too heavy for professional use.

    • lera

      define “professional” isnt w. klein a professional?

      • TeaBreak

        OK, that’s an elastic term. 😉
        For me as s.o. who earns his money with selling photos “professional” means delivering your clients extraordinary picture quality within the scope of an economically justifiable effort. Don’t have time for precise lens corrections. That’s frustrating when you have to do that for hunderds of photos. All the more since sharpness suffers from every post correction. The examples here show distorsions so heavy that I’am instinctively cannot get my eyes off the curved lines instead of enjoying the captured scene.

        • lera

          so not for professional but for your commercial use

    • preston

      Ridiculous generalization. The distortion is so small that you wouldn’t lose any field of view after automatic lightroom correction.

      • umeshrw

        I read just this kind (yours) of replies and reviews about 16-35 and bought it. Still cursing myself and the people who said that it is easily correctable in post.

      • TeaBreak

        For a prime they’re heavy. No benefit over 24-70/2.8 zoom.

    • Michal Zdunek

      can someone please explain to me where the “extreme” distortion is on those pictures. I’m not blind but I can’t see any with my own eyes…

      thanks for the review and your opinion on the new lens.
      I’m still happy with the performance of the 35mm f/2.0D on my D800E but the 50mm f/1.4D is the lens that sitsmost on the body.

      • umeshrw

        Just take a ruler and put it on the pictures where lines should be straight.

        • Michal Zdunek

          Yeah, I know what barrel distortion is…. but when someone tells me it’s “extreme” I think that it would be easily spottable with my own eyes without putting a ruler on my screen.

          and clearly this is not the case (for me) on those piuctures. 🙂

          • TeaBreak

            For me it is annoying. Even without ruler.

            • Michal Zdunek

              again, when I look at the picture with the man walking towards the photographer you can see walls right and left of the outside… no visible curved lines to mee… are you maybe a T-600 with automatic alignment ?

              but you might have other reqirements and you might only take pictures of staright lines.

              according to your statement that it is so annoying it seems like it looks like a fish-eye lens.

            • umeshrw

              ” but you might have other reqirements and you might only take pictures of staright lines.”
              Now you got it. And yes for those requirements it does seem like a fish eye. Considering that it is a prime and it costs so much and it is just 35 mm is it unacceptable to expect a decently less level of distortion. But then maybe this is the reason why this lens does not have gold ring on it.

        • AM

          Yes, because we all only take pictures of rulers or brick walls.

          • umeshrw

            See the OP. He is talking about PRO use. It does sometimes need taking pictures with rulers or brick walls which need to be straight.

  • Ulysse

    On a DX camera, the 200$ 35mm 1.8G lens is a No BRAINER – it is tack sharp at 1.8 and very compact. If you really need a true bright 35mm focal equivalent on DX, the best option is to get the Sigma 18-35mm and shoot at 23-24mm. If am quite shocked by the high price of the FX version, it is also quite bulky in comparison, suffers from heavy distortion and coma vs the Sigma 35mm 1.4 HSM ART, which offers a brighter, sharper lens for a bit more and half the price of the Nikon 35mm 1.4G lens.

    • zenza

      yeah and have a lens way cucumberstone with weight and price… for us doing travel documentary frames, it is a no brainer the nikon one… the sigma is for the fancy pixelpeeper or studio flaneur

  • Sports

    Thanks for posting.
    Ok, if the 35mm is very, very, very fast, how would you rate the 50mm/1.4G?
    I mean, I know the 50G, so the comparison would add yet another bit of information about the 35.

    • riccardo

      Pretty slow.

      The choice of my words comes from the fact that I heavily rely on the 24-70 for my main occupation, and this is the first lens I use which doesn’t make me miss the AF speed of that zoom.

      Expecially if you consider I’m using both much of the time in low light.

      I haven’t touched a 50mm 1.8G quite for a long time, but I would say this AF is considerably faster.

      Just my 2 cents 😉

    • Hierro

      The 50 1.4 is damn slow one of the slowest lens from nikon…afs 1.8 is much better not only the af, better overall performance, chromatic aberrations etc. have a look at mingthein blog (.com) tested it 3 or 4 times never a good example the 50 1.8 is the best 50 from nikon hands down full stop!!!!
      (58 niche lens/much overpriced therefore the 50 1.4 much better price performance ratio in comparison to the 58)…

      just my two thoughts….;)

  • Anton PupkIn

    I am pretty sure, the lens will lost $150 in the first 6 month, and another $50 in the next 6 month.

    • AM

      I certainly hope so. I like this focal length on FX, but $600 seems to much for this lens. $400 seems about right, $450 at the most.

  • Hierro

    Tough decision….i think i have to wait for more reviews and during that time i hope the price falls to a more realistic/fair level….official price is a shame much overpriced…

    The question is do you really need or want the 1.4 (2/3 extra stops of light gathering capability, slightly better sharpness resolution in center and frame, shallower dof control…) sigma no kind of weather sealing, relatively long barrel/lens…not a nice balance even on a d800e in my opinion…

    Is the 35 1.8 still a sufficient performer (barrel distortion, huge vignetting) ? The 1.8 has still several advantages 360 gramms lighter, rubber gasket, not so long (still partially weather sealed against mositure/dust)….so you can easy take another 1.8 prime (perhaps the 85 or 50 1.8) and you have still less weight on your shoulders…

    Anyway nice samples!

  • Hierro

    @ Riccardo Serra

    Have you ever tested the Sigma 35 1.4 and be able to compare them and telling us your point of view with regard to both?

    • riccardo

      No, I haven’t.

  • Homeros

    I bought this hoping it would have the lovely rendering of the 50/1.8 G.

    My hope was to replace the 35/2 D as a pocket lens to take out when light gets low during street photography.

    I sent it back. It is too large for the pocket. But I would have accepted that. But the rendering is flat and lifeless. Merely serviceable. Not as all as lovely as the 50/1.8G.

  • Rob

    This lens should be $400-$500 Its not as good as the 85/1.8g and I just picked up one for $400. I’d rather spend $200 more and get the Sigma and get the 1.4 look.

    • peterw

      If the 200 euro/dollar wouldn’t be a problem, 600 grams versus 300 could be. Choices… 🙂
      Congrats on the 85. I love it: nice handling, great images. Ergonomically, the nikkor combines best, and is more logical.

  • peterw

    thanks for posting
    There is a difference in how the (manual) focus ring handles on the new G lens series. 50F1,4 and 85F1,8 fine, 28F1,8 not damped and a free throw before it catches. Some say nay to the 35…

    How’s the 35 in your opinion?

    • riccardo

      Similar to the 50 1.4G.

      Actually in my sample the focus ring feels a bit more precise than the 50.

  • Lamar Lamb

    What ever happened to small primes? That thing looks huge on that D700.

    • manassa

      nope is not huge, is well balanced

  • HF
    • AM

      Why is that that now all the reviews need to have a cat?

      • Alex

        A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture of a cat about 5000 words.

    • peterw

      This is the test I was looking for.
      No bad words for the test here on rumors thought. Thanks both.

  • Ricardo

    How this lens compares to the 28 mm f/1.8? I’m trying to decide between the two for event/wedding photography.

    • AM

      Check this out, especially the focal length comparison:

      Keep in mind that the 28mm, since being a wider angle lens, has a deeper DOF than the 35mm, so the out-of-focus areas may be more distracting if your style is subject isolation. But, if you prefer to have more in focus and capture more of the ambient, then the 28mm may be a better option.

    • Gareth

      I use the 28mm and 85mm f1.8 and a Sigma 50mm f1.4 on my D800, and I think that is a good combination. With the 28mm you can always crop a bit tighter if needed. I think 35mm is a bit too close to 50mm, and whilst I really like the 35mm field of view I really love the 28mm. It was fantastic on my D300s, it quickly became my favourite lens, and now it’s just brilliant on my D800.

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    If the Cameralabs sample landscapes are representative, this lens is a better choice than the Sigma at f8 infinity focus. It is every bit as sharp if not better. The flare resistance is in a class all by itself (the Sigma is bad.). I’m getting one.

    • BigEater

      I hope I don’t sound like an idiot, but who shoots a wide-angle lens at infinity? Unless you’re shooting astrological bodies… The whole point of a wide angle is to contrast a close-up subject with a distant background.

  • broxibear

    Nikon usually get a beating over products not being what they should be, but as far as the new f/1.8 G lenses go they’ve all been really good and the 50mm and 85mm have been exceptional.
    If they add a 24mm and 135mm to the range then that’s a hell of a set of FX lenses.

    • AM

      I’d add a 20mm.

      • Gareth

        I totally agree. I’d love a 20mm f1.8, or even an 18mm f1.8, as well as something longer, a 135mm would be brilliant.

  • D800Eowner

    Jared Polin did not like it much

    • AM

      He didn’t lick it, so how would he know if he likes it or not?

      • Trebeco

        Yeah i agree he only loves the fastest lenses 1.4 primes and 2.8 zooms (maybe due to the fact that he mainly shoot concerts, events and sports!!!) because this is the only way of being and feeling pro and he is a pro…..;)…

        All other lenses are not sufficient and not worth any penny….weight and size issues is for him no deal breaker….he travels not so much and has assisstants who “allowed” to take his gear….

        Havent seen any exceptional pictures from him only some standard concert and sport images….nothing special

        • Naval Gunfire

          His personality grates on me massively but how many times have you had your work published in Rolling Stone?

          • Trebeco

            Maybe he is a lucky guy and his work was chosen due to the fact of his crazy personality?

            Perhaps your stage/event shots are much better than his published ones from a photographer point of view but he knows businees/self marketing to stand out of the crowd..

            To be an excellent photographer doesnt mean you will be successful because nobody recognize you/your work…….

            So as trying to being fulltime-pro you have to know about businees, self marketing (“being a brand, famous name”) and being an exceptional seller of yourself and your work in order to be recognized and have a chance to make a living from your work….

            Nowadays this fact is even more important as it maybe was in the past/years ago….

            Perhaps you need 60% of marketing/selfie/seller and 40% of photography knowledge or even more 70 to 30% in order to….

            But these are just hypotethical numbers….

            Just my 2 cents 😉

            • Naval Gunfire

              I’ve been making a living as a photographer for a couple of decades now but please continue to tell me how to run a business.

              Polin produces some good work in my opinion. I’m far too old to put up with people like him who think they are cock ‘o the walk but I think his work sells not just because of his personality and marketing but the quality of the images. You can market yourself all you like but if you can’t take a picture to save your life then you aren’t going to go very far.

              Of course there probably are people out there who can produce better images but can’t run a business to save their life but that is something you could say about most professionals. I’ve seen countless photographers fall by the wayside because they don’t have a shred of business sense even though they take great photos.

              Some copious use of ellipsis to make my point…

    • jaredpollo

      he is a fuji fanboy

  • Santhana Raj

    I am a newbie to Photography, for the past 1+years. I was thinking of going for a fixed zoom lens like 35mm or 50mm. I hear in reviews that 50mm 1/1.4 is not worth the price considering tat i have a Dx camera (D5200). The 35mm 1/4 version is full of barrel distortion.

    Can you advise me on which one lens I should go for??? Are the 1/8 versions any better in either 50mm or 35mm???

    • AM

      Ok, we get the part that you are newbie when you say fixed zoom lens. It’s either fixed or zoom; they cannot be both at the same time. Fixed = one focal length. Zoom = variable focal length. Not trying to be a d!ck, just trying to educate a little bit.
      Now, to your question, for DX, go for the AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G. That will be the best $200 investment you can make.

      • Santhana Raj

        One more question, would this be the same advise, if i say I can afford a 100$ more…

        • Spy Black

          What kind of camera body do you have? DX or FX? If it’s DX like D3x00 or D5x00, the 35mm TeaBreak mentioned is good right at that price as far a fixed lens is concerned. If you have $100 more to spend, save it for another lens down the road.

        • Gareth

          If you can afford it get the 28mm f1.8. On a DX body it’s an equivalent 42mm, which is a perfect standard lens (where the lens focal length = sensor diagonal). I used this lens on my D300s, and it was superb. I cannot recommend it enough. Also, being a full-frame (Nikon FX) on a crop-frame (Nikon DX) body means you get the natural advantage of the sweet spot in the centre filling more of the picture.

        • AM

          Like Spy Black said, save those $100 for the next lens. Unfortunately, DX doesn’t offer a great variety of prime lenses, so you may have to start looking into the FX options.
          The next prime I’d buy would be the AF-S FX 50mm f/1.8G. This makes a great portrait lens on DX and is also $200 ($20 rebate at this moment).

    • Ian Dangerzone

      The first lens I bought for my first camera (D40) was a 50mm 1.8g and it was and still is one of the best, sharpest, most useful lenses I own, and hasn’t outlived it’s usefulness now that I’ve switched to full frame, either. I wouldn’t buy the 50 1.4 for pretty much any reason: more money for roughly equivalent, possibly even poorer performance than the 1.8g. 50mm on the DX body is 75mm equivalent: a pretty useful portrait length.

      Frankly, if you’re not sure what length prime you need, the 18-55 kit lens is astonishingly competent for the money and covers a very useful focal range. Best to decide what kind of photography really interests you, what you’re shooting, before you start buying glass. Like landscape? lots of wide angle options for DX, 11-24mm. Street photography? Grab a 28 or 35 DX equivalent. Portraiture? 60-100mm. Nature? 70-600. Macro? 105mm, 90mm, 200mm, etc.

      Focus on making the best of the tools you have, learning the craft. Too many people get hung up on gear and paralyzed in their art for want of the Next Big Thing. If you’re not sure what your next purchase should be, you don’t need to make a purchase.

    • Colombo

      get the 1.8 primes much much better price performance ratios…..1.4 are often not worht their price overpriced and underperforming….

      if you have the money get the sigma 35 1.4 or nikon 35 1.8 fx if size/weight is an issue and you planning to upgrade to fx in the near future…and the 50 1.8 is doing both quite well..

      otherwise get the 35 1.8 dx and 50 1.8

      maybe it would be better to get instead of the 50 1.8 the 85 1.8 it depends on what kind of function the 50 should have? i think portraiture….85 schould be better for that on a dx it is 135 fx äquiv. …

      best performing trio

      sigma 35 1.4, Nikkor 50 1.8, Nikkor 85 1.8

      best lightest trio

      nikkor 35 1.8 dx or fx, Nikkor 50 1.8, nikkor 85 1.8

    • peterw

      The photos Riccardo Serra shows above are very indicative of the creative possibilities that this new lens offers on a full frame camera. Check the double picture of the two camera’s.
      Alas, on your DX camera there is no lens which offers this kind of wide angle with such shallow depth of field. You can simulate this effect thought, if you arrange your subject to be relatively far away from the back-ground.
      Best is to think about what kind of images you would like to make, and where your present lens is limiting you.
      Also said before: you could explore shallow depth of field on a reasonably broad field of view best with a 35mm F1,8 DX AF-S. The really great thing about that lens, is that it is small. If you buy second-hand, you can sell it for about the same price as you buy it.
      Perhaps even better for shallow depth of field photography is a 50 mm f1,8 or 50mm f1,4. These are rather portraitlenses on a DX-body. This would be a more normal, – the most logical -, use of shallow depth of field to start with.
      What kind of photos appeal to you? You should make up that first, and add it to your question.

      • peterw

        I should have added that the 28 F1,8 would be nearest to the field of view on your DX camera for about 600 dollar, with the depth of view of the 35 on DX at F2,5.
        For 1600 dollar you could have a 24 F1,4, giving the same DOF and the same field of view as the above… (which would not be my way to get to the matter, but why not?).

  • outkasted

    And the beat goes on with my Sigma 35mm/1.4 ‘art’

  • Matt_XVI

    I find it interesting that reading these posts it seems as though the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G doesn’t exist at all. I haven’t seen it mentioned once.

    • Travis

      yeah because it is a so bad performing lens (see mingthein blog)…have to be updated like 16-35, 50 1.4 etc….on a d800/d800e the 1.4 primes (excl. the 85 1.4) are not as good as the 1.8 primes, sadly…

      The 35 is beyond the 50 1.4 the worst 1.4 prime from nikon….it looks like the the 35 1.4 and the 16-35 4 were made by someone who made an internship at the department of lens engineering…;)

      A lot of lens are still missing (16,18,20, 24 primes, new 105, 135 2.0 or 1.8s, fx wide angle fisheye zoom like canon, new tces a 17 tce like canon etc…)…and a lot of lens are too old (16-35, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, new 24-70 2.8 vr) and even those lenses whcih are recommended on the list for the d800/d800e are not sufficient/satisfying as the 16-35, (24 1.4. if af is misaligned than one side astigmatic, 35 1.4, 50 1.4…..and the 58 1.4 is not a masterpiece of engineering as is quoted/sold….on level with the 50 1.4 only slightly better..

      I cannot understand why nikon pay so much attention emphasis and money on the contructionn of new lenses and updating old ones….so maybe have to make an ONLINE PETITION with the desire “please spend less money and put less emphasis, time on marketing more on consumer friendly issues as continously firmwareupdates (like fuji), more/new dx lenses if it has a future for them and DEVELOPING/BRINGING out NEW lenses and UPDATING the OLD ONES that are not being able to comply with the high demanding sensor of the d800/d800e….

      Nikon knows a lot of excellent marketing but sadly they lost historically their exceptional engineering of Nikkor lenses….

      Having the best lens line-up of all camera manufacturers meaning in the quality of lenses optically and in quantity of different lenses would be a huge plus and a strong argument for consumers to say ok in order to have the best available possibilites of building my camera sysem, nikon has the edge….best lens line up, im investing in nikons system…..

      Cannot understand nikon not to see this argument….its a shame ;)…


      You put less money on get experts/the best engineers for your lens department as it looks and sadly maybe more for your marketing department

      Or cost-cuts in the department of lens development and engineering???

      Is the last place in a company where someone should make cost-cuts…

      Hope nikon gets back on his direction and has a glory future..

      • Michiel953

        The AFS 35/1.4G is an excellent lens. If you know how to handle it of course, which may be your problem (and the verbal diarrhea).

        • Travis

          Thank you for your compliment 😉

          I got one again the last one is decades ago….;)

          Maybe you have problems with the fact that you didn’t buy the sigma which is much,much better than the nikon 35 1.4 even without considering the huge, huge price difference (every review/dxo mark ranking etc. clearly showing this) and throw away lots of money…..

          • Michiel953

            Sorry Travis, I don’t have that problem at all. Measurements aren’t that important to me. I look at what that lens does for me, and I’m satisfied, particularly after taking the time to get to know it.

            Another problem I don’t have is the hyperbole one.

  • jintoku

    Sigma could have earned silly amounts of money had they made an f1.8 35mm lens for $500. It would have cost a fourth of the f1.4 to manufacture, and they could have sold a hundred times more items at half the price of the f1.4.

    • Melv_nikon

      Agree. Instead of releasing the 24/1.4 art, sigma should focus on a 2.0 or 2.8 version and make it flawless wide open. Smaller lighter at a reasonable price. We already have to many heavy lenses. i prefer smaller size and less weight

  • Zeckson

    I would hope to see a review of this lens performance on today’s high megapixel cameras. 🙂

  • Marcel Speta

    good lens for sure, but the bokeh is not the best…. i love bokeh from Sigma Art more.

  • Mike

    Bokeh looks nervous just like 50/1.4G.

  • fujita28

    I own a 35mm f/2D. It’s a fairly old lens but it’s still solid. Is this lens worth the upgrade?

    • AM

      Are you experiencing any issue with it? Aren’t you pleased with the results you’re getting from it?

    • Marcel Speta

      I was thinking the same way until I’ve seen the result of new lens… so no upgrade necessary. This lens could provide more resolution for new sensors than the D version, but that’s all. I am still using 12Mpx system (D3s,D700) and this wouldn’t bring more benefit. Sigma 1.4 ART is little bit different story….
      Unfortunately old D version is quite hard to sell for meaningful price … and this lens will serve you another years without big problems. My suggestion is to keep it and rather go out and take some nice and interesting photo, this would make you happier 🙂

  • Alex

    Anyway, If you like distorsion that much, get the Voigtlander 40mm f2. This is my best lens ever, despite its distorsion. Light, pancake, solid, sharp, perfect field of view for travel. (+20mm voigt for wide shots)

  • BigEater

    Re: Cost vs. performance: There’s no use in debating whether a lens is worth the price. Lenses cost what they cost. If you need what the lens offers, buy it. If you don’t, keep putting away your pennies for the 200mm f/2.

    • silmasan

      …and the 135/2 Zeiss APO, and the Otuses (Otii?).

  • neonspark

    I think this finally puts the “nikon doesn’t have enough normal primes” argument to a rest.

  • Chris

    After using both this and the Sigma 35 1.4 I’m sticking with the Sigma. The bokeh and image rendering of the Sigma for me look 1000 time better.

    • Michiel953

      Apart from the hyperbole (on sharpness? Oh well…) let us know after two years of heavy use.

  • Lfber

    The question, for me, is: should I trade my 35mm f/2.0D for this 35mm f/1.8?

    • Michiel953

      It’s probably a little better, so yes, why not

    • peterw

      I guess all of us wish that this new lens would be like it’s bigger brother 35 F1,4 AF-S (Images and built quality) and the 35 F2 AF-D… (small and light). Image quality really looks a very strong step up from the 35 F2, especially at apertures larger than F2,8. If you are not a pixel peper, shoot at F5,6 or beyond and allways with the light in your back, I’d say it is not nescessary to make a move (Ken Rockwell does have a point).

      Untill now, I have never been disappointed with a lens after chasing the internet
      for reviews (reading at least three and looking for different findings).
      But this lens I will not buy without testing it myself. IQ looks really
      good. Built quality… mwah, don’t know.
      If the Sigma wouldn’t be so heavy, for me the choice would be obvious. Only other draw back of the Sigma is that it manual focusses in the other direction (can be quite annoying if you don’t use it every day). I love the bokeh and close focus image quality.
      Well, I don’t take pictures for a living, so I can live with taking pictures like I liked last year. There is some charme in the softness and the rude bokeh of the 35 F2… But it doesn’t really mix that good in a series with the crispness of newer nikkors.

      Whether you should or shouldn’t trade this lens?

  • Volkan Gürgen

    what about comparison of this lens and f2-D 35mm? its lighter and has good optics also, reviews say so…

    • peterw

      did you read any of the posts below Volkan?
      the F2 AF-D is not shining optically.
      read for instance the for the sigma 35 F1,4 and the nikkor 35 F2.
      Optically, this F1,8 AF-S is more like the new Sigma (judging from photos on the internet.)

  • volkan

    As I read f2 d is not a contrast lens but optically not that bad. Sigma or 1.4g are both too heavy for street photohraphy. I will buy this 1.8g fx instead of f2d, no need to try older one but I wish this would be 200g too..

  • fan

    There is a Canon 40mm f2.8 lens in the market. i hope nikon can make a 42mm f1.8 full frame lens also to compete with Canon for potential full frame camera users. hope nikon is listening.

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