Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED FX lens tested by DxOMark

DxOMark published their test results for the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED full frame lens ($596.95):

Nikon’s new modestly priced models, starting with the 50mm f1.8, then followed in quick succession by the 85mm, 28mm and now the new 35mm all perform to a remarkably high level. In fact the 50mm, 85mm and 35mm challenge the firm’s ultra high-speed models in optical quality.

While they can’t match the mechanical standard of those models they certainly make a compelling alternative if weight and price are a consideration, and the new 35mm looks set to be a popular choice for street photography and reportage.

Lens Model Price DxOMark Score Sharpness P-MPix
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon 899 43 30
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon 1843 38 23
Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Nikon 599 37 20
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED 600 36 27
Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon 1005 36 24
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G 1797 36 22
Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D 365 28 21
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  • Sharpness is not everything but I have to admit Nikon 85f1.8G is such a great glass I do not carry 85 f1.4G AFS to weddings anymore. Just the chromatic aberration is a bit visible but other than that really great glass Nikon. If this 35 behaves similar way then this is simply perfect moneymaker for its price IMO 🙂

    • El Aura

      Just curious, what makes your carry the f/1.8 over the f/1.4? Is it better in some respects or just as good but lighter?

      • It is lighter for sure and when compared to the faster brother I could not see any difference in image quality at all ! Even the focusing was almost same.

        • Cos

          Hi, Josef
          What camera are you using? I clearly see a big difference between these lenses on d800e.

          • D3s

          • Simon Goldsworthy

            So do I, but in favour of the F1.8G… Not trolling, I’m sure there are good copies of the F1.4G out there, but every copy I tried (4!) was soft from F1.4-F2.8

            • noticed

              yes, 1.4G is soft from 1.4 – 2.8. I noticed that too. The only remedy is rock solid stability during shutter click, and focus on a contrast edge. Then 1.4 delivers an accurate punch!

              so avoid subjects who cannot be stable…

    • Matt_XVI

      I agree with the 85mm f/1.8G being a fantastic lens. Owning the new 35mm f/1.8G I can tell you that I like it’s characteristics just as much. Combined they are my absolute favourite lens combo and I have some pretty darn good glass in my kit.

      Also, for what it’s worth, I also owned the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G for a couple of years, and like the 85mm f/1.4G, a much more expensive piece of glass. I just sold it. In my opinion it didn’t render images nearly as nicely as this new lens and was WAY slower to focus. Had it not been for the build quality I would have thought the f/1.8 was the more expensive lens.

      • Pretty much as I see it. People sometimes described that f1.4 gives them better bokeh, but from my experience to me images looked unrecognizable if you compered them next to each other.

        • pyktures

          I suppose the Nanocoating comes to play when shooting a backlit situation….

          • It might it might not. I guess it depends how high is the sun in some shots in late afternoon it is more visible in some less 🙂 Who knows. I shoot 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 all three N lenses and at some situations I do not see any difference against non Nano lenses in backlight scenes …just IMO 🙂

          • Matt_XVI

            I actually find the new 35mm f/1.8 handles backlit images, ghosting and flare better than my old 35mm f/1.4G with Nano Crystal Coating. I was not expecting that.

        • Matt_XVI

          Hi Jeff,
          I find the bokeh on the 35mm and 85mm f/1.8s just as good as their bigger f/1.4 siblings, however I actually prefer how the f/1.8s render their images and in the 35mm case find it focuses much faster.

      • paulski

        What about the build quality is superior, in your opinion? Are they not both made of the same polycarbonate?

        • Matt_XVI

          In my opinion the 35mm f/1.8G feels MUCH cheaper than my old copy of the 35mm f/1.4G. That being said it does have a nice little heft to it for it’s size (whereas I find the 28mm f/1.8 does not).

          All things considered though I use these lenses professionally and sold the 35mm f/1.4G and am SO much happier with the new 35mm f/1.8G.

          If you’re interested in sample images, please check out this gallery (not at 100% crop but you get an idea for what it can do). All but 3 photos were taken with the new 35mm f/1.8G.


          • KnightPhoto

            Matt – You ARE A photographer!!!!

            I’ll be listening to anything you have to say from now on, well done!

            • Matt_XVI

              Whoa! KnightPhoto my man! Just saw this! Thank you my friend and happy shooting to you!

      • RBR

        Matt_XVII What body are you using them on? (I have the 85mm f/1.8G on a D7100 and have been pleased with it.)

        • Matt_XVI

          I’ve been using it on our D3S and two D700 bodies and absolutely LOVE how it renders images.

          As mentioned above, if you’re interested in sample images, please check out this gallery (not at 100% crop but you get an idea for what it can do). All but 3 photos were taken with the new 35mm f/1.8G.

    • saywhatuwill

      Since we’re discussing the 85mm f/1.4G I wanted to throw my 2-cents in. I’m sure the f/1.8G is a great lens, but the reason why I purchased the f/1.4G was because it made pinpoints of lights stay pinpoints of lights in the corners at f/1.4G. I found that truly amazing and now expect it in all my lenses, though none of them can do that unless they’re stopped down.

  • DuncanM

    I was not expecting this level of performance at all. A little heavy on the chromabs, but all in all looks like a great buy. Just another to add to the long list i guess…

  • silmasan

    Also just went live on lenstip:

    It has more pronounced LoCA than Sigma 35 A, but better/smoother bokeh. Trumps Nikon’s own 35/1.4.

  • Kynikos

    Expected more vignetting in the test score.

    • Global

      Maybe only because a lot of people who probably never had an f/1.8 lens before keeps complaining about vignetting wide open?

      Almost all f/1.4 and f/1.8 lenses vignette heavily wide open — with various lens profiles often making corrections in body to an arbitrary value (especially for Nikon) — so it makes sense that they’d be relatively similar.

  • EJPB

    Is Nikon still a major lens manufacturer or are they just pretending to be one? Sigma Art is nowadays beating anything. I own the 35mm F1.4: never seen a lens so sharp, so perfect even beating Leica or Zeiss. I keep on claiming that all Nikons show wide open a kind of CA that is unacceptable in 2014. Oh yes, LR allows you to correct this. Like a poor conceived car that is kept on the road by means of firmware.

    • AM I Am

      Nikon outsells Sigma hands down. So your answer is yes, Nikon is by far a major lens manufacturer.

    • Bokeh Monk

      Umm . . . Nikon has a 75 year history of being one of the best lens manufacturers in the world, Sigma has a couple of higher end optics to it’s credit – give it a decade before being so judgmental !!!

    • Global

      “Sharper wide open” doesn’t mean that its a better lens. Basically, Sigma execs have stopped making GARBAGE lenses, which they previously were making in way too high proportion to the occassional gems they produced (which often suffered — and often still do suffer — from serious quality control and AF problems). But you would not yet be able to fill your bag with Sigma glass for every lens. And the AF and QC problems are still much higher than Canon or Nikon (even if those guys have their own problems).

      Nikon never claimed to try to beat the “best lenses” — and they never claimed even try to be a kind of German-Swiss precision and the luxury god of lenses… they have never even tried to be that — but Nikon does make “consistently good” lenses with very small variations. While Nikon has had some camera body QC issues as it has jumped to a much faster update cycle (except for the D400 of course), its lenses have been very consistent and it produces EXCELLENT lenses in any focal length you could want (14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 60mm, 85mm, 105mm, 200mm, etc) with scores of good lenses and consumer lenses overlapping for personal budget and zoom choice.

      Honestly, Nikon should take more risks (like their 58/1.4 and 14-24mm), instead of being so conservative. They should take risks the way Sigma has done with lenses like the very compelling 50-500mm, 18-35mm/1.8, and 150-300mm/2.8.. and of course their new ART philosophy! And although innovation shouldn’t “start with your competitor” if your the big guy or one of the top 2, but the fact is that competition is what drives competition and often the top 2 or 3 brands are very lazy in a kind of unspoken collusion to maximum prophets. Canon is just as lazy and often lazier than Nikon in that regard. The top guys are often too bureaucratic, too conservative, too afraid, too successful with the status quo. And those kind of things kill innovation. But they come with being very reliable and very good in general. So its not unsurprising that curve balls and market changes come with the mid-level competitors who suddenly see a weakness. But this in no way takes away the fact that Nikon has been extremely reliable, consistent and of good to excellent quality. None of this MegaPixel madness means much of anything to anyone except the internet peepers. Nikons 35/1.4 and 35/1.8 will look JUST AS GOOD using the D800E as most viewing sizes, and if you never knew a Sigma existed, you would be praising those results as superb! Nikon has done nothing wrong here, and, indeed, delivered a very affordable f/1.8 of very good quality.

      I think the better question is “why did it take Sigma so long?” They are a very capable glass company and could drive the market as much as Nikon and Canon and perhaps even more than Sony, I think, for sure. Well, frankly, driving the market takes nearly radical risks and companies that are doing more than well enough under the status quo dont go around changing things. Well. Change has come to Canon and Nikon. Oly/Pan m4/3, MILCS, cellphone cameras, Sony and Fuji, and Sigma ART. Being slow and reliable means they’ll come around — but you shouldn’t hold your breath. Until then, take advantage of the competition where you can or, if you still like Nikon and Canon, just enjoy their consistently good works until the competition gets so good you can no longer resist. But while Sigma probably has no idea how it will ever get lenses sharper than the ART ones its making now, Canon and Nikon are surely thinking “we only need to make lenses just sharp enough for the current cameras — and later on, we’ll make them slightly sharper again”. Incremental, slow, steady, reliable. Theres no other reason why the 20mm/f2.8 would still be on the market. Sold new. Kind of mind-boggling. But there it is! If Sigma were to make a stunning gem of a 20mm/1.8 ART, I’m sure Nikon would update in a heartbeat. Might be just a very good 20mm/f2, the incremental improvement. But that’s how it goes. If they were constantly making everything as “the best” we’d probably have to pay Leica prices for everything and it would only be a tiny group of super rich who owned Nikons.

      • whisky

        well written. like Thom, I think ;~).

      • guest

        Sensor density and, e.g., Nikon’s, customers will eventually demand Leica APO 2/50 performance for their 70MP cameras. We know that’s silly, but what is a company like Nikon going to do? Ignore them? Move all production to Vietnam or Bangladesh? Also, at some point incremental changes will not take the (lens) to the next needed spec level and something big has to change. The first will be prices. See Otus.

        “tiny group of super rich” sounds like something from a CNN piece. We’d better hope that’s not the case, right?

        (PLUG): Check out, they have some interesting datasets and are a pretty entertaining read.

      • EJPB

        Where are the times Nikon had proudness over the F-system? Back in the sixties, there was nothing better around. 2014: Nikon is only losing market share and business is going down. Do you know what is a disaster? Not seeing that competition can do better than yourself. It is not only Sigma, there is a whole world full of better performers in many areas, Nikon is not a visionary player anymore. And even reflects in this plastac range of AF-S’s, with only a very mediocre design.

        • Me

          >I’m not even talking about Sigma, there is a whole world full of better performers in many areas


          • EJPB

            Sony, Zeiss, Olympus, Fujifilm, Leica

  • Carleton Foxx

    Could someone explain what they mean by “best at f=35mm & f/2.” Are they saying that the highest score recorded for the lens was at f/2? I see this on all their reviews and it just doesn’t make sense to me because few lenses are at their best wide open…. Could someone explain it.

    • Louis-Félix Grondin

      I’d like better explanainations too, but from what I understood, dxo gives a score to a lens by taking into account it’s maximal aperture (a really sharp 35 f4 without vigneting for instance would not score a lot better than a soft 34 1.4). The score is given for the best matching set focal-aperture (the lower the better)-performance measures (the higher the better) and the calculations behind it seem to give a lot of importance to light transmition. This is only based on my own experience with DXO.

    • Manfred

      In my opinion:
      This “best at…” as well as the whole overall score is pretty nonsense: They seem to include in some (strange) way all the five test values mentioned, including transmission. Of course transmission is “best” wide open, so usually all lenses are “best at” (nearly) wide open.
      Of course sharpness and vignetting will increase stopping down. You have to refer to the detailed test results to see this.

    • Sebastian

      DxO’s measurements are well done and science-based (though only from on a single sample, AFAIK), but the “overall score” is pure marketing BS. They think they have to provide such a single-number metric because customers cannot possibly understand more complex evaluations. It’s the usual self-fulfilling prophecy of marketing.
      Just ignore it. The measurements themselves are quite useful, even if the units are strange (like “perceptual MP”). Still useful, when comparing across lenses.

      • El Aura

        A lot of tests provide an overall score: photozone, dpreview. If you don’t find it useful just ignore it. No need to point it again and again in every single thread about DxO test results (and somehow much fewer people criticise photozone for their star rating).

    • El Aura

      Very simple, DxO is grading on a scale. Not sure if it is only resolution-based or not, but simply put, the performance at each f-stop is compared to some kind of expected value (which might even be loosely based on their average lens test results for that f-stop and focal length) and the f-stop where it exceeds the expected value the most is labelled as the f-stop where it is the best in relative terms (compared to the expected value).

      • Carleton Foxx

        Thanks…You guys are awesome…

  • Spy Black

    The Samyang is $449, not $599. Other than it being manual focus, it’s the best bang for the buck of the group, followed by the f/1.8G.

    • chkchkboom

      I believe those are the initial prices. The Bower/Rokinon versions of the Samyang lens can be found for even less at $300-400. I got the Bower and it is solid performance wise and has the AE/focus chip just like the Samyang, so I’m not sure what the difference actually is, if any. The bit of extra light and very low CA are welcome. Focusing manually can be both challenging and enjoyable but overall has been rewarding as it has helped me learn what my equipment and I can and cannot do.

      Would I get the FX 35/1.8 for my D7100 if it was out and I was buying all over again? Not sure, but from their tests the difference in CA is greater while the difference in sharpness is less dramatic on DX.

      Btw, I think OPs image should show them all tested on the same camera for consistency!

  • broxibear

    It does make you wonder why the f/1.8G series lenses from Nikon seem to out perform the f/1.4G versions so much.
    One thing’s for sure it throws away any notion that lenses made in the Sendai plant in Japan are somehow “better” than the Chinese made ones.
    I know there are many complaints of Nikon, and much of it well deserved, but credit where credit’s due, the f/1.8G lenses are fantastic and well priced…I’m sure there will be more before the year is out.

    • Eric Calabros

      135 f/1.8? I wait for that

      • AM I Am

        I see that hard to accomplish. 135mm f/2 has been more like the standard. A f/2g will be more than welcome though.

        • broxibear

          Yeah, I think it’s more likely to be an f/2 for the 135mm.
          The other ones which I think will come are a 24mm and 16mm…maybe not at f/1.8 though. In saying that the 58mm was a complete surprise, so who knows what other lenses we might see ?

        • Pat Mann

          I agree. Not necessarily hard, but too many compromises. A 135 f/1.8 would struggle with a 77mm filter at a true aperture of 75mm, and I doubt they’d go larger than 77mm. Of course, f/1.8 is usually f/1.87 or f/1.92 – they take liberties in labeling.

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            If they are going to continue with the slightly less fast primes then they need a 135 f2.4. I have some old Vivatar 135 f2.5 lenses that work well and they are fairly small I’m thinking the filter was 58 mm. The old Nikon135 f2.8 lenses all had 52mm filters.

    • Dpablo unfiltered

      “It does make you wonder why the f/1.8G …”
      It is that much harder to make a good fast lens. There is much more to correct.

  • Global

    Are all of these measured at f/1.8 or something??

    Stopped down, the Nikon f/1.4 gets sharper. If the f/1.8 essentially starts stopped down, doesn’t that skew the results?

    Maybe they should test them all at f/2, since the Zeiss is an f/2 lens. I don’t understand the comparison.

    • silmasan

      For that kind of (actually useful and reliable) comparison, you’ll want to watch out for a proper review at, or maybe some snippets here and there from

      • Pat Mann

        I’ve stopped paying much attention to DXOs lens analysis since the older 60 f/2.8 outscored the new one on every single individual characteristic, yet scored lower overall. With that result, either the individual scores are badly designed, or the overall score is badly designed. Without knowing which, I have to consider them both not worth paying attention to.

        • El Aura

          Assume for a second that at f/2.8 both lenses have the same resolution. Giving them the same score (which DxO does) is a completely normal result.
          How would you score lenses with different f-stops? Only compare them over lens stops they have in common? That surely would short-change the faster lens. Only score them at the optimal f-stop? That is one of the scores DxO publishes, the Sharpness score. No, what everybody would do is to compare the faster lens with other lenses that offer the same f-stop. For example, take the average of all lenses at f/1.4 and the average of all lenses at f/2.8. If the average is 30% less resolution at f/1.4, then you take give a lens that produces the at f/1.4 30% less resolution than at f/2.8 the same number of points at both f-stops. You do this for all f-stops of a lens and there will be one f-stop where it has the higher number of points, not because it has the highest resolution at that f-stop but because it has the highest relative resolution (relative to its peers, same f-stop, same focal length, tested on the same camera).

          The old and the new 60 mm just happen to have both have their highest relative resolution at f/2.8 and thus the value achieved their is quoted as the headline number. What is the problem with that? They quote six numbers but don’t use any of the absolute scores as the headline number because, eg, taking distortion as the headline score would tank almost all wideangles compared to teles.

  • Neopulse

    I hope to give this lens later on as a gift for a D7100. It’s a good performing lens and a nice standard length on an APS-C.

    • Deep_Lurker

      If it’s for a D7100, then why not the 35mm f/1.8G DX lens? What advantage does this lens have other than being FX?

      • Larrry

        Acquiring good glass for a future upgrade path as the next step up is FX. A 35 DX wouldn’t be truly functional except as the compromised utilization on FX.

        • Pat Mann

          At 2.5x the price? That’s just silly. There’s no need for an upgrade from DX – the current generation of 24mp sensors provide outstanding results. Nikon just needs to extend the lens range with some key useful wide primes and a short tele zoom, and provide a D300s replacement, so it’s a complete top-rate system.

        • Deep_Lurker

          So you’re saying that it has no advantage other than being FX – and that “being FX” is reason enough to spend the extra money on this lens.

          YMMV but I think the “you might, maybe, someday, upgrade to FX” argument is oversold. You are likely to be using a DX body with that FX glass for years and years, and even if you know that you are going to be buying a new FX body within a year or two, the niche that the lens fills in your kit will change.

          In my case, I won’t be buying an FX camera unless I win the lottery. And if I win the lottery, then the money I “wasted” by buying mere DX lenses for my DX cameras won’t matter.

        • El Aura

          Let’s say you started with kit zoom on a DX camera. Would it be better to buy a 35 mm f/1.8 DX + a 50 mm f/1.4 or only a 35 mm f/1.8 FX?

          • peterw


            if you don’t plan on buying a FX camera this year, you don’t need the AF-S 35F1,8 ED FX. In a year this lens will be about 100 euro/dollar cheaper, which is more than half the price of a new 35 F1,8 DX (which you can sell for about 100 euro/dollar, when you don’t need it anymore. Would you buy second hand, you will not loose a dime).

            your 50mm will serve as a tiny telelens now, and as the normal lens it was meant to be when you own a FX camera.

        • Larrry

          I can understand where you may have taken exception to my last post – if you think you might at some point in the future upgrade” then get the FX. I left off the other advantage that a crop sensor with an FX lens uses the strongest part of the lens, the center, with less reliance on the edges, while DX uses the entire lens. I notices that as I replaced the 55-200 and debated between the 55-300 or 70-300 and very glad I got the 70-300. Also, while you may not plan to upgrade to FX, great, stay DX. That was my thought for years. When I switched to digital, started with D40, upgrade to D90, then upgrade to D7000. With the last lens upgrade special, sold the D90 which was my backup camera, and debated between the D7100, D610, and D800 with the D610 winning out. So yes, I made the jump to FX, but retained the D7000 as backup, so I have the best of both worlds. To go with the FX, also picked up the 16-35 f4, as the Sigma 10-20 was my go-to lens on the D7000. I already had the 50 1.8 and also picked up the 85 1.8 at the last sale. Currently tempted by the 28, but not the 35…but wishing for a 24 prime.

          • Deep_Lurker

            Yep, I did react badly to your post. There are good reasons and bogus reasons for buying an FX lens to use on a DX camera, and your initial post gave only a bogus reason while leaving off the good reasons.

            “You have both DX and FX cameras, and want a lens that can be used on both” is a good reason for getting an FX lens over the DX version.

            “The FX version has been shown to be better on DX and so is worth the higher cost even if it never does get used on an FX body” is another good reason for getting the FX version rather than the DX.

            But “The FX version will be better on an FX body that you might or might not buy someday” is a bad reason to pick the FX version, as is “Because it is FX, and FX is automatically better – we don’t need to look at any actual, you know, comparisons of the two lenses on a DX body, but can just blindly recommend the FX version.”

      • Neopulse

        – More updated optics with better image quality (DX version is from 2009 when ~12 MP sensors were around).

        – Contains an ED element and slightly more robust than the DX version.

        – Uses the sweet spot of the FX lens which produces less vignetting through the APS-C sensor.

        – If the person decides to go FX they won’t need to switch it out.

        And apart from that, would most likely purchase it in a winter lens rebate sale actually.

  • photoroto

    DxO marks don’t seem to provide a reliable measure of the value of a lens in actual use. The magic of those numbers doesn’t necessarily survive a trip through Lightroom.

    The high score for the Distagon 35mm f2 has me puzzled. The two examples I tested by actually taking pictures on a D7000 and D800e were both inferior to far more humble 35’s. They were only marginally sharp at any aperture, if you ignored the image damage caused by removing large amounts of purple fringing that extended well in from the edges. I had so wanted that to be a great lens because of the nice manual focus!

  • MJ

    Can someone comment on a light transmission vs 35mm f1.4G?
    I’m not sure how to interpret those numbers, but in another test 35 f1.8 was half a stop slower than 35 f1.4 @f1.8.
    It may be sharp wide open, but for low light shooting it’s 1 and 1/2 stop slower than 35 f1.4

  • john doe

    nikon recently likes to produce cheap f/1.8 that gives people very little reason to get the f/1.4 at a premium, the 28 35 50 85. On the other hand, sigma is totally kicking ass with the 35 and 50

    • Me

      Except that the ass that it reportedly kicks is one measure and at one single focal length.

      They set the lens to its minimum focal length and take a photo of a black and white target. Given that lenses typically have at least one area where they treat wavelengths differently from each other, or have different contrast curves, the sharpness test is merely one single test that needs to be taken in context.

      Assuming manufacturers weren’t cherry picking the data by showing the MTF charts that are most flattering (they are), the MTF charts are only a partial measure.

      Ideally you need to see the performance of the lens at a variety of focal settings to see how its sharpness is practically. Moreover, and I’ll say this again because apparently it never sinks in, it’s a black and white test.

      MTF charts do not measure distortion, color reproduction, LOC, vignetting or lens flare. They do measure resolution, contrast, astigmatism, lateral chromatic aberration, and can be used to measure field curvature and focus shift but you need to generate a family of test charts per lens. The only people who think there’s an absolute value or winner don’t actually understand optics.

      For example, the Nikon Nano coating is stellar. Because I often have point sources in my images, this coating is a life saver because otherwise I’m dealing with lowered contrast and ghosting in my images. The MTF charts cannot in principle test for this but if you insist they do, have fun being surprised by the real world.

  • rt-photography

    WOW! huge credit to Sigma and Samyang! I saw many videogs use samyang glass, as they have released many cine lenses.
    and that sigma 35 ART is just fabulous. bravo guys.

    I still think the 50 ART is overpriced for a 50, but I love that Sigma is delivering options.

    cant wait to see what the next lenses bring. not sure I will buy them, but I love them putting stress on nikon.

    24-70 f/2 OS

    24mm ART

    135 ART

    85 ART

    • Ricardo

      amazing what sigma is doing lots of innovations and pressure on nikon, canon and others for their native lens line up……

      i heard the 135 could be not just a 2.0 much more 1.8….

      they wanna make it better optically as the zeiss 135 apos zf2 mf and as bright as the sony zeiss 135 1.8 za lens…


      OPTICALLY BETTER than the Zeiss 135 zf2 mf AND WITH AF AND as bright as the sony zeiss135 1.8 za….

      All advantages together……would be hard for nikon to respond this….they then have to put in weater sealing, rubber gasket 😉 and better, faster af as well in order to compete with sigma and match this lens 1.8 optically as well…

      Very ambitious aims……love it hopefully they get it done and as well performing as the 35 and 50 1.4…..

      time will tell

      • greywoody

        Sigma 34 f/1.4 Art meanwhile has become my favourite standard AND close-up lens: Stopping down to 4 or 5.6, plenty of pixels, inanely sharp and therefore great for enlarging: For flowers, insects etc., what more do I want?

        • peterw

          what more do you want? of course a 105F2,8 AF-S micro telelens. about the same weight.

      • Me

        You may want to learn what the DXO score means and doesn’t mean before using the phrase ‘optically better’.

  • Guest

    Unlike many others, I really like the new 35 1.8G ED and my logic is that it’s much better wide open at 1.8 than 35 1.4G at 1.8 and it’s much lighter and smaller and better AF speed in low light too. For me that’s perfect.

    • phil

      That is not about the excelletn or a good performance of the 35 1.8 ….

      it shows much more how WORSE the 1.4 is (esp. considering the price) despite it is still not so old…..

      Bad designed and optically constructed…..

      sigma 1.4 Art series should be the forerunner for updating the whole 1.4 line from nikon…..esp. naming/labling to BE A PREMIUM/PRO PRODUCT/LINE considering the continously improvement of the demaning fx sensors , further resolution in the future…)

      so nikon updating your lens line esp. the 1.4 line 35, 50 etc…role model please the sigma 1.4 art series…add weather sealing and you have a winner….

      but still develop completely new lens (135 1.8/2.0 etc., new wideangle primes 16,18 or 20…

      and or a small “pancake” 2.8 prime series

      and if dx isnt still dead for you (d400 will still come in august) new dx lens massive….

      • Me

        About the last thing the world needs is pancake lenses. This is a shite optical formula that generates low contrast images because of the flare-prone design. Every 20 years or so they get rediscovered and then a whole new generation gets to discover why we stopped making them.

    • Pat Mann

      I don’t know about comparisons since I don’t have the 35 f/1.4, but I do like my 35 f/1.8 – it’s my standard walk-around lens on the D800 (which will go back in the studio when I can get a 24 f/1.4 or f/1.8 DX lens and a D400).

  • Arch Brook

    Sigma Art series are perfect as glass, but they’re very heavy for daily use. I would choose new Nikon 1.8 over Sigma if i don’t need fast lens.

  • ed

    i woud still choose the 28 1.8 over the 35 1.8 any day……1mpx more sharpness and you can easily crop the 35 fov if you need more tele ….the opposite direction is not possible…..

    wider—>crop= more tele works!
    tele–> uncrop= wider not possible!

    –> conclusion get the 28 1.8!!! (only 25 grams heavier than the 35 1.8!!! no valid reason!!!!)

    • Essien

      totally agree…..

      GET THE 28 1.8!!!!!!

      Love It for street and as a wider general purpose lens!!

      Prefer the 28 FOV instead of the 35 FOV anyday….

      • Paul

        35mm gives nice wide field while still looking pretty ‘normal’. 28mm starts to look like a wide-angle, with the visual interest that comes with a little warped perspective. I think the 28mm sometimes has a bit too much distortion in the corners, that’s why some like to go with 35mm. I usually go with the 28mm as it is a little more ‘interesting’ looking.

    • Pat Mann

      And buy a new polarizer. (My 50mm uses the same CP as the 35 – very convenient.)
      If you shoot mostly the 28mm angle of view, then by all means get the 28, but if 35 is your preferred view angle, then get the 35. Why waste 25% of your data? A crop from the 28 doesn’t have the resolution of a 35 shot, even if the lens might have slightly higher resolution at some point in the frame.
      While I used to use 28 a lot when it was my widest lens without going to mirror-up shooting with the 21, I usually am looking for a wider angle than 28 if I go beyond 35. I find the 35 a very useful format for night street shots, interior people shots, etc.

  • Pat Mann

    Now let’s just get this new line of fast FX primes extended to 18-20mm, and then how about we get going on DX, already? Not a single DX wide prime in sight from Nikon. Fujifilm has three now (four if you count 27mm as wide), one more coming, and one from Zeiss. If you want to use FX lenses, Nikon’s widest at 14mm (21mm equivalent), an FX antique, weighs 670gm, Fujifilm’s weighs 235gm. Nikons 24mm f/1.4 (36mm equivalent) weighs 620gm, Fujifilm’s 23mm f/1.4 weighs 300gm. Is Nikon pretending that these costly, bulky Nikon monsters are the solution to providing fast wide primes for a complete DX system? Really?
    Nikon is blowing it big on the potential to market DX as a complete camera SYSTEM, rather than something you just have to junk and go to FX or Fujifilm when your needs expand. And just something for Nikon to keep in mind – it’s a lot less expensive for someone to switch to Fujifilm from DX (or to just add a Fujifilm camera to their Nikon system to carry the wide prime lenses) than to FX from DX if they want a complete system that includes fast wide primes.

    • broxibear

      I think you might see a couple of DX lenses at or before Photokina in September (along with the D300 replacement, whatever they name it).
      You’re right, Nikon should have made DX wide angles way before things like the 58mm f/1.4G. I’d love to know why they haven’t, but I doubt we’ll get any sort of answer if we asked…not a good way to keep loyal customers.

      • Pat Mann

        If one of those DX lenses isn’t a very good fast prime somewhere in the 16 to 24mm range (a 16 f/2 + a 24 f/1.4 would be ideal), they’re going to have a hard time selling me a D400, and I’ve been itching to buy for three years.
        A 24mp sensor X-T2 with 1000-shot battery would push me over the edge if Nikon hasn’t shown some serious sign by then that they’re not abandoning DX except as a sucker play to try to commit you to Nikon before you know enough to realize it’s not a real system and you have to double down on FX.

        • Sebastian

          that’s precisely what DX has come to be, “a sucker play to try to commit you to Nikon before you know enough to realize it’s not a real system”. Nikon’s hope is that you then move “up” to FX, but I bet I’m not the only person to find out that DX is the very most I am willing to carry, if anything, too much. So on to mirrorless it is, and certainly not to Nikon 1 as the primary system.

          • Pat

            Nikon, like every company in the world, is trying to make money. I don’t think they view it as “a sucker play.” They know they can’t make money in the future by trying to trick their customers, today. Do they make mistakes and inadvertently piss off some people? Sure. But, that isn’t their intent.

            • Paul

              No, I’m quite sure that Kimura-san sits in a chair with a cat on his lap laughing as he sees the DX new-customer numbers come in each quarter.

            • Sebastian

              Sure, I can look at it from that detached perspective, too. In that language I would say, DX is not a long-term value proposition to many new customers, because it does not anticipate future needs of such first-time buyers. Is that shortcoming intentional? Well, maybe no big-boss meeting was ever held in which it was actually decided top-down to keep the system “too small”, but it developed that way because of a series of marketing decisions, some of which must have been located quite a ways up.
              “it’s a sucker system trying to get you to FX” is just a short way of saying all this. I perfectly understand this is a company trying improve its ROI, shareholder value, etc., not some evil individual trying to screw little poor me.
              But in its overall effect, for a customer, it might as well be.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been pondering what to do as I look at a new market for my business. Ideally I would shoot with a 24-70 on a D3s. But, that combo is something like FIVE POUNDS! I’m sixty and after an hour or two that is just too heavy. I’m using a 17-55 on a D300s and it’s tiring enough after 3-4 hours. The images are fine, and the autofocus is pretty good, but I know the D3 is much better. And, I could use the cleaner high ISO files for sure. I do miss having some fast wide angle primes. I use 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 primes for portrait work and they’re both great. The 17-55 is excellent, but not on par with a really good prime. I hope the D400/D9000 is 16mP with the autofocus system from the D4 and clean files to 3200. Keep the build and speed of the D300s.

      • Me

        >deally I would shoot with a 24-70 on a D3s. But, that combo is something like FIVE POUNDS!

        It’s almost as though this was designed as a no-limit high performance pro camera or something. Weird.

        • It is weird, but nonetheless it is …a FIVE POUND, no limit, high performance pro camera. Thus, it would be good to have an OPTION. Maybe a THREE pound, no-limit high performance option with a tad less image quality. Just sayin’.

    • EnPassant

      Unfortunately it is not as easy you and others may think to just make prime lenses for APS-C DSLR cameras.

      Problem is DX DSLRs use the same mount and distance to the sensor as FX cameras. That distance is close to ideal for FX considering size of lenses versus avoiding too steep ray angles for the sensor. For DX sensors it is another matter. While longer mount distance make the lenses more telecentric, especially in combination with a smaller sensor it also will make the lenses much bigger than if they had been made for a shorter mount distance. DX WA primes with similar optical construction and same aperature will in fact be about the same size or BIGGER than equivalent FX primes!

      Exemples of this are the Fishey lenses Sigma make for both DX and FX DSLRs that are clearly bigger for the smaller sensor! The same can be observed when comparing Samyangs 10 and 16 mm lenses versus the Zeiss (as Nikon doesn’t have any current close enough comparable FX lenses!) 18/3.5 and 25/2 lenses.

      Now, for some nishe work size matters less. But for general use at least I think it only make sense if the lenses for a DX sensor are clearly smaller than for a FX camera.

      Nikon (and Canon) knows this and that is why they haven’t produced any DX prime except a fisheye (bigger than their FX fisheye). Even if Nikon could bend the optical rules with the help of many aspherical elements (which may compromise IQ) DX DSLRs will always be fatter than mirrorfree cameras like Fujifilm. So adding a couple of WA primes to their DX cameras will not stop people from moving to mirrorfree DX cameras if a compact DX sensor system is what they want.

      The DX/APS-C sensor in DSLRs made for FX/FF sensors was always a stop-gap solution until sensors in the size the F-mount was made for was available at enough affordable price. This means that there never was any sense making a full system based on DX DSLRs because of its limitations. This doesn’t mean DX DSLRs are completely obsolete yet. As long as there are those who prefer an optical view over an EVF, want a smaller than FX system and don’t mind using mostly slow zooms especially for WA or find the DX crop useful for tele lenses they will still have buyers.

      But for those looking for a “full” DX system mirrorfree cameras are the only option. Interestingly those cameras, like the Fujifilm system in size occupies the same spot where once Nikon was a dominating player with their cameras for film. Today Nikon’s F-mount system in IQ and size is more like a MF system in the film era. I wonder if Nikon realise that themselves and that most advanced amatear and many pro photographers would be more than happy with a DX system that they find being the best compromise as long as the cameras and lenses not are bigger than the 36x24mm small image format for film.

      Nikon simply fail to deliver the camera system most would like to buy. Their DX DSLRs are mostly selling because of better value as the mirrorfree competition until now mostly have been too small to compete on price. But that is starting to change. And for advanced users who not need the compatibility with Nikons long lenses DX DSLRs are not an option anymore because of size and missing primes.

      Do Nikon realise they have a hole in their camera line-up that, if they not do anything about it will erode even more and become as large as Grand Canyon?

      Sony, Fujifilm, Samsung, Canon and even Leica now have started building mirrorfree systems using APS-C sensors while Olympus and Panasonic opted for the smaller size, but still acceptable M4/3 sensor.

      This will be the most important battleground for camera systems of the future!

      Who are not yet present at this area and only offer smaller than M4/3 mirrorfree sensor systems? Pentax and Nikon… If Nikon want to take Pentax as an exemple they might meet the same destiny as Pentax who made the journey being the dominant camera brand in the 60’s with their Spotmatic cameras, but not changing fast enough and abandon M42 for a bayonet mount made them into the minority producer they are today. If Nikon are not already working on a DX mirrorfree camera system it is the eleventh hour now and time to wake up!

      • Wally in Austin

        I agree that DX lenses take their own time and engineering except DX has been around 13-14 years now and it doesn’t take that much time. Nikon simply won’t make any fast prime or fast DX only lenses even though the sold millions of DX bodies over the years. Nikon Management has missed their own market and now their senior management says we must diversify into other areas which is highly risky. Roll the dice on new divisions cause if you aren’t first in a market you won’t dominate. Business play looks like stupid stogy management will move in a mediocre way into new markets and still be missing the DX market.

      • Pat Mann

        The DX wide zooms are much more compact than their FX equivalents, and FAR more compact than the FX wide zooms of similar focal length. To me, that proves that it’s not necessary to make a 24mm f/1.4 DX lens larger than the 24mm f/1.4 FX lens, which it most resembles in focal length, or even larger than the 35mm f/1.4 FX lens, which it most resembles in field of view.
        The FX and DX fisheye lenses are virtually the same size, and the 16 is practically an antique in Nikon design terms. Every recent FX lens has been substantially larger than the D lens or manual focus lens it has replaced – it just seems to take more lens volume to make a higher quality lens at these focal lengths (not counting the extra space for AF-S systems). I expect that a modern 16 fisheye if produced will be bigger than the current D lens, as well as bigger than the DX 10.5mm.

  • Michael

    Interesting how the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens is supposedly better than their 35mm f/1.4, which I currently own (and don’t plan on selling).

    I did have the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 A lens for a few weeks, but was terribly disappointed by it. Yes, it’s terrifically sharp, and at f1.4 much sharper than the Nikon counterpart. But that was all useless since it simply didn’t focus accurately on any off-center focus point on my D800E (on which every other lens works great) — out of focus shots galore, especially when focused at infinity.
    I gave Sigma a chance to repair this; they acknowledged the error and I got a new exchange lens, supposedly with an internal firmware update. Which had exactly the same error, so I finally returned the lens and swore to never buy Sigma lenses again…

  • tim sims

    great work sigma, highest score and equal fastest glass!

  • MRomine

    For anyone who already owns any of the newer Nikon 1.8 G lenses how do you find the focus? Are they fast and accurate in extremely low light? Currently the Nikon 2.8 zooms all out preform their top prime lenses in these kinds of conditions. Being principally a wedding photographer, sharpness is only relevant if the lens can focus fast and accurately in low low light, churches and receptions. To me it doesn’t matter how sharp the lens is (relatively speaking) if it can’t achieve focus fast and accurately.

    • Guestimate

      The new 85mm f/1.8 isn’t a patch on the old one in my opinion, AF is much slower. Both tend to nail focus even in challenging conditions but I’d take the D version every day of the week for the speed alone.

  • Ms.KrystalMeth

    What is Slippery about these findings is the Samyang…In your wonderful post..The Samyang is tested with the woefully craptastic D3X..with it’s mere out of date 24mp. Hang on…What? What did the Samyang rating get with a Nikon D800E…37score!

    • By your logic, a Nokia Lumia 1020 would be the best camera because it’s 41 mp?

      • Ms.KrystalMeth

        R you new? I am saying the quality of the sensor. Take the same lens placed on a D800E, Sigma 35mm 1.4 A and place it on a MarkIII…what is the overall score? Get it now.

        • I don’t think YOU get it. My comment was sarcastic. You imply that the quality of the sensor is strictly a function of pixel count. Far from it.

  • roadie
    • photoroto

      It’s reputation as a good lens is well deserved…if you get a good copy! My present, second copy works fine and does the job at f1.4. However, my first copy of that lens had an extreme, built-in tilt/shift. If it was “tested” after assembly, it must have been only to establish the infinity point at the center of the field. I looked at that lens a few times on the BH site, and after about a week it showed up (via cookes, I guess) as a $300 special.

  • repellents


    For those people interested in the new 35 1.8 FX and who wanna support Nikon rumors….. the buying link of the 35 1.8 FX is still missing ….sadly… link=no support=no money….your choice….

    • Just click on the hyperlinked price – it will open the Amazon listing.

      • repellents

        Fine. When you’re gonna update the buying guide, please add the 35 1.8FX…’s stil missing there so far… helpful for others and due to completeness reasons…;)


  • Rafa R

    Maybe this question does not belong in this post, but are there any news on the rumored new 135mm G lens? Any info on that one? Thanks

    • Carleton Foxx

      I was just looking at some shots I did with the 135DC and that lens is magical, but you’re right it could use an update. Especially at f/2 images tend to be rather pixilated—as in it that looks like pixies snuck into the camera and sprinkled everything with pixie dust so that people—even scary bikers—look dreamy and beautiful.

      • Me

        Could it be that the magnesium fluoride is coming off?

        • Carleton Foxx

          I think it’s because I was shooting at 6 or 8 feet with a full-frame sensor so the depth of field is less than 1 1/2 inches which ain’t much.(Basically only the pupils and the iris of the eyes looked sharp.) Out of the zone of focus, everything falls off into a beautiful mist just like other old-school lenses do…It’s a great look, but not for all subjects. If I were an optical engineer I would imagine I could explain it…
          To my way of seeing, newer lenses seem to have a much more defined boundary between sharp and unsharp. That could also just be my eyes.

  • Andrei C

    Come on Nikon is this a joke? even Samyang has much less ch. abberation and has a metal body and it is cheaper by 250E :)) …why would one buy this plastic fantastic lens over the amazing Sigma 35 1.4, when the price difference is so small……?

    • peterw

      it comes down to

      50% weigth, 70% size, 80% price (probably in a year time about 65%)
      for a lot of people the brand
      for a few taste

      Personnaly, I don’t know yet.

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