Yongnuo YN 35mm f/2 lens for Nikon F mount: quick review and test shots

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Here are two quick hands-on reviews with sample photos of the Yongnuo YN 35mm f/2 lens for Nikon F mount (available on eBay and Amazon). The first one is by Jeremiah Gilbert (website | 500px):

In early September, Yongnuo released a Nikon F mount version of their full frame 35mm f/2 lens, selling for under $100. I thought I’d give it a try and received my copy from China the other day, so I headed to a nearby pumpkin patch to try it out and the photos here are the result. All photos are straight out of camera and shot with a Nikon Df.

In terms of size and weight, this lens is similar to Nikon’s 50mm f/1.8 G lens. While mostly plastic, it does feature a metal bayonet mount. I found the autofocus to be quick and accurate, though on more than one occasion I did encounter an autofocusing issue that was resolved by remounting the lens.

Currently Nikon offers three 35mm full frame lenses, their f/2 D, f/1.8 G, and f/1.4 G. These sell new for around $400, $525, and $1700, respectively, though you can often find the f/2 D selling used for around $200. How does this one compare? I have only used the f/2 D and surprisingly find the results to be similar. The f/2 D is a little sharper around the edges and has better color saturation, though for the price, the Yongnuo is certainly no slouch (high resolution version can be downloaded here):

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The second quick hands-on of the Yongnuo YN 35mm f/2 lens is by William Ling from Tujunga, CA:

I got my Yongnuo YN35mm F2N for Nikon and I wanted to share some shots with NikonRumors. All-in-all, after a brief trip to Descanso Gardens in La Cañada California with the lens on my Nikon Df, I am happy to report that I am generally pleased and am sure to have $105 with of fun with it. I shot raw and imported into Lightroom, I zeroed out all enhancements including sharpening and correction for chromatic aberrations, and exported the resulting jpegs. It focuses smoothly and quickly and sounds fine to me. The manual focus ring is disabled until you flip the M-M/A switch and then focused smoothly with a moderate amount of resistance. It sure looks better than the Canon version, and came with front and rear caps.

First, the unboxing (the two pictures on top of this post are also by William):

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More sample photos taken with the Yongnuo YN 35mm f/2 lens for Nikon F mount by William Ling can be found on flickr:

Yongnuo YN 35mm f/2 lens for Nikon F mount sample photo

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  • Eric Calabros

    even Olympus 6 stop IBIS system can’t help this guy to get sharp image at this position
    BTW, its soft for f/8. a lens that’s soft on 16mp camera, will look horrible on D810. but, with this price, we can’t complain. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f6334c717c0de0b025982281236e5adb32d35336ba8512b911c1985d062a1aa.jpg

    • Spy Black

      Maybe it’s sample variation. The high res samples taken by Mr. Gilbert are pretty impressive, especially in light of the fact that it’s a $100 lens. I don’t really use 35s much, but if I did I would certain buy this .

      • decentrist

        for about the same money you can grab a used Nikkor 35mm F1.8 g dx…and be at very good sharpness wide open

        • Spy Black

          Sure, but so would this lens on a crop frame, and you’re buying new. A used Nikkor would be nice, assuming it’s not beat somehow.

    • Aldo

      Don’t primes peek at around 5.6 for sharpness? At f8 I already see diffraction in my nikon primes.

      • Spy Black

        Depends on their maximum aperture. In this case, yes, F/5.6 would probably be the “sweet spot”, although F/8 would not be detrimental. I haven’t seen the full res of this shot, but if it is soft it probably has more to do with sample variance.

      • Max

        The 50 1.8g does around f5

  • Michael Laing

    I would probably go for the 50mm f/1.8D, if I was going for a cheap 50mm. Though knowing what i know, I would more likely save up and just buy the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton.

    • The lens which is the subject of the review is 35mm f/2.

      • Michael Laing

        I must have had a complete brain fart. 😛 For some reason, when I think of Yongnuo I think of 50mm for some reason. The joy of being dyslexic is I never even noticed the lens focal length.

        Oh well, for the money it isn’t bad but I do have a fondness for the Tamron 35mm VC, though it is quite a bit more.

  • Not crazy about the nervous bokeh.

    • chrisgull

      Still, not too shabby. I’ve seen a lot worse for a lot more money.

    • zzzxtreme

      isn’t the nervous bokeh present in nikon 35 f/1.8 too ?

      • I owned the Nikon for a while and didn’t think it was this “bad”. But, for the money this looks like a decent value. I wouldn’t use it to try to make a living with it, though.

  • Aldo

    I understand their importance… however sometimes I don’t get why photographers get so caught up in the ‘nerdy’ side of lens specs… because a lot of the nerdy specs can be fixed in post… and even those lenses that are top dogs in nerdy specs need tweaking… If you are a jpeg shooter. Pretend you didn’t read this comment. And don’t get me wrong… some lenses render so horribly that you really can’t do much in post…. but those are mostly cheap zoom lenses.

    • Eric Calabros

      Insta pics being amazing is exactly a reason to be more perfectionist about our gear and our discipline, because staying at top demands it.

  • TwoStrayCats

    Somehow I don’t get the feeling that ads for the Chinese Tourism Ministry are taken with Yongnuo products. Just sayin’…

    • Adnan

      Is there an American lens whose photos might have published in this Texas brochure I’m holding …. just saying .. 😉

  • Michiel953

    Best hang on to my 1.4/G then.

    • Larry Gall

      I would. I’m about to buy a Nikkor 1.8G for $160 new. For that price I’ll do it for a lens I won’t be making a living with anyway, but when I use it I want any issues. I see these “yong-bongs” for $90, but I just can’t bring myself to go there. I’d need to see one and just don’t see enough reviews for them yet. I’m more interested in the quality of the build personally. I have no interest in buying a Chinese lens twice because the AF goes on it.

  • Michiel953

    “hang on”. Try to understand.

  • Captain Insane-O

    Live oak canyon Christmas tree farm? The scenery, tent, ticket office all look like it is.

    I worked thfor, in Yucaipa Ca, for 5 years. Despicable people the palmers are. They let their kid, Ashton, run around and hit employees in the genitals, they shifted hours worked into different weeks to avoid paying overtime, and they lied to their employees saying they were not entitled to labor laws due to being seasonal workers. Ca seasonal workers are defined as out of state workers working in the state. They refused me breaks and lunch.

    Despicable.

    Nice pictures though

    • TwoStrayCats

      So you are saying these people would look far too soft through this lens?

      • Captain Insane-O

        Yeah lol

      • Larry Gall

        Hysterical!

    • Kim

      Call for the nurse and have her take away your computer, and bring the medication!

      • Captain Insane-O

        If you condone illegal activity that takes advantage of thise with little power, then that is your prerogative. A sad one, but yours.

        I don’t think leveraging high school kids to work in 90+ degree weather with little water and terrible breaks is something to laugh at.

        • Larry Gall

          Yea, but what does this have to do wit these lenses?

  • Banu Manubawa

    The f/2d is very soft in the corner (which i quite like) and this lens is even softer?

  • zzzxtreme

    does it work with FT1 ?

  • No time to pixel peep. What’s the consensus?

    • decentrist

      it’s a first gen POS

      • purenupe1

        Did you try it?

        • decentrist

          no, and I don’t have Youngnuo speedlights either. If the lenses were better for less money, I might consider it, but then you still have to factor in longevity. So far, not impressed with what I read and the images I see.

          • captaindash

            The yongnuo lights are much, much better than you think. I have both Nikon flagships and Yongnuo’s and I prefer the Yongnuos. They are built about 85% as good, have the same power, and are ergonomically better to use….for about 1/8 the money. Well, well, well worth it. I only had one fail, and it had just dropped nearly 7′ to hard floor.

            I avoided the cheap chinese stuff until I removed my head from my sphincter and put my snobby ego aside and I gotta say I’m impressed. I have a whole drawer full now.

  • Michiel953

    Probably.

  • brn

    “on more than one occasion I did encounter an autofocusing issue that was resolved by remounting the lens.”

    Why is this not concerning to anyone? I’ve never had to remount a Nikkor or a Sigma for any reason. If it happened once, it can be forgiven. If it happens on more than one occasion, it’s concerning!

    • purenupe1

      Sigma lens definitely have had focussing issues, even nikors lens will occasionally give you the “EE” on the display requiring a remount.

      • brn

        Again, nothing is perfect. I may have had to remount a lens or two in my life, but it’s so rare that I simply don’t remember doing it.

        Having to do it multiple times in what appears to be a day or two is excessive. If I purchased a lens and had that experience, I’d return the lens.

        • purenupe1

          I agree if it was happening very frequently i was also return, but there is a possibility of a getting a faulty unit. Ive had tbe lens for a whole day and havent had that issue.

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