Nikon 35mm 1.8 g dx review

Nikon 35mm 1.8 g dx

When people ask me what DSLR camera to buy, I always say: “What lenses do you plan to buy?” The picture quality primarily depends on a photographer skills, then on optics, and least on DSLR. Usually beginners spend all money on a camera and only then they come to the conclusion that it is not interesting to take photos with supplied kit lens.

There is another category of users who immediately run to buy a new camera model in a hope that their photos will become better and more interesting. I advise you not to pursue new products and to spend spare cash on high-quality optics.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX – is the lens, which you will not remove from your camera after first time attachment. The reason is its aperture, the sharpness from f/1.8, compact size/weight and the relatively low price – about $ 200. Kit zoom lens in this case is sent on a shelf to “collect dust” and is used only when you need to put in a frame something wide.

This is a “must have” lens with a fixed focal length for low-cost Nikon cameras, such as D3000 / D3100 / D3200 / D5000 / D5100 / D5200. Although I have seen a lot of owners of Nikon D7000 / D300 / D300S, who are also happy to use this wonderful lens.

Its focal length is almost corresponds to the classic 50mm on a full-frame cameras. So it becomes a universal companion for your camera on every day. Its field of view is not too narrow and not too wide, and it allows to accommodate the most popular photo scenes. You can easily take pictures of a landscape or a large portrait of a man without critical distortion of facial proportions with that lens. At the same time you don’t need to move away from a person on 300 feet to take a photo in a full growth.

Nikon 35mm 1.8 has noiseless and quite fast focusing due to the built-in focus motor.

The lens was recently released, and its appearance and the materials of the body has nothing similar with the “film” time. It is well constructed, from the outside using a practical matte plastic. The lens has a slider switch to manual and automatic focus. Focusing ring is at the edge of the lens and turns using fingertips. Its move is quite large, but a bit tight, which is important mainly for the video.

The main issue for the large-aperture lens – how it behaves in the wide open aperture. Nikkor 35mm 1.8 has proved itself from the best side in this regard. It is quite sharp in the center of the frame already from f/1.8, but relatively soft at the edges. Therefore, if you do not need the maximum blurred background, or you do not shoot in the gloom, then shoot at f /2.2-2.8. At these aperture values the edges of the frame obtain a good sharpness, and the center of the frame becomes a little bit sharper. The peak value of Nikon 35mm 1.8g dx resolution falls not on the aperture f/5.6-f/8, but in a more “early” f/4. There is a superb detailing all over the frame. Therefore, always use f/4 when you want to take photo of something without blurring the background – landscape, architecture, macro (if you have enough depth of field). F/2.2-2.8 – your best friend for portraits, shooting indoors and in all other situations where is not enough light for the f/4 or you want to blur the background more. F/1.8 use only when you can’t use high ISO, or it is very critical for you to blur all that is behind the subject. Starting from f/5.6 image detalization all over the frame begins to fall. Especially you can get the effect of diffraction at f/11.

Nikon 35mm 1.8 g dx hood

Nikon 35 1.8 dx has quite noticeable vignetting at the wide open aperture, but you would not to worry about it from f/2.8. Furthermore Adobe Camera Raw has profiles for automatic vignetting correction.

Nikon 35mm 1.8g has chromatic aberrations, which are the most noticeable optical flaw of the lens. That effect is not noticeable at f/1.8, but at f/2.8 you can see lateral color fringes. Thanks to Adobe Camera RAW, the lens defect and can be easily removed in a few clicks of a mouse.




Distortion (distortion of the proportions of the objects in the picture) is presented here too. But it can be corrected automatically by modern Nikon cameras or by using lens profile in Adobe Camera RAW.

For Nikkor 35mm 1.8 52mm filters can be used. For trips to the beach or noisy parties better to buy an inexpensive protective filter.

The abbreviation «DX» is presented in the title, which means that the 35mm f /1.8G is suitable only for cameras with a crop factor, such as the Nikon D3000/D3100/D3200/D3300, D5000/D5100/D5200/D5300/D5500, D7000/D7100/D7200, D90 and D300/D300S. Officially that lens can not be used with full-frame (FX) cameras such as the Nikon D700/D800. But I tested it with FX Nikon d610 and it is usable at f/2.8 – very sharp and practically has no  vignetting.

 

Alternative

Nikon 50 1.8 g

Nikkor 50mm f /1.8G AF-S has much in common with the 35mm 1.8g. It is almost compact and lightweight, allows you to receive sharp images from the wide open aperture, and has a fast auto focus. But there are significant differences – it is also suitable for full-frame camera, so vignetting effect will be less. In addition, it is much more blurs the background at the similar apertures. That 50mm lens on DX cameras is equivalent to 75mm on FX cameras. So it will be difficult to shoot groups of people in small rooms or to take photos of  landscapes due to a narrower angle of view. But it gives less distortion than 35mm lens and can be used as a cheap portrait lens on DX cameras.

 

Conclusion

Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX will be a godsend for anyone who bought a DSLR camera with a kit lens and after some time wanted to try something better, but does not want to spend much money. I think that lens should be in a bag of each novice photographer. It is sharp, light, compact, has a fast auto focus and costs about $ 200.

Here are photo examples taken with the lens.

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