Nikon 35mm f2 review

Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2 D – is a wonderful high-aperture lens for full frame Nikon FX cameras. The first version of this lens – Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm 1: 2 (without “D” letter) was released in 1989, and was upgraded to D-version in 1995. This lens is still produced.

nikon 35mm f2 review

Nikon 35mm f2 D provides a viewing angle equal to 66 degrees on full frame cameras, allowing you to use Nikkor 35mm f2 D as the standard lens for many tasks. Focal length 35 mm  is much more convenient than the classical 50 mm. The equivalent focal length will be almost 53 mm for Nikon DX cameras, which greatly affects on its using convenience.

Nikon 35 f2 D is a very small lens; weighs just over 200 grams and uses 52 mm filters. All Nikon 35mm f2 lenses are made exclusively in Japan and have a very good build quality. The lens has a metal bayonet mount.

Nikkor 35 f2 D has an aperture control ring. You need to install it to F/22 and fix with a special button in order to control aperture values from your camera. Autofocus with Nikon 35mm f2 D is only available on cameras with built-in autofocus motor (D90, D7000, D300, D800, D700 and others). Autofocus will not work on junior Nikon DSLRs such as Nikon D3xxx/D5xxx.

nikon 35mm f2

Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor F/2.2

The lens has a fast autofocus speed equal to Nikon 50mm 1.8D. Its focusing ring is rubberized and rotates approximately at 120 degrees. The ring has a hard stop for a quick focusing to infinity. The front lens does not rotate during focusing, it only moves a little forward. Nikon 35mm 2.0 minimal focusing distance is only 25 cm, it is possible to receive 1: 4.2 magnification with it – which is very good.

The focusing ring rotates during auto focusing, and it can not be touched. The lens doesn’t have the focus mode switch. Use the switch near the lens mount of the camera to convert Nikkor 35mm f2 to manual focus mode and back.

The diaphragm of the lens has 7 not rounded blades; optical scheme consists of 6 elements in 5 groups. Nikon 35mm f/2 D doesn’t have special optical elements in its scheme unlike many modern lenses, but it is not a problem for it to create good images. The lens doesn’t have a special slot for the hood; it can be screwed instead of the color filter.

nikon 35mm f2

Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor F/2.2

People often ask me about the difference between Nikon 35mm F/2 D AF and Nikon AF-S 35mm F/1.8 G DX. In practice – they are two completely different lenses:

Nikon 35mm F/1.8 G is only suitable for Nikon DX cameras. It has a silent built-in autofocus motor. This means that autofocus will work on all Nikon cameras. The lens at f/1.8 is sharper than Nikon 35mm F/2 D at f/2. The “trunk” of the lens is not extended during focusing. Full-time manual focus control (M/A) is available in the autofocus mode. Nikon 35mm F/1.8 G comes with a hood.

Nikon 35mm F/2 D is suitable for Nikon FX and DX cameras. It has the aperture control ring and has no built-in autofocus motor. Its level of distortion is less than Nikon 35mm F/1.8 G. The lens gives less vignetting on DX cameras, doesn’t have “M/A” option and supplied without hood.

nikkor 35mm f2

Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor F/2.8

The autofocus speed of lenses is almost identical. I recommend to buy Nikon 35mm F/1.8 G for Nikon DX cameras due to its better sharpness and a smaller price.

Nikkor 35 f2 D had no any alternative for a long time – there was only a very expensive Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1.4 G. Now the lens has a successor – Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1.8G ED SWM RF Aspherical. Usually 35mm focal length is overlapped with a zoom lens. But zoom will not be able to provide such a high relative aperture and it is much bigger and heavier:)

Nikon 35mm f2 D is slightly soft at the center of the frame at f/2. Sharpness becomes very good at f/2.5-2.8 . Also good sharpness at the edges and corners of the frame begins from f/8. The lens showed low level of distortion. Easy softness at f/2 is not so terrible, Nikkor 35mm f2 creates images with a nice neutral color reproduction.

nikon 35mm f2

Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor F/2


Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm F2 D is a nice lens. It has fast autofocus, good image quality and small size. I really like it, it can serve as an excellent lens for every day using at Nikon FX and DX cameras with built-in autofocus motor.

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Review Nikon 35mm f2 review

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