Home   Gallery   Services   About   Contact

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G


I tried out a 35mm Prime lens from my local photo store, and I immediately fell in love with this lens. I do not know if it is because of the size and weight, or the fact that it is a jack-of-all-trades type of lens. If you want to convert your DX digital into a practical point and shoot with amazing results this lens is for you.

This lens is not only great for shooting landscapes, but it is very useful for taking portraits, especially when you want to use ambient lighting and keep the background softened up. Since it has a nice 7-blade diaphragm, it offers exceptionally reasonable Bokeh. Bokeh can be both good and bad, depending on what you are using it for and where you might be. This lens at f/1.8 has bad bokeh, but at f/2.8 or greater, it offers the best image with neutral Bokeh, which is superb for portraits.

The construction of the lens is amazing. Being it is so light, one would think it is cheaply constructed. Wrong, Nikon went insane when they built this lens. It is probably one of the cheapest, but most heavy duty lens for DX cameras. It's got a rear dust gasket too, which usually only the more expensive lenses have. Since this a Nikon DreamTeam lens, it was built with careful engineering on part of Nikon. The lens is also internal focusing using a (RF) rear focusing system, which is excellent for using this lens as a landscape lens with a circular polarizer filter.

Speaking of focusing, this lens focuses almost instantly. The lens' silent wave motor (SWM) is indeed the most silent which is excellent for a D5000 for example when using it in the Quiet Mode. The lens also offers a M/A and M switch, even though you can override it with the nice focus ring. The focus ring can be used while the camera is in autofocus mode just by turning the focus ring, the camera knows you are overriding it.

Being that it has a rather large aperture of f/1.8, it is excellent for use indoors or places where there is dim lighting and using a flash is just distracting. Also, it stops motion well without using a flash practically. Now, I know, don't trying using this lens in a banquet area of an important event and think you don't need a flash... you will be sorry. (Trust me, been there done that!) In fact, I highly recommend a flash such as a nifty SB-400 or a SB-600 iTTL flash. It really makes this lens one powerful lens. This lens really takes the best pictures with the flash -- seriously try it out!

So what comes with this small, little, petite lens, you might ask...? Well, it comes with a small soft pouch, a front and rear lens cover, and the HB-46 hood. The hood is practically useless unless you are outside on a really sunny day shooting portraits or doing some other weird stuff. Other than that, if you want to make your camera look like a paparazzi camera, leave the hood at home. Also, as a side note, if you use the built-in flash on the camera, it might end up vignetting  the image depending on what you are shooting.

What do I wish for this lens to have? Well... one thing might be VR, but who knows if it really needs it. Probably not, but it's nice to have the option. Some of my lenses I keep VR off unless I need it which is only half the time. The other feature I wish it had was the depth of field indicator as it would be helpful in landscape photography. I do like the fact that having none of this stuff help keeps the weight down though, as I know VR adds a significant amount of weight to any lens.

The image quality is by far superb. The colors are dead on, the sharpness is excellent, especially at F/2.8. There is no fall off (unless you misuse it on a FX camera or 35mm film where it will leave a nice round circle) on DX. The metering is accurate, fast, and reliable, in fact, it is so reliable this lens doesn't need the AF assist light most of the time. Which is excellent for those non-nagging photo sessions.

This particular lens is really the only lens you need for a DX digital camera. Seriously -- I kid you not. I'm am a zoom junkie, and I still have a feeling that 95% of the time you will see me with this lens attached. Want to know something really weird? The kit 18-55mm lens that comes with the camera, from looking at the majority of my EXIF information, I had the lens set to right around the 35mm mark! Interesting -- I know. In other words, it really turns the camera into a simple point and shoot camera, which is great because it lets you spend more time on photographing rather than playing with a zoom. Plus, most people have feet or can move in some manner, you get much better perspective keeping the image at a consistent 35mm.

The only other time I'd say you'd really need this lens is for photography classes to experiment with really high apertures and really low apertures. Speaking of which this lens goes all the way down the f/22. Basically making it a f/1.8 - f/22 lens.


- 8 elements 6 groups RF with 7 rounded blades

- f/1.8 to f/22 stops

- SWM and G, built in AF

- Close focus - .3m or .98 foot

- 52mm thread mount (YAY! Standard filter size!)

- Nikon's exclusive Super Integrated Coating (SIC)

- Metal Mount with dust seal

My Conclusion: It's a superior lens that is cheap and effective for ANY level of photography. Whether it'd be landscapes, night shots, weddings, portraits, etc, it is a jack-of-all-trades lens. Also, if you want to really make a D40 or D3000 a lot lighter and easier, this is the lens. It also makes the camera easier to use -- no fumbling with zooming, you just focus on taking great pictures. The only knock is the plastic, but it is well engineered, so I'm looking over that in this case. The other feature is the RF system is usually found only in expensive lenses and this lens offers it and blows me away. It's one of Nikon's true latest engineering marvels. If you own ANY DX DSLR, it really and truly is a must-have lens!!


There is one thing from using the lens indoors a lot, in certain situations, you will get "green" ghosting from direct light sources. It's mostly due to light sources being at weird angles and due to the angle of incidence the multi-coating will cast this "green" ghost image of the light source. Some have mentioned the use of a circular polarizer or FL-D filter and up the exposure to 0.7 to 1.0 step.

My rating: 5 out of 5! -- Superb job Nikon!


Here are some pictures I've taken with it:


EXIF: 3872X2592, sRGB, 35mm, F/1.8, 1/160 sec, ISO400, Metering: Pattern, Exposure Program: Manual, Exposure Compensation: 0 step.

EXIF: 3872X2592, sRGB, 35mm, F/1.8, 1/6 sec, ISO200, Metering: Pattern, Exposure Program: Aperture Priority, Exposure Compensation: 0 step.

EXIF: 3872X2592, sRGB, 35mm, F/4, 1/60 sec, ISO200, Metering: Pattern, Exposure Program: Auto, Exposure Compensation: 0 step, ADL: ON. Used Nikon SpeedFLASH SB-400.

EXIF: 3872X2592, sRGB, 35mm, F/4, 1/60 sec, ISO200, Metering: Pattern, Exposure Program: Auto, Exposure Compensation: 0 step, ADL: ON. Used Nikon SpeedFLASH SB-400.

EXIF: 3872X2592, sRGB, 35mm, F/1.8, 1/125 sec, ISO200, Metering: Pattern, Exposure Program: Manual, Exposure Compensation: 0 step.

EXIF: 3872X2592, sRGB, 35mm, F/5.6, 1/15 sec, ISO200, Metering: Pattern, Exposure Program: Manual, Exposure Compensation: 0 step.


This information can be used for education and non-commercial use ONLY.

Copyright �1999 - 2012 Chuck Hendricks