Here’s a quick look at the Nikon DX 35mm f/1.8G for all you Nikon SLR shooters. Before I kick off I’d like to say that I truly believe mirrorless camera’s are the future. And I do predict DSLR’s will start to lose ground to the mirrorless offerings soon. But right now DSLR’s are still going strong, especially the Nikon and Canon SLR’s. As you know I’m a bit of a Fuji fanboy, but I found the X-E1 too unreliable for professional work. Hence my ownership of a Nikon D7000, for which I had recently purchased a nifty little 35mm (50mm equivalent). This review will be about my experience with this lens, and also the feel of it. I’m not some optical sciences expert so I won’t be talking about any of that scientific mumbo jumbo.
This lens has a great feel to it. It’s very light and keeps the entire body in good balance. It’s constructed with plastics but it doesn’t feel cheap. The focusing ring on the other hand does feel like a bit of a trade off. It’s very thin and not very smooth at all. And a note for videographers; If you’re not using an external microphone, you will hear the grinding noise of the focusing ring when using MF. Keep in mind that coming from Fujifilm lenses, this lens will not feel like what you’re used to. But let’s be honest, the cheapest Fuji XF lenses will set you back at least 500 bucks, and this lens comes in just below 200, and in the end it’s all about the images it renders. This lens is also nice and compact. It has a relatively large maximum aperture for its size and weight.
I’m not a pixel peeper, I haven’t used nearly enough lenses to objectively make a proper comparison anyway. But I can tell you some of the things that popped in mind while using this lens. First of all; the image quality.
Most of the images shot below are taken wide open. In my opinion wide open is the most important aperture setting for a lens to properly be able to execute, because why buy a f/1.8 lens if you can’t use the wide open aperture. I’d have to be honest, this lens is not the sharpest in the world when wide open, but the images retain enough detail and sharpness to be very useful, especially when shooting RAW. So it certainly passes my wide-open image quality test. Focusing when wide open is pretty much okay, it can miss the focus on some occasions, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen before on much more expensive lenses, so don’t let that deter you. The focusing in general is quick and silent, except when using manual focus, then it sounds like you’re using a belt grinder.
This lens is one of those little lenses that you should just go out and buy. It is very cheap, the images it produces are lovely. And when used properly, this can easily be the only lens in your bag. It will not weigh you down, nor will it let you down when it comes to IQ. Below you’ll find some test shots, most of them shot indoors with poor lighting conditions, see how it handles that.