Nikon 35mm f1.4G review - Verdict
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Verdict

Overall Performance and verdict

Having done all my shots over the holidays with the new lens I can give you some insight into the overall performance and how my findings so far reveal themselves in the images.

Sharpness/contrast

:

Overall contrast is very good even wide open and with very bright backgrounds like snow. Sharpness and micro-contrast is reduced at f1.4 and f2.0 (you have to look at 66% or 100% magnification on your monitor to see it) but performance from f2.8 onwards is impeccable on a D300 or D700. And this holds true whether you shot close-up or at infinity. I’m very impressed.

Focus

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Focus speed is never an issue for me, although the lens takes some time to “recover” to infinity from a very close-up shot (30 cm distance or so). Focus accuracy is of much greater interest to me especially with an f/1.4 lens where every inch of misfocus is immediately punished. Well, what can I say: up to now I had no real outliers although I was provoking trouble by using the lens wide open as often as possible. Even when shooting Siemens-stars and letting the AF find focus from infinity or close-up I only had few cases where the combo couldn’t find good focus or behaved better when approaching from one side than from the other. No problems under low light either. So everything seems OK.

Longitudinal CA

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Well, this is the only gripe I have with this lens, as it easily shows up when you use the lens wide open with high contrast targets.

Vignetting:

Vignetting is clearly visible even on a DX body. I have not the best tools to measure it but I’d guess it’s around -1EV in the corners at standard settings on a D300 at infinity. At minimum focus distance vignetting is reduced to only half of that value.

Summary

Good points
The best 35mm prime from Nikon with lovely bokeh.
Great image quality even wide open on DX and FX bodies.
Very good build quality with weather sealing.
Quiet AF operation finally on a f/1.4 35mm lens from Nikon.

Bad points
loCA is pretty prominent.
Bulky.
Expensive.
No image stabilization.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding the review head over here. A selection of my shots with this lens can be found there.

Und wenn es irgendwelche Fragen, Kommentare und Anregungen zu meinem Review gibt, hier gibt’s die Möglichkeit auch für unsere deutschsprachigen Forums-Besucher! Und dort ist eine Auswahl an Bildern, die ich mit dieser Linse gemacht habe.

 

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