Nikon 35mm f1.8G review - Verdict
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Verdict

The Nikon 35mm f1.8G ED put in a good performance and proved to be a worthy member of Nikon’s line-up of f1.8 primes. It’s a step-up in performance compared to the old Nikon AF 35/2.0D in every aspect: sharpness, contrast, coma, light fall-off and bokeh. Plus it has a built-in silent focus-motor. But its price is also higher, lying smack-between its predecessor and Sigma’s 35/1.4 EX DG HSM.

I think the Sigma 35/1.4 is indeed the real alternative to look at if you could invest 250 EUR more in a 35mm fixed-focal without going outright for the Nikon AF-S 35/1.4G. The Sigma offers you 2/3 of a stop more light-gathering capabilities and better background-blur. And its performance in the FX-corner is really astonishing. But on the other hand the Sigma is weaker at the DX-corners, produces flare more easily when light shines into the lens, and is much bigger and heavier than the Nikon. So it comes down a bit to personal preferences and the question whether you really need the larger f1.4 aperture of the Sigma and are ready to pay for it. If you’re on a tighter budget you may also be interested in pushing the imaging circle of the cheaper DX 35mm f1.8 which performs better than expected outside the APSC frame area.

Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.8G ED

Valued on its own the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G ED is a pretty versatile lens all-in-all: it is light and pretty small, produces images that are sharp and contrasty (unless you look into the extreme FX-corners) even wide open, is flare-resistant, delivers a maximum magnification of 1:4, and has a large f/1.8 aperture to collect more light under demanding situations and allows you to better isolate your subject from distracting background. Plus it offers coverage of the full-frame image-circle so you can keep this lens should you upgrade from a Nikon DX-body to an FX-body. Thus I can fully recommend this lens.

Summary

Good points
Good to very good quality in the DX image-circle.
Quiet and reliable AF operation.
Weather sealing at the lens-mount.
Little flare/glare.

Bad points
Longitudinal CA often seen in the background.
Weak performance in the extreme FX-corners.
Somewhat nervous Bokeh.
If you have any question, comment or suggestion regarding the review head over to our forum here. A selection of my shots with this lens in full resolution can be found there.

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Nikon 35mm f1.8G

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