Nikon 35mm f/1.8G Sample Images

I have been playing with the new Nikon NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED FX lens for a week now and have taken it out a few times when the weather got a little better (it has been snowy and extremely windy during the past week here in Colorado). So far the lens seems like another winner. It is small, lightweight and is capable of rendering images with beautiful colors and high contrast. While I have not performed any lab tests, judging from the images I have captured so far, it seems to be very sharp optically, from the center to the corners at infinity:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G Sample Image (2)

There is some noticeable lateral chromatic aberration visible towards the corners of the frame, but it is not bad and can be easily corrected in post-processing. While Lightroom 5.3 does not have a lens profile for the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G yet, Adobe has already released Camera RAW 8.4 Release Candidate that has a built-in profile now, so you can already make corrections in Camera RAW in Photoshop. The lens profile will be bundled with Lightroom 5.4 when it is officially released.

Although wide-angle lenses should not be used for photographing portraits, I wanted to include a sample image of my daughter Jasmine taken at a relatively close distance to demonstrate sharpness and bokeh. The image is shot wide open at f/1.8:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G Sample Image (1)

The image is a little front-focused (she was moving a lot) and I did not get perfect details of her eyes, but you can see how sharp her eyebrows and eyelids look at 100% view. The background is rendered smoothly and bokeh looks pretty nice with no harsh edges.

Here is another image shot at f/1.8 indoors:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G Sample Image (3)

Vignetting wide open is not as bad as on some fast aperture lenses, so you won’t have to worry about corrections in post. Distortion also seems to be under control.

Obviously much more testing awaits the lens and I am planning to do some direct comparisons with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens to see how the two stack up against each other. Judging from what I see so far, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G seems to be a great low-cost alternative to the very expensive Nikon 35mm f/1.4G. It might not be as good as the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 optically (and not as fast), but it is also $300 cheaper!

More to come!

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Lester
    February 24, 2014 at 12:50 am

    This is my next lens… But its this or the Sigma 35mm 1.4. Nasim please bless us with a review soon.

    • February 24, 2014 at 2:57 am

      Lester, will do my best to do a review soon. Just need to get out more and take pictures! The weather has been horrible here, so I am hoping for a little warmer weather…

  2. 2
    ) Hoeras
    February 24, 2014 at 2:03 am

    The comparison with the Sigma 35/1.4 will be interesting.

    • February 24, 2014 at 2:58 am

      I already have all the data for the Sigma, so it will be an interesting comparison…

      • 7
        ) Hoeras
        February 24, 2014 at 4:47 am

        Excellent. The Sigma is a somewhat heavy lens and it does look like the 1.8G is a lot lighter and previous 1.8G Nikkors have been really good (like the 50mm 1.8G versus 1.4G – I actually prefer the former and the price difference just reinforces that, and the same goes for the 85mm versions). This has my interest.

        • February 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

          Hoeras, I highly suspect the 35mm f/1.8 will be the same as 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 in terms of performance. Should be better wide open than the f/1.4 version and should be a great value!

          • 20
            ) Hoeras
            February 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

            That sounds really good… the trend is continuing.

            • 26
              ) Paul
              February 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

              Road map of Nikon’s new gear.
              We Nikonians have lived without standard FF wide angle lens for too many years. Many of us probably should have purchased Sigma 35mm/1.4 or something like manual Samyang 35mm instead of waiting with no hints from Nikon. I hope Nikon release road maps at least once a year.

  3. 5
    ) Renato Pires
    February 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Hi Nasim!

    I’m very excited to read a review about Nikon 35m f1.8 vs Sigma 35m f1.4 from you. Which one is the best for travel photography?

    • February 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Renato, if weight/size are important, the 35mm f/1.8 will be a better choice, since it is twice lighter for travel.

      • 19
        ) Renato Pires
        February 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

        Yes Nasim, a lighter lens is better. But taking the fact that I’m thinking to use this lens for night photos into consideration, could you show us the difference between the two lenses for night shoots? Maybe the difference between f1.4 and f1.8 is not so big for this use.
        Thanks a lot!

  4. 6
    ) Dimitri Franke
    February 24, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Hello Nasim, i have had this lens for a week and was pretty happy with it, but then…
    i took a serie of test shots (at 1-2m distance) with my D7100 and compared them to Nikkor 35mm f1.8 DX and Sigma A 30mm F1.4. Unfortunately my lens sample was at f1.8 – 4.0 clearly inferior/softer both at center and corner to Nikkor 35mm f1.8 DX at f1.8 – 4.0 and to Sigma at f1.4(!) – 4.0. The center sharpness of my Sigma sample was at 1.4 (!) comparable to Nikkor 35mm f1.8 DX at f1.8-2.0, the corner sharpness was better on Nikkor DX though.
    So i get unhappy and sold my Nikon NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED ;-)

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Dimitri, perhaps your lens sample was bad?

      • 41
        ) Dimitri Franke
        March 1, 2014 at 6:20 am

        Nasim, it´s sure possible, but still did you have a chance to test this new lens on D7100/DX sensor?
        My hope/guess was, that the optical performance of this lens would be better as of the older Nikkor 35mm f1.8 DX on a DX sensor due to better optical design and FX capability, but it was not true, at least with my copy of this lens…

  5. 8
    ) Carmelo
    February 24, 2014 at 5:00 am

    Hi Nasim!

    Is it possible too include a comparison between this new lens and the AF-S Nikon 35mm f/1.4G (bokeh, distortion, resolution, coma, ghosting and flare)?

    Thank you very much!

  6. 9
    ) Art
    February 24, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Thanks for the sample images. Was the capture of the aircraft taken at the US Air Force Academy Museum? It looks a lot like the Schweizer TG-4A glider they have on display. Looking forward to your detailed review on Nikon’s new 35mm.
    Regards
    Art

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Art, you are right, it was taken at the Air Force Academy Museum :)

  7. February 24, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Hi, this is a bit off topic. I have a D800 and would like a lighter camera for travel/city stuff. I am considering either the new fuji XT1 or a Nikon DF. If I were to use the Nikon DF, I would use light primes with it such as the 35mm f1.8. I know the Fuji would have the weight advantage ( I would also use the grip with it at times) but how much IQ would I be sacrificing compared to the DF especially if I am going to use ISO’s of 1600 or 3200. What would be your choice between the two cameras? Thanks so much. The cost is not an issue.

    • 18
      ) AM
      February 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

      If cost is not an issue, I can travel with you and carry your D800, and even take pictures for you. All expenses paid for by you of course.

      • 21
        ) Hoeras
        February 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Parasite. lol

    • February 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Marsha, the Df is the way to go if you will be using high ISOs and need best image quality. Bundled with the 35mm f/1.8G, it will be a great combo. X-T1 is obviously smaller and lighter, but its sensor is half the size…

  8. 11
    ) Mel
    February 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Thank you for leaving EXIF data in the images. It helps when assessing equipment and it also helps improve technique!

  9. 12
    ) Joel Heng
    February 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

    hi Nasim,
    I would like to ask the 35mm f1.8 was attached to a d800 or d800e? will it has any different between d800 and d800e?

    • 15
      ) Jason
      February 24, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Yeah probably a lot of lenses performing significantly different on d800 vs d800e like the 85 1.8 and 1.4g etc…

      Have a look at Ming Thein’s blog http://blog.mingthein.com/equipmentdatabase/….

      He has used a lot of gear and always tests 2 or 3 copies of the same lens (cams, other equipemnt stuff) very thoroughly like Nasim…;)

      He came to the conclusion that a lot of lenses perform partially very different on d800 an the “E(lite) version”!

      I was surprised too because I never thought thar the lack of an AA Flter (named to be the only difference betwenn the two models!) could lean to such huge differences in term of lenses performance….

      • February 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

        Jason, perhaps you misunderstood Ming Thein, but there is no place where he stated that the D800E is very different than D800. He stated that the D800/D800E is more demanding on glass than other cameras…

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Joel, there will be no difference between D800 and D800E.

  10. 13
    ) Mike
    February 24, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Hey Nasim come on down to the Pagossa Peaks with that 35mm the weather is fantastic, I am over from the UK and the D600 is in overdrive.

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Mike, sounds good, perhaps next time! :)

  11. 14
    ) Jason
    February 24, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Hi Nasim,

    beyond my desire of making a shooutout between the Nikon 35 1.8 and siggy 35 1.4 as others already mentioned…i have still one open question about the 70-200 2.8 vr II vs. f4

    How often do you really make portraits from 5 to about 13 feet with the 70-200 2.8 VRII at 200mm, where the 70-200 f4 has the edge? (refering to focus breathing/article/source http://photographylife.com/nikon-70-200mm-f4-vs-f2-8)?

    Do you make usually portraits (inside and outsidde) in the range of 5 up to 13 feet or more often above 13 feet ? Is the bokeh of the 2.8 above 13 feet much better/shallower, significantly different?
    (to make a final decision between the 70-200 f4 and 2.8 vrII)

    Would you still suggest the 70-200 f4 for portraiture (some low light portraits) too?

    What do you think about the Nikon 70-300 4.5-5.6 in comparison to the 70-200 f4? Tough decision? Is it so much better in terms of overall performance (IQ, ~ only 1-2 f stop better etc.)? Would you still suggest buying a 70-200 f4 instead of the 70-200 2.8 if you already have a 70-300 due to the weight/size issues and the other advantages of the f4 version you lalready listed in the article above (e.g. focus breathing etc.)?

    Thank you in advance and so far! I already learned a lot on your site about photography and i really appreciate your tips!

    Keep it up and take care!

    Best regards,

    PS: You should have post one portrait with the 70-200 f4 and one with the 70-200 2.8 above 13 feet (e.g. 17 feet) in your comparison article…would have been nice…to see the advantage of the 2.8 in shallower Dof and if it is minor or major…

    Next time…!

    Kindly regards,

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Jason, the 70-200mm has a long zoom range, so I cannot say that I shoot above or below 13 feet all the time. If I am shooting a ceremony, I will be mostly at the end, shooting at 200mm most of the time, 20+ feet from the couple. In other cases, I could be at 5-6 feet at 70mm. So it really depends. The f/2.8 vs f/4 question is mostly a matter of two things – weight/bulk and one stop. If you find yourself shooting in low light all the time, the f/2.8 is the way to go (but then you get the weight + bulk). If you occasionally shoot in low-light, then the f/4 is the way to go. For most people, I recommend to go with the f/4, unless you are a working pro and need the high-end tool for the job with the build quality that will last for years. As for the 70-300 vs 70-200mm, that’s just comparing apples and oranges :)

  12. 24
    ) carlo
    February 25, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Nasim, I hope you will have the possibility to comapre also the old 35 AF-D f/2. It is very compact lens! Thanks

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Carlo, will do my best, thanks for your suggestion!

  13. 25
    ) Jorge Balarin
    February 25, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Dear Nasim, you have a very sweet daughter and the landscape that opens your post is spectacular. Greetings.

  14. 27
    ) Erika
    February 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Nasim, is that the Garden of the Gods in the 1st photo? It was a fav spot to photo when I lived in the Springs in 1981.

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Erika, yes, it is! I love Colorado Springs!

  15. 28
    ) TR_T-Rex
    February 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Nasim,

    PLEASE bear in mind this lens has a shorter minimum focus distance (0.25m) compared to Sigma 35mm 1.4, Nikon 35mm 1.4G, Nikon 35mm 1.8D, which all have 0.30m. Their magnification ratios are also different.

    PLEASE evaluate the implications of this in your review and to what extent this difference obviates a 1.4 lens for DoF purposes.

    • February 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

      But who would ever shoot a 35mm lens at 0.25mm distance? You are not trying to use the lens for macro I hope? 5 centimeters change in minimum focus distance is not a big difference for this type of a lens.

  16. 39
    ) Matt
    February 28, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Nasim, I’d be keen to find out how the lens performs for astrophotography, particularly with regards to coma when wide open. I know the Sigma 35/1.4 has a good reputation, but I’d be keen on something at a lower price point. The Nikon 50mm/1.8 and 85mm/1.8 are great performers optically, so here’s hoping they keep the same special sauce on the 35mm

  17. 40
    ) Arvind Gora
    February 28, 2014 at 10:36 am

    For DX you already have the 35 mm f/1.8 G DX which gives sharp images. For FX, this Nikkor can be given a miss. No doubt it has amazing optical quality but the caveats like distortion and chromatic aberration are deal breakers after the price paid. This situation is not helped by the fact that it’s all plastic which reduces the lifespan of this glass by a great degree. The Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 for Nikon gives matching performance with reduced distortion and chromatic aberration and is cheaper but without the weather seal. Since you won’t be able to keep either of the lenses forever, it’s wise to pick up the value for money deal. If money is not the crunch, go for better 24 mm f/1.4 G and club it with a 50 mm f/1.8 and you are good to go for ages. Interested folks can read more at http://pixelarge.com/nikkor-nikon-35mm-f1-4-g-af-lens-review/ and Keep Shooting :)

  18. 42
    ) Jason
    March 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Have a look if you’re interested….Jared Polin made a brief unboxing and review with some live lightroom samples….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQKRwOgXUM0&list=UUZG-C5esGZyVfxO2qXa1Zmw

    Samples especially @1.8 look terrible, with this performance the lens is much overpriced (600 bucks) and the sigma 35 1.4 art (or nikon 28 1.8) has a much,much better price / performance ratio and seems to be a bargain….

    What a bummer Nikon!

    I was leading to the Nikon 35 1.8 fx due to weight/size issues but now with these samples i think i have to buy the sigma 35 1.4 (benchmark lens dxomark) and have to accept that its the bulkier one….that is the price for the better iq probably….

    Nevertheless, I’m interested and excited in Nasim’s review about thte price/performance of the new 35 1.8 fx lens and his opinion in comparison to the “Nikkor 28 1.8 brother and the sigma 35 1.4 art”…

    My frist impression by evaluating the sampe images on the web and reading the few reviews, it seems that the newest addition/member of the “Nikkor 1.8 FX Family” is sadly the worst one of the four (28, new 35, 50, 85)!

    Let’s see and wait for Nasim”s conclusion/verdict/summary……;)

    • 44
      ) Lester
      March 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      wow… this is sad. I will wait for Nasim’s review. Although some photogs like him can make any lens look good. I guess the I am getting the sigma…

  19. 43
    ) Jason
    March 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Sorry did not mention the big drawbacks in my opinion…. you can see on the “live lightroom samples of Jared’s posted video ” high distortion levels, lots of chromatic aberrations and very huge amount of vignetting especially @ 1.8!!! As I already said what a bummer Nikon! Could easily get a bestseller……

  20. March 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Back when in 2012, Sigma reinvented itself with its art series for professional-consumer( pro-sumer) photography needs, I didn’t gave it much thought considering the bad quality controls from Sigma and second grade stuff I knew it for( I admit to being unnecessarily obnoxious there). :p

    But then I overheard praises for this glass from a variety of colleagues and friends which prompted me to borrow one and test for myself. After spending a month with it, I have come to agree that this Sigma is indeed a lens worth consideration among the big boys. :D
    one can also read more about this amazing glass at http://pixelarge.com/sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-lens-review/

  21. 46
    ) Lester
    March 9, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Guys i gave in and Got the Sigma. I got one new for $725. So now for engagements I am shooting with the Sigma 35 and the Nikon 85 1.8. I leave my 24-70 and 70-200 at home. It is scary not have all the coverage I am used to but we will see. I was hearing too many bad things about the Nikon 35mm 1.8. My problem with Nasim is that he can make any lens look good. So looking at his samples are pointless.

  22. 47
    ) Vivek Mishra
    April 30, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Hi Nasim/ anyone else
    Is it advisable to go with this lens and a d3200 . I am a strict beginner.

    thanks,
    vivek

    • 48
      ) Keith R. Starkey
      April 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

      Hi Vivek,

      You will want the 35mm f/1.8 DX, not the FX, which is for full-framed cameras; FX cameras that are more expensive and have a bigger sensor in them.

      DX lenses are made for cameras with DX bodies (camera bodies that have a smaller sensor), and the D3200 is one of those. I have both the camera and the 35mm DX lens…love it.

      You don’t want to spend the money on the 35mm FX lens, unless you have money to burn and won’t miss it!

  23. 49
    ) Keith R. Starkey
    April 30, 2014 at 8:43 am

    (Sorry for the poor editing!)

  24. 50
    ) vivek mishra
    April 30, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Thanks keith . . so talking about the 35 mm dx lens, is it good with the d3200 for beginners ? I hear the 18-55 stock lens is not great. . .

    Thanks

  25. 51
    ) Keith R. Starkey
    April 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Hey Vivek,
    It’s not an issue of “beginners” regarding the 35mm DX. It’s simply that DX lenses are made specifically for DX camera bodies, so it’s the choice of lens (between the 35mm DX and 35mm FX) that I would go with in view of your camera model. If you had a camera body with a full size sensor, then you’d want the 35mm FX.

    Now, you can still use FX lenses, and, indeed, you have to a lot of times, if you want the better lenses, and they will work. It’s just that they present a broader array of light coming into the DX-body, bigger than what a DX sensor can grab; the DX sensor is smaller, so some of the light coming in from the lens spills over the edges and is lost. Not the end of the world, though, and each FX lenses will react differently on each DX bodies. You just have to check reviews (here and on other sites) to find out, as you go along, what you will want.

    As to the 18-55mm, yeah, it’s not the best, but it’s not the worse either. It won’t suit you well in low lighting (which the 35mm will), but it will be more than you will need as a beginner. I use it all the time.

    Ultimately, it is the lens and not so much the camera body where emphasis must be placed—certain camera bodies, particularly for professionals, are far more rugged than our D3200, and other camera bodies will allow for high, high ISO without compromising the “noise” too much.

    As to the 18-55, isn’t the world’s best, but really…what makes it all come together is not the camera and lens, but the eye behind the camera! Once you learn what your kit lens (the 18-55 that came with the camera) can and cannot do—for that matter, once you learn what your D3200 can and can’t do—that won’t stop you from making killer photos. It’s the photographer, when it all comes down to it, that makes it all happen.

    Thanks,

    Keith

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