Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX Lens

I recently borrowed a Nikon D90 with a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX lens from a good friend to perform some tests of this combo at home. The weather has been bad for photography lately and I really have not had a chance to take the camera and the lens out to do some real shooting. A couple of days ago, Lola decided to try it out for her food photography while she was preparing my favorite baked pear salad and cooking a new chicken soup with eggs.

While I was shamelessly playing the Prince of Persia game on Wii (I do not even want to mention how many hours I wasted playing it), as soon as she took the first picture, she said “wow!”. Then she took a couple of more pictures and said “I love this lens! It is great for food photography”. I stopped playing for a second to take a look at what she was raving about on the camera LCD.

As soon as I looked at the magnified picture on the LCD, I said “wow” myself. The picture was tack sharp, image quality and contrast were outstanding. Here is the shot of the baked pear recipe that Lola just posted in her recipe blog:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX Sample

NIKON D90 @ 35mm, ISO 250, 1/160, f/3.2

I highly recommend opening the above image in full size and looking at the details of the shot.

We fell in love with this combo right away…what a great lens, what a great camera!


  1. February 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Really love the photo… you have been so great helping those of us who are new to the big world outside of point and shoot! The Nikon D80 is wonderful with my 50MM 1.4… I am getting better with it and photoshop with each shooting session. Great closeup!

    • February 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      Deana, you are most welcome! Nikon D80 with a 50mm f/1.4 is also a killer combination for food photography and portraits :)

      By the way, is there any way for you to increase the page width on your blog and increase the picture sizes? You have some great photographs and I think it would be better if you showed a larger version of the photographs to your viewers. Perhaps you can try a different theme or customize the current one?

  2. 2) guyhom
    March 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

    What aperture for this shot please ?

    • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov 2.1) Nasim Mansurov
      March 1, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      The aperture was f/3.2 :)

  3. March 13, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Amazing Picture. I just ordered mine from Adorama. Hoping to get it soon enough and go wild :D

    • March 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Abdullah, congratulations with your purchase! You will love this awesome lens! :)

  4. 4) florian (fitness model)
    March 23, 2010 at 7:11 am

    thank you for thids photo ! that’s great

    • March 24, 2010 at 2:05 am

      Florian, you are most welcome! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  5. 5) Kiran D
    September 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

    After looking at your kids pics taken with 35mm f1.8
    I am happy with its performance. Thanks for your review.

    I have one issue with the lens..
    I use it with D90. I always use manual Focus Point selection mode while shooting. When the subject is more than 4 mtrs away, I observe back focusing issues. 50mm f1.8 works fine in similar conditions.
    Is it a common issue for this lens? hope you have observed it.

    • 5.1) Kiran D
      September 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

      One more point: Tested Aperture Priority mode at f3.2 – f 4

    • October 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      Kiran, that’s strange – I have not seen any backfosuing issues with my sample of 35mm f/1.8G. Can you do a back/front focus test? Just google for it and you should see plenty of articles on how to test lenses against back/front focus. If you identify that your lens does have a problem, I would send it immediately to Nikon for repair…

      • 5.2.1) Kiran D
        October 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

        I will check it, thank you

  6. 6) Melissa
    March 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Hi there, came upon your blog while doing research on camera lenses. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such informative posts. I have a D40 – I purchased it after my first child was born and the simple point and shoots were not doing the trick. Since then, I have become more and more interested in photography and have taken a couple of courses and have learned a lot. However, my food photography needs a LOT of help. The kit lens with the D40 is not fast enough to photograph what I cook indoors, which is where I primarily shoot. I’m not a lighting expert (or photoshop either), so I was looking at 50mm f1.8 and then I saw this post. In your opinion, what would be the better option? The difference in cost is not a primary concern for me, I just want to get the right lens that will help me shoot good looking food, but I’d like to be able to use it for other purposes as well.

    • March 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Melissa, get the 35mm f/1.8G DX for your food photography – you will be happy with the results.

      • 6.1.1) Melissa
        March 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm

        Thanks Nasim, I think I will. Your website is incredible! I have taken a couple of photography classes at my local learning center but no one has been able to explain the basics in a way that I could understand as well as you. In the last couple of days I have learned more about photography than I thought, and I cannot wait to get my new lens and start experimenting. I’m particularly excited to work with a more shallow depth of field than I have previously been able to and know I am going to be mildly obsessed with acheiving a pleasing bokeh. You have created a monster :)
        Incidentally, are you Uzbek? I’ve had the pleasure of taking a few business trips to Tashkent and loved it – years ago. Reminded me a lot of Turkey (where I am from), especially the bazaars.
        Thank you again for sharing this incredible information.

  7. 7) adamski
    December 13, 2011 at 1:58 am

    The funniest thing is that this is a perfect wedding lens on FX, because you shoot at f/1.8 anyway, and the vignetting is just perfect (i’d add the same amount of artificial vignette to an otherwise flat photo anyway). I think that D700+35/1.8 is a perfect walk-around combo for everyday too.

    • 7.1) Rohan
      March 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Absolutely agree. Dint want to part with it when I moved to FX. Now I have a FX beauty !!

  8. 8) sonia
    May 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    I’m a new to photography and really enjoy reading your article. I have Nikon D7000 and 2 lens – 18-200 and 35mm 1.8.
    I usually use my 18-200 for everyday and use the 35mm to take pictures of my 3 and 1/2 yr old son. I really wantto take pics of him with teh broken (auotfocus) background but can’t seem to get that effect. I usually have to be at distance from him so can never get the picture I want. Can you suggest what settinsg I should try ? or am I just using teh wrong lens? Shoudl I invest in a 50mm 1.4g ?



  9. 9) Sudhar
    May 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Nasim – I love your site. It is very informative. i have a question. I use a Nikon D5100 . Am having a tough time deciding on a prime lens – a 35mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.8. I intend to use the lens for street photography, food, events, portraits etc. I understand that getting closer with a 35mm could result in perspective distortion. But what about the 50mm? If I stand few feet further away, can I not get he same FOV as the 35mm, with the same sharpness? And can the 50mm be used as a general walk around lens?

  10. 10) Geoff
    May 19, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Hi Sudhar,

    I have both those lenses and I suggest you buy the 35mm 1.8 for street photography. The 50mm is too narrow, it is a better fit for portraits.

  11. 11) Sudhar
    May 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for writing Geoff. I did get the 35 mm and took it to the aquarium yesterday and I found out the images were not as sharp and crisp as I expected. I shot at f1.8, 1/1250, ISO 800, Matrix metering, and Auto-focus. Did I go wrong somewhere? I did read somewhere that the images are too soft at f1.8.

  12. 12) Vijay
    September 12, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Hi Nasim,
    One very quick question here. As i understand this lens is made for the Cropped bodies. So, is it like the crop factor wouldn’t affect it or put in other words, Is the field of view that i get when i keep this lens on a DX body like a D90 the same as the field of view i get when i see through a 35mmF/2 AF-D FX lens attached to a D700?

  13. 13) Rosa
    September 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Hi there, the photograph is absolutely stunning! Super sharp and I love its focus on the intense colours… As if the camera is a sponge that absorbed them all. :-)

    I have a question: my DSLR is a Nikon D90 as well (got the 70-200 lens) but I’m really not satisfied with the results. The problem is that colours never get to look intense. Instead, they look undeep, pale and ‘cold’, as if there were a smoggy layer over the lens. I’ve tried to experiment with ISO and other things, but it always stays the same, with or withour filter cap on the lens, even if I cleanse the glass. Of course I can do a lot with software like photoshop, but then it starts looking unnatural so fast… The problem remains in the fundaments of the picture, where the contrast and the richness / warmth of the colours is way more flattened than it should be.
    Your picture is exactly the opposite, could you please tell me what settings you used? Thanks a lot for telling that! :) Keep up the great work.

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