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:
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:
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:
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!
I have D5000, and looking for a good lens which gives clarity and the blurry background… After reading your reviews , I think buying 35mm 1.8 wud be a good option…. Earlier I was planning to buy 70-200mm or 70-300mm…which are zoom lenses… Does these lenses also give the same blurry background image as the 35mm 1.8 does? I am a beginner and I don’t know much about the technicalities abt the camera and lenses…. All I want is to capture a portfolio pics… portraits of my son. ..
Please help me with the same. Which one wud u recommend…..
Waiting for ur reply :)
It’s a lot lighter than the Sigma 35mm F1.4 shooting FX.
With the 3200 and the 35 mm. What settings do you think should be used in a group photoshoot
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 . . 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. . .
(Sorry for the poor editing!)
Hi Nasim/ anyone else
Is it advisable to go with this lens and a d3200 . I am a strict beginner.
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!
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.
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 pixelarge.com/sigma…ns-review/
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……