Nikon 35mm f/1.4G Review

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This is an in-depth review of the new professional Nikon 35mm f/1.4G prime lens that was announced in September of 2010. The Nikon 35mm f/1.4G is a professional-grade lens for enthusiasts and professionals that need the highest quality optics of a fixed wide-angle lens with a large aperture of f/1.4 for low-light situations and shallow depth of field to isolate subjects from the background, making it an ideal candidate for many types of photography, including portrait, wedding, landscape and astrophotography.

Nikon 35mm f/1.4G

The lens incorporates the latest optical technology destined for both FX and DX sensors (equivalent of approx 52.5mm on DX), yielding amazing clarity and contrast in most challenging lighting conditions. The Nikon 35mm f/1.4G follows the release of the excellent Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens, having similar lens characteristics. Although the lens exterior and construction seem to be almost identical, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G has a simpler optical design when compared to the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G (more on this below). The focal length of 35mm is a good compromise between ultra-wide angle lenses and standard lenses – it is not too wide or too long. As for the lens interior and optics, Nikon integrated the latest technology into this lens, including AF-S silent-wave focus motor and Rear Focus (to eliminate front barrel rotation and lens length changes) and enhanced the optical formula of the lens by incorporating Nano crystal coating and Super Integrated Coating (SIC) to reduce ghosting and flares. The lens is of high quality build, similar to other AF-S Nikon primes and is sealed against dust and tough weather conditions. Thanks to the 9-blade diaphragm, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G renders background highlights in a round, circular shape and the maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes this lens a great portrait lens for both images and video, especially in low-light conditions.

Nikon 35mm f1.4G Sample #7

NIKON D700 + 35mm f/1.4 @ 35mm, ISO 200, 1/80, f/13.0

In this review, I will provide a thorough analysis of the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G lens, along with image samples and comparisons against Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/2.0 ZF.2 and other Nikon lenses like Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AIS, Nikon 35mm f/2.0D and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G.

1) Lens Specifications

Main Features:

  1. FX-format, ultra-fast classic wide-angle lens.
  2. Optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format D-SLRs.
  3. Rear Focus (RF) provides smooth and fast autofocus while eliminating front barrel rotation and lens length changes.
  4. Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus.
  5. Rounded 9-blade diaphragm renders a more natural appearance to out-of-focus image elements.
  6. Nano crystal coat further reduces ghosting and interior flare across a wide range of wavelengths for even greater image clarity.
  7. Aspherical lens element virtually eliminates coma and other types of aberration, even when shooting at the widest available aperture.
  8. M/A focus mode switch enables quick changes between manual and autofocus operation.
  9. Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare.
Nikon 35mm f1.4G Sample #1

NIKON D3S + 35mm f/1.4 @ 35mm, ISO 1400, 1/50, f/4.0

Technical Specifications:

  1. Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
  2. Focal Length: 35mm
  3. Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
  4. Minimum Aperture: f/16
  5. Format: FX/35mm
  6. Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 44°
  7. Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 63°
  8. Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.2x
  9. Lens Elements: 10
  10. Lens Groups: 7
  11. Compatible Format(s): FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
  12. Diaphragm Blades: 9
  13. Distance Information: Yes
  14. Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
  15. Aspherical Elements: 1
  16. Autofocus: Yes
  17. AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  18. Minimum Focus Distance: 0.98 ft.
  19. Focus Mode: Auto, Manual
  20. Rear Focusing: Yes
  21. Filter Size: 67mm
  22. Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  23. Dimensions (Approx.): 3.27×3.52 in. (Diameter x Length), 83×89.5mm (Diameter x Length)
  24. Weight (Approx.): 21.2 oz. (600g)
  25. Supplied Accessories: LF-4 Rear Lens Cap, LC-67mm Snap-on Front Cap, HB-59 Bayonet Lens Hood, CL-1118 Semi-Soft Case

Detailed specifications for the lens, along with MTF charts and other useful data can be found in our lens database.

Nikon 35mm f1.4G Sample #6

NIKON D700 + 35mm f/1.4 @ 35mm, ISO 400, 1/80, f/8.0

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