Review: AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
- Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
- Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
- Minimum Aperture: f/22
- Format: DX (Cropped Sensor)
- Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 44°
- Lens Elements: 8
- Lens Groups: 6
- Diaphragm Blades: 7
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.98 ft. (0.3m)
- Filter Size: 52mm
- Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 2.8 in. (70 mm) x 2.1 in. (52.5 mm)
- Approx. Weight: 7 oz. (200 g)
- Price: $199.95
Perhaps this might seem a bit absurd, but I actually owned this lens before I owned a DSLR. You’re probably thinking, what good is a lens without a camera body? Good point. The thing is I could only find the camera (D7000) packaged with a kit lens. I really didn’t want to spend the money on a lens that was poorly constructed, produced soft images and would eventually be tossed. I just needed the camera body! I looked in Billings, Montana and Rapid City, South Dakota...nothing. Understand that these two towns are “thee towns” to buy “stuff” for Northeastern Wyomingites. You’d think that if one has too leave their own state to get access to goods, someone would get the hint? Ha! I ended up buying the package deal and immediately used the 35mm 1.8 to break in the camera.
The 35mm 1.8 is not a pro lens by any means but it is a prime lens. A prime lens has a fixed focal length, as opposed to zoom lenses which the focal length is variable. Prime lenses are known for producing sharp images, which is the main reason to buy this lens. For the price, it really can’t be beat in my opinion. One of the great things about a prime lens is that your feet essentially become your zoom. They force you to move around your subject and try new angles and distances. Which is great, if you are perfecting your photography vision. The lens is incredibly versatile, allowing you to open your aperture up to 1.8 for low light situations or creative shallow depth of field use. Along with fast focusing, the lens is quite compact and light weight. Which I find to be useful as pack space is limited and keeping the pack weight to a minimum is absolutely key. Because of its versatility and relatively cheap price tag it has become my go to lens for my outdoor adventures. It’s repelled down the canyon walls in the badlands of South Dakota and somehow survived the climb back to the top. The lens has also proved its worth while rock climbing and hiking in the Black Hills. It has survived a mountain bike wreck in which bones of my body didn’t. If this lens could sing a song, it would sing Johnny Cash's renowned “I’ve been everywhere”.
In ConclusionI purposely kept this text free from technical jargon because this is a budget lens, but a damn fine budget lens. The lens does have drawbacks, as it has no distance/focusing scale. The shell of the lens is plastic, but has a metal mount (awesome!) with an incorporated dust seal. Being a DX lens, its use should be limited to a cropped sensor body. IMO it’s an inexpensive lens that can help hone your eye, yet can still produce sharp images in demanding circumstances. Now get out there and go shoot!