Why This Lens Rocks
The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX is fantastic in low light and capable of capturing an extremely shallow depth of field (short area in focus), where your subject is razor sharp and everything else is out of focus.
Things I'm Crazy About
The 35mm f/1.8G is a "prime" lens, which basically means it's fixed at the 35mm focal length...meaning you can't zoom in or out.
The advantage of a prime lens is that they're super sharp and let lots of light into the camera. This translates to better hand-held low light photos (sharper subjects with less blur) and a shallow depth of field (DOF).
A shallow depth of field, gives you the ability to capture a tiny area in focus with everything else blurred into oblivion.
This effect produces lovely portraits, food and product shots against silky backgrounds that help the subject "pop" off the screen or print.
If you've only shot with a kit lens thus far, you'll be amazed at the difference in the "look" of your photos.
In addition to the sharpness and the bright aperture, the 35mm f/1.8G is quite compact compared to the kit lens, making it easier to carry around for a day of shooting.
Things I'm Not Crazy About
As mentioned above, this being a prime lens, it definitely takes some getting used to. You have to physically move around in order to compose and frame your shot.
While this isn't really an issue outdoors, it can be a problem indoors...especially in small rooms where you don't have enough room to backup.
When mounted to an entry level Nikon DX format DSLR, you'll actually end up with a field of view equivalent to a 50mm lens on a full frame DSLR. If you're curious as to what you'll see in the viewfinder, just attach your kit lens and zoom to 35mm.
If you want something with a bit more reach, then check out the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens. Longer focal lengths tend to produce more natural looking expressions, which in turn gives you more natural looking portraits.
This is one of those lenses where once you try it, you'll be hooked.
Whether you're looking to improve your family photos, experimenting with food and product photography or looking to do some hand-held low light shots without flash, you just can't beat it's versatility.
This lens holds its value really well. If you were to buy this lens brand new and sell it a year later…you’re probably looking at a loss of $15 to $20 which is far less than renting this lens for a week.