Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G Recommendation
Why this Lens Rocks!
The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8 is a fantastic prime lens capable of capturing an extremely shallow depth of field (short area in focus). This effect is great for portraits, food, products, close-ups, etc… where you want your subject razor sharp and everything else deliciously out of focus.
The f/1.8 maximum aperture allows you to obtain fast shutter speeds at low ISO’s while shooting in low light. Faster shutter speeds help eliminate subject movement, while lower ISO’s reduce the effects of image noise from sapping the life out of your photos.
The 35mm focal length is perfect for those who like to shoot a variety of subjects, both indoors and outdoors. When mounted to a DX format DSLR, you’ll end up with a field of view equivalent to a 50mm lens on a film SLR or full frame DSLR.
While this focal length is good for portraits, it does require that you get within a few feet of your subject to capture a nice head shot. Naturally, people tend to feel a bit uncomfortable when shooting at close distances. Longer focal lengths tend to produce more natural looking expressions, which in turn gives you “better” looking portraits.
If you want something with a bit more reach, then check out the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens.
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.
If you’re interested in this lens, I highly recommend purchasing through Amazon (see here) or B&H Photo (see here). I buy new gear every week from these retailers for my photography business and for this website. They’re the best of the best when it comes to purchasing camera equipment online. As an added benefit, they can usually have your lens packaged and out the door by early afternoon if you order it in the morning.
- Fantastic image sharpness when aperture is set to f/2 or higher (f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, etc…)
- Great color and clarity
- Fast, accurate and quiet autofocus thanks to the Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
- Ability to focus within a foot of your subject
- Beautiful, buttery smooth bokeh (foreground/background blur)
- Compact and light
- A bit soft when aperture is set to f/1.8
- Chromatic aberration (fringes of color) can occur when shooting highly contrasted scenes (tree against bright sky) at apertures between f/1.8 to f/2.8
Use it to Capture
- Portraits – Individual portraits, small groups of people, babies and children. The 35mm focal length is wide enough for capturing most portraits indoors or in tight spaces.
- Sports – Basketball (courtside), volleyball (courtside), tennis (courtside) and golf (within close proximity). It’s not really long enough for football, baseball, soccer, track, swimming or equestrian sports.
- Parties – Party favors, cake, candles, food, presents and candids.
- Pets and wildlife – Pet portraits, paws, eyes, noses, birds at a nearby feeder, squirrels and other wildlife within 5 to 10 feet from where you’re standing.
- Close-ups (macro) – Products, food, flowers, vegetation, coins and other small subjects.
- Landscapes – You won’t be able to capture wide-vistas, but you can achieve interesting looks…like capturing a shell in the sand with the rest of the shoreline blurred out.
- Street Photography – Fashion, candids, close-up architecture, graffiti, monuments, etc…
Compatibility, Features & Specs
The Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is compatible (will autofocus and meter) with Nikon “DX” format DSLR’s like the D5100, D5000, D3100, D3000, D60, D40X, and D40. It also “works” with full frame Nikon DSLR’s, however the viewfinder will be masked and the image sensor will be cropped which results in lower image resolution.
Accepts 52mm filters.
When mounted to a Nikon DX format DSLR, the focal length is equivalent to the same field of view produced by 50mm lens mounted to a full frame DSLR or film SLR. This is important to think about if you plan on using this lens indoors or in tight spaces. This is a prime lens, which means the focal length is fixed at 35mm. In order to compose a shot, you’ll need to get up and move around. Basically meaning, you won’t be able to “zoom” with this lens.
The Nikon DX 35mm f/1.8 comes with a fast and accurate Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which is great for trying to capture moving subjects and scenes with low contrast.
Aperture range is between f/1.8 to f/22. This means that the lowest f/number you can use is f/1.8 and the highest f/number you can use is f/22.
Minimum focusing distance
The minimum focusing distance is 0.98ft. This is the closest distance that it can accurately lock focus on a subject.
Size and Dimensions
It weighs in at 7oz with a length of 2.1 inches and a width (diameter) of 2.8 inches.
Moose Approved Retailers & Rockin’ Deals
I buy new gear every week from Amazon and B&H for my photography business and for this website. They’re the best of the best when it comes to purchasing camera equipment online. As an added benefit, they can usually have your lens packaged and out the door by early afternoon if you order it in the morning.
If you have questions about the Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G lens feel free to ask me inside the Nikon Lens Forum and I’ll get back to you lickety split. Check out the recommendations page for more tips and advice on my favorite gear. Happy shooting!