Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras – Product Description:
The AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G optical design allows a different look and feel to images taken with zoom lenses, and its dimensions are ideal for discrete snapshots and landscape shooting with a picture angle that approximates that of the human eye. With its rounded seven-blade diaphragm opening, out-of-focus elements appear more natural. When mounted on a DX-format SLR, the picture angle is the 35mm equivalent focal length of 50mm.
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Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras – Review:
FOR $199 IS IT JUST HYPE?
Being a self proclaimed prosumer I’m not exactly a pro, but I am still demanding when it comes to camera hardware (and software for that matter). I mention this because it puts this review in the proper context.
On to the lens…
First off, when a $199 lens comes around from Nikon I have two thoughts, “Right on!” and “Seems pretty cheap for Nikon”. I was skeptical but for $199 and all the great reviews why not give it a shot? Well, I did.
Amazon taunted me, B&H teased me, and my local camera shops didn’t exactly sooth my fear that it would be months before I could get my hand on one. Putting a pre-order in with all the above mentioned establishments my local store came through first (and for the same 199 dollar price tag).
I get it home, take it out of the box and the first thing that comes to mind is how much heavier it is than some of the kit lenses I have picked up. Yes it’s plastic, but the thing has a different level of quality from the other Nikon budget/consumer lenses. You can peruse the other reviews on Amazon and other websites for more specifics but the point is there is a noticeable difference.
I then put the thing on my camera (made sure to put on a filter first) and start snapping away, outside, inside, and everywhere in between. The pictures are fantastic, in low light in particular. The bokeh isn’t top notch but for anyone but a pro this likely will be worth the tradeoff being the 199 price tag is a huge selling point here. And don’t get me wrong, the bokeh isn’t terrible, I’ve just seen better with more (much more) expensive lenses.
So is it hype? Can a Nikon lens selling at $199 be good enough for the more demanding consumers out there? You betcha, this thing is probably the best and smartest purchase I’ve made in the last five years. I have three other lenses and I can say without any hesitation the 35mm F/1.8 AF-S will be on my camera 90% of the time – if not more – from here on out.
In closing, if you love photography but don’t have the means to drop hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on nicer lenses, get annoyed at the fact that low light photography with the kit lens just doesn’t cut it, and want to expand, this is THE lens to get.
I promise you, you will not be disappointed.