Lences reviews

Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 AF-S review

This excellent high-aperture lens is intended for DX-cameras of Nikon. It was announced in February, 2009. It is the lens that every amateur photographer who use cheap SLR cameras of Nikon, namely, D40 / D40x / D60 / D3000 / D3100 / D5000 / D5100 / D3200 / D5200 / D3300 / D5300 / D5500 must have.

35 mm f/1.8 is an excellent lens for taking photos handheld and indoors. It has just recently started being available in Ukrainian shops, so I think soon you will be able to buy it for only 250$, but up to now I have not seen it costing less than 300$.

There is no sense in buying 35 mm f/1.8 if you are going to switch to expensive FX digital cameras from Nikon and if you have a camera with a built-in autofocus (D50, D70, D80, D90, D200 or D300), in this case it would be better to take 35 mm f/2 AF-D or 50 mm f/1.8D . As different from 35 mm f/1.8, they will work well after you switch to FX, as for 35 mm f/1.8 it will cut the angles on FX.

A big advantage of 35 mm f/1.8 is that it suits wondefully for cheap digital SLR cameras – Nikon D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200, because it is light, small and what is the most important it uses AF-S focus.

35 mm f/1.8 focuses quietly and quickly, I even thought that hand-operated focus was on as I did not hear the small motor.

35 mm, f/1.8, 1/1000s, 0.67eV, ISO20035 mm, f/1.8, 1/120s, 1.00eV, ISO20035mm, f/1.8, 1/250s, 0.33eV, ISO200

35 mm, f/2.8, 1/120s, 0.67eV, ISO200


The lens uses 52 mm filters. I have put the security filter DHG Lens Protection on 52 mm lens.


You can get an excellent macro with the help of 35 mm f/1.8 but anyway 18-55 mm will be better.

35 mm f/1.8G in comparison with:

35 mm f/2 AF-D. This is an excellent lens announced already in 1989, which is still popular. Its advantage is that it works well both on DX and FX SLR cameras. But an automatic focus works only on cameras having a built-in autofocus (AF-S). You will have to focus manually on Nikon D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200.

50 mm f/1.8D.  It was announced in 2002, and it’s the best choice for owners of cameras with AF-S, it suits both for DX and FX cameras. The autofocus won’t work on D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200.

50 mm f/1.4 AF-D. It was announced in 1986. The autofocus won’t work on D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200.

50 mm f/1.4G AF-S. It is twice as expensive as 35 mm f/1.8G. The only external difference from 35 mm f/1.8G is the presence of a focal distance scale. The lens works well both on DX and FX cameras like 50 mm f/1.8D. But unlike version D, the autofocus will work on low-cost DSLR cameras of Nikon D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200.

NEW: 50 mm f/1.8G AF-S. The lens is a “must-have” among the owners of cameras without an AF-S system (D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200). It works both on DX and FX cameras.

Conclusion and recommendations

If you take photos with the help of a low-cost camera D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200 and you are not going to switch to extremely expensive FX cameras in the near future then 35 mm f/1.8G will be a real catch for you! If you think about buying FX, it is better to take 50 mm f/1.8G AF-S. As for me, the angle of 35 mm is much more convenient for DX.

I recommend all people who take photos with the help of digital DX SLR cameras having a built-in autofocus (Nikon D50, D80, D90, D300, D300s, D7000, D7100) to buy 50 mm f/1.8D (150$) or 35 mm f/2 AF-D (370$). If you decide to switch to an FX camera you will lose nothing as they work perfectly on FX cameras as well.

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