Nikon has designed this dedicated DX-format lens to be used with Nikon DX digital SLRs like the Nikon D5300. Nikon has been manufacturing various 35mm lenses for full-frame FX and film cameras for several years before introducing the DX NIKKOR 35mm lens. This lens captures picture angles equivalent to 1.5x the focal length with DX-format DSLRs.
The overall autofocusing operation is seamless, instantaneous, and silent with a silent wave motor to control the AF mechanism. The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens can achieve high-quality optical performance by minimizing chromatic aberration and light reflection with its aspherical lens element.
The lens is equipped with 7 rounded diaphragms that can enhance the blurriness of out-of-focus background subjects, producing beautiful bokeh – a must-have feature in a prime lens. This lens can provide complete control of the depth-of-field required to distinguish between the front and background objects to create a soft blur effect in photographs.
This 35mm lens can successfully deliver high-quality image results with its fastest f1.8 maximum aperture, ideal for low-light photography. This lens also allows professional photographers to mount up wireless flash devices on the edge of the lenses to capture sharp and clear photographs in dim lighting conditions.
This Nikon lens is affordable and comes at a reasonable price as compared to competitor DX-format 35mm lenses. It has an excellent reputation among many professional photographers and is also loved by hobbyists and enthusiasts. The following review is a complete guide to develop an in-depth understanding of the performance, operations, build quality, and controls of this exceptional lens.
Performance And Functionality
- Maximum format size – DX
- Focal length – 35mm
- Diagonal angle of view – 47 degrees
- Maximum aperture – F1.8
- Minimum aperture – F22
- Lens construction – 8 elements/6 groups, 1 hybrid aspherical element
- Diaphragm blades – 7 rounded
- Minimum focus – 0.3m
- Maximum magnification – 0.16x
- AF motor type – Ring-type silent wave motor
- Focus method – Rear internal focus
- Optical stabilization – None
- Filter thread – 52mm
- Accessories – Front and rear cap, HB-46 lens hood
- Weight – 210g
- Dimensions – 70mm diameter x 52.5mm length
- Lens Mount – Nikon F
The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm is constructed with 8 elements in 6 groups. One optical element is a hybrid aspherical glass, which is spherical glass coated with an aspherical plastic corrector film. The aspherical lens element corrects the spherical issues like light reflection and light falloff.
Nikon has deployed the latest super-integrated coating (SIC) technology to provide multi-coating to the lens glass elements to reduce the light ghosting and flare. The lens comes with a single Extra dispersion (ED) lens glass to increase the sharpness and contrast of the image.
The lens is equipped with 7 rounded diaphragm blades combined to achieve the maximum aperture of F1.8 that is responsible for capturing attractive out-of-focus objects and backgrounds. The diaphragm control is fully automated, and the aperture selection can only be made from the camera.
Silent Wave Motor (SWM)
The silent wave motor is responsible for the quiet and quick movement of the AF system. The autofocusing operation is extremely silent with SWM. Even the focus-confirmation beep coming from the camera is louder than the AF rings movement. This quiet AF operation allows you to concentrate fully on focusing the subjects resulting in sharp images. The manual focus rings are present at the front of the lens, unlike any other 35mm lenses with rear focus rings.
The lens supports a standard filter thread of 52mm or lesser. The Nikon DX 35mm performs exceptionally well in combination with filters. The vignetting effect is almost zero, even when a thick 52mm filter is used with this lens. The filter thread isn’t synchronized with the focus rings, which means photographers don’t have to stress about the focus/zoom creep.
The zoom creep occurs when the camera is held at the right angle directly on the focused subject. The camera’s vertical position can change the set position of the manual focus due to the camera body weight.
The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm is not suitable for macro photography due to its small reproduction ratio of 0.16x. You can focus on the object placed at the closest distance of around 1 foot so, it is not advisable to capture close-ups.
The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm wide-angle lens can capture high-quality Bokeh photographs by isolating the focused subject from the background. This lens exhibits well-defined outer rings that are sharp and distinct, unlike a soft and onion-shaped Bokeh effect capture by Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art.
Lateral Color Fringes
The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm lens is compatible with both Generation 1 and Generation 2 cameras. You can notice lateral color fringes when the lens is used with Gen 1 cameras like Nikon D40. However, these fringes disappear entirely when the lens is used with Gen 2 cameras like Nikon D300 and D90.
The sharpness of the photographs is consistent throughout the image. You can achieve peak image sharpness between the aperture range F4 and F5.6. The sharpness tends to reduce at a larger aperture, but this is understandable in case of wide-angle lenses. The lens displays optimal image results with minimal color aberration due to the aspherical optical element.
This 35mm lens captures photographs with unnoticeable vignetting. Though, the vignetting starts to appear at large apertures like F2.8, F2, and F1.8. If you use this lens at smaller apertures, including F16, F11. F8, F5.6, and F4. The light falloff is entirely controlled by this lens, even at a wide aperture of F1.8.
The Nikon AF- DX lens is an excellent package for the photography enthusiasts who own the Nikon D5300. The lens comes with advanced optical features that include ultra-sonic motor, aspherical glass, and super-integrated technology. However, there is one drawback with the lens. The barrel or bulging distortion is quite evident, thus affecting the image quality.
The lens barrel is sensitive to any external shake or movement, resulting in a distorted photograph. The lens also doesn’t come with an optical stabilization mechanism. The barrel distortion can easily be corrected in image post-processing using Photoshop CS2 lens distortion filter.
Many users have shared their first-hand experience of using the Nikon AF-S 35mm. You can read these excellent, independent reviews online and gain a better understanding of the functionality of this lens.
User Interface And Control System
The lens comes with standard accessories that include 52mm front lens cap LC-52, rear lens cap, bayonet hood HB-46, and a flexible lens pouch CL-0913.
The Nikon 35mm lens comes with a revered F mount that can fit on all types of DSLRs, including FX and DX-format. The lens gets its power from the camera with the help of electrical connectors. The Nikon lens comes with both rear and front caps to protect the lens from dust particles and water droplets from entering and damaging the lens glass and electrical connector. You need to align the mounting index mark available on the top side of the lens with the mounting index present on the camera body. Once the alignment is done, the lens is rotated in the anti-clockwise direction until the sound of the click.
This lens’s detaching process is simple due to the lens release button on the Nikon camera body. You need to click the release button and rotate the lens in a clockwise direction.
The lens comes with a focus mode switch to select between M/A and M. The Nikon cameras have two focus modes named as autofocus and manual focus. You can use both autofocus with manual override and manual focus with focus assistance modes of the lens with the AF mode of the camera. However, you can only use manual focus with focus assist with the MF mode of the camera.
If you are a beginner or a photography learner, you can use the lens seamless autofocus mode without much effort. However, you can also manually override the lens’s autofocus by rotating the focus rings while pressing the shutter-release button midway.
Lens Hood Attachment And Detachment
The lens hood attachment index on the hood is aligned with the lens hood mounting index on the lens. You are required to turn the hood in the counter-clockwise direction until the click. The vignetting effect can occur if the lens hood isn’t attached to the lens properly. To remove the lens hood, you must rotate it in a clockwise direction. Nikon advises reversing the direction of the lens hood to store and carry it with the lens.
You cannot use the in-built flashlight of the camera with this lens to capture photographs of the focused subjects place at a distance less than 0.6m.
Vignetting results in the darkening of the image corners due to the obstruction of the light emitted by the in-built flash. The obstruction is usually caused by the lens hood or lens barrel, depending on its angle. Nikon recommends that its user remove the lens hood before using an in-built flash to capture good-quality vibrant photographs.
Build Quality And Design
This lens is compact and lightweight and comes in a flexible pouch for storage during traveling. The lens hood is also rounded and is of larger diameter as compared to the lens barrel.
The lens length remains the same when the camera focuses. It implies that you don’t have to worry about the re-adjustment of the polarizing filter. The only rings that move forward are the manual rings that are used only in M mode. Other than that, the lens supports internal focusing. The lens also has mechanisms that ensure perfect sealing of the lens with zero entry of dust particles or water droplets.
The Nikon 35mm comes with a bayonet-mount HB-46 lens hood coated with matte black polish. The matte finishing absorbs the stray light arrays to nullify the light reflection. The lens hood is made with plastic and protects the lens glass. Nikon has designed a perfect lens hood that doesn’t block or cuts off any incoming desired light.
The lens barrel exterior is made up of plastic with dull-chromed brass mount and rubber gasket. The focus rings are covered with a thin rubber coating to provide necessary friction with your hand to rotate the rings properly. The focus rings can rotate up to 120 degrees in the counter-clockwise direction covering a focal distance from infinity to closest focus.
The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens is a fast aperture lens specially designed for DX-format Nikon DSLR cameras, such as the Nikon D5300, to provide an equivalent angle of view of 50mm on FX-format DSLR and film cameras. The optical construction comprises of 8 elements in 6 groups with one aspherical glass element to reduce spherical aberration. The lens is made up of an extra-low dispersion glass to eliminate light flare. SIC technology enhances image quality by further reducing light ghosting.
The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm supports the maximum aperture of F1.8 that makes it an ideal lens for low-light photography. With 7 rounded blade diaphragms, the lens allows you to create soft and blurred backgrounds with a sharp focus on your subject. You can capture high contrast photographs of both indoors and outdoors during day and nighttime.
The super-silent instant motion of silent wave motor makes the autofocusing operation smooth and flawless. The lens body is durable with a stylish exterior. Since all the lens operations are internal, the lens is completely sealed and protected from any dust particles to enter the lens body. The lens supports shorter focal length range and can capture sharp photographs of an object place at 12inches minimum focal distance.
This DX-format 35mm lens’s performance is comparable to the FX-format 52.5mm lens with a similar crop factor of 1.5x. It is an ideal lens at F1.8 to capture wide-angle photographs of cityscapes, street portraits, and product details. Its wide range of features has given this lens an excellent reputation among photographers around the globe.