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on October 27, 2016
I am a super beginner photographer (wouldn't even call myself that, just a new mama with a camera) with a Nikon D3300. I've had the camera for almost a year and have been disappointed my the photos I was taking (been using the lens kit that came with my camera). I finally decided after doing some reading, that I might benefit from a new lens. I decided on the 35mm instead of the 50mm because I read that the 50 can be hard to use inside of a small house and that the 35 might be a little more versatile, if you can only get one lens. I put the lens on my camera last night, and NOW I AM FINALLY GETTING THE PICTURES I DREAMT OF. The camera makes beautiful bokeh and takes super fast photos, even in low light! I am super impressed with this lens and definitely recommend if you are a mom trying to take up your photos a few notches. As an aside, I stumbled upon the blog "Click It Up A Notch." And read some of their basic tutorials and have learned so much. Hope this helps you make your decision.
Update: I added a picture that I took on my second day of using the lens. Before I got this lens I had essentially stopped using my DSLR because the lens kit was so slow that I was always miss his smile.
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1212 comments| 360 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 31, 2017
I am a novice photographer and have been using a variety of lenses. From an older (non VR) 70-300 telephoto to a 10.5mm fisheye. Over the past three years I have also used the "nifty 50" Nikkor 50mm 1.8D. This lens has been amazing for portraits, some casual shooting, and the occasional indoor kid's sporting events. One problem I came across time and time again, because I shoot on a cropped sensor camera (D90), is that the 50mm 1.8D (taking into consideration the 1.5x crop factor) actually shoots more like a 75mm equivalent. Time and time again I would find myself only being able to keep one subject in frame, or wishing I had more room behind me to back up farther in order to get more in the frame. Often times I would switch lenses and use an older kit lens (18-70mm 3.5ED) in order to shoot wider, but that of course came at the cost of loss of sharpness and the dramatic depth of field effect that can be achieved with prime lenses like the 50mm 1.8D.

Also, a professional photographer friend of mine was using a 50mm on her Canon 5D Mark III and after looking at the pictures I wondered how she was able to fit so much into the frame while not having to back away dramatically. This was before I knew anything about crop sensor cameras, crop factors, full frame cameras, etc. The fact is that a 50mm lens on a full frame camera and the same lens on a crop sensor camera do not shoot the same way.

After some reading and investigating, I decided to pull the trigger and purchase this 35mm 1.8G lens. I got it, popped on the bayonet style lens good and started shooting. On a cropped sensor camera like the D90 (as well as the newer D7200, D7000, D3300, D3200, D5500, etc.) this lens shoots (with the 1.5x crop factor multiplier) works close to a 53mm equivalent. The results were immediate, I shoot in close quarters with kids, pets, bands and the ability to fit more in the frame was - liberating. I did not feel hampered by what I could or could not fit into the frame.

- Feels well built
- Comes packaged with carrying case, good cap, bayonet style lens hood
- Can fit more in the frame
- Fast
- Captures crisp images with lots of detail
- Great in low light, maybe even better than the now older 50mm 1.8D (which by the way does not autofocus unless you have a camera with a focus motor built in)
- If I had a camera that did not have a focus motor built in, no problem, this lens has a focus motor built into it
- Focusing is SILENT - unlike the 50mm 1.8D, which hunts for focus and is noisy as hell
- Manual focus override: a switch on the side of the lens allows you to either manually focus the lens, or to allow for M/A, manual and autofocus. This comes in handy if you want to fine tune your focusing or when shooting video and do not want to rely on the focus motors to handle how and what you focus on as you pan through a scene

- The bokeh on the 35mm does not really compare to what I've been used to from the 50mm 1.8D. The Bokeh (quality of blurriness in the background when shooting wide open) simply does not look as good, but this is a relatively minor issue. That said, I may use this lens more as a street photo / on the go / all around lens and keep the 50mm 1.8D for portrait work or product shots exclusively
- There is some barrel distortion with this lens (which is when there is slight curve to the image from the center point to all edges) the effect is very slight and can very easily be corrected in photo editing software

Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase. The lens came packaged very well, arrived exactly on time and in perfect condition. The images I have attached compare the older 50mm 1.8D alongside this lens, as well as the test shots. The shots are to show how much can fit in the frame using the 50mm lens (on a cropped sensor camera) in comparison to this 35mm 1.8G. I love the 50mm lens, I really do, but I needed more versatility and this 35mm lens gives me just that, the freedom to have a quasi-portrait lens as well as a great, fast, and sharp all around shooter. I look forward to what I will be able to do with this lens as I continue to hone my skills as a photographer.

Comparison images: If the object looks closer I took it with the 50mm lens. Same conditions used for every photo.
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33 comments| 141 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 27, 2016
Love love love!! Ive been DYING to get this lens forever. This is my second time buying this type of lens and this one takes the cake.
came brand spanking new great condition, box was safe and secure. And the photos it produces are beautiful with amazing depth of field!!
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VINE VOICEon May 24, 2009
This Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX lens produces sharp pictures and great color and contrast. It is also perfect for portrait and other general purposes (semi-macro etc). This lens also produces nice bokeh. The picture quality and bokeh quality are comparable with the other Nikon prime lenses (50mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 AF-S etc) lens which are famous for being sharp. Overall, this is a very versatile lens. On a non full frame DSLR (such as D40, D40x, D60, D5000, D5100, D3000, D3100, D3200, D7000, D80, D90, D200, D300 etc), this 35mm focal length is equivalent to about 50mm which is considered a normal lens (normal as to being close to a person eye viewing angle perspective).

Many of us, including those who already own the 50mm prime, have been waiting for this lens (prime lens that has wider angle than the 50mm) for a long time, especially for non full frame DSLR owners that usually have about 1.5x magnification due to the smaller sensor size. Those 50mm lens on a non full frame DSLR is equivalent to 75mm which is often too much zoom for many situation. For example in a room where you can't keep backing up to compose your photos, or when taking picture of a group of people where you will need to move back a lot with the 50mm lens. This 35mm lens will solve that problem to some extent as this is a lot wider lens than the 50mm prime lenses. Having said that the 50mm prime lens is still a great lens. If you don't own any of the earlier version of the 50mm lens and wondering if you should get this 35mm or the 50mm, then I would recommend you to get this lens over 50mm, unless you know for sure that you need more zoom than the 35mm for your purpose, then you can go and buy the 50mm or 85mm (both available on f/1.4 or f/1.8).

This lens (DX lens) is not designed for a full frame camera (FX or Film). There will be light fall-off which is quite significant. If you have a full frame DSLR, you might want to get the 50mm f/1.4 AF-S, or the older 35mm f/2 AF-D lens instead.

Being a prime lens (this 35mm lens), you will need to move your feet a lot to compose your picture.

While this lens produces very sharp images at f/1.8, the corner show lower contrast. Sharpness and contrast increases further as you stop down to f/2, f/2.8 and f/4. Sharpness increases slowly after f/2.8 (i.e. at f/2.8 seems to be the optimal, without sacrificing too much speed)

The big plus with this lens over the older 35mm lens is the AF-S feature which is auto focus system that is internal to the lens, very fast and very silent. This lens will please a lot of people who currently own D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D5000, and D5100 as they now can benefit from the autofocus.

Another big win is the manual override on autofocus mode (M/A mode), which will allow us to change the focus without having to change the mode to manual mode (this is pretty standard to most Nikon newer lenses but it's quite new for Nikon prime lens series)

This lens doens't have image stabilization (VR), but that is kind of expected as Nikon also doesn't include VR on their new 50mm f/1.4 AF-S lens. It would be nice to have VR (for longer exposure handheld operation, and for people with less stable photography technique) but it will probably increase the size, weight and cost of this lens.

If you are wondering whether you should get a fast lens or a lens with VR (Vibration Reduction), here's my take: In overall, VR does help a lot (as it will reduce camera shake) and will produce better/sharper picture than equivalent lens without VR (especially if the object is static). If the object is moving fast (sports/action) then VR feature alone might not help (depending on how fast the object is moving and how much light is available), and a fast lens often end up being a far better solution, even without VR feature as it will allow much faster shutter speed to freeze motion. Using tripod (and a remote) will substitute for the need of VR feature. In general I would recommend getting a fast lens with VR feature (and usually it is expensive) such as the 70-200 f/2.8 VR, but if one can only get for one or the other, then find out what do you want to use the lens for and then use the guideline mentioned here.

If you are wondering whether you will get the benefit of buying f/1.4 lens over a f/1.8 lens, just remember that the f/1.4 lens is about 60% faster than f/1.8 at its widest aperture setting. With this information, you can decide if the additional speed will justify the additional cost. The bokeh is nicer as well in f/1.4 lens but I think speed is usually the main factor in deciding whether to get the more expensive f/1.4 lens.

Here are the summary of pros and cons for this Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S lens:

1. AF-S AF-S AF-S (very fast focus, internal focus, and very silent)
2. M/A mode (manual focus override available on autofocus mode)
3. Very fast lens (f/1.8)
4. Very sharp pictures
5. Great for sport/action photography (though you might need more zoom)
6. Great for indoor and low light situation
7. Great for portrait
8. Bokeh is almost as good as many expensive Nikon tele-lens
9. Perfect for low light with no-flash event. However, also check out the following lens for low light photography: 17-35mm f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8, 17-55mm f/2.8, 28-70mm f/2.8 or the the 50mm nikon prime lenses.
9. Great focal length (35mm). About 50mm equivalent which is a normal lens (If you need more zoom, you can get the Nikon 50mm or 85mm prime lens or 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens).
10. Did I already mention very fast and very silent focus? :)

1. Being prime lens, you need to move your feet a lot to adjust/compose
2. Being a G lens (no aperture ring available), this lens will not work on manual focus camera where you need to set the aperture from the lens)
3. No VR. As VR will be useful for taking handheld shots on low light (especially if the object is somewhat static or if the photographer doesn't have steady hands when taking photograph)
4. Not designed for full frame cameras (FX or Film) where there will be siginificant light fall-off.

Bottom line: This lens is so versatile that I think everyone should own this lens in addition to all the lenses that they already have (even if they alredy have the 50mm prime lens). Being a very fast lens, it will allow people to take action shot in low light that otherwise wouldn't be able to be do. And now, with AF-S, there is nothing to dislike about this lens (though in my opinion, this lens might attract even more interest if it has a VR feature).

Happy Photographing!

Sidarta Tanu
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on November 28, 2014
First lens after the kit (only used the kit a week haha) and I love it. For the $200 bucks, you get a great lens! I chose the 35mm over the nifty-fifty because I felt I could get wider shots.

Quick to focus, very versatile from landscapes to portraits to night photography. A very fun lens to use that challenges you to work on getting the angle or the distance you want since its a prime and doesn't give you the flexibility of zoom like the kit lens.

Overall I think this is a great first lens after a kit lens. Gives you much sharper images and really encourages you to become a better photographer, professional or enthusiast. You'll appreciate your shots that much more knowing you had to work a littler harder and get a little closer for them.
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on February 18, 2015
My first new non kit lens and I love it, takes some getting used too but well worth it, great low light shots, quick and more compact. I took pictures of the stars (Orion) with no tripod to see what type of image would come out. To my surprise the image was incredibly sharp for a night shot with no tripod. I will upload the photo shortly as a reference as well as a shot taken in the glass shop where good images are hard to get due to the constant movement of the business. Now that I have this puppy I want a wide angle lens, this lens will open up pandoras box of lenses and you'll have a hard time not wanting your lens collection to grow. I don't use the standard kit lens anymore except for a few shots at home. Can't wait to have more fun with this lens and looking forward to many beautiful shots with it once I get to know it's full capacity.
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on July 16, 2017
This lens is my love. I'm an amateur photographer, and this is my first non-kit lens. For the past few months, I have only used a different lens maybe once or twice. The angle is wide enough where you shouldn't have any major problems unless you're shooting wide landscapes. It lets in light so beautifully, and it's so easy to take fantastic photos of people, cities, wildlife - whatever you want. The auto-focus function is so helpful too. Before this, I used to use a "nifty fifty" lens often but it wasn't wide enough for urban travel photography and I missed the autofocus feature (lazy, I know!) but this lens is perfect for my needs. This lens was a little splurge for a Christmas gift to myself, and it was so worth every penny!
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on December 28, 2016
as an amateur photographer with a Nikon D7200, I LOVE this thing. I take it to any family event, and it is a MUST have when I go out. Now my camera is still a cropped so it isn't a true 35mm on my camera, but the pictures I am able to take are beautiful (I think).

The 1.8 aperture really makes a difference compared to my kit 18-55 VR lens. I always try to shoot with this first before switching to my lazier zoom lenses. I also have the 50mm (which is also fantastic). I tend to use the 35 more because I tend to be in tight spaces when taking pictures.

Since I don't have thousands of dollars to spend, this one is perfect for a budget. It is my go to.
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on July 7, 2016
Whether you're a fan of Ken Rockwell or not, you can't disagree that this is one of the best DX lenses and a must have if you own a Nikon DX body. You could really get away with owning just this lens if you wanted to. I own this lens, a 55-200, and UWA 11-20. But this lens is by default what is on my camera in the gear bag. On top of that its ~$200!?!
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on March 31, 2013
I bought this lens for several reasons, but mostly for its lowlight capabilities and the fact that I'm shooting video and photography in night clubs. In terms of general usage it is fantastic for producing crisps sharp photos and in daylight I highly recommend combining it with an ND filter.

For video this is great for helping get the shallow depth of field look of film and also using reverse depth of field techniques in story telling. The build quality is solid, the lens is amazingly fast and the image quality is amazing!

If you have a Nikon D3200, D3100, D5200 or D5100 I would say this is a lens you absolutely must invest in.
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