Photography - Nikon 35mm f/1.8


With the birth of Alexis (my daughter, and first child), I was anxious to get my hands on a fast prime, to take photos without blinding her with the flash... The Nikon 35mm f1.8 is a fast and inexpensive "normal" lens; perfect for this type of use.

My Nikon D90 with the 35mm f/1.8 mounted


This lens is sharp. Really sharp. Wide open is quite good, stopped down to f/2.2 is very good! There's not too much more to say here - portraiture with this lens will have you retouching skin afterwards...

Focusing and Other Notable Attributes

Focusing is very fast. This is partially due to the single focal length, and partially due to Nikon's AF-S. The 35mm isn't a macro lens, but it does focus down to about 12 inches, making for a nice close-up ability. While the depth of field can be very shallow at f/1.8, this lens rarely misses focus. I've been very pleased with this lens, to date.

As the lighting gets dimmer, this little guy really starts to shine. Opening up to f/1.8 really helps, and low light / available light photography is a joy with this lens.

Things are not all perfect, however. The lens shows a lot of chromatic aberration (particularly purple fringing). Even the in-camera JPEG processing of the D90 can't fix it all. Post production work in Photoshop can remedy the situation, but it's extra work. One does have to be careful where they point the camera, to avoid this extra work.

Handling and Use

Small and light, the 35mm f/1.8 could fit into a pocket. It's bigger than the 50mm f/1.8, due to the AF-S, but i'm willing to make that trade off, for the quick focusing. It's a great walk about focal length, and works well for indoor events (family dinner, etc.).

35mm becomes 52mm on a DX body, making this a "normal" lens. This is good indoors (you're not constantly bumping against the walls), but is not an ideal focal length for portraits, as you have to get pretty close to fill the frame, and will make closer subjects appear larger than life (I call it the big-nose effect). You just have to keep that in mind, when shooting.

Sample Photos

Here are a few samples I have taken with this lens:

In Mommy's arms

Toy Flower