Nikon 35 F1.8G FX VS Nikon 35 1.8G DX
This unboxing and sniff test at Allens Camera started off like many of the ones I have done in the past. This time around it was time to unbox and sniff the new Nikon 35mm F1.8G ED FX. This lens is priced at just under $600 and I am here to tell you if I think it is worth spending the money.
Like many of my previews I take sample images and allow you to download the RAW files for yourself to pixel peep as much as you would like. Being that this is a preview and I am just giving my first thoughts on the camera I generally look at the sample images while I am at Allens.
What happened this time was slightly different. I took sample images with the new FX 35mm and noticed at 1.8 a ton of vignetting. Now many of you know that Nikon has a 35mm F1.8G for the dx cameras and I personally own one. That lens is very interesting, it is meant for the DX but you can use it on the FX with pretty good results.
Since I noticed so much vignetting with new lens I figured I would compare it to the older version that is not even meant to go on the FX cameras. What I found was at 1.8 there was more vignetting as expected with the DX that you can slightly correct with lightroom.
Yes the newer lens performed better wide open than the older lens but is it worth dropping $600 for good enough? The reason I put the DX on the FX is to make the point that it can work on FX even though it’s not the best of the best with honors.
As you close your aperture down on the FX version it does start to capture sharper images which is generally the case with these type of lenses. Another thing I noticed in my sample images was that the lines were straight on the brick wall with the newer version. You will see in the DX version that the lines are not as straight and bow slightly in the middle.
These days there are lens correction options in Lightroom that pretty much fix this issue but you are still better off having it straight in the first place.
You can see the sample images posted below as well as download the RAW files to make your own mind up.
Nikon 35mm F1.8G DX
Now on to my general thoughts that I do with these previews. The Nikon 35 F1.8G ED FX does not have that pro feel to it. It is plastically feeling, light and just does not give off that quality pro feel.
When this lens was announced I thought this could be a great option for the newcomers to full frame cameras. But, when I was on the phone with Nikon and they told me the price was going to be $600 I laughed at them. Sure it is $1000 less than the 1.4 version of but it does not come close to it’s quality.
I think the proper price point should have been somewhere around $399 max and or priced to sell all day at $329. At a price point like that I could fully recommend this as first lens for someone just getting into full frame.
But this is not the case so my overall sniff test is that this lens smells like “DONT BUY IT”. If you are on a DX sensor I still recommend the 35 1.8 DX all day long. Or if you are dying to spend $600 on a lens you could look at the Sigma 17-50 2.8 which will be much more versatile.
If you are on FX the options are a little more pricey with less light gathering capability. If the importance is to simply have a 35 option you could look at the 16-35 VR even though it is $300 more and an F4. You could use the DX version if you are okay with it’s limitations or you could spend $1000 more and pick up the 35 1.4G from Nikon.
There are a lot of options out there but in the end I can’t find a way to recommend this lens at all.
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