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Nikon 35mm f/1.8 S Lens Review - Z Mount

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 S Lens Review - Z Mount
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Nikon 35mm f/1.8 S Lens Review - Z Mount

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Full Frame Z Mount

Nikon is now shipping both the Nikon Z7 and Z6 cameras along with a few Native Z mount lenses, we have to make choices when it comes to the lenses we will use with the Z camera bodies.  Nikon wisely made the F to Z (FTZ) adapter available for those of us who have F mount lenses and don't want to fully/financially purchase the camera and native S lenses right off the rip. Buying a Z camera with a Kit lens is cheaper in the long run.    

This article will help guide you to a decision based on the price and performance of the new 35mm f/1.8 S lens.

Why Purchase a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 S Lens: Most people including myself will purchase the lens because it is a Native lens and provides the best performance on the Z mount cameras; excellent sharpness, incorporates the latest Nikon lens technology. The 35mm lens is relativity fast, easy to handle, has good bokeh and low light performance, excels at image quality and does not require stopping down to improve sharpness,  as well as being a versatile lens for People, Landscapes, street, or daily use.

Why NOT Purchase a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 S Lens: The price! currently at $847.00 depending on where you purchase from. If you simply don't have any Nikon lenses, my recommendation is to go ahead and pull the trigger on either the 24-70 kit or this 35mm and enjoy the benefits of the native Z mount and optical performance.  Another option is to purchase the FTZ adapter and pick up a used F mount 35mm 1.8, or some other lens to your liking, and squirrel the savings away and wait for the Z mount models coming out in 2019.  Either way, the S lenses are expensive. I would bet most people buying a Z camera is already a Nikon shooter if now Welcome to Nikon, and if you are a Nikon shooter you most likely have F mount lenses. In my opinion, if you adopt one of your Nikon lenses to the Z camera, your missing out on the Native optics.

Image Quality of the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 S Lens: In my opinion, it exceeds the overall sharpness of my Sigma f/1.4 except for the Sigma has lower light performance and slightly better Bokeh. But the downside is the Sigma must be adapted to the Z mount and some focus speed is lost in the translation, but with most 35mm speed is normally not too big of an issue.

Quality and build of the 35mm f/1.8 S lens:  The first thing I notice is how light it is as compared to the size of the lens - me personally, I enjoy using a lighter lens and came to appreciate the Nikon Z6 & Z7 for their weight reduction.  Thus having a lighter lens is not a downside if you ask me. The flip side of the coin is the lens does feel a bit on the plastic side but does have a nice tactile feeling to it. Notice also there is no distance readout on the lens - that information is available through the EVF when using the lens. 

Weather Sealing and Dust Resistance:  Unlike the Nikkor 24-70 S which move in and out as you zoom the 35mm has internal focusing and should remain dust free longer.   Nikon claims the lens has been extensively sealed against dust and moisture, especially around all moving parts of the barrel, and I have the suspension the lens would perform well outdoors in adverse conditions.

Nikon's Optical Technology in the 35mm f/1.8: You have some of the latest Technology incorporated in the 35mm such as a Stepping Motor that is near silent a perfect choice for Video Shooters.  Two (2) ED Glass for better chromatic aberrations and Three (3) Aspherical Lens, Nano Crystal Coatings to reduce internal lens flares, an Electronic diaphragm for accurate high-speed continuous shooting, and finally multilayer Super Integrated Coatings (SIC).

* I found the Nikon 35mm f1.8 S lens to be a very capable lens with little or no chromatic aberrations and delivers a very high degree of super sharp images edge to edge wide open.

Click Here For Interactive Decision Tree

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I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

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Buy a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8  Nikon Z6 & Lens Kit 


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Has your opinion of the Z 35mm changed at all since your particular compared to the Sigma?


Louis, Thanks for asking. No, my opinion has not changed. I am sold on the 35mm Z mount lens and find it to be superior when it comes to image quality. The two big pluses with the Z lens are (1) no FTZ adapter to deal with and (2) better image quality overall.


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