nicoise's reviews

  • Nikon 35mm f/2D AF Nikkor

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, small, close focusing, currently available
    slightly weak at f/2.0

    This is a comparison the 35 f/2.0 and the 35 f/1.4.

    These lenses are both exceptionally crisp and are, for all intents and purposes, identical. Obvious differences are in the aperture range, manual versus auto focus, and current availability.What follows are the minor differences in performance within their shared aperture range of f/2-f/16.

    35 f/1.4 - Sharper at f/2. Out of focus objects are smoother at wide apertures. Better corner sharpness at f/2-f/4. Slightly sharper center f/2-f/11.

    35 f/2.0 - Better corner sharpness at f/8-f/16. Overall sharper at f/16. Better control of blooming at wide apertures (blooming is worse on the venerable 85 f/1.4).

    The 35 f/2.0 also appeared to have slightly better color or contrast throughout the aperture range, though that may be simply due to the 15+ year age of the 35 f/1.4.

    Barrel distortion is relatively mild and not significantly different for these lenses.

    There is really no real world difference in photo quality from these 'DX normal' lenses, both are excellent. Worth mentioning is that both lenses focus down to slightly under one foot, so they can function relatively well as macros, with beautiful depth of field properties.

    Were I to choose, the 35/1.4 would win simply for the sharpness advantage at f/2. Auto focus would otherwise tip the balance towards the 35 f/2.0.

    Tests were done on a D70 at ISO 200 using a tripod, shooting raw and matching shutter speeds between lenses. Images were converted to PSD in PS with identical color settings and all other manipulations turned off.

    reviewed November 27th, 2006 (purchased for $250)