Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G review

The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G is effectively a ‘nifty fifty’ for APS-C format DSLRs

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G
(Image: © Nikon)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Not to be confused with 35mm lenses for full-frame cameras, this one is designed specifically for use on APS-C format bodies, this having an ‘effective’ focal length of 52.5mm and pretty much the same field of view as a standard 50mm lens in full-frame terms. It’s nicely compact and lightweight with good handling characteristics. Sharpness is very good from f/2.8 to f/8 and the f/1.8 aperture enables a tight depth of field, although bokeh isn’t particularly smooth.


  • +

    Compact and lightweight

  • +

    Inexpensive to buy

  • +

    Good overall performance


  • -

    No focus distance scale

  • -

    Mediocre wide/narrow aperture sharpness

  • -

    Bokeh lacks smoothness

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The Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G works well as a ‘standard prime’ on APS-C format Nikon DSLRs, the 1.5x crop factor giving it an effective focal length of 52.5mm. Unlike some of Nikon’s more recent lenses, it has a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system and mechanically linked aperture control, making it compatible with older Nikon DSLRs. It’s useful for portraiture, still life photography and in any situation where you want a natural field of view with a wider aperture than a zoom lens can deliver, for a tighter depth of field or to freeze motion under dull lighting conditions.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.