The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G is introduced at end of 2010 as the successor of a 35 mm Nikon 1.4 lens without autofocus (Ai-S Nikkor 35/1, 4). Despite the high luminosity and the professional character of the Nikon 35mm 1.4G, Nikon has not made use of ED glass in the design of this lens. The MSRP was 1879 euro at launch. We have taken the opportunity to test this lens with the Nikon D800E, a 36 megapixel resolution cannon.
Nikon 35 mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor @ f/4
A lens with a fixed focal length of 35 mm on a camera with a full-frame sensor is a good alternative to a 50 mm standard lens. Thanks to the shorter focal length and high intensity, you get monotonous shots sooner than when using a regular 50 mm standard lens when shooting out of hand under poor conditions.
Construction and autofocus
The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G is very solidly built. The exterior is made of plastic, probably to save weight. The lens has a switch that allows you to choose between AF and manual focusing. For photographers who do not regularly use Nikon cameras, it is confusing that this choice is on both the lens and the body.
The drive of the internal autofocus went silently and rapidly with the Nikon D800E. Even in low light, focusing went very well, thanks to the high luminosity of this lens.
The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G has no built-in image stabilization. Including VR, this would have been a dream lens. But then the Nikon 35 mm 1.4G would be even bigger, heavier and more expensive than it already is.
At aperture 1.4 , visible vignetting is present, which virtually disappears after stopping down only once. From aperture 2.8, vignetting is negligible. A considerable achievement.
In-camera correction of distortion
The distortion of the Nikon D800E jpg files of the Nikon 35 mm 1.4G was so low that no bar can be seen in the image anymore. A fantastic achievement, which is due to in-camera correction of the distortion. An uncorrected NEF file exhibits a visible barrel-shaped distortion of 1%.
The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G exhibits a beautiful bokeh at full aperture on a camera with a full-frame sensor.
The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G is not bothered with flare much in practice, thanks to Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating. We have only encountered ghosting during taking night shots when a light source was shining directly into the lens. But under such extreme circumstances, many lenses suffer from flare and / or ghosting. Such effects will also appear when the sun shines brightly and you photograph right into the sun. But during the test, the sun was not there to try it.
The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G together with the Nikon D800E is a dream combination, in terms of resolution. We have analyzed the resolution of the Nikon 35 mm 1.4G using jpg files of the 36 megapixel Nikon D800E, with the standard picture style. At full aperture the picture is relatively soft, but the resolution in the center is still almost 2000 LW/PH. Already from aperture 2.0, the resolution in the center is over the 2500 LW/PH, to get the maximum resolution at aperture 5.6. Already from aperture 2.8, there is no visible difference in resolution between the center and the outer corners.
Lateral chromatic aberration of jpg files created with the Nikon D800E and Nikon 35 mm 1.4G is so low that you will have no visible problems with it even at very large magnifications. Even an image cropping of 100% exhibits no visible chromatic aberration in the corners.
Like many other luminous lenses, this lens is burdened by longitudinal chromatic aberration below aperture 2, sometimes called color bokeh. Objects behind the focal plane become purple and objects in front of the focus plane become green. At the bottom right is an example of longitudinal chromatic aberration of the Nikon 35 mm 1.4G at aperture 1.4.
Conclusion Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor review
- High luminosity
- High resolution
- Low distortion and chromatic aberration
- Longitudinal chromatic aberration
The Nikon 35 mm 1.4G is in combination with the Nikon D800E a perfect lens, in terms of optical and mechanical properties. What is left to add?