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Monday, 09 February 2009


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The 10.5 fisheye was nikon's first DX prime.

This might be the lens for me. I've been wanting a lens for low light, indoor situations for my D40 to go with the 18-200. Since I anticipate it coming out of my bag maybe twice a year (Christmas parties?), it has to be light and cheap.

That recent big 50/1.4 will work on my D40, but the weight and price penalty is too great for my needs. My other option is to upgrade to a D90 and pick up a cheaper 50/1.8 lens. I may end up doing that anyway in the next year or two.

I'll wait until I read how well this lens works with the D40 autofocus. If it doesn't work well, I might as well pick up an old model 50/1.8 and just use the manual focus.

I am extremely pleased with your latest comment Mike. There have been many FF users on forums saying that heaps and heaps of people are switching across to FF. This is subjective rumour I feel, not everyone can afford to change or take up FF. This 35mm prime announcement is truly, truly wonderful .

I own a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 partly because Canon has thus far neglected a 50mm equivalent prime for its APS-C cameras.

It's my most used lens.

It's a good thing. Those Sigma primes are huge. Now a 24mm 2.0 DX prime would be icing on the cake. That 36mm equivelent is so ideal.

A lot of people seem to forget the 10.5 DX lens which is in fact the first DX prime.

Getting good DX lenses, both zooms and primes, is a great thing, because it further suggests that Nikon is building a two-track pro system, with fully professional cameras having both FF and crop-frame sensors. I have a D300 and it's everything a PJ or almost any magazine shooter would need, although better high-ISO response (like the D3's) would be good. This fast, relatively inexpensive lens is a fine addition to the line-up. Now we need a fast DX 24.

Yes well you can't exactly go on and on about the Pentax 35mm f2.8 and then be up in arms about this one then can you!

And in defence of Mike, he said "...first-ever DX prime with a normal angle of view", not "first DX prime".

Too much is being said about people avoiding FX due to price. For me, price has nothing to do with it. Size and weight have everything to do with it; the lower price of DX is just a bonus.

My D40 with the new 35mm DX sounds like a great, portable combination. May make me lose interest in the Panasonic G1--at least until the 20mm lens comes out for that camera.

I'm glad our esteemed host has seen the light.

No, I changed the text after yunfat and Willie mentioned the 10.5mm. The web is so nice...after working for print publications for years...I used to dread seeing each new issue in print, because all the mistakes we'd pored over every word to find would jump right out at me....

Mike J.

I'm in the half empty camp, unless the optical performance of this lens turns out to be spectacular.

What took Nikon so long for it to come out with its 2nd DX prime lens? What about a 16mm or an 18mm prime lens DX? How about announcing a slew of tiny DX primes? If no, why not just stick to designing FX lenses with AFS?

Not just D40/D40x/D60 but D80/D90/D200/D300. The Nikkor 35/2 D is a pretty ordinary lens (at least on my D80) and I wouldn't be surprised if the new (cheaper) lens outperforms it.


Given your exceptionally high standards of writing and commendable absence of typos, misspellings or grammatical errors, when one does appear it rather shines out with all the radiance of a 500W bulb.

Repeat after me, 'i' before 'e' *except* after.....

:-) :-)

Keep up the good work!


chin up. nikon's high iso performance being what it is, i see absolutely no reason for them to make a new 35/1.4. just because they make a 35/1.8 dx doesn't suggest to me that they won't make one for fx. i think we'll see a reincarnation of the 28/1.4, though. that lens beats the pants off of canon's 28/1.8.

Yeah well... I still think it should have been a 28 or 24. What'ya gonna do with a 53mm equivalant indoors where that wide aperture really shines!?

i've been reading in these days about this 35mm lens
i have a d300 and it seems everybody talks about this lens as alens good for d40 d60 and the small dx cameras,
so do you think for a d300, i know still dx, it would be beter to get the already existing AF-Nikkor 35/2?
just wonder as i want to buy one or the other

Great news! I hope Canon follows Nikon's lead here. I typically use my 28 f/2.8 for this purpose, but after almost twenty years I think it's time for Canon to upgrade the consumer primes. A 35mm f/1.8 with USM drive and the low distortion of the 50mm f/1.8 would make me very happy. I'm surprised that Nikon didn't include IS as it seems to be a low cost addition to kit zooms these days.

And as long as they're in the mood to make small affordable primes, how about a 15mm or 17mm f/2.8, to give the APS-C crowd a 24 or 28mm equivalent without having to purchase a $500 - $700 zoom.

I'd think the only reason to go with the older lens is if you want it to do double duty as an FX-sensor or film-camera lens. Otherwise, the newer one will probably be a better bet. But wait for the tests before you make up your mind 100%.

Mike J.

In fact, as soon as my dad heard about this lens (he shoots a D90), he said he'd get it ASAP. The other upside, in the absence of a new FX prime, is that it's one more lens I don't have to buy -- $500-1000 still in my pocket.

"so do you think for a d300, i know still dx, it would be beter to get the already existing AF-Nikkor 35/2?
just wonder as i want to buy one or the other"

I use 2 35mm f/2 AF D's, (blush, i like the lense that much). One i have had for years. Never impressed me on a film body, but on a digital, it is my favorite lense re IQ. Sharp, good tonality for my tastes, very low CA. One lives on my D60. The other tags along with my D200.
That said;
If you are planning on someday, going to "full frame", skip the new 35mm DX.
If not, I would wait for test results. Say at photozone.de. It already has a review of the older 35mm f/2, done on a DX body.


As a Canon (35mm) user I'm still waiting for a good 50mm (with weather sealing) to use on those wet evenings, in some foreign field, when lugging around a big zoom just isn't worth the effort. The 50mm f1.2 is not that lens. However, what about a compact 50mm without a focusing ring, to improve weather resistance and save money? Auto-focus cameras have all these other ways of focusing- then add a 2-stop stabilizer and I'd have a night-time street lens for use rain or moonshine. A retractable lens shade would be nice too- for quick operation from a small bag.

Just to put some numbers behind a point that others have already made. I was looking at flickr users among the Nikon DSLR camp yesterday.

For the D700 and D3 (&D3x) combination - 833 users uploaded images yesterday. So full frame has a place, certainly, and I'm sure those numbers are growing. That said, these two cameras ranked 11th and 12th among Nikons in popularity yesterday, above all of the point and shoots but below most every other DSLR, and all of the recent ones. (All the D1 and D2 variants were down the list.)

One the other hand, the most popular camera was the d80 which had 3,754 users upload images yesterday. If you add, in declining popularity d40, d300, d200, d60, d50, d40x, d90, d70, and d70s owners, you will find that these dx cameras accounted for over 17,319 users uploading photos yesterday.

So is there still a market for DX primes? I would certainly think so.

But I share the sentiment of many that they should have done this years ago. I came from shooting film and having my favorite lens be a 50/1.4 Minolta, to a D70 and having my new Nikon 50mm be longer than I want most of the time indoors. So I would have been ready for this lens in 2004 when I jumped over. For some reason the 35mm/2.0 never caught my attention at that price. I may still do the new one, though like many, I am thinking about the FX upgrade at some point. maybe the old one??? decisions...

Speaking as a fairly ecstatic D40 user, this lens pretty much guarantees I won't be in the market for a new digital body for the next two years (which is when I believe we'll start to see FF in non-boat anchor form factors). Oh goody goody goody...

My initial reaction was the same as yours, Mike, because I too am using the Nikon AF 35/2 on a D700. However, while I would love to see a modern replacement for that lens, I'm pretty happy with it as is.

Shortly after I bought my Nikon D200 bundled with the 18-200mm zoom, I dug out my 50mm f1.8 that came with my N80 (purchased in 2002). There were always a few occasions where the slower zoom wouldn't deliver enough light, while the 50mm gave me the extra bump I needed. But often at the cost of being a bit too telephoto. I've been lusting after the Sigma 30mm f1.4, but the US$400+ price has kept me from hitting the "add to cart" button. At US$199, I might by ready to buy. Will anxiously await seeing hands-on test results.

I applauded Nikon's release yesterday:


No, it's not the lens I would prefer to see if I shot Nikon, but it is a lens that will be useful to a huge number of people and will make the company a nice profit. That which is good for the company, is good for the photographer that uses products from that company.

A lot of the things discussed you can get directly from the horse's mouth in the dpreview interview.

In particular, many of the things have been considered, questioned etc. was answered e.g.

Why not update 35mm f/2 - double the price?

Why DX prime - yes a bit late but price, size and weight dedicated. Interestingly, it said the new lens will be better than 35 mm f/2 as well!

What will the price of FX 35mm F1.4 -euro 1,400!

% of DX users - 80%.

I never saw a PR Q&A so to the point, interesting and seems to deliberate to answer all questions.

Ha! This DX lens works fine on FX, if you don´t mind (or enjoy) a little vignetting at close focus distances. And in 5:4 crop mode, this just might be that 40mm-e lens that T.O.P. host extraordinaire would enjoy.
So is that glass still only half full?

to Mike, Jay:
thanks for your replies,
i think i will wait for some test and then decide,
in the while i checked the price here in japan and it seems the new 35mm iot will be much more expensive than in US like 50.000 yen or more ,as usual :-(.
so maybe in the while i wait i will check if i can find a good deal for the old 35mm.
thanks again

sorry, i have to correct my previous post,
it just came out at bic camera website, and it cost about 29000 Y, which is close to the US price.
sorry about the mistake

I dunno, my 35/1.4 AI Nikkor is one of my favourite lenses, and that's in a focal length that doesn't normally enthuse me. But I guess an updated FX version will magically strip out all the little quirks and flaws (primarily the howwibly curved field of focus) that make it such an interesting gem. Not to mention costing twice as much.

In the meantime, while I can't afford a D700, I might within the foreseeable future be able to scrape the pennies together for this, and thus eke another few years of fun out of the ol' D50.

The 10.5 fisheye was nikon's first DX prime.

A lot of people seem to forget the 10.5 DX lens which is in fact the first DX prime.

The 35/1.8 DX is the first "AF-S" prime. The 10.5 is not AF-S.

That should read, The 35/1.8 DX is the first "DX AF-S" prime.

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