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Review Comparison: Nikon 35mm f/1.8 ED G vs 35mm f/2 AF-D

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by Jonathan F/2, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. I just received my Nikon 35mm 1.8 ED G lens which is on rebate right now for about $499. I bought it to replace my Nikon 35mm f/2 AF-D lens mainly for the improved focus speed, lighter weight and cheaper cost compared to the Sigma 35 Art. So far my initial impressions is that the G lens focuses very fast, it's sharper at the edges and weighs not much more than the D lens. In terms of sharpness, I actually think the D version is a bit sharper in the center wide open, but the difference is barely noticeable only if scrutinizing the image for awhile! I think where the G version shines is the focus speed and corner sharpness. Using the outer focus area of my D800, the G has a better overall image wide open. The D version tends to be soft on the edges and needs to be stopped down quite a bit to even out sharpness across the frame.

    Though if you're a center focus type shooter the D is just as good. In fact comparing the two they're really not too far off. If one doesn't care for corner sharpness or faster focus speed/tracking, I'd definitely save my money and get the D instead.

    I can post some pictures if anyone is interested. I'll probably be keeping the G and selling the D. Though I wanted to post my initial thoughts between the two before putting it up for sale for those looking at a 35mm FL lens. ;) 
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  2. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I think my AF non-D is faster than any modern AF-S prime
    it is a metal, made in japan version
    and just looks more discreet for its main job..street work
    don't care much about corners
     
  3. lexdiamonnyc

    lexdiamonnyc

    918
    Mar 23, 2009
    nj/nyc
    the 35 f2 AF-D is probably my favorite lens, it's easily my most used lens!
     
  4. Street work has pretty much gone to my M43 gear. I'm also using the D3S & D800 for digital and corner softness is really noticeable with the D800 since I tend to be an off-center shooter. Plus I'm using an N80 for film and focus speeds with AF-D lenses are pretty slow. With AF-S lenses it's pretty much on par with my digital bodies even with the older multi CAM-900 AF module.
     
  5. RobCar

    RobCar

    244
    Mar 1, 2009
    Colorado
    Thanks so much for posting this. I'm trying to make up my mind quickly between these two lenses, before the rebate goes away, and I'm torn. I'd really love to see some comparison shots, low light if possible. I'd also really like seeing a couple of shots of the two lenses side by side, since (smaller) size does matter a bit to me. Honestly, if they're as close as you say they are, I'd just as soon go for the lower profile (and less expensive) f/2 D.
     
  6. RobCar

    RobCar

    244
    Mar 1, 2009
    Colorado
    And something demonstrating the corner sharpness differences would be much appreciated! Thank in advance!
     
  7. Like I said, as long as focus speed/tracking and edge sharpness isn't a concern, I'd go with with a newer model D version. If you want good tracking for chasing little kids or something, I find the G incredibly fast.

    In terms of build, they're both plasticky. The D is more compact, but the inner barrel moves up and down. The G is taller, but has a thicker MF focus ring and the barrel is a fixed length. In terms of weight, the D is incredibly light. In fact mounting both on a camera and you won't notice much difference.

    Since I just got it this afternoon, I probably won't be able to shoot any samples until the weekend!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  8. Here's a quick bokeh comparison between the two of my daughter! The G version's OOF areas are noticeably smoother, with more rounded spherical highlights, while the D has the more hexagonal OOF areas. The D shot is a slightly older photo, but you get the idea in terms of rendering. I'll shoot some more over the weekend! The D has a little bit of bite to it, while the G has a smoother overall rendering. These lenses definitely feel different.

    G shot:
    ice_cream_web.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    D shot:
    KAF_1726.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    Here's another D shot to illustrate the OOF areas. If anything, sharpness between the two is not an issue:
    MPF_3709_web.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  9. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    my older 35/2 is metal and not D
    neither of these lenses are boke kings

    this was taken in the blink of an eye
    I don't think the OOF is any worse than the newer model

    p153648804-4.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  10. Are you talking about the AI-S model or the AF non-D? Anyways, not saying one is better than the other, but each lens definitely has advantages which are more dependent on the photographer's needs. If anything, the quality of the D lens is more of a testament of how good it is! Since I have both with me at the moment I figure it wouldn't hurt to showcase the similarities and differences. ;) 

     
  11. RobCar

    RobCar

    244
    Mar 1, 2009
    Colorado
    Nice shots, Jonathan, and a beautiful daughter.

    I've been thinking of a 35 for going out at night with friends and family, where in tight restaurants the 50 sometimes isn't wide enough. It seems like the f/2 D would be more than adequate for snaps like that, but I'd also like the option to try some evening streetscape shots while out and about, and that's where I wonder about the corner sharpness. That seems to be the most consistent complaint from people in the reading I've done online. I'd probably be looking to use the lens a lot at 2.0 to 2.8.
     
  12. I'm going to try and shoot the lens tonight, they're lighting up 26 miles of road with giant spotlights for the LA Marathon this Sunday. That is if I can get out of the house without the kids! :D 
     
  13. lowell5

    lowell5

    Jan 23, 2009
    san diego
    i like your old school processing in your D image!

    when I was looking for a nice 35mm prime I was looking for that exact one..the non-D version. They didnt make many but I wanted a 35mm in a whim and settled on MF 35mm nikkor-o f2 pre-AI.
     
  14. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I had a 35D. made in Thailand or where ever and it was ok
    sold it when I went zooms for while

    I searched for a while for a 35 AF nikkor...no D, made in Japan
    got one finally and will never let it go
    have the HN3 metal screw in hood instead of these huge plastic bayonet deals
    just looks old school cool

    I don't shoot architecture or landscapes really
    I don't really care about corners

    YMMV

    p30793154-4.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  15. The late model 35mm f/2 D I have with the new style gold box is stamped made in Japan. I don't think they ever off shored this camera for production, either that or they recently brought it back to Japan to be made.

     
  16. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla

    think you are right Jonathan
    mine just feels more solid , better made I guess
     
  17. RobCar

    RobCar

    244
    Mar 1, 2009
    Colorado
    Are the optics the same betwween the D and non-D versions? Your shots look really good, Frank.

    I guess one advantage of the D version is that I can still buy one new today.
     
  18. mood

    mood

    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I believe the optics are the same
    6/5 grouping

    maybe just be a perceived difference by me
    or I have an excellent older copy...

    either way, for me
    the size/weight/quick focus/close focus is perfect for what I use it for
    street work 99% of the time

    I tried the Sigma Art
    way too heavy and large

    the 35/1.8G doesn't interest me at all
     
  19. RobCar

    RobCar

    244
    Mar 1, 2009
    Colorado
    I agree, the Sigma is way too big and heavy, although I did have the 30mm 1.4 DX version and loved the rendering and how bright it was. The Nikon 1.8G does I interest me, but I wish it were a little less expensive and slightly smaller (I thought one advantage of primes was their small size?).
     
  20. lexdiamonnyc

    lexdiamonnyc

    918
    Mar 23, 2009
    nj/nyc
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/AFNikkor/AF35mm/

     
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