I suffer from a common and debilitating condition commonly referred to as NEM: Not Enough Money! NEM imposes all sorts of conditions and hardships on its victims. In my case NEM limits my lens lust. Without NEM I would have warehouses full of the finest cameras and lenses but as a lowly NEMite I am forced to choose wisely.
For months I have had my eye on the Nikon f1.8 35mm AFS DX prime.
My logical reasons for lusting after this lens are:
- I have a DX format Nikon AFS DSLR.
- The FOV, (field of view), of standard 50mm lenses mounted on DX cameras is to narrow: 35mm is about right.
- f3.5, the standard kit lens aperture, is simply not fast enough.
- My NEMly budget is limited.
- Modestly priced prime lenses often out perform far more expensive zooms.
- I have had good results from prime lenses in the past.
I knew I wanted a lens like this even before Nikon started offering it. For the last three years legions of Nikon users have been waiting for modern, reasonably priced, AFS primes. During our long wait it seemed like every Nikon lens announcement was another chintzy slow starter zoom or a ridiculously overpriced fast zoom. When the global economy went in the tank this lens appeared. My first thought; they’re offering something that people will actually buy in a recession.
After the f1.8 35 appeared buying one proved difficult. Remember those legions of Nikon users: lots of them wanted this lens. For months you couldn’t find this item in stock anywhere. The other day I read that it was available at B & H so I hopped online and ordered instantly.
So how does it work?
It’s apparent from the raw NEF files that it’s sharper and renders straight lines better than the kit 18-55mm lens. The f1.8 also does something I have dearly missed. If you crank open the aperture you can produce a nice blurred background: bokeh baby!