Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G

Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G

The Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G is a new prime lens (meaning it has a fixed focal length of 35mm) from Nikon that has a few nice features. Most exciting is the speed of this lens – f/1.8 – that’s fast enough for many low light situations (it is the widest aperture DX-series lens available). This is a DX lens so is designed to work on all DX/cropped cameras including the D40, D40X, D60, D90, D300 etc


The focal length of 35mm sounds wide but is the equivalent of 52mm on a full frame or film body and is pretty close to producing ‘a picture angle similar to the field of vision as seen through the human eye.’ The lens also comes with Nikons Silent Wave Motor – making focussing quiet and smooth.

The Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G will have a recommended retail price of $199 USD when released in March and is already available for order on Amazon at that rate (pretty affordable for a lens of this speed).

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G Lens News Release

Nikon Introduces The Fastest DX-Format Lens To Date: The AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G

Nikon Inc. today announced the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens, which is the first fixed focal length, fast-aperture DX-format lens that affords photographers superb image quality along with the creative possibilities and versatility of the classic 50mm focal length (FX-format equivalent of 52mm). When mounted on a DX-format camera body, it enables photographers to document their world with a lens that produces a picture angle similar to the field of vision as seen through the human eye. Whether new to D-SLRs or a seasoned enthusiast, users will appreciate the extreme low-light performance and the expanded ability to dramatically separate the subject and background with the new 35mm DX lens’ wide f/1.8 aperture.

“The development and release of the 35mm f/1.8 NIKKOR lens delivers new and added versatility to the Nikon DX-format digital SLR system and provides DX-format photographers with a broader range of fast-aperture lens options,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. “This f/1.8 prime lens provides users with exceptional control of background and foreground, superb low-light ability, and the natural focal length that has been the staple of photography since its inception.”

Lightweight, compact and affordable, this lens can easily become a fast favorite for any level of photographer, and is the perfect complement to D60 users who are just starting to learn D-SLR photography or enthusiasts who love their D90. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens is ideal for travel, general photography, landscape shooting, portraiture or pushing creative boundaries. The stunning sharpness, clarity and color reproduction are all proof positive of more than 75 years of NIKKOR heritage and experience in optics engineering.

This lens continues the tradition of NIKKOR precision optics to provide photographers with sharp, high-resolution images and the ability to focus as close as 0.98 feet, while the integration of an ultra-compact Silent Wave Motor ensures fast, whisper-quiet AF operation.

The 35mm DX lens construction consists of eight elements in three groups, with an aspherical element to reduce size and weight, while contributing to the enhanced balance when mounted on a smaller DX-format D-SLR. A rounded diaphragm opening combined with the nine-blade aperture contributes to a substantially more circular bokeh for a more natural appearance of out-of-focus background elements. Additionally, instances of lens flare and chromatic aberration are suppressed using Nikon’s exclusive Super Integrated Coatings, which also help ensure vividly accurate color balance.

The AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens is scheduled to be available at Nikon authorized dealers beginning March 2009 at an estimated selling price of $199.95.* For more information, please visit

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Don Pope February 10, 2012 12:37 am


    That is incorrect. 35mm is 35mm in ANY lens format.
    That number represents the distance in mm between the rear nodal point of the lens and the sensor.
    There aren't small millimeters and large millimeters. By definition, all millimeters are the same length.
    So, 35mm in FX is exactly the same as 35mm in DX.

    The perceived difference is all in the camera's crop factor.
    If you have a smaller sensor, you are using a smaller portion of the image projected by the lens.
    In a DX camera, that means that when using a 35mm lens your image will look like it was taken by a 52.5mm lens in a traditional 135 format film camera, but it will still be 35mm.

    The lenses marked DX just take advantage of the smaller sensor by only covering the DX image circle.
    This makes them cheaper, smaller and lighter.

    On a DX camera, your photos will look the same whether you use a 35mm DX lens or a 35mm FX lens.
    On an FX camera, a DX lens would crop your photo because the image circle is smaller (but the center part would still look the same in both images).

  • Adi February 9, 2012 06:11 pm

    @Josef makower: the focal length marked on any Nikon lens (probably for other producers too but I am only certain about Nikon) is the focal lenght for 35mm frame (full frame) UNLESS there is also a DX marking. So, in out case, the 35mm f/1.8 DX is actually 35mm and not 35mm equivalent for 35mm frame; 35mm F/1.8 DX is not ~50 on DX just like the 85mm DX is NOT ~135mm on DX. This is why DX is there, to confirm the actual focal length experienced through that lens on a DX camera.


  • Nora January 17, 2012 08:39 am

    @Steven, yes it includes the built in focus motor in the lens, so it will work on the D50. It works equally well on my D40, which does not have a built in motor in the camera, and the D90, which does. So you will have no problem.

    I just used this lens, along with a zoom, and the 50mm 1.8 at a wedding, and the 35mm outperformed the 50mm, hands down, for me, believe it or not. Loved it! :)

    The 35mm focal length is roughly equivalent to 50mm on an FX camera.

  • Josef Makower January 16, 2012 10:39 am

    Hi !

    I have always thought that 35/1.8 DX
    is 35 mm on FX and ~50 on DX
    and not the other way arround.

    So on FX it´s wide angle and on DX it´s normal.

    Likewise 85 dx is 85mm on FX
    and ~135mm on DX.

    Read please your review again.

  • steven May 27, 2011 02:42 am

    Will this lens work on a Nikon D50?

  • Nora March 31, 2011 12:55 am

    @Saket, definitely a nice additional to your kit lenses. I would recommend it.

  • Saket March 29, 2011 07:06 pm

    I have a Nikon D5000 with the kit lens (18-55mm) and a 55-200mm zoom. I am looking to buy a faster lens to help me with portraits and indoor photography. You've probably guessed that I am a beginner and don;'t have much experience with portraits. Would you suggest this lens to me?

  • Pete April 26, 2010 12:32 pm

    Further to my post of 17 Feb 2010 I see there's a little discussion taking place re 24mm and 28f/2.8 AFD as alternative lenses to the 35mm DX f1.8G. I tried both the 24 and 28mm before purchasing the 35mm DX 1.8G and found that in auto focus the manual focus ring moves on the 24 & 28mm lenses. Not a huge problem but you do need to keep your fingers off the focus ring on the 24 and 28mm lenses because if you don't the lens wont focus properly on the 24 and 28mm lenses. I also looked at construction and compared both with the 35mm DX lens and thought the new 35mm DX lens was a much better enclosed construction lens with less external moving parts and hence less areas for dust to creep in. The 24 and 28 mm lenses are both great lenses (I'd be going for the 24mm, particularly if I was going to consider moving from my D300 to a full frame down the track). But I'm happier with the 35mm for my needs as it is a DX specific lens and a little faster at f1.8 that the 24 and 28mm FX lenses discussed. As you can see it comes down to personal choice so I wont rank on either the 24mm or 28mm. For me the 35mm is a DX specific lens and works wonderfully with the DX format. No external ring either to worry about and autofocus is much more silent than using the 24 or 28mm lenses. Hope this helps with those deliberating whether to go 24mm or 28mm, or indeed with the 35mm DX f1.8 which is the latest in the Nikkor line up and I think arguably the best for my shooting needs. :)

  • Don Pope April 23, 2010 11:48 pm

    You are probably right. I have the 35mm and I find it too long for the type of photos I take.
    I'm probably going to replace it with the 24mm f/2.8

  • sunny April 23, 2010 05:09 pm

    If you can: go to a shop near you and try them both on _your_ camera body.

  • Florian Manach April 23, 2010 04:28 pm

    I hesitate between the 35mm f/1.8 or the 28 f/2.8 AF-D.

    28 is a bit wider and is closer to 30mm wich is the actual "standard" focal length.

    What do you think?

  • sunny April 8, 2010 04:57 am

    don pope: as it's sharp in low light it can't be defective per se. I didn't do a test series (yet) to find out where the vignetting begins, just found out that it can't replace my much heavier 18-200 for outdoor shots. Thanks though.

  • Phil April 7, 2010 10:34 pm

    It is a great lens for low-light situations. I bought mine for use indoors in dodgy lighting situations. However I've found that it is a very sharp lens. The problem is that it is at it's sharpest between f2.8 and f3.5. Most people are used to shooting at f8...and that is not the 'sweet spot' for this lens. It will have obvious light fall off in the corners from about 1.8 to 2.2.

    Just my opinion from my experience.

  • Don Pope April 7, 2010 09:53 pm


    I've had no vignetting at all in my daylight or any shots, and they're all very sharp. Perhaps you got a defective one?

  • sunny April 7, 2010 03:50 pm

    I use mine for low light situations only - it isn't working well for daylight outdoor shots on my Nikon D80 (vignetting really badly, not very sharp). Still happy with it as it closes a gap.

  • steve April 7, 2010 09:34 am

    I just ordered one of these , have seen so many amazing reviews for this lens just had to pick one up!

  • Pete February 17, 2010 09:28 pm

    I use a D300 with an 18-200mm VR Nikon zoom for general travel photography (landscapes and portraits). Just bought the Nikon AF-S 35mm 1.8G and it's simply superb and exceeded my expectations. When you're on the road you need to keep your kit light and that's why I normally travel with just the 18-200mm attached. However, I found on this trip (India) that the 18-200mm simply can't cope with street shots in the dark back streets of Old Delhi. The 35mm 1.8G fixed that problem. It's a superbly sharp prime and works very well in all situations of poor light. I now leave it on as the general purpose lens and I can easily crop post production (it's that sharp!). A great investment for any DX user that now wants a 50mm FX equivalent prime lens. Priced right it's a must for the travelling photographer. It's light and compact for your camera bag and doesn't weigh you down when you're 'on the go'. In fact, all you need is a Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.8G prime to complement an 18-200mm VR zoom and you've got all you need for 100% of your travelling photography needs. Very happy with my purchase and would recommend without reservation.

  • Don Pope February 9, 2010 01:12 am

    I want to clear up a misconception I've read in this thread.
    The D70 has a built-in motor and will auto-focus with AF lenses.
    You can use the 50mm 1.8 with the D70.

  • ATLAS385 February 4, 2010 05:56 am

    Just bought mine thru Ebay for $199.95. No sales tax and free shipping. I used the Bing search engine and got an addtional 10% off applied to my "cashback" account.

  • Phil October 17, 2009 10:51 pm

    Bought mine at a local shop (Carsands Mosher) two weeks ago and it's pretty well stuck on my d300! I find it to be unexpectedly sharp and the f1.8 aperture has given me the opportunity to shoot in situations I couldn't before.

    It has it's problems.

    Below f2.8 it is a little soft. But at 2.8 and above it is amazingly sharp!

    With the D300 and NX2 chromatic aberation doesn't even exist! BUT...if you open the same .nef files in cs3, then it is present and has to be dealt with using the proper tools.

    Light fall off at f1.8 is marked...but c'mon!!! It's f1.8!! And what sub $1000.00 lens doesn't have light falloff at a wide open aperture?

    I highly recommend this lens if you can live with it's faults....I know I can and love using it! When it came out a lot of people seemed to want to beat up on Nikon because this lens wasn't designed for full format. Personally I am grateful to them as it's sooooo nice to have a prime lens designed for DX format cameras!

  • M Menzia October 17, 2009 11:54 am

    B&H got in stock and before ordered checked on web and found a Best Buy store who had these. It was the only one but cost 199.99 plus st. tax which was the same as next day delivery. Thanks Best Buy. Played for a while tonite----excellent.

  • sunny October 2, 2009 04:46 pm

    > the sub-D80 bodies require the ‘AF-S’ lenses in order to have functional auto-focus

    As does the newer D5000.

  • sunny October 2, 2009 10:14 am

    You're less limited than with the 50/1.4 because you can capture more of the scene with the 35.

  • sunny October 2, 2009 09:59 am

    Line up:

    Matthieu Michel: flugelhorn
    Michael Zisman: bandoneón
    Urs Bollhalder: piano
    Heiri Känzig: bass
    Lionel Friedli: drums /

  • sunny October 2, 2009 09:52 am

    Got mine today, using it on a D80, too. Concert pictures here. Some of the pics are cropped a bit, otherwise not tweaked.

    Handheld, sitting first row, tried with 'sports' setting, but couldn't hold it steady enough. So turned it on S, shutter speed 1/60, pushed the ISO to 1600 and the exposure correction to +5. White balance on 3000.

    > hopefully the answer will be ‘yes it will be great for concert photography’

    For an amateur I'd say yes.

  • Navdeep June 25, 2009 02:07 pm

    Thanks for pointing that.. I guess failed to notice that..

  • Douglas Nelson June 25, 2009 04:22 am

    I've just checked Amazon. They are still preselling this at the price of $199.99.
    The price you refer to is from a stockist who are profiteering if anyone is stupid enough to pay their grossly inflated price. This company should be avoided at all costs......

  • Nora June 25, 2009 04:16 am

    Is that Amazon or a third party seller on Amazon? Supply & demand, maybe? I know I ordered mine on Amazon back in March, I think. It took months to ship, but it was direct from Amazon and I paid $199.

  • Navdeep June 25, 2009 04:05 am

    Amazon is selling it for ~$525.. not sure how it shoot up from $199 ?

  • Kemo June 9, 2009 12:36 pm

    I have a D90 and I am new to photography. From what I read, I think the 35mm lens is more suitable than 50mm for D90. CORRECT ME IF I AM MISUNDERSTOOD.
    Thanks for the valuable Info.
    @ Deborah
    In Canada, the lens is avialable at Henry's Camera $279, Aden Cameras $259, and Bestbuy $279, and Camera Canada $257.

  • Deborah March 27, 2009 09:59 am

    where are you guys getting your lenses? only place I can find it is pre-order on I want to walk in a store and buy this thing, shipping would be too long to wait for me :-P

  • Pat March 26, 2009 07:54 am

    Go figure they just released this and I ordered my 50mm f/1.8D 2 weeks ago. I'm pretty new to the photography world so learning to use manual focus along with learning everything else is a bit overwhelming. Luckily I just found a buyer for my 50mm so I can't wait to get this 35mm with auto focus for my d40! No one seems to have it in stock though. B&H had it for a bit but it's like $20 more there than adorama and amazon.

  • Tommi March 20, 2009 06:19 am

    Got my Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1,8G last Sunday and I just love it. Perfect for my D80!

  • John Wu March 19, 2009 05:13 pm

    Donna, since you've already owned the D80, I'd think the 50mm f/1.8D is more economical since your D80 can auto focus with this lens, which is one of the fastest and sharpest prime lens available, and is now available pretty cheap on ebay even with dedicated hood included almost for free. The f/1.8G is aimed at those who own sub D80 which cannot auto focus with the f/1.8D.

  • Kanwal March 16, 2009 07:55 am

    If I already own a 50 f/1.8 (D80 and D300), then should I look at some other lens than the 35 f/1.8 which will help with everyday pictures and more or should I consider getting the 35mm one? I have the 18-200 VR, 18-55 VR already. Any suggestions to this dilemma?

  • Achille March 16, 2009 02:39 am

    Just got mine yesterday and have not had time to really try it yet but my first impression is very positive. At 259 canadian $ I just could not be without it.

  • Tim March 14, 2009 07:30 am

    This is going to be my first lens purchase (after the kit lens) for my D40. I've just started photography and from what I have read I think this will be a really good lens to learn with.

  • Phil Bourgeois March 8, 2009 11:33 pm

    I'm really looking forward to this one. I have two f2.8 lenses (both made for FX bodies) and am looking forward to an even quicker prime lens. And the fact that it is made specifically for my DX body is a bonus. I've been fighting with myself on whether or not to buy a 35mm f2.0. Now that decision has been made for me. Personally I am really glad to see Nikon pay attention to the DX crowd AND to producing more/newer prime lenses.

  • Nora March 5, 2009 10:05 am

    How did you preorder from Amazon? I don't see anywhere to do that. All it allowed me to do was enter my email address to be notified when it is available. I would much rather preorder it and be done with it.

  • greg March 3, 2009 08:45 am


    The 50mm f/1.8 is built (and priced) for full frame (FX) sensors. The focal length multiplier for a DX sensor (D40 ... D90) is 1.5, which will turn that 50mm lens into an equivalent 75mm lens. The 35mm f/1.8 announced by Nikon is a true 35mm on a DX sensor.

    The "standard" focal length for DX is 35mm, the standard for FX is 50mm. These focal lengths give images with an angle of view similar to the human eye. Here [] is a good explanation.

  • Jim February 28, 2009 02:24 am

    Yes it will Diane...I have a D60 and preordered it from Amazon

  • Diane February 24, 2009 03:01 pm

    So will this lens auto focus on my nikon d60 camera - or is it manual only?

  • Lysa February 22, 2009 03:34 am

    Can someone explain what the difference between 50mm 1.8 and 35mm 1.8 is (besides autofocus for sub d80s)? I'm new to photography...thanks!

  • ERiCK February 20, 2009 04:52 am


    AF - auto focus
    AF-S - auto focus with silent motor

  • William February 18, 2009 06:12 am

    What it mean by saying AF vs AF-S?

  • Sarah February 16, 2009 01:32 am

    Do you know where I can see some SOOC shots using this lense? Great review!

  • kenji February 15, 2009 12:13 am

    I'm sure it's a great piece of glass, but I'm skeptical about the lens being a "step above the 35mm F2 in terms of image quality."

  • Kelly February 14, 2009 03:21 am

    I'm SO excited to hear about this. I've been delaying a decision on a prime and was wanting a 35 vs the 50 but hesitated because I wanted a faster lens. I was very (pleasantly) surprised to see the low price. Hooray! I know what my next lens will be.

  • donna February 13, 2009 03:02 am

    miketuna thanks. I'll check out that lens and see if the book is available at chapters. I have also found Photography 101 on back posts here - and it seems like a great way to learn as well - well explained and easy to remember once you walk away from the computer :)

  • MikeTuna February 13, 2009 02:58 am

    Also, Donna, you mentioned you're new to this and the numbers don't mean much to you. I'm very new to this whole game as well and one book I would highly recommend as a fellow newbie is 'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson. I've seen it recommended by several others and from the few books I've looked at, it definitely does the best job of really helping to understand aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, etc.

  • MikeTuna February 13, 2009 02:54 am

    Donna, another lens you might want to look at is the AF 50mm 1.8, which is currently available for around $110-125. It's the same aperture (1.8) as the 35mm mentioned here, so it would also be good for indoor photography (lower aperture numbers mean you can use faster shutter speeds and therefore they're more optimal for indoor use). Since you have a D80, the AF lenses will work great for you (the sub-D80 bodies require the 'AF-S' lenses in order to have functional auto-focus).

    It's up to you whether a 35mm or 50mm will be better, but I think the main excitement around this new lens is for sub-D80 users who want cheap-ish prime lenses with auto-focus. There are already lots of great options for D80 users like yourself :)

  • donna February 12, 2009 02:30 pm

    deirdre, thanks very much for the info... i think i'm excited - hopefully the answer will be 'yes it will be great for concert photography' seeing as how its at least affordable (and small enough to pack around!)

    :: eagerly awaits another comment ::

  • Deirdre February 12, 2009 02:26 pm

    Donna, yes, it will fit your d80. It will fit any Nikon DSLR. The problem with cameras "lower" than the d80 is that they don't autofocus with all lenses. This is one of the first prime lenses Nikon is making that will autofocus on these cameras. This is why it is exciting. You can use this one and any others that will work on the D40/x, D50, D60, and D70, but you have many additional options because you own D80.

    My feeling is that this would probably be a good lens for concert photography, but I'll let others chime in here.

  • Cy February 12, 2009 02:04 pm

    @Douglas Nelson: doesn't the 50mm f/1.4 already exist? It's goes for ~$350 on

  • donna February 12, 2009 11:23 am

    being new to photography, the numbers quoted dont mean anything to me yet - i havent learned the jargon. I"m wondering if it will fit my D80 (doesnt say so i doubt it) and also if its a low light and wide aperature if it would be decent for concert photography where i'm able to get right up front. any thots would be great, i'll come back and read later. thanks.

  • KK February 12, 2009 07:34 am

    Exciting news! I couldn't justify purchasing a $500 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1.4g lens, and after reading that the new AF-S 35mm F/1.8G is very similar, I'm getting this lens on the first day!

    Good move by Nikon.

  • Douglas Nelson February 12, 2009 05:13 am

    I am waiting for the release of the much touted 50 mm f 1.4 but there seems to be no sign of it anywhere except by pre-order without any clue of a date. Does anyone have any idea? Also is it going to be worth the wait?

  • MikeTuna February 12, 2009 04:06 am

    This is awesome news, especially in light of the interview kain posted indicating more 'budget'-priced AF-S primes should be coming soon. I recently bought a D60 as my first DSLR and have been a bit disappointed by the steep prices (at least to me) of the AF-S lenses available, such as the 50mm 1.4. I bought an old AF 50mm which I enjoy, but would love a reasonably priced AF-S alternative. I was starting to think it would be better to move up to an AF-compatible body just to open up my budget lens options.

  • dcclark February 12, 2009 02:19 am

    This is very interesting, especially compared to the 50mm f/1.4 AFS DX released not to long ago. Both are clearly aimed at D40 owners. This one is much cheaper, but probably has a more useful focal length, and is slower. But, the price is low enough that I think I'd be willing to forgo the extra stop of speed just to be able to use this on my D40!

  • Bill February 11, 2009 11:41 pm

    Why does the D70 always get left of lists?

  • Ed Penano February 11, 2009 03:12 pm

    I just purchased the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 not too long ago, only to hear the recent news?!? Go figure.

    But will I grab the NEW 35mm despite my recent purchase? You betcha! Although I enjoy using the 50mm, to have the convenience of an AF-S will justify my purchase. Or, so I keep telling myself. ;) Really looking forward to this lens.

  • Paul R. Giunta February 11, 2009 01:54 pm

    While I use my 50mm 1.8 a fair amount, I am interesting in checking this one out especially for indoor candid shots.

  • kian February 11, 2009 12:06 pm

    And they briefly explain why over here:

  • kian February 11, 2009 12:01 pm

    With this and the recent article entitled "Stop wishing for that Amazing Camera and Appreciate The One You’ve Got", I now think I'll stick to my D40. =)

  • Fird February 11, 2009 11:47 am

    Ah finally! Now I can save some dough rather than buying a full-frame DSLR (which cost a bomb for me) just to enjoy my 50mm 1.8 Nikkor! at its rated focal length rather than being cropped up to 70mm

  • Trevor Gynity February 11, 2009 11:41 am

    'The focal length of 35mm sounds wide but is the equivalent of 52mm on a full frame or film body and is pretty close to producing ‘a picture angle similar to the field of vision as seen through the human eye.’

    It is still a 35mm lens with a cropping factor. I don't think that the 'field of vision' is the same as that of a 50mm lens on a FX body.