Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 35 mm f/1.4G

10 February 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

7. Coma and astigmatism

The coma is quite well corrected in the corners of the APS-C/DX sensor but its influence is still visible there. Much more problems we encounter in the corner of full frame. The coma level is high and it practically doesn’t change even on stopping down by one stop. It certainly explains the lens’s weak resolution results by f/1.4 and f/2.0.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 35 mm f/1.4G - Coma and astigmatism

Another off-axis aberration, the astigmatism, also makes itself felt as it is quite distinct - the value of 13.8% doesn’t belong to the lowest ones. In this category the lens’s performance is far better described by a graph than by just dry percentage values – it shows resolution levels achieved separately for horizontal and vertical borders.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 35 mm f/1.4G - Coma and astigmatism

It can be clearly noticed that the astigmatism is significant by f/1.4 and f/2.0 and it becomes low only from f/2.8 upwards.

You can ask yourself whether or not such a high astigmatism means that the lens arrived damaged to our editorial office. Such an outbreak of astigmatism, making it reach very high values, can be caused not only by wrong correction but also by wrong angle of elements’ inclination towards the optical axis. In this case, though, it would be difficult to consider it the real reason of problems. Firstly, the astigmatism is not at all record-high here. The Sigma 1.4/30, had a higher level of astigmatism and it seemed to be its “innate” flaw - we tested as many as five specimens of that lens getting the same results. Secondly we picked the lens up personally from the shop to minimize its contact with courier companies. Thirdly if the lens was really damaged it would be difficult for it to get to any record-breaking resolution values and the tested Nikkor reaches them after all.