Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 35 mm f/1.8 S

Nikon Nikkor Z 35 mm f/1.8 S
4 February 2020
Maciej Latałło

1. Introduction

This text starts a series of Nikon Z system lenses reviews based on tests which we have been performing for a year and a half now. Why has it taken so much time? Some might find it abnormally long and quite unfounded so I would like to explain the situation to our faithful Readers in some detail.

When you test lenses from a completely new system you definitely shouldn't rush. We've learned that lesson several times. For example when, full of enthusiasm, we started testing new mirrorless lenses right after their launch on the market, we wanted our task to be done very quickly, the sooner the better. As a result after about 2-3 years we had to move to another camera body and, by doing so, we lost the precious possibility of comparing old test results to nthe ew ones. That situation was highly disadvantageous and we decided not to copy it in the future.

Acting in haste is bad for other reasons too. Some cameras look very well in paper, they seem to be perfect devices for our testing procedures but sometimes practice verifies such assumption in a very harsh manner. The first generation Sony A7R might be a splendid example – that camera vibrated so badly during release of the shutter that it influecned the results of our tests. We are very glad we didn't start testing lenses with it, waiting patiently for the Sony A7RII in which such a problem was eliminated. Our patience was rewarded with the fact that all our Sony FE tests have been performed with hepl of the same camera body which proved to be perfect for testing lenses. We also enjoy the fact that now all Sony FE lenses, tested by us, can be directly compared to each other.

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We have to mention one important aspect too. When a new system appears on the market, usually it doesn't feautre a big number of lenses. The problem is that if you want to learn how to assess optics quality on a new type of sensor you should have a lot of data to compare. In practice it means waiting for at least several fast, fixed focal length lenses with which you can determine the right reference points. We also avoid different adapters, even the brand name ones, like a plague. After all they constitute additional elements in the system and, in our experience, they influence significantly the results of tests.

We feel that the Nikon Z system in all its aspects has reached a moment when we can start testing its lenses with clear conscience. Our in-depth Nikon Z7 test, along with others tests of that camera, available online, show that you deal here with a body without any flaws, which is perfectly suited for optics testing. Now we also have four Z system prime lenses at our disposal – we think here about the 1.8/24, the 1.8/35, the 1.8/50 and the1.8/85 models which are perfect for starting our Z system testing adventure. All four of them were sent to our editorial office, we managed to gather a lot of data, concerning their performance, and we analyzed it very thoroughly. We are pretty confident we know how to interpret the results and we can start sharing them with our Readers. As the first we present the Nikkor Z 35 mm f/1.8 S – enjoy your lecture!

Courtesy of the Nikon company we have been sent one specimen of that lens for testing purposes,

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Nikon Nikkor Z 35 mm f/1.8 S - Introduction

Nikon Nikkor Z 35 mm f/1.8 S - Introduction