When it launched the mirrorless Z sequence, Nikon promised distinctive sharpness and minimal distortion with the brand new Z mount, which makes use of a a lot shorter flange-back distance and wider diameter than the F mount of Nikon’s DSLRs. That promise is obvious within the Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.Eight S. The widest of the 2 prime lenses included within the preliminary launch, it mixes a shiny aperture and modestly broad angle of view right into a weather-sealed physique. It’s an important companion for the Z7 and Z6.
Be certain that to additionally take a look at our Nikon Z7 assessment.
Compact, however not as a lot as you’d count on
Whereas the Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.Eight S is sturdy, the lens is way from a tiny pancake lens. It extends 3.four inches from the entrance of the digicam. At 13.1 ounces, it’s really heavier than the F mount 35mm f/1.8. It nonetheless feels effectively balanced on the Z7 and isn’t heavy sufficient to actually affect capturing or portability, however Nikon hasn’t appeared to emphasise compactness the place we’d have anticipated it for a mirrorless system lens. Nikon stresses the brand new Z mount for optical efficiency, not essentially dimension.
Nonetheless, given the slimmer profile of the Z-series digicam our bodies, Z 35mm is a superb lens for journey, road images and quite a few different disciplines the place portability issues. It is usually mud and moisture sealed, similar to the Z7 and Z6, once more making it a sensible choice for journey. The physique is just partially metallic, but it surely has a stable, high-end really feel.
Like a Nikkor DSLR lens, the Z 35mm has a focusing swap to swap between handbook and autofocus. The broad management ring takes up an enormous chunk of the lens — the scale makes it straightforward to achieve for with out hesitating or pulling your eye away from the viewfinder. The one management ring is about to handbook focus by default, however may also be customized set to regulate aperture or publicity compensation. The management ring turns easily and quietly, however will not be completely silent.
Nikkor legacy efficiency — nearly
Autofocus efficiency relies on each the digicam and the lens, and the Z7’s phase-detection AF system impressed us in our assessment — though, it wasn’t excellent. The Nikkor Z 35mm performs admirably in quite a lot of conditions, however it could actually’t sustain with its DSLR counterpart in each capturing state of affairs.
The autofocus motor contained in the 35mm is quiet sufficient that you just’ll solely hear it in silent environments. It’s audible sufficient to be picked up by the microphone when recording video, notably when it hunts to seek out give attention to low-contrast topics.
In most pictures, the autofocus was easy and locked onto the topic rapidly. For portraits and different stationary topics, it does an important job. The lens additionally centered effectively indoors in additional restricted lighting.
The autofocus did wrestle a bit, nonetheless, with excessive backlighting, when capturing in direction of a low solar throughout golden hour. The lens was nonetheless capable of efficiently seize give attention to most pictures, but it surely was slower and backlighting produced probably the most focus errors in our testing. Whereas it’s robust to find out if the digicam or the lens was chargeable for the missed focus in backlit scenes, the identical Z7 didn’t appear to wrestle as a lot with an adapter F-Mount 105mm in the identical scene.
Picture high quality with the wow issue
As for Nikon’s promise of remarkable picture high quality, the Z 35mm f/1.Eight S doesn’t disappoint. It’s exceptionally sharp and clearly engineered for the excessive requirements of the 46-megapixel Z7 — we couldn’t even inform the distinction between f/Eight and f/1.Eight based mostly on sharpness alone. Most lenses will probably be sharper stopped down, even with a lens check chart, the Z 35mm carried out simply as effectively broad open, from the middle out to the sting of the body.
Distortion can also be minimal, with strains remaining comparatively straight throughout the body. We additionally had a tough time discovering any chromatic aberration, even in excessive distinction areas.
The lens additionally created an excellent stability preventing lens flares and letting them occur for inventive functions. The starburst impact at smaller apertures appears nice, and there have been occasional rainbow patterns that confirmed up, however nothing that was too intrusive.
Paired with the Z7, the lens rendered colours effectively. The perimeters have some very minor vignetting, the type that’s onerous to discern except capturing with a clear, stable coloured backdrop. Vignetting might be simply eliminated in submit, so this isn’t an enormous concern.
The lens’ broad f/1.Eight aperture will simply create separation between the topic and the background, together with boosting low gentle pictures. Bokeh is superbly round with delicate edges, making this an important possibility for portraits, notably environmental portraits the place you need to soak up a few of your topic’s environment by capturing a large angle.
The Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.Eight S offers the brand new Z-Mount a promising future. The lens captures sharp pictures with minimal distortion, thanks partially to advances within the mount. Autofocus did have a little bit little bit of hassle in excessive backlighting, however in any other case delivered what we’d count on from a lens with the Nikon title.
The $850 record worth is sort of excessive, particularly contemplating the F-Mount 35mm f/1.Eight is just $530. Nevertheless, Nikon says that lens is designed for HD video and on a regular basis capturing, with the Z sequence mannequin being held to the next normal. Whereas it’s onerous to inform with out immediately evaluating pictures from each lenses, the cheaper and smaller F-Mount lens doesn’t seem to ship fairly the identical high quality. (DxO Mark says the chromatic aberration on the F-Mount lens is larger than anticipated and the photographs are sharpest at f/11.)
Is there a greater various?
The Z mount is younger, and as such, there aren’t very many choices when you don’t need to use an adapter. That mentioned, the adapter didn’t seem to have an effect on efficiency when pairing DSLR lenses with the new Z7. Nikon’s personal AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED is cheaper and lighter, however not when you plan to apply it to a mirrorless physique with the requisite adapter. The Sigma 35mm f/1.four DG HSM Artwork lens scores just a few factors larger than the F-Mount model on lens assessments, however hasn’t been immediately in contrast with the brand new Z mount and sits at the next $900 worth level (but in addition provides a sooner aperture).
Whereas it’s debatable whether or not shopping for the Z mount 35mm is value the price for customers that already personal an F-mount 35mm lens, the lens is a superb, shiny broad angle for pairing with the Z7 or Z6.
How lengthy will it final?
With mud and moisture sealing and a stable construct, this lens ought to final a very long time. Lenses are inclined to outlast digicam our bodies, and it’s straightforward to see the Z 35mm dwelling by way of a number of generations for the Z sequence.
Do you have to purchase it?
In the event you want a pointy, shiny wide-angle lens on your Z7 or Z6, sure. The lens delivers wonderful high quality and the price of the adapter offsets its larger price in comparison with F-Mount lenses. Watch out in backlit conditions, the place the autofocus isn’t as dependable, however in any other case we’ve no reservations.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.Eight S In contrast To