The Ultimate Guide to the NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F1.8G ED - Optical Design Value Analysis No.049


This is a performance analysis and review article of the NIKON AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F1.8G ED.

You hardly understand the specific differences in how the lenses work and how their performance differs from each other, do you?

Even if you look it up in magazines or on the Internet, all you will find are similar "word-of-mouth recommendations" and articles like that.

In this blog, while researching the history of lenses and their historical background, we estimate lens design performance based on patent information and actual shooting examples, and analyze lens performance in detail from a technical viewpoint through simulations.

Professional lens designer Jin Takayama will carefully unravel optical characteristics such as optical path diagrams and aberrations, which are generally not visible, and explain the taste and descriptive performance of lenses in a deep and gentle manner.

Now, please enjoy the special information that you can read only on this blog in the world.


Developed for the NIKON full-size digital SLR, the NIKKOR 35 mm f / 1.8G is a relatively inexpensive large-aperture wide-angle lens.

Looking back on the 35 mm focal length lens, first of all, since the early days of NIKON's F-mount camera, multiple 35 mm lenses with different Fnos have been developed.

Fno of NIKON 35 mm lens released in the past is one of Fno 2.8, Fno 2.0, or Fno1.4 specifications, and Fno1.8G described in this section seems to be the first Fno1.8 specification of NIKON 35 mm lens.

In addition, the NIKKOR lenses currently sold at the time of writing (2021) are as follows.

  • AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G
  • AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED
  • NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S

Until very recently, the AiAF NIKKOR 35 mm f/2D was also sold, so it can be said that there are many choices next to the 50 mm lens.

Private Memoirs

Come to think of it, my first interchangeable lens had a focal length of 50 mm and an Fno of F1.4.

In the midst of the fierce competition between the 50 mm group and the 35 mm group in the world, I thought that "50 mm is the royal road of the standard", but one day, when I looked at my home's damp proof cabinet, I found that there are 35 mm. I don't want to count them.

Where does it come from? Strangely enough, 35 mm will multiply.

If you think about this reason, the 50 mm lens for SLR in the past had only a choice of so-called Gaussian type lens, so at my level, I can roughly predict the drawing performance without buying it.

For more information on Gaussian types, please refer to our previous articles.

Related Article: The Dawn of Double Gaussian Lenses

On the other hand, there are various types of 35 mm lenses, so the drawing performance varies greatly.

There are various sizes from the compact F2.8 to the giant F1.4. That's why I bought it without thinking.

However, in recent years, the performance of 50 mm focal length lenses has improved remarkably, and I feel that 50 mm lenses are proliferating along with it. well, I don't want to think deeply.

Document Survey

We had some difficulties in the search, but there is no doubt that Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 118186 / 2015 is a related document. Assuming that Example 1 is commercialized, the design data will be reproduced below.


The following design values have been selected and reproduced from the appropriate patent literature and do not correspond to the actual product. Naturally, the data is not guaranteed, and I am not responsible for any accidents or damages that may occur by using this data.

Analysis of Design Values

Optical Path Diagram

The above diagram shows the optical path of the NIKON 35 mm f / 1.8G.

Eight groups of 11 lenses. The sixth lens is a special low-dispersion material (ED-lens) to correct chromatic aberration. The eleventh lens, which is closest to the image sensor, is an aspherical lens to correct spherical aberrations and field curvature.

It looks like a slightly gorgeous retro type with a concave lens group on the subject side and a double Gaussian rear group.

Although the specifications of the Fno differ, around the same time, SIGMA's first Art lens, the SIGMA 35 mm f / 1.4, was released. It has a more luxurious configuration to suppress aberrations that increase due to the larger aperture.

There are already analyzed articles about SIGMA, so it will be interesting to compare them.

Also Read: SIGMA Art 35 mm F1.4

Also analyzed is the NIKON 35 mm f / 2.0, a traditional retrofocus-type optical system, as the dark side of the Fno of the 35 mm lens.

Also Read: NIKON 35 mm F2.0D

If you compare and refer to these, you can enjoy more deeply.

Longitudinal Aberration

Graphs of spherical aberration, image surface curvature, and distortion

Spherical Aberration , Axial Chromatic Aberration

If you look at the spherical aberration, it is a full correction type with a slight bend.

The F1.8 specification is probably aimed at a balance solution between performance and price. There is no strong aberration like the F2.0D, but it has a subtle taste and the price is moderate.

According to the list price comparison, it is sold at a price difference of 1/3 or less compared to the NIKKOR 35 mm f / 1.4G, which has a brighter Fno.

Axial chromatic aberration has been corrected enough to add "ED" to the product name.

Field Curvature

A slight field curvature remains, but the characteristic is that the difference between the tangential direction and sagittal direction is small for a large diameter.


The distortion is slightly cask-shaped, but the quantity is probably normal.

Lateral Chromatic Aberration (Magnification Chromatic Aberration)

It seems that the lateral chromatic aberrations will remain slightly large. The 50 mm lens is characterized by its symmetrical double Gauss configuration, which allows lateral chromatic aberrations to be efficiently corrected with a small number of lenses, but the wide-angle lens has a strong asymmetrical lens arrangement, which makes lateral chromatic aberrations correction difficult.

However, as I recall, since around this time, NIKON has been publicly announcing that it has been performing lateral chromatic aberrations correction through image processing, so it may have given priority to reducing the size and weight by making the aberration shape suitable for image processing.

Transverse Aberrations

(Left)Tangential direction, (Right)Sagittal direction

Let's look at it as a lateral aberration.

For a large aperture, lateral aberration is well controlled.

Nikon is really good at reducing sagittal aberration.

Spot Diagram

Spot Scale 0.3 (Standard)

Now let's look at the optical simulation results, but first let's look at the spot diagram.

The spot shape and color variations are small, leaving a clean impression.

In addition to simply increasing the resolution, the atmosphere of Nikon is that it is particular about the difficult point of digitization such as the deviation of color.

Spot Scale 0.1 (Detail)


Maximum Aperture F1.8

Finally, let's look at the results of the MTF simulation.

It is a modern lens, and despite the price, it keeps the height of the mountain from the open Fno.

Small Aperture F4.0


I think this NIKKOR 35 mm F1.8G is the second most affordable among NIKON's current full-size lenses after the 50 mm F1.8.

For that reason, it has a solid resolution and a small product size, so it can be said that it is a suitable item for the entrance of the NIKON lens swamp.

In addition, the full-size 35 mm lens can be used with an angle of view equivalent to about 50 mm when used with an APS-sized camera, so it is a very easy-to-use product as a lens for stepping up from an APS camera or for sharing a system.

Sample Picture

Example photos are in preparation.

If you are looking for analysis information on other lenses, please refer to the table of contents page here.