Imagine yourself standing before an expanse of breathtaking landscape, camera in hand. Or perhaps you’re navigating the vibrant hustle and bustle of a city street, ready to capture an unscripted moment. Maybe you’re beneath a star-studded sky, aiming to immortalize the cosmic spectacle. In all these scenarios, one question often looms large: Which lens best serves my purpose?
Enter the battle of the wide-angle lenses: the versatile Nikon 24mm f/1.8 versus the dynamic Nikon 35mm f/1.4. This article aims to demystify the strengths and trade-offs of these two photography powerhouses, helping you make an informed choice tailored to your specific needs and the genres of photography you’re passionate about.
Whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a seasoned professional, understanding the technical nuances and performance of different lenses is crucial to elevating your work. In this detailed comparison, we’ll delve into aspects like distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and sharpness, among others.
But that’s not all. We’ll also illuminate how these factors come into play in various fields of photography. Whether it’s the sprawling beauty of landscape photography, the precision required in architectural shoots, the low-light demands of astrophotography, or the spontaneity of street photography, we’ve got you covered.
Not only will this article provide you with a comprehensive comparison of the 24mm and 35mm lenses, but it will also equip you with practical knowledge to apply in your photography journey. By understanding the key attributes and performance of these lenses, you’ll be empowered to make choices that truly enhance your art.
So, prepare to dive deep into the world of wide-angle lenses and emerge with newfound clarity and confidence.
Let’s sharpen your lens knowledge and fine-tune your photography skills, one click at a time!
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm F1.8G ED
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F1.4G
|Focal Range (mm)
|Nikon F (FX)
|Nikon F (FX)
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and the Nikon 35mm f/1.4, both designed for Nikon F (FX) mounts and 35mm FF formats, share similarities but also have distinct differences that can be pivotal depending on your photographic needs.
First, let’s talk about the 24mm lens. It boasts a maximum aperture of f/1.8, which is wide enough to perform well in low-light conditions and offer a shallow depth of field for subject isolation. Being a wide-angle lens, it can offer expansive field of view, ideal for landscape or architectural photography. However, a more profound depth of field is often preferred in these genres to keep the entire scene in focus, making the wide aperture less critical.
The 24mm lens, like the 35mm counterpart, has a fixed aperture, which means the maximum aperture remains constant throughout, offering consistent light intake and image quality. Fixed aperture lenses, including these two, are typically of higher optical quality, delivering sharper images with less distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting.
This 24mm lens has wider field of view. It is a better fit for those who favor capturing broad scenes, such as landscapes, interiors, or group shots.
In contrast, the 35mm lens features a larger maximum aperture of f/1.4. This wider aperture allows more light in, which is beneficial for low-light conditions and offers even shallower depth of field, facilitating better subject isolation. However, similar to the 24mm lens, the need for such a wide aperture may be less for scenes where a deeper depth of field is desired, such as in landscape or architectural photography.
The 35mm focal length offers a moderately wide perspective, less expansive than the 24mm lens, but it’s still versatile for a range of situations including street photography, environmental portraits, or even casual snapshots.
However, the larger aperture could mean the 35mm lens is slightly heavier and more expensive than the 24mm one, so if portability and budget are significant factors for you, the 24mm lens might be more appealing.
In conclusion, both lenses have their strengths and trade-offs. The 24mm lens’s wider angle is perfect for capturing larger scenes, though it might show more distortion. The 35mm lens, with its wider aperture, might excel in low-light conditions and offer better subject isolation, though it may be bulkier and costlier. Your choice should hinge on your specific requirements, the genres of photography you’re interested in, and your budget.
Design and Ease of Use
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm F1.8G ED
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F1.4G
|Diameter x Length (mm)
|Filter Thread (mm)
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon 35mm f/1.4, both being wide-angle lenses, offer a unique perspective for photographers. However, their physical dimensions and weights present notable differences that could significantly affect a photographer’s shooting experience.
Starting with the 24mm lens, it has a diameter of 77.5mm and a length of 83mm, making it relatively compact for a wide-angle lens. More importantly, it weighs only 355 grams. These attributes contribute to its portability, making it an excellent choice for photographers who frequently travel or walk around for extended periods. Its lightweight nature means less fatigue for the photographer and potentially longer shooting sessions. Moreover, its compact size can lead to more discreet photography, an advantage for street photographers who prefer not to draw attention. Finally, due to its smaller size and lighter weight, this lens could make lens swapping easier in fast-paced shooting environments.
On the other hand, the 35mm lens, while still in the wide-angle category, is notably larger and heavier. It has a diameter of 83mm and a length of 89.5mm, and it weighs a substantial 600 grams. These dimensions make it less portable and potentially more tiring to carry around for long periods. This lens might also be more noticeable in public, making discreet photography more challenging. The additional weight could affect the balance of your camera setup, potentially making it feel front-heavy and possibly causing discomfort during longer shoots. Moreover, its larger size would require more storage space in your camera bag.
In terms of comparison, the 24mm lens is superior in terms of portability, balance, discreetness, storage, and ease of lens swapping due to its smaller dimensions and lighter weight. However, the choice between these two lenses should also consider other aspects such as aperture, image quality, and specific shooting requirements.
In conclusion, if portability, balance, and discreetness are among your top priorities, the 24mm lens is clearly the superior choice due to its smaller dimensions and significantly lighter weight. However, the 35mm lens might have other benefits not covered by this comparison, such as a potentially wider aperture or different image characteristics.
Lens Mount and Barrel
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 features a robust metal lens mount, providing a solid connection to the camera body and enhancing durability, a critical factor for heavy-duty professional use. To fortify its resilience, a weather-sealing rubber gasket encircles the mount, acting as a guardian against dust, moisture, and other contaminants, particularly useful in adverse weather or harsh environments.
The lens barrel of the 24mm lens is primarily composed of sturdy plastic. While plastic might not be as enduring as metal, it does offer a lighter weight, making the lens easier to handle and carry around. Furthermore, the plastic construction doesn’t undermine the lens’s overall robustness. The lens maintains a constant length during zooming or focusing, a feature that enhances handling and aesthetic appeal.
On the other hand, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 has a lens mount made of dull-chromed brass. Brass, being a metal, ensures a resilient and durable connection to the camera body. Like the 24mm lens, it is also equipped with a protective rubber gasket (sometimes humorously referred to as an “ass-gasket”) that shields the lens from dust and moisture, increasing its versatility for use in challenging environments.
The 35mm lens barrel is also primarily made of plastic, but it exudes a high-quality feel due to its weight and finish. Its design imitates the more expensive metal lenses, providing a premium aesthetic appeal without the associated weight and cost.
In summary, both lenses have their merits. The 24mm lens, with its robust metal mount and lightweight plastic barrel, offers a balance of durability and portability. The 35mm lens, on the other hand, with its brass mount and high-quality plastic barrel, provides a sense of premium build quality.
Ultimately, if you prioritize a robust connection with the camera and lighter weight for extended use, the 24mm lens may be more suitable. However, if you value a more premium feel and the impression of a higher-end product, the 35mm lens may be your preferred choice.
Analyzing the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and 35mm lenses, we can discern key differences in their weather sealing, a feature that defends the lens against dust, moisture, and minor water splashes, thereby ensuring its durability and performance in diverse weather conditions.
The 24mm lens provides a degree of weather sealing. A rubber gasket encircles the lens mount, creating a shield against dust and moisture, which is particularly handy when swapping lenses under challenging weather conditions. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to note that this lens is not entirely weather-sealed. While the gasket grants some degree of resistance against the elements, it doesn’t render the lens impervious to them. Hence, one should exercise caution when using this lens under adverse weather conditions. To boost its protective barrier, one might consider the addition of a UV filter.
Conversely, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 boasts more comprehensive weather sealing, well-equipped to endure harsh environmental conditions. It presents a robust defense against dust and moisture, making it a trusty ally for those daring to venture into tumultuous weather. An integral part of this protective system is the “ass-gasket” or “rain seal” around the lens mount, which inhibits moisture and dust from infiltrating the camera body. Thanks to the robust internal sealing, the lens holds up well in a range of conditions, including dust, sand, and damp environments.
In summary, if you often find yourself in challenging weather conditions, the 35mm lens with its superior weather sealing would be your go-to tool, delivering peace of mind and consistent performance. On the other hand, the 24mm lens offers a basic level of weather resistance, enough for occasional light outdoor use, but may require additional protective measures for heavier duty. Always remember, no matter how weather-sealed a lens is, taking proper care and precautions can extend its lifespan and maintain optimal performance.
Looking at the Nikon 24mm f/1.8, it’s equipped with a wide, well-ribbed focus ring that covers approximately half of the lens body. This design assures a firm grip and facilitates manual focus operation. The ring is conveniently situated at the front of the lens barrel, enabling easy access for your left hand while operating the camera with your right. Its rubber construction, adorned with a series of ribs running parallel to the lens body, enhances the grip and offers a satisfying tactile feedback.
However, the focus ring exhibits a slight slack, causing a minor delay between the moment you rotate the ring and when the lens commences focusing. This could pose a challenge when fine-tuning focus at larger apertures. Despite this, the lens benefits from a short focus throw, meaning that a small rotation of the ring is sufficient to shift from the closest focusing distance to infinity. A windowed distance scale, marked in both feet and meters, is provided, but the depth-of-field scale is limited to f/16 due to the short focus throw. A gentle increase in resistance indicates when you’ve reached the end of the focusing distance, though the ring can continue to turn without causing harm.
Moving to the Nikon 35mm f/1.4, it also comes with a single focus ring. The ring is thoughtfully placed at the front of the barrel, allowing you to adjust the focus with your thumb and index fingers while shooting. The ring is made of plastic but is covered with rubber, providing a comfortable grip and a pleasant tactile sensation. The focus ring rotates smoothly and boasts a focus scale to indicate the focused distance. Similar to the 24mm lens, its depth of field markers are quite limited, with only f/16 marked.
An interesting feature is the soft stop at both ends of the focus range, allowing you to continue rotating the ring. Despite being made of plastic, the focus ring feels sturdy and well-constructed, offering smooth operation and precise manual focus control. The design and placement of the focus ring facilitate easy access and comfortable use, which is crucial during long shooting sessions or when precise focus adjustments are necessary.
In comparing the two, while both lenses offer easy-to-access focus rings with comfortable grips and smooth operation, the 35mm lens has a slight edge in terms of material robustness and operation comfort due to its rubber-covered plastic construction. Furthermore, the lack of slack in the focus ring of the 35mm lens provides more immediate focus response when compared to the 24mm lens. So, if you frequently rely on manual focus and seek a more precise control, the 35mm lens might be the better option. However, both rings are limited in their depth-of-field scale markings, which could impact their usefulness for some photographers.
Analyzing the Nikon 24mm f/1.8, it boasts a very user-friendly design with regard to switches and buttons, featuring just a single switch on its body. This switch is an autofocus/manual focus (AF/MF) selector, located on the side of the lens, crafted to enable photographers to switch swiftly and effortlessly between autofocus and manual focus modes. When in the M/A position, the lens operates in autofocus mode, but manual adjustments can still be performed by simply rotating the focus ring. This aspect becomes particularly useful in close-up photography, where after autofocus has locked in, precise alterations to the point of focus may still be needed.
The switch’s position is conveniently accessible, and its function is self-explanatory, making it simple to locate and operate. Additionally, the wide, well-ribbed focus ring at the front of the lens barrel, although not technically a switch or button, significantly enhances user interaction with the lens, providing an excellent grip for manual focusing. Overall, the lens’s design in terms of switches and buttons is simple, contributing to its user-friendly nature and ensuring a sleek, uncluttered appearance.
Moving on to the Nikon 35mm f/1.4, it also features a single switch on its barrel – a focus mode switch. This switch offers the ability to switch between M/A (autofocus with manual override) and M (manual focus). The M/A mode, a notable Nikon feature, enables autofocus to operate until manual adjustment is desired, facilitating a smooth transition between autofocus and manual focus modes. The M mode, on the other hand, affords the photographer complete control over the focusing mechanism, empowering them to tweak focus to their liking.
The switch is conveniently situated where the thumb naturally rests when holding the camera, which allows for easy mode switching without needing to reposition your grip or remove your eye from the viewfinder. Thus, the lens’s design in terms of switches and buttons prioritizes simplicity and ease of use, allowing photographers to focus more on framing the shot rather than meddling with controls.
Comparing the two lenses, both provide user-friendly designs with a single switch that allows for a swift transition between autofocus and manual focus. However, the 35mm lens has a slight advantage due to its strategic placement of the switch where the thumb naturally rests. This design choice enhances the ease of operation, allowing photographers to switch modes without disrupting their grip or their focus on the viewfinder. Therefore, in terms of switches and buttons, the 35mm lens edges out the 24mm lens, making it superior in this aspect.
Firstly, the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 comes with a filter thread measuring 72mm in diameter, a significant increase from the previous Nikon 1.8 models that had 67mm filter threads. This plastic thread has a unique feature where it, along with the front element, doesn’t rotate when focusing. This lack of rotation is especially beneficial when using polarizing filters, which necessitate a static orientation to function optimally. Moreover, the lens has a non-extendable barrel during focusing, contributing to the ease of use with an array of filters. Thus, the fixed position of the filter thread, combined with the non-rotating and non-extending lens barrel, makes this lens highly user-friendly when it comes to employing different filters.
On the other hand, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 has a 67mm filter thread, not as common as the 77mm thread typically found in professional lenses. Despite this, the thread doesn’t rotate upon focusing, which simplifies the use of filters, particularly polarizers. Even though the smaller size may be inconvenient for those who already have 77mm filters, this can be addressed using a step-up ring to adapt the 67mm to a 77mm thread, thereby accommodating existing filters. The plastic thread, while not as resilient as metal, is sturdy enough. However, caution must be exercised to prevent cross-threading. Despite these minor drawbacks, the lens’s lightweight and non-rotating front element make it quite user-friendly for photographers who frequently use different filters.
In comparing the two lenses, both have non-rotating filter threads, beneficial for using polarizing filters, and are made of plastic, making them lightweight. However, the 24mm lens has a larger filter thread at 72mm, allowing for the use of larger filters that can help reduce vignetting and potential image degradation. The larger size, though potentially more expensive, might offer a broader range of filter options, depending on availability. Meanwhile, the 35mm lens, with its smaller 67mm filter thread, may require a step-up ring for photographers wanting to use larger, more common filters. While this adds an extra step, it can increase the lens’s compatibility with existing gear.
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 offers a Nikon HB-76 lens hood, found in the package alongside the lens itself. This hood, made of plastic, fastens onto the lens with a bayonet fitting, which is convenient and secure. This petal-shaped hood is designed to efficiently reduce unwanted light entering the lens, which reduces flare and enhances image quality.
When not in use, the hood can be reversed for easy storage, although this does block access to the focus ring. Despite its plastic composition, the hood is sturdy and thick, providing impressive protection for the lens. Even in a drastic scenario like a fall from eye level onto concrete, it’s speculated that the hood might shield the lens from severe damage. It complements the overall aesthetic of the lens, providing both practical advantages like reducing lens flare and protecting the lens, and an aesthetic uniformity that’s pleasing to the eye.
In contrast, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 is paired with the HB-59 lens hood, which also comes included in the package. It mirrors the lens’s plastic construction and has a finish that matches the lens’s aesthetics. The hood can be securely and smoothly rotated onto the lens, suggesting a reliable fit. Although it’s a bit bulkier compared to the HB-51 hood of the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens, it’s narrower. Its ergonomic bevel promotes easy operation, crucial during shooting sessions. Despite being made of plastic, it effectively prevents lens flares and protects the lens from potential damage.
When comparing the two, both lens hoods share similarities such as being made of plastic, providing a secure fit, and reducing lens flare. They also add a layer of protection for the lens. However, the 24mm lens hood has a petal design and is thick and sturdy, which offers superior protection in the event of a fall. It can also be reversed for storage, although this restricts access to the focus ring. On the other hand, the 35mm lens hood has a bulkier yet narrower design, which might affect handling but offers similar practical benefits.
Focusing and Optical Stabilization
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm F1.8G ED
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F1.4G
|Silent Wave Motor
|Silent Wave Motor
|Rotating Front Element
|Does not rotate on focusing
|Does not rotate on focusing
|Min Focus Distance
|Max Magnification (X)
|Full-Time Manual Focus
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 boasts a Silent Wave Motor, ensuring the lens operates quietly during autofocus. It is characterized by its fast focusing speed, shifting from close focus to infinity in roughly one second, which is notably faster than some of its counterparts such as the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G. The lens performs admirably in low-light situations, proving to be accurate even at its maximum aperture of f/1.8. The lens adapts well to various lighting conditions, ensuring reliable autofocus acquisition. However, it falls short in some instances, particularly when using eye autofocus mode to photograph people.
For those who require or prefer manual focus, this lens provides a manual focus override at all times. The large rubber focusing ring at the front of the lens barrel enables smooth manual focus operation. Moreover, the lens maintains a constant length regardless of focus and zoom settings, thanks to its internal focusing design. Its front element does not rotate during focusing, which is a boon if you’re using polarizers. The lens exhibits minimal focus breathing, enhancing its overall focus performance.
In contrast, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 also features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor technology for virtually silent autofocus operation, only making a slight snap when reaching the infinity and minimum distance marks. However, its focusing speed isn’t as quick as some other lenses, such as the Nikon 14-24mm or Nikon 24-70mm. While the initial autofocus acquisition speed might be considered slow for a professional-grade lens, it’s precise and often reliable. Manual focus override is available for seamless switching between autofocus and manual focus modes.
This lens also employs an internal focusing design, keeping the length constant regardless of the focus setting and preventing front element rotation during focusing. The lens shows some degree of focus breathing, which results in a slight change in the angle of view when shifting focus. The lens performs commendably in low-light conditions, securing accurate focus often, although not always on the first try. It effectively tracks and focuses on moving subjects in continuous autofocus mode. However, it may exhibit minor front focus issues that require fine-tuning of the autofocus system on your camera body.
In summary, both lenses offer silent autofocus operation, manual focus override, and an internal focusing design. The 24mm lens stands out for its faster focusing speed and better adaptability to different lighting conditions. However, the 35mm lens, although slower in initial focus acquisition, maintains reliable accuracy and performs well in continuous autofocus mode. Despite these strengths, the 24mm lens’s fast focusing speed, especially in low-light situations, and its minimal focus breathing, positions it as superior in terms of focusing performance.
Both the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon 35mm f/1.4 do not incorporate optical stabilization, a feature that is not unusual among wide-angle prime lenses. These types of lenses often rely more on their larger maximum apertures for low-light situations rather than built-in image stabilization.
Starting with the 24mm lens, in order to compensate for the lack of optical stabilization, photographers would have to depend on alternatives such as the camera’s in-body stabilization (if available), employing a tripod, or tweaking the camera settings like ISO or aperture to ensure image sharpness at slower shutter speeds. This approach can effectively counterbalance the absence of lens-based stabilization, but it requires a degree of skill and experience to manage effectively.
Similarly, the 35mm lens also lacks optical stabilization. Consequently, photographers using this lens will need to depend on their camera’s built-in image stabilization (if available), utilize a tripod, or adjust camera settings like increasing shutter speeds or ISO to curb any potential camera shake when shooting handheld or in low-light conditions.
Given that neither lens offers optical stabilization, this lack of optical stabilization is not a deciding factor for photographers using these wide-angle lenses, especially if they have access to in-body image stabilization or are proficient in using tripods and adapting camera settings.
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm F1.8G ED
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm F1.4G
|2 ED and 2 aspherical elements + nano crystal coat
|1 aspherical element Nano-Crystal Coat
In comparing the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon 35mm f/1.4, we find both exhibit certain types of optical aberrations, which are deviations from perfect image formation, but they manage them differently.
The 24mm lens performs admirably in controlling chromatic aberration, which is characterized by color fringing at high contrast areas. Any chromatic aberration that does appear is minimal and often negligible. However, it does exhibit longitudinal chromatic aberration, observable as magenta and green hues in the foreground and background respectively. This can be mostly eradicated by adjusting the aperture to f5.6.
It’s worth noting that this lens struggles slightly with coma, an optical imperfection causing distortion that makes bright points appear elongated or butterfly-shaped, especially noticeable in astrophotography. Additionally, it displays some spherical aberration, also known as “color bokeh” or spherochromatism, noticeable as color fringes on out-of-focus areas. But, like other aberrations, this effect can be mitigated by adjusting the aperture or through post-processing.
In contrast, the 35mm lens also displays chromatic aberration, particularly longitudinal chromatic aberration. This effect, while more pronounced at larger apertures, reduces significantly upon narrowing the aperture.
The lens shines in its coma performance, outperforming many competitors. This is largely attributed to its aspherical element, which aids in reducing aberrations when shooting at wide apertures. The lens does show spherochromatism, especially with specular highlights, but this is not typically a significant issue unless under close scrutiny.
In conclusion, while both lenses exhibit certain types of aberrations, the 24mm lens has a slight edge in terms of chromatic aberration control, but falls short when it comes to coma. The 35mm lens, on the other hand, excels in coma performance but struggles more with chromatic aberration. This means the ‘better’ lens in terms of aberration control depends on the specific requirements of your shoot and the aberrations you find most critical to manage.
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 exhibits excellent center sharpness, even at a wide-open aperture of f/1.8, which is impressive. The sharpness remarkably improves at f/2.8 and maintains an outstanding performance up to f/11. Although corner sharpness can be slightly soft at wide apertures, this lens improves significantly upon stopping down. At f/4, the corners start to sharpen, reaching their peak at f/11, resulting in an image that’s uniformly sharp across the frame. It’s crucial to note that beyond f/16, the image may start to soften due to diffraction effects. Furthermore, this lens holds up well in APS-C mode and on high-resolution 45-megapixel full-frame cameras, although stopping down slightly improves the image quality in critical situations.
On the other hand, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 also boasts impressive sharpness, particularly when stopped down. It provides strong center sharpness from the maximum aperture of f/1.4, peaking around 2,900 lines between f/4 and f/5.6. While it starts somewhat weak at the edges when wide open, the lens reaches very good sharpness at f/2 and exhibits excellent performance at f/2.8, even at the edges. Some softness can occur at the widest apertures, especially at f/1.4, but this resolves by f/5.6, revealing an image of exceptional crispness.
In summary, both lenses perform remarkably well in terms of sharpness, though they have different strengths. The 24mm lens provides excellent center sharpness and good corner sharpness upon stopping down, while the 35mm lens stands out for its robust sharpness across the entire frame when stopped down, despite some initial softness at the widest apertures. Given these characteristics, the choice of lens would depend on your specific needs and the type of photography you aim to do. If uniform sharpness across the frame is a priority, the 35mm lens might be the better choice. However, if center sharpness is more critical to your work, then the 24mm lens would be ideal.
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 each have distinct characteristics in terms of bokeh quality.
The 24mm lens offers generally pleasing bokeh, described as smooth and uncluttered, even with its seven diaphragm blades. It produces somewhat cleaner results compared to the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens, but the Sigma delivers a more blurred background at the same f-number. A distinct feature of the 24mm lens is the ‘cat’s eye’ bokeh, especially evident in the corners of the frame.
When compared at identical apertures, the Sigma lens generally provides more blurred backgrounds and slightly larger out-of-focus highlights than the Nikkor. However, the Nikkor’s bokeh has a unique, almost gritty appearance. At F2.8, the bokeh seen in both lenses is nearly indistinguishable. Therefore, the preference between the two may be subjective, with some photographers favoring the slightly cleaner but less blurred bokeh of the Nikkor, and others preferring the more blurred but slightly more patterned bokeh of the Sigma.
In contrast, the 35mm lens exhibits a pleasing bokeh quality in many situations, courtesy of its 9 rounded iris diaphragm blades. This design contributes to the production of smooth and creamy bokeh, effectively separating the subject from the background. Compared to the AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D, the bokeh is smoother, offering better aesthetics for casual portraiture. However, the bokeh may appear slightly busier than that of Nikon’s 50mm f/1.4.
At wider apertures, the bokeh may seem a bit nervous, with harsher highlights. However, stopping down the lens to f/2.0 and beyond improves the bokeh, resulting in more pleasing and smoother background highlights. While the lens does exhibit minor haloing or “ni-sen” bokeh at f/1.4, this doesn’t significantly detract from the overall bokeh quality.
In summary, both lenses can create pleasant bokeh effects under the right conditions. The 24mm lens offers a more uniform and cleaner bokeh, while the 35mm lens provides a creamier, smoother bokeh but may require stopping down for optimal results. Hence, if your priority is achieving a smooth and creamy bokeh, the 35mm lens would be your superior choice. However, if you prefer a cleaner, less blurred bokeh, the 24mm lens would be more suitable.
Starting with the Nikon 24mm f/1.8, it shows excellent handling of flare and ghosting, even when faced with strong light sources. The use of a wide-angle lens often poses the risk of encountering a strong light source directly, potentially creating flare, ghosting, and considerable contrast reduction. However, under extreme test conditions, this lens performed admirably, exhibiting only moderate flare and ghosting, which is considerably less than what some other lenses might show under similar circumstances.
This can be attributed to the Nano coating applied to its glass elements, significantly reducing ghosting and flare in images. It effectively managed flares, even with the sun near the center of the frame. While no lens is entirely immune to flare and ghosting, especially when dealing with intense direct light sources, the 24mm lens handles these artifacts impressively, with additional techniques available to further minimize these effects.
On the other hand, the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 also exhibits good control over flare and ghosting, largely due to the Nano Crystal Coat, which effectively reduces internal reflections that typically cause these optical anomalies. The lens renders pleasing starburst effects at smaller apertures, adding a creative touch to photos. However, the control of flare and ghosting is still dependent on the light source’s placement within the frame.
When shooting directly at a light source like the sun, particularly when centrally positioned, flare and ghosting are inevitable. When compared to the Zeiss Distagon 35mm ZF.2, the Nikon lens has superior flare and ghosting handling capabilities. However, moving the light towards the edges or corners might induce more prominent flare and ghosting. The use of the included plastic lens hood can minimize some of these unwanted effects.
In conclusion, both lenses perform well in managing flare and ghosting, but the 24mm lens takes a slight edge due to its more consistent performance across various light source placements. If you often deal with strong light sources from various angles, the 24mm lens would be a better choice. If you’re looking for additional creative effects like starburst and have control over light positioning, the 35mm lens can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon 35mm f/1.4 both exhibit distinctive behaviors in terms of vignetting, especially when used at wide open apertures.
Beginning with the 24mm lens, it shows noticeable vignetting at wider apertures, particularly evident when used on a full-frame camera. This results in the corners of the image being up to a full stop darker than the center at f/1.8. However, as you stop down the lens, the vignetting decreases notably. By f/2.8, vignetting is significantly diminished, and by f/4, it’s almost unnoticeable.
Despite the pronounced vignetting at wider apertures, it’s important to note that this issue can be effectively addressed in post-processing using software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, which have built-in lens profiles for this lens. Therefore, while the vignetting is a characteristic to consider, it does not pose a significant problem for overall image quality.
On the other hand, the 35mm lens also exhibits noticeable vignetting, particularly at its maximum aperture of f/1.4. At f/1.4, the vignetting is so pronounced that it could be mistaken for underexposure. As the aperture narrows, the vignetting lessens, with it being practically eliminated by f/4. However, even at smaller apertures, some vignetting can still be detected, particularly in the corners of the frame.
This level of vignetting might require you to account for it in your exposures or correct it during post-processing. Despite this, vignetting can also be used artistically to focus attention on the center of the frame.
In summary, both lenses exhibit noticeable vignetting at wider apertures, a common trait for large aperture lenses, particularly when used on full-frame cameras. However, the 24mm lens manages vignetting better as the aperture narrows, becoming mostly unnoticeable by f/4. This gives the 24mm lens a slight advantage in terms of vignetting control. Regardless, it’s important to remember that vignetting can be managed effectively in post-processing or used creatively, depending on your photography style and needs.
The Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon 35mm f/1.4 both demonstrate certain levels of distortion, albeit in different manners, which could affect the choice of lens depending on the particular needs of the photography scenario.
The 24mm lens exhibits moderate barrel distortion, particularly noticeable when focusing closely and when used on a full-frame camera, especially at the wide-open aperture of f/1.8. However, this level of distortion remains within acceptable limits for a lens of this type and is not overly pronounced. Importantly, this distortion can be effectively managed with in-camera corrections or post-processing software like Photoshop’s Lens Distortion tool. Therefore, while the distortion is a characteristic to consider, it doesn’t significantly impact the lens’s overall performance and is quite standard for a lens with these specifications.
In contrast, the 35mm lens shows a more noticeable amount of distortion, especially when shooting at closer distances of less than 10-15 meters. This distortion is unsymmetrical across the frame, which could be of concern for photographers specializing in fields such as architectural photography where straight lines are crucial. Despite this, the lens does a relatively commendable job of keeping lines straight compared to some competitors. The measured barrel distortion stands at about 1.16%, which is evident but not too extreme. Using photo editing software or the Lens Corrections tool in Lightroom can help manage this distortion.
In conclusion, while both lenses exhibit some distortion, the 24mm lens performs slightly better in this respect, with its distortion remaining moderate and within acceptable limits for its specifications. However, the final choice should depend on your specific shooting requirements and how you plan to manage distortion in post-processing.
In the realm of wide-angle photography, the choice between the Nikon 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon 35mm f/1.4 can be influenced by a range of factors, from the intended subject matter to the specific conditions of the shoot.
For landscape photography, the wider field of view of the 24mm lens is beneficial for capturing expansive vistas. Its excellent center sharpness, well-managed distortion and moderate vignetting make it a solid choice. However, the 35mm lens’s robust sharpness across the frame might be beneficial for detailed landscape images.
Architectural photography often requires maintaining straight lines and minimizing distortion, which gives a slight edge to the 24mm lens due to its moderate and manageable distortion. However, the 35mm lens does an admirable job as well, as long as you account for its asymmetric distortion at closer distances.
Astrophotography requires exceptional low-light performance and good control over aberrations, particularly coma. Here, the 35mm lens stands out for its superior coma performance. It also boasts a wider aperture, useful for letting in more light. The 24mm lens, however, offers faster focusing speeds which can be handy in low-light situations.
Environmental portrait photography often benefits from wider apertures for subject isolation. The 35mm lens with its potential wider aperture could be beneficial here, despite its bulkier size. Additionally, its creamier bokeh might be preferred for creating a pleasant background blur.
For street photography, the lighter, more compact 24mm lens is advantageous for discretion and portability. Its faster focusing speed also proves beneficial in capturing spontaneous moments. However, 35mm is a common choice for advanced street photographers as it can provide a perfect field of view.
Ultimately, both lenses have strengths that align with the needs of wide-angle photography, but the choice depends on the specific requirements of your genre. The 24mm lens provides a wider angle and faster focusing, which is ideal for landscape photography. The 35mm lens, on the other hand, shines with its low-light capabilities and excellent coma performance, making it a strong contender for astrophotography and environmental portraits.