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Thread: Quick and dirty test - Nikon AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Quick and dirty test - Nikon AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    *disclaimer* This is not a scientific test. This is not a scientific test. This is not a scientific test. *disclaimer*

    just got hold of my own copy of the new AFS 35mm/f1.4... yes, my own. not a loan copy from nikon SG. so those who want to claim bias, you can go stand one corner now...

    i have always been partial towards 35mm lenses cos i love the view of the 35 - not too wide, not too tele. some claim it is wat the human eye POV is... frankly, i have no idea wat is the eye's POV.

    my old AFD35/f2 lens has been faithfully serving as my baby lens for the last 3-4 yrs - i will say 90% of my 2 elder kids' photos were taken by this lens. it is one of my better low-light lenses in the cabinet that screams to be used at F2 and nothing else. do i wish for f1.8 or lower? of course. but, f2 is a pretty good compromise as i am not too fond of the 50mm lenses (i had both and sold them to get the 35mm).

    so, when the AFS35mm/1.4 was announced, i was debating whether to get this lens or a medium format camera. in the end, the 35mm won. now, the bigger question is whether is it worth the upgrade? after all, the old AFD 35/2 costs ard $490 when i first bought it. the AFS 35/1.4 easily costs ard $2.2. give or take, it is 4 times the price.

    off the bat? you have a look...





    AFS35mm @ f1.4 with D3. hand-held in available light only, resized in PSE. sharpening turned off in D3, using standard colour mode. the exif is still present, i think... unless photobucket stripped it.

    so, is it worth it? hell yah..... (more pics after this)
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    i did some quick and dirty test of the 2 lenses using my light tent. all pics just resized and uncropped. the original JPGs will be available at the end of this thread as a ZIP file for those pixel peepers. now... any mistakes is mine - ie. PLBV.

    this is how the 2 lenses compared in size



    wat other differences in specs? well, most of the specs are already available online. i will just highlight 2 things that will affect me as a shooter.

    a) the AFS 35mm has a slightly longer closest focusing distance compared to the AFD 35mm; 0.3m vs 0.25m. this means that i have to stand a tad further away.

    b) AFS 35mm only goes to f16 while the AFD 35mm goes to f22. what this means is that, on the rare occasions that i do bring this outdoors, i have to use ND filters if i want to cut down more light, suppose it i want to recreate a smoky water effect.

    how are these 2 lenses at f8 then?

    AFS 35mm/f8. the focus point is on the nose of the baby prof figurine.



    AFD 35mm/f8. same focus point



    in the originals, i will say that there is very little that separates these 2 lenses at f8. perhaps, the AFS 35mm is slightly sharper cos i can read the label of the pill bottle better that the AFD.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    but frankly, IMO, these 2 lenses scream to be used wide-open and nothing else. so, i decided to line up my minifigs to test the bokeh. my D3 is mounted on the tripod. the only difference between these 2 sets of the pics is that i have to move the d3 a little further back for the AFS cos of the focusing distance.

    @f1.4


    @f1.8


    @f2.8


    @f4


    @f5.6


    ..cont
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    @f8


    @f11


    @f16


    AFD35mm

    @f2


    @f2.8


    ..cont
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    @f4


    @f5.6


    @f8


    @f11


    @f16


    ..cont
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    and @f22


    all the focus point is on Darth Vader's nose.

    it is when i was taking this series of photo that i confirmed for myself that, yes, the AFS35mm does hunt a bit when there is a distinct lack of contrast. it doesn't lock on as easily as the AFD35mm in this aspect. strange tho... i had to resort to manual focus when i was taking this series of pics with the AFS.

    minifigs is one thing. what abt shooting people? well, i asked my son to pose for me as a i snapped a series of pics. before you complain that how come the framing is not the same... yaddah, yaddah... my son is not a model. don't expect him to stand still.

    AFS 35mm @ f1.4



    AFD 35mm @ f2



    and AFS35mm with D1x



    this, IMO, is where the AFS shines. the f1.4 has a much nicer bokeh than f2. the contrast and sharpness are much better too. granted, this is taken under florescent lights. still, this lens performed better than i expected. i am waiting for the sun to come out before i take this outdoors. in the ZIP files later, it contains the rest of the pics of my son at different f-stops.

    initial impression? this lens rocks.

    i will have to take it out for more shooting before i can definitely confirm for myself the $2.2k is worth it. but, from the looks of it, this is going to be in the bag of a lot of low-light/available light shooters. but, as mentioned, this is not for everyone, especially if you don't like to zoom with legs. if you want a low-light lens without blowing a hole in your wallet, the 50/1.8 or the AFD35/2 still represent your best choices.

    *disclaimer* This is not a scientific test. *disclaimer*


    original zips here.
    Last edited by nightwolf75; 17th December 2010 at 07:28 PM.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    Thanks for the review!

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    Member leowyien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    yr son playing bejewelled??
    Does the afd 35mm f/2 autofocus?
    indie

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    Quote Originally Posted by leowyien View Post
    yr son playing bejewelled??
    Does the afd 35mm f/2 autofocus?
    eh... wat do u mean autofocus?
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    good work wolfie!!
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    Simple test but lot of setup and effort.. Thks

  12. #12

    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    thanks for sharing!!

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    Thanks for sharing.

    And congrats on the new additions to the family (both your child and the lens.)

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Thanks for sharing.

    And congrats on the new additions to the family (both your child and the lens.)
    thanks!

    weather too sucky today to shoot. hopefully, tomorrow got some sunlight in the evening to bring the lens out.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    finally got a chance to bring it out this morning when there's some sunlight.

    this was done this morning at chinese garden @ f16. just tweaked the colours a bit. the sharpness is amazing tho (granted it has been downsized in PSE and shot in JPG).



    unfortunately, i've already sold my AFD35/2 to another CSer. so i can't test how resistant the old lens was to flare vs the new lens. i found that, when i shoot head-on towards the sun, it was ok, even without the hood. the flare only comes when the sun is slightly off centre like these 2 - one was this morning at chinese garden, the other was taken in the afternoon at kranji war memorial.




    (kranji war memorial was taken with a D1x)

    please click on the kranji pic if you want to check for CA. personally, i only found very marginal CA on the leaves' edges.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    (ok... for those trolls, if you don't like wat i am about to do, dun read...)

    took a (almost) brick wall shot at kranji to test for distortion.



    click on image for full-size pic. taken with D1x, no tweaking done. personally, i can't see any curves at the edges of the straight lines.

    lastly, in real life, how is the bokeh @ f1.4?






    (these 2 were taken with D1x)

    one word - creamy. even on DX bodies.

    after playing with the lens for almost 1 wk, wat do i think? IMO, apart from the slightly wonky AF, the AFS35/1.4 is a dramatic improvement over the AFD35/2. to be honest, when the nano-thingy first came out among lenses like the AFS85/1.4 and 70-200VR2, i wasn't too sure that they helped to improve the lenses over their predecessors. but, for the 35mm, i think it really made the difference. still, at almost 5 times the price of the AFD35/2, it is a lot to pay for the improvements. for budget seekers (regardless FX or DX users), your best budget options will still be the 50/1.8, 35/2 or the DX35/1.8, IMO, if you want low-light/available light options. but... if you want absolute performance, the 35/1.4 will make an excellent complement to the trio of 1.4 lenses (24 and 85).

    prime lenses are NOT for everyone, just to repeat myself. for 90% of users, i reckon your typical f2.8 zooms (like the tamron 17-50) will be better and more convenient to use. i have switched from zooms to primes (save for the 24-120VR2) this year cos i want a smaller setup. i find that i have to take a little more time and effort to take my pics now. so, find out wat is your shooting style before making the fateful decision of getting this lens.
    Last edited by nightwolf75; 21st December 2010 at 02:23 PM.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  17. #17

    Default Re: Quick and dirty test - AFS 35mm/f1.4 vs AFD35mm/f2

    Great effort
    It's my most favourite lens so far
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

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