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NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 Lens Review

NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 Lens Review

After weeks of intensive use, I’m ready to dive deep into Nikon’s latest Z-mount offering: the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4. This lens has quickly become an essential part of my kit, proving its worth across various shooting scenarios.

Nikon Z 35mm f1.4 Lifestyle Image 4 scaled

Build Quality and Handling

At 415g, this lens strikes a perfect balance between solid construction and portability. The weather-sealing has already saved me during an unexpected drizzle at a street festival. The lens barrel, crafted from high-quality materials, feels robust in hand.

The clickless control ring is a standout feature. It’s smooth and precise, allowing for silent adjustments during video recording. The focus ring has just the right amount of resistance for accurate manual focusing.

Optical Performance

The optical design, featuring 11 elements in 9 groups including 2 aspherical elements, delivers outstanding image quality. Edge-to-edge sharpness is impressive, even at f/1.4. Stopping down to f/2.8-f/4 reveals incredible detail across the entire frame.

Chromatic aberration is well-controlled, with only minor fringing in high-contrast scenes at f/1.4. Vignetting is presently wide open but easily correctable in post-processing.

The 9-blade diaphragm produces beautifully round bokeh, especially noticeable in out-of-focus highlights. This lens excels at subject isolation, making it ideal for environmental portraits.

NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 Lens Sample Image


The internal focusing system is swift and near-silent. In continuous AF mode, it keeps up admirably with moving subjects, making it suitable for event photography. The transition from near to far focus is smooth, which is a boon for video work.

Low Light Performance

The f/1.4 aperture is a game-changer in dimly lit environments. I’ve captured sharp, noise-free images at twilight markets and dimly lit interiors without resorting to high ISOs.


The 35mm focal length on full-frame (44° on DX) offers a natural perspective that’s ideal for street photography, environmental portraits, and even some landscape work. The 0.27m minimum focus distance (with a 0.18x maximum reproduction ratio) allows for creative close-ups, adding to the lens’s versatility.

Video Performance

Focus breathing is well-controlled, making this an excellent choice for video. The clickless control ring allows for smooth aperture or exposure adjustments during recording. The lens’s compact size makes it suitable for gimbal work.

NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 Lens Sample Image

Value and Conclusion

At £649, the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 represents a significant investment. However, its versatility, optical quality, and low-light capabilities make it a worthwhile addition for serious photographers and videographers.

After extensive use, I can confidently say this lens has elevated my work. Whether I’m shooting street scenes, events, or cinematic B-roll, the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 delivers consistently impressive results. It’s a lens that encourages creativity and performs admirably in a wide range of situations.

While it may not be the first lens a beginner would add to their kit, for enthusiasts and professionals using Nikon Z-mount cameras, this 35mm f/1.4 is a must-consider. It’s quickly become my most-used prime, and I suspect many other photographers will find it equally indispensable.

Buy The NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4 Lens Review

Nikon Z 35mm f1.4 Product Image 2

Experience the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.4’s brilliance firsthand at Campkins Cameras, where expert advice meets competitive pricing for your perfect lens purchase.

Owen Howell
Owen Howell

Owen Howell is a highly respected camera reviewer at Cambridge Photography, known for his in-depth knowledge. Born into a family with a rich history in the camera trade, Owen learned the ins and outs of the business from his father, Barry, and grandfather, Tom. As the third-generation owner of Campkins Cameras, Owen has assembled a highly qualified team of practising photographers, collectively boasting over 100 years of experience. When he's not reviewing the latest gear or sharing his expertise with fellow enthusiasts, you can reach Owen and his team via live chat on the Campkins Cameras website, by emailing sales@campkinscameras.com, or by calling 01223 368087.

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