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Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S

As expected, Nikon today announced the new 35mm f/1.4G, available sometime in November. Specifications further below. I’ll be buying one (a must-have, so I pre-ordered from Amazon), and of course doing a full review in DAP.

I expect that the 35mm f/1.4G will be prone to the same focusing issues as the 24mm f/1.4G (since the 50/1.4G is also prone to the problem), but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

What caught my eye is the MTF chart (one of many topics covered in Making Sharp Images is a thorough explanation of how to interpret MTF charts).

This MTF chart is almost certainly a computed chart which shows theoretical best performance (as opposed to a real MTF test with a production lens). Remember, a lens has to be manufactured with exceptional precision to deliver its computed best— and this is NOT likely to happen consistently over at Nikon or Canon, based on my dismal experiences. But a prime lens has a better shot at it than a zoom.

Still, the chart shows exceptional performance wide open at f/1.4, which suggests to me that performance should be superlative by f/2. Remember though that this chart shows 10 and 30 line pairs per millimeter, not the 10/20/40 pairs of Zeiss charts.

The chart suggests that the 35mm f/1.4 will have a reasonably flat field and very good control of lateral chromatic aberration, with modest loss of performance in the corners. Without an MTF chart for stopped-down performance, it’s hard to say more, but it looks to me like the Nikon 35/1.4G will offer substantially higher performance than the aging Canon 35mm f/1.4L.

Furthermore, the performance at f/1.4 combined with pleasing bokeh could make this lens an extremely popular offering. Shoot it wide open perhaps, for wide aperture landscapes (see Landscape Photography at Wide Apertures in DAP).

MTF chart at f/1.4 for Nikon 35mm f/1.4G at 10, 30 lp/mm
Focal Length: 35mm
Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
Minimum Aperture: f/16
Angle of View (DX-format):  63° full frame, 44° DX
Max Reproduction Ratio: 1:5
Filter Size: 67mm
Dimensions:  3.27" diameter X 3.52"  long (83 x 89.5mm) 
~Weight: 21.2 oz = 600g
Lens Case: CL-1118
Lens Hood: HB-59
Optical construction:  10 elements in 7 groups, 1 aspherical,
rear focus, Nano Crystal Coat Supplied Accessories LF-4 Rear Lens Cap LC-67mm Snap-on Front Cap HB-59 Bayonet Lens Hood CL-1118 Semi-Soft Case

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