Nikon have announced a new 35mm f1.8 prime Nikkor lens with autofocus that is compatible with the Nikon D40, D40x and D60 digital SLRs. The wide aperture DX NIKKOR lens has a fast maximum aperture which delivers a bright viewfinder experience and subtle background blurring with a shallow depth of field. As expected, the new lens incorporates NIKKOR's Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for quiet accurate focus operation.
Nikon say that this lens is aimed in particular at photography students who will, to quote Product Manager Ludovic Drean at Nikon Europe, "find this lens an affordable choice for expanding their photographic system."
A great lens for shooting discreet snapshots and landscapes with a picture angle that approximates that of the human eye, the Nikon 35mm AF-S f1.8 lens features a rounded seven-blade diaphragm opening to make out of focus elements appear more natural. When used with a DX-format digital SLR camera, the picture angle is the 35mm equivalent focal length of 50mm.
The question on some people's lips following this launch may be "why have Nikon released a lens for DX-format digital SLR cameras when they make three full-frame FX bodies?" dpreview.com spoke to Nikon on this very topic and the answer lies in the price, size and weight of the lens. The market Nikon have targeted with this new addition is the entry-level user looking for a standard lens to add to their armoury. Owners of the Nikon D40, D60 or D90 digital SLRs make up 80% of Nikon's DSLR sales and Nikon wanted to provide an inexpensive prime lens. If the lens had been made compatible with FX sensors, it would have cost nearer £1400 than £200.
The new Nikon 35mm f1.8 Lens will be available from the end of March 2009 and can be ordered on the Wex Photographic site now. Included with the lens are a 52mm snap-on front lens cap LC-53, rear lens cap LF-1, bayonet hood HB-46 and flexible lens pouch CL-0913.