20 comments on “Lens Review–Nikon 35mm f/2.5 Series-E

    • Many reasons, here’s three:
      1. Thanks to peaking and very easy-to-use manual focus zoom-in, manual lenses function much better on the NEX-7 than any SLR/DSLR I’ve tried them on.
      2. The N7’s 24MP APS-C (DX) sensor is extremely demanding, bringing out the worst in a lens. If it does good on this sensor, it’ll do good on any sensor. If it does “okay” on the N7, it’ll probably do fine on others.
      3. One of the big draws to mirrorless cameras is their ability to adapt manual legacy lenses from all manufacturers via an appropriate adapter which extends the flange distance to exactly how it is on a lens’ designated camera. Small lenses, such as this one, are potentially even more popular given their high shootability in a compact package.

  1. Thanks for the review! I have one of those lying around and was wondering whether it would be worth getting ran adapter for my canon.

  2. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails
    with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that
    service? Bless you!

    • Unfortunately I do not know how the system works. Try to find an unsubscribe button within the email, there should be one there. Sorry for the trouble.

  3. I have one of these, and I concur; it is not very sharp–at first I thought I was having trouble with manually focusing it on my Nikon D5100. Now I’m heartened that 1.) it’s not just me, and 2.) I might still have some luck with a manual focus lens, just not this one.

    • Yeah Roy, the 35mm definitely was not a lens I considered keeping, as it was not optically good until at least f/5.6. It’s great these Series-E lenses are so cheap though. For your d5100, have you considered Nikon’s own DX 35mm f/1.8? It’s a nice little lens with AF, though its manual focus action is not very responsive.

  4. whats your take on this lens on a Nikon d200? I have a 50mm for the light weight days but would like a lite setup with some more width.

    • Hey there! Good question. The d200 is not a demanding digital camera, so any of the sharpness issues the 35mm may have on modern cameras wouldn’t be a problem on the d200. Keep in mind pinpoint accurate focusing may be difficult, but otherwise the series-E could be a great compact normal lens for your d200.

  5. I find this lens good, but not great. It’s a nice grab and go, attach it to my D750 when I’m in a hurry fun lens with the added bonus of being cheap.

    • Hey there K.D., sorry for late response. I agree, it’s a great lens to get shots when you want to travel light and cheap, but put in front of modern high-resolution sensors most of the Series-E lenses really show their flaws.

  6. This was without a doubt the most detailed and comprehensive lens review I have ever read, and I’ve been reading them for 50 years. This lens is now selling on Ebay for $125-$175, which in my opinion is far more than it is worth. The lens was originally sold to be used with the mostly plastic, full auto Nikon EM, designed for snapshot shooters who just wanted a camera that said “Nikon” on it. When it came out, I was a pro newspaper photographer, and my first question when I saw the EM was, “Does it float in the bath tub?” Now that I am long since retired, I sometimes shoot film with an EM and find it a lot of fun for non-serious work.

    The 50mm 1.8 Series E is a gem, and so is the 100 mm f2.8, as well as the 75-150mm f3.5. Galen Rowell shot the now-famous “Rainbow Over The Patola Palace” using the 75-150 Series E. That shot has sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in prints, and you can buy it today for $75, The 35mm and the 28mm E Series are, in my opinion, the weakest of the bunch. Oddly enough, some much better manual focus Nikkors in these focal lengths can often be bought for the same or less than the two wide-angle E lenses. Having said that, I think most people would find your sample photos at the end completely acceptable.

    • Thanks, Tom! The used lens market definitely fluctuates from time to time, and nowadays there are a lot of options for manual shooters, from the vintage to even modern. Leica’s excellent Loxia lenses come to mind for Sony’s e-mount cameras, and someday I may replace most of my non-200mm+ lenses with them.

      Thanks for checking out my site, I do hope to continue lens reviews once I move out of my current location. Combined with the lockdowns and the locale, it’s just not a great place for photographs of any kind.

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