Nikon 40mm f2 vs 35mm f1.8: A Comparison


In this article, we will compare the Nikon 40mm f2 and 35mm f1.8 lenses to help you understand their differences and decide which one is better suited for your photography needs. We will discuss the key features, performance, and use cases for each lens to help you make an informed decision.

Which lens offers better image quality?

When it comes to image quality, both the Nikon 40mm f2 and 35mm f1.8 lenses are known for their exceptional performance. The 40mm f2 lens is designed to provide sharp images with minimal distortion, making it ideal for portrait and close-up photography. On the other hand, the 35mm f1.8 lens offers a wider aperture, allowing for better low-light performance and bokeh effect. It also delivers crisp and detailed images, making it suitable for various photography genres.

In comparison, the 40mm f2 lens may have a slight edge in terms of overall image quality due to its excellent sharpness and color reproduction. However, the 35mm f1.8 lens compensates with its wider aperture, which can be advantageous in certain shooting conditions.

Which lens is more versatile?

When it comes to versatility, the 35mm f1.8 lens takes the lead due to its wider focal length and aperture. It is a popular choice among photographers for street photography, landscapes, and low-light settings. The wider angle of view allows for capturing more of the scene, while the f1.8 aperture provides greater flexibility in controlling depth of field.

On the other hand, the 40mm f2 lens is more specialized for close-up photography and portraits. Its macro capability and focal length make it well-suited for capturing intricate details and achieving pleasing background blur. While it may not be as versatile as the 35mm lens, it excels in its dedicated applications.

Which lens is better for video recording?

Both the Nikon 40mm f2 and 35mm f1.8 lenses can be used for video recording, but the 35mm f1.8 lens is often preferred for its wider aperture, allowing for better performance in low-light conditions. The ability to achieve a shallower depth of field with the f1.8 aperture also makes it a popular choice for cinematic effects in video production.

While the 40mm f2 lens may not offer the same wide aperture, it still produces high-quality video with minimal focus breathing and smooth autofocus, making it suitable for capturing detailed close-ups and portraits in video format.

Which lens is more affordable?

In terms of price, the 35mm f1.8 lens is typically more affordable compared to the 40mm f2 lens. This makes it an attractive option for photographers on a budget or those looking for a versatile prime lens without breaking the bank.

However, the 40mm f2 lens’s higher price tag is justified by its macro capabilities and specialized design for close-up photography. If macro photography is a priority for you, the investment in the 40mm f2 lens may be worthwhile for the unique features it offers.


After comparing the Nikon 40mm f2 and 35mm f1.8 lenses, it is clear that each lens has its own strengths and use cases. The 40mm f2 lens excels in close-up photography and portraits, offering superior image quality and macro capabilities. On the other hand, the 35mm f1.8 lens is a more versatile option, suitable for a wide range of photography genres and video recording.

Ultimately, the choice between the two lenses depends on your specific photography needs and preferences. Consider factors such as focal length, aperture, and budget to determine which lens will best suit your style of photography.


1. Can the Nikon 40mm f2 lens be used for landscape photography?

While the 40mm f2 lens is not typically used for traditional landscape photography due to its narrower focal length, it can still capture stunning details and textures in close-up landscape shots. If you are primarily interested in wide scenic views, the 35mm f1.8 lens may be a more suitable choice.

2. Which lens is better for low-light photography?

The 35mm f1.8 lens with its wider aperture of f1.8 is better suited for low-light photography, allowing for faster shutter speeds and enhanced performance in dimly lit environments. However, the 40mm f2 lens also offers good low-light capabilities, especially in close-up situations where the wider aperture may not be as critical.

3. Can I achieve a shallow depth of field with the Nikon 40mm f2 lens?

While the maximum aperture of f2 on the 40mm lens may not be as wide as the f1.8 aperture of the 35mm lens, it still allows for creating a pleasing background blur and shallow depth of field, especially in close-up and portrait photography. With careful composition and focus control, the 40mm f2 lens can produce beautiful bokeh effects.

4. Are these lenses compatible with all Nikon camera bodies?

Both the Nikon 40mm f2 and 35mm f1.8 lenses are designed for Nikon F-mount DSLR cameras. They are compatible with a wide range of Nikon camera bodies, including entry-level models and professional-grade DSLRs. However, it is recommended to check the compatibility of specific camera models before making a purchase.

5. Which lens is better for portraits?

Both the Nikon 40mm f2 and 35mm f1.8 lenses can produce excellent results for portrait photography. The 40mm f2 lens may offer slightly better image quality and background blur due to its specialized design, making it a great choice for capturing intimate close-up portraits. On the other hand, the 35mm f1.8 lens provides a wider perspective, allowing for environmental portraits and versatile composition options.


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