The APS-C 35mm focal length is equivalent to 52mm on a Fullframe camera, therefore it is in the ‘standard’ category and very close to the classic 50mm lenses on fullframe cameras. With an angle of view offering none of the ‘perspective distortion’ associated with wide angle or telephoto lenses. It is TTArtisan’s third autofocus lens after the 27mm f/2.8 and the 32mm f/2.8, but their first AF lens with a max aperture of f/1.8. Its focal length sits between Nikon’s own 28mm and 40mm lenses, which on an APS-C camera would be the FF equivalents of 42mm and 60mm, hence filling the gap for the missing 50mm (eqv). Let’s have a deeper look at it!
This lens will be released on Monday, November 20, 2023 and will be available on TTArtisan’s onlie store for 119 USD (right now), from 11am GMT+1 (Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid time). The first batch will be in Fuji X mount only, Nikon Z and Sony mounts will be available later.
Buy from: TTArtisan Shopify Official Store $149 ($119 Black Friday sales 20/11-24/11) (Affiliate links)
|Equivalent Focal Length on FF
|f/1.8 – f/16
|# of Aperture Blades
|0.6 m (specified)
|Fuji X, Sony E, Nikon Z
|199 – 205 g
|Size (D x L)
|64 mm x 61 mm
|10 / 8
This pre-production lens, in Sony E mount version, was kindly provided by TTArtisan for test and reviewing purposes.
NOTE: The first production batch will be only with Fuji X mount, Sony E and Nikon Z mount versions will be arriving soon after.
All tests were done on a Nikon Z fc camera. For adapting the Sony E lens version to Nikon Z mount, I used a Megadap ETZ21 PRO, which was kindly provided by Megadap for testing purposes.
The lens seems to be well built and to the same standard as TTArtisans manual lenses, which is a good mechanical standard. It is fully made of metal – even the lens hood is. Not something that all the manufacturers do, nice. The lens hood has an unorthodox design with a rectangular window in front though. The focusing ring is relatively large and turns evenly and smoothly. The AF is reasonably fast and accurate, although the sample I’ve got is not a native Nikon Z mount lens, but a Sony E mount.
It was not possible to program the focusing ring on Nikon Z fc, but according to TTArtisan it will be programmable if a Z mount lens is used on Nikon Z fc, or if this lens was used on a Sony camera. There are electric contacts for lens-camera communication, which makes it possible for AF to work properly and also the EXIF info be registered in the image meta data. Although I used an adapter, everything was registered correctly, focal length, max aperture, working aperture, and even the name and make of the lens. There are no other controls on the lens, not even an AF On-Off button, which is a pity.
The rear lens cap is a dock with a USB-C contact, which also can be used for updating the lens firmware.
- f/1.8: Very good sharpness in the center and good sharpness in the midframe and corner
- f/2.8 Excellent sharpness in the center. The sharpness in the midframe and corner has also improved a little
- f/4: The center sharpness is outstanding now. Midframe and corners have improved more.
- f/5.6: Still outstandaning sharpness in the center and now the midframe is very good to excellent. Corner is good and better than before.
- f/8: The center sharpness goes back to excellent due to diffraction effect, corner and midframe, good to very good.
- f/11: Diffraction effect is showing more but still from excellent to good sharpness from center towards corner.
- f/16: Same story as at f/11.
It is a very sharp lens, which is extraordinarily sharp in the center.
Let’s look at the points of interest for portraits at the portrait distance: the very center, the center’s inner periphery (1/3 rule intersection), and the center’s outer periphery (1/4th intersection).
Very good sharpenss in all the three points at f/1.8.
At f/2.8 the sharpness in the three points is excellent even.
At f/1.8 the lens has very good sharpness, which steadily gets better by stopping down. At f/4 it is excellent and remains excellent until f/11. At f/16 we see a little dip due to diffraction.
No reservations here as the TTAartisan AF 35/1.8 is nearly distortion free with straight lines along the edges.
The vignetting is not good, but not that bad either wide open. What is not good at all is that it does not improve a lot by stopping down and even by f/5.6 there is more than half a stop vignetting.
Vignetting values on APS-C camera:
- f/1.8: 1.7 EV
- f/2.8: 1.3 EV
- f/4.0: 0.7 EV
- f/5.6: 0.6 EV
I have also added an image showing the vignetting on a FF camera.
Focus Shift & Aberrations
The good news is that there is neither any focus shift nor any lateral chromatic aberration. The less good news is that there are some longitudinal chromatic aberrations, which are somewhat persistent. LoCA reduces by stopping down, and most of it is gone by f/5.6, but if you want them to completely disappear you have to stop down more.
This TTArtisan 35/1.8 has difficulties to control flare as soon as the sun or other strong light sources are near the edges of the image. Here you can see that both veiling flare and lens flares are introduced into the image with the light source somewhere near the edges. I also include an image without flare from the same scene, where I tried to avoid flare by choosing a better photographing angle. Unfortunately the lens hood did not help much in these situations.
We looked at coma from max relative aperture (f/1.8) and then stopped down by one stop until f/7.1 We also look at f/2 just for future comparison with other lenses.
This TTArtisan suffers from coma but it is not huge. Although the coma is small, it does not improve quickly. You should stop down to f/5 to get rid of most of it and at f/7.1 it is completely fixed. It is not bad but it is there.
This TTArtisan 35mm can create sunstars at smaller apertures but they are not well-defined sunstars. If this is an important feature for you, you should look elsewhere. Here you can see some examples.
The TTArtisan 35/1.8 suffers from heavy focus breathing, which might not be good news for film makers.
Let’s see how much out of focus background and how nice bokeh we can get from this 35mm at it is max relative aperture (f/1.8) on an APS-C camera. Let’s have a look at the bokeh balls first!
The bokey balls look nice but there is a colored rim. There is also some lens vignetting but it is not worse than the average, and not cat’s eye shaped either.
Nice and soft bokeh both indoors and outdoors with the more challenging busy background with foliage.
Even here the bokeh is nice and not disturbing
We should not expect too much of a 35mm lens at f/1.8 on APS-C camera, but you can still get nice out of focus blur without disturbing bokeh with this lens even in this situation, in my eyes.
To my liking, the bokeh is nice and creates a pleasing background blur. Have a look yourself at the images in this section and in other parts, where I have put many images with background blur and see how you like it.
|I DON’T LIKE
Min Focusing Distance
The TTArtisan AF 35mm f/1.8 is a compact and handy standard lens (on APS-C) with excellent sharpness in the center and very good sharpness everywhere else. It also offers quick and precise AF and a pleasant bokeh. Its compact format makes it easy to have on the camera and carry in the bag at all times. Its affordable price makes it difficult to look much elsewhere and makes it very competitive, especially for Nikon Z users, as there is no equivalent available.
This TTArtisan’s main issue is its weak flare resistance, which you could avoid by choosing you composition wisely and avoid the sun or very strong light sources in certain positions. So if you are looking for a fast standard lens with an affordable price for your APS-C camera and can handle the flare issue, here you have it.
If you are interested in buying this lens or any of the lenses in the Alternatives section, you can support our efforts by using the links below or given under each lens. It won’t cost you a penny and it won’t affect the price, but it will help us a little.
As usual not an exhaustive list of alternatives.
Viltrox 33mm F1.4
Autofocus, it also offers 2/3 of a stop faster aperture, is slightly larger and heavier. Double the price. Available in Nikon Z, Sony E, and Fuji X mounts.
Buy New: Viltrox Store,
amazon.com, amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.au, for $269 (Affiliate links)
Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO
Manual focus, without any electric contacts, offers amazing f/0.95 aperture but it is larger and 3 times heavier and costs about 3 times more. Available in Nikon Z, Canon RF, Sony E, EOS M, and Fuji X mounts.
Buy new: Laowa official Store,
amazon.com, amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.com.au, for $450 (Affiliate links)
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
Autofocus, offers 2/3 of a stop faster aperture, is a little larger, heavier, and $120 to $250 more expensive. Available in L-Mount, Sony E-Mount, FUJIFILM X Mount. Nikon Z Mount, Micro Four Thirds Mount, and Canon EF-M Mount.
Buy new: amazon.com, amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.com.au for $270 – $399 depending on mount (Affiliate links)
Voigtländer Nokton 35mm F1.2
Manual focus, but with electric contacts, a full stop faster, smaller but about the same weight. Quite expensive, costs about 4 times, you will be able to buy 3 or at least 2 more affordable lenses for that price but excellent mechanical build quality. Available in Nikon Z and Fuji X mounts.
Buy new: amazon.com, amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.com.au for $649 (Affiliate links)
More Sample Images
- REVIEW: LAOWA 33MM 0.95 CF APS-C
- REVIEW: VILTROX 75MM 1.2 AF E PRO APS-C
- REVIEW: NISI 9MM 2.8 APS-C
- REVIEW: LAOWA 9MM 2.8 APS-C
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