This is my favorite lens. 35mm is the perfect focal length for people, group, and everyday shooting.
This lens instantly replaced 18-55 kit lens when i got it, and i never looked back. For and entire year the 35mm f/1.8 AI-S was the only lens that i used, and never felt like i lost any shot opportunities.
35mm sits at the perfect focal length for DX camera users. (those who are using cameras with a 1.5 form factor compared to full frame 35mm film cameras) because of the 1.5 form factor, the 35mm lens acts roughly like a 50mm lens would on a full frame camera. Roughly resembling the perspective of the human eye.
the 35mm focal length on DX is great because it is not telephoto, yet is not wide angle. Sitting at the perfect focal length for capturing everyday things. It's obviously not great for bird photography, but it excels at capture people in the moment.
When you're at a party, taking a trip somewhere, or even just by yourself. You need to have the freedom of taking group photos, yet take some nice close ups, etc. The 35mm is the perfect prime lens for all these situations.
There were two thigns that sold me on this lens.
- Wide Aperture:
An f/1.8 means that your lens will allow you to capture more light. This is great for night photography, or when you are indoors. It means you don't need to use a flash when you are hanging out with your friends. It means that your pictures wont have that yucky look when you use the standard flash that comes on your camera. You also get to play with the shallow depth of field to completely blur the backgrounds yet keeping your subjects sharp.
- Fixed Lenses Rock
This is very subjective, but i really enjoy fixed/prime lenses. I can work with a zoom just as well as with a prime, its just that i enjoy how primes 'make' you think more. You can't just zoom in.
If the subject you're trying to shoot is too large/small to fit within your frame. Move around and find a new way to frame and compose your shot.
It can also be said that optical quality is far superior in Prime lenses, [faster, sharper, better out-of-focus blur (bokeh)] (this is a broad statement, but i find that it's true most of the time.)
This lens taught me more about photography than anything i have read online. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone shooting on the DX format. the 35mm f/1.8 AI-S is my favorite lens, and its the one i go to every time.