At just under $4,000 it will come as no real surprise to learn that the Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1,4/55 (55mm f1.4) ZF.2 is the best performing prime lens on the new D5300. With a DxOMark score of 35 points, it’s the best-corrected lens we’ve seen. While other lenses move up or down in the ratings between APS-C and full-frame cameras, the impressive uniformity of the Zeiss Otus 1,4/55 maintains its position at the top of the rankings.
It’s also the sharpest lens with a peak sharpness score of 21P-Mpix, up to 3P-Mpix (effectively just over 16%) more than the next best lens.
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon||3999||35||21|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G||690||31||17|
|Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon||899||31||17|
|Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 Nikon||1600||30||21|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G||2199||30||18|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II||5899||28||18|
|Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon||1840||27||14|
|Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G||195||27||13|
|Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon||969||27||13|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm F2.8G ED VR||8999||26||18|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 Nikon||1700||26||16|
|Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Nikon||499||26||16|
|Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon||1280||26||15|
|Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon||328||26||15|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon||1843||26||15|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon||1005||26||14|
|Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Nikon||599||26||11|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 28mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon||1283||25||16|
|Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D||329||25||15|
|Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF||1230||25||15|
In joint second place is the full-frame Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.8G and Sigma f1.4 DG HSM A both good value and relatively accessibly priced lenses.
However, if you’re specifically looking for a 35mm to use solely on the D5300 or other DX format Nikon bodies, we would recommend looking at the dedicated AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.8G. It’s a good deal smaller and lighter than the full-frame Sigma and while not as fast it’s just less than a fifth of the price at $195, and yet has very good image quality. Equivalent to a 46mm on the D5300, Sigma also offers the 30mm f1.4 DC HSM A model, which is the new upgraded version of the highly regarded 30mm f1.4 EX DC. It is faster and sharper than the more modest AF-S Nikkor 35mm f1.8 but it sells for about twice the price at $499.