Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S
I got mine here. I ordered it before it was released and sat on the waiting list for several months before it shipped.
This is a fantastic fast prime lens. It works great in low light (like when shooting a wedding in a church) or when just out and about. Optically, it is very good, rending images that don't need much work to turn them into crystal clear works of art.
The lens is designed for the DX sized image sensors and when on one of those cameras it produces a view roughly equivalent to a 50mm prime lens on a 35mm film camera. The 50mm prime was so desirable as its view is very close to the "normal" view of the human eye. Thus, a photo that you take with this length of a lens produces an image roughly like one would see if they stood at the same place. This makes for a very natural-looking image to the viewer.
Weighing around 7.2 oz. the lens feels nearly weightless and coupled with a lighter body makes for a very easy to carry package. I find that I remove the vertical grip from my D300 so I'm more flexible and lighter. This is something I don't do with any other lens. Also, this lens has made my old fun again to keep on hand for candid photos.
It has a rounded 7-bladed diaphragm producing acceptable bokeh. It is not a professional-grade portrait lens with smooth and creamy bokeh, but at f/1.8 you get a lot of improvement over slower kit lenses.
The lens takes 52mm filters like many of the smaller-sized Nikon lenses of today; so this lens can borrow hand-me-down filters from many of your other lenses. The filter rings are plastic, which is understandable on a lens this easy to afford and I'm not complaining.
Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Closest focus: 1 foot. While that number does not make this a true macro lens, it puts it far above any kit lens, and perhaps better than many lenses costing double the price of this lens. At 1 foot you can get pretty close to a subject and get great photos. Also, for me, the 52mm filter threads means that my close-up filter kit (essentially a series of magnifying lenses in filter mounts) fits this lens giving me a fun, light, macro lens in a hurry.
Mount: Metal, with a dust seal. This is an excellent find on such an inexpensive lens.
Extra Goodies: The lens comes with a solid lens hood (as opposed to those ones shaped like a flower's petals) and a carrying case (bag). Just put the case in the box and keep it there. The hood is nice and small and I find it easy to just leave it on the lens at all times. Removing and replacing the lens cap with the hood on is not an issue.
Speaking of the hood, I have had no issues with an on-camera flash casting a shadow when you use the lens with or without the lens hood.
This lens is very easy to use, very sharp, produces acceptable bokeh and has only slight optical distortion that is also quite acceptable.
AF is fast and accurate, which is a good thing if you shoot wide open. However, AF is a little noisy. It sounds like sandpaper scratching against glass, but is livable.
Being AF-S you can grab the focus ring at any time and manually focus however you like. This is a great feature for any lens, and with one as simple to operate as this one it is really handy to be creative and quickly take photos of the same subject focused on different areas without relying on moving around an AF-dot in the camera, or constantly focusing/recomposing.
Following are some sample photos to demonstrate the power of this type of lens and some general uses which will likely yield good results. If you shoot things like these, then this lens may be a good one to think about adding to your camera bag.
While this isn't a macro lens, I can get close to the subject and get a great detail shot. You can notice that the bokeh has a sort of convoluted pointy look, but it is not too distracting.
Here you can observe the tight DoF with a smooth transition into and out of the in-focus subject. Also, the near macro-capabilities of the lens are on display.