30mm vs 35 mm on DX

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by paul_soohoo|2, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. I'm thinking of getting a prime lens as a gift for my son who has a D7000 who will use the lens primarily to photograph his new baby.
    is there much of a difference in the angle of view between a 30mm and 35mm. The choice seems to be between the Nikon 35mm 1.8 and the Sigma 1.4.
    The Nikkor seems to be going for about $200 and the newer version of the Sigma about $500. The $300 price differential is pushing me towards the Nikkor.
    Other than price and the slightly wider view is there any reason to consider the Sigma 1.4. The slight lens speed advantage I don't think enters into my equation.
    Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts.
  2. SCL


    In my opinion the difference isn't as dramatic as it would be at shorter focal lengths. Since it is expected to be used for infant shots, it generally won't be used wide open anyway ( such narrow depth of field, and usually the sweet spot of the lens is closed down about 2 stops), I'd personally choose the Nikon. Whichever you choose, I'm sure your son will be delighted to have it to capture the precious moments of his child in the early years.
  3. I bought the Nikon 35mm f 1.8 DX when my granddaughter started to crawl. It is a great lens, fast AF, and low in cost. It was a big improvement over my 50mm AF-D lens--much faster AF. Image quality looked better too. Joe Smith
  4. The Nikon. The difference between the lenses isn't so much and the Nikon does a fantastic job on a D7000. F/1.8 is
    plenty fast and will improve his indoor shooting capabilities a lot, especially if he's currently limited to a kit zoom.
  5. I don't see enough difference between the two to justify the extra $300 for what the lens you buy will be used for. As it happens, I own the Sigma 30mm f1.4 myself, and once bought & returned the Nikon 35mm f1.8G. I just liked the Sigma better, and I don't mind spending money on lenses. I routinely use a tripod though, and am generally shooting the Sigma only at night, outdoors. If I were spending $500 on a lens to photo a baby/toddler, it would be a Sigma or Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 with image stabilization (OS, VC.)
    Kent in SD
  6. Go with the Nikon and save $300. The 35 is a fantastic lens, I've used it to photograph my two boys since Nikon released the lens a few years ago. The focus speed is a real asset along with the sharp images this lens produces when photographing children!
  7. The Sigma 30mm lens gives a horizontal angle-of-view of just under 43 degrees, while the 35mm Nikkor has a horizontal A-o-V of just over 37 degrees. In other words there's a difference of about 5.5 degrees across the long side of the frame between the two lenses. Looked at yet another way, the 30mm lens takes in another 7 inches across the frame at a distance of 6 feet. That's not very significant, since the camera can simply be pulled back a bit to make up the difference.
    Reviews of the Sigma are very mixed. DxOmark would appear to show the Sigma as slightly superior, while Photozone.de gives it quite poor figures compared to the Nikkor. If this is down to sample variation, then that's a definite minus point against Sigma's quality control. At least Nikkor lenses show good consistency IME, with very few bad samples making it onto retailer's shelves.
  8. Reviews of the Sigma are very mixed ... If this is down to sample variation...​
    Well, in this case it's only kind of down to sample variation: DxOMark and photozone aren't testing the same lens - your DxOMark link is for the new Art lens, photozone tests the prior "EX" version - the optical formula has changed significantly between the two. There's a comparison between the old and the new at lensrental; the newer version has better corner performance and better build: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/04/sigma-30mm-f1-4-dc-hsm-vs-sigma-30mm-f1-4-ex-dc
    Here's a DxOMark comparison with the older EX version included: http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare-Camera-Lenses/Compare-lenses/%28lens1%29/1099/%28lens2%29/313/%28lens3%29/294/%28brand1%29/Sigma/%28camera1%29/865/%28brand2%29/Nikkor/%28camera2%29/865/%28brand3%29/Sigma/%28camera3%29/865
    I own the Nikkor and quite like it - couldn't justify the added cost for the Sigma that at the time of my purchase (EX version) appeared to be optically inferior; the slightly wider field of view and f/1.4 weren't enough of a pull then. The Nikkor 28/1.8 G AF-S doesn't seem to fare that well on a DX camera - and rather than choosing it now for DX use, I would spend a little more and get the new Sigma 18-35/1.8. But that's four times the price of the 35/1.8DX (which is a good example that an excellent lens doesn't have to be expensive).
  9. Thanks for pointing that out Dieter. After several bad experiences with Sigma lenses in the past, I now ignore the company and don't follow its output at all closely.
    I know that Sigma does produce some excellent lenses, but I'd still see buying from them as a bit of a gamble.
  10. Totally understandable Joe - I recall that Sigma's reputation has gotten so bad that my local store here (which isn't a small one) didn't carry Sigma lenses at all anymore. But from all I have heard and read, Sigma turned that ship around (and then some). I own two - the 150/2.8 and 35/1.4 and am very pleased with both.
  11. Thanks for all of the insights. looks like the nikkor 35mm is the way to go and I save $300 as a bonus.
  12. I've never used the sigma but I loved the Nikkor
    when I was shooting DX. I don't think you'll notice
    the difference in focal length all that much and
    since the Nikkor is significantly cheaper, I think
    it is an easy choice and a great value.

    If only Nikon would make an FX 35/2 with similar
  13. i own both lenses. the older sigma is optically better than the nikkor and has way better bokeh, although i can confirm the corners never really sharpen up. i would say the 5mm is actually significant in terms of being more of a "normal" lens, but perhaps not terribly so.
    however, if i was the OP, i would get the nikkor for the price differential. if your primary use is newborn shots, the nikkor's slightly nervous bokeh and higher chromatic aberrations aren't going to matter all that much. the nikkor is still pretty sharp, and for $200, it's unbeatable, though i prefer the sigma unless i need to keep the size of my kit down. the nikkor can fit in a shirt pocket, which makes it an excellent option for travel.
  14. I have the 35 1.8 and recently picked up the old version sigma (new for $275). The Nikon is sharper in the corners if this is important to you, plus the compact size and lighter weight is more suited to my D5200. The Sigma is much better built, faster to focus and probably a bit sharper in the center. Plus it is almost a stop faster. For street, candid, reportage? I say go for the Sigma. all other applications the Nikon. (BTW despite the reports of Sigma front focus? Mine hits it right on the head out of the box.
  15. To the OP -
    I have the first version of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and it is THE lens I use for photos of my son. I find myself using it a wide apertures all the time, very often wide-open. I owned a copy of the Nikkor 35mm briefly and it was a good lens. The consensus seems to be that the Nikkor is sharper edge to edge, but I am very fond of the look I achieve with the Sigma. I think it is an ideal baby/small child lens because of the way it renders. To me, absolute sharpness is not so important for those photos. When you use the lens at wide apertures, very little is in the focal plane.
    I would look at it this way:
    If your son likes the shallow depth of field "look," then I think the Sigma is the lens.
    On the other hand, if he wants edge-to-edge sharpness and prefers to shoot stopped down a bit with use of flash, then the Nikkor is probably the way to go.
  16. Don't own the Nikkor but for portraits the Sigma has it all - gorgeous bokeh, extremely sharp centre and softer corners. What more could you ask for?

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