Nikkor 35mm 1.8 AF-S or a Nikkor 50mm 1.4G?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by brooke_renee, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Nikkor 35mm 1.8 AF-S or a Nikkor 50mm 1.4G?
    I currently own the Nikkor 50mm 1.4G and works great on my D7000 but Im wondering if anyone can give me feedback on the 35mm?. I take alot of group shots and dance photos and sometimes I can get everyone in the frame unless i take a good 7-8 meter jump backwards so id like a lens that I can use in small spaces. Ive also just started to get into newborn photography so am wondering how well this lens does at portraits and group photos as well as low light?
    Thanks :)
     
  2. For group images, you might look into a f2.8 lens in the 18-55mm range. That would eliminate the *hiking back* to get everyone in the photo.
    Newborns? On DX format, something in the 60mm to 90mm range might give more portrait-like images over the 35mm lens.
     
  3. To me the 35/1.8 is a wonderful people lens - including very new people.
    I use it in combination with the 50/1.8, and for me that combo makes a lot of sense and works beautiful in low light. Even if the 50 mm is a slightly short compromise for DX, it doesn't compromise your wallet.
    Getting everyone in the picture is another story all together. My "people kit" includes the Tokina 12-24/4 - and that supplements the 35 and 50 perfectly. A bit more of an investment than the 35/1.8, I am afraid.
    00YwKD-372691584.jpg
     
  4. IMHO, the 35mm 1.8 is a must have for all DX owners. It is far too good and far too cheap not to buy it. It is great for indoor 3/4 portraits and small, non full body, group shots with about 3 or 4 people; however, If I was shooting a lot of groups, I would probably get a 24mm prime. If you don't have the cash for the 24mm f/1.4G, the older 24mm f/2.8D is a fine lens.
     
  5. [​IMG]
    In the above shot it would have been nice to step back and get a bit more in, but then they look too far away in my opinion. If I had a 24 it would have been perfect.
     
  6. This shot was taken at 24mm (with 10-24 lens) and is a better length for groups on DX. The 10-24 is a terrible lens for this type of shot because of its difficult to correct distortion, even at the long end :/ But you get the gist.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. The 35m f1.8 is perfect for what you need and will be a welcome addition to the 50mm you already have. It will work pretty much as well as the lens you have now but give you more working distance so you won't have to move back so much.
    Patrick, the difference in size of the main subjects of your first photo would not change whether you shot them at 35mm or 24mm or any other focal length if you were to frame them the same way. What would change is the perspective of the background.
     
  8. Also consider Sigma's 30/1.4 HSM. It's more money than the 35/1.8, but it's faster, is 5mm wider (which is really noticeable for the sort of stuff you describe, and a big help, I think), and I find the optical characteristics to be more pleasing. In practical terms, though, for most of that sort of shooting when I don't need the super-fast f/1.4, I use Nikon's 17-55/2.8. It's the perfect event-people-shooting versatile DX lens. When I have a more stable situation, out come the primes, if I need them. But that wide-to-short-tele constant f/2.8 zoom is indespensible when dealing with group dynamics and tight quarters.
     
  9. The 35 is amazing. If you were a fan of the 50 on film or full-frame, you'll like this just as much.
     
  10. The SIgma 30mm f1.4 is a better lens than the 35mmG in every way, but for what you want I think a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 would be a lot more flexible.
    Kent in SD
     
  11. Brooke, Instead of that choice I would recommend going with a Sigma 30mm f1.4. I have this lens and it is really a wonderful lens. The bokeh is the best of any lens I have seen. I use mine on a D90 and love the way it feels.
    phil b
    benton, ky
     
  12. i'm with patrick and kent. you would get more mileage out of a tamron 17-50/2.8 than a 35. even if you get a 35, it's still better for single-person portraits than group shots, for which 20-34mm on DX is ideal, IMO.
    btw, i have all the lenses mentioned in this thread--UWA, standard 2.8 zoom, 30, 35 and 50 primes. IQ wise there no real advantage to the 35 vs. the tamron, so the only thing you really gain is a faster aperture. an UWA is really only good for people pics on the long end, so unless you also want to take landscape shots, a standard zoom is a better get.
     
  13. elliot, i was talking about the 35/1.8 vs. the 17-50/2.8. i've shot with both lenses. plus the OP already has a 50/1.4. since she said she wanted to do group shots, i recommended the wider but still fast lens. no one's talking about f/5.6 except you. so, no, that isn't the whole idea. the whole idea is to recommend the best lens for the OP's intended usage, which consists of getting something wider for group shots.
    personally, i like the 35 for its size and acuity, but the tamron is just as sharp at 2.8 and covers a much more useful range IMO. the bokeh is a little bit better too. if the OP really wants a wide prime, she's better off with something a bit wider, like the 24/1.4. unfortunately, that's probably cost-prohibitive. but the tamron isnt much bigger than a prime--it's comparable in size to the 30/1.4 (which is actually girthier) except the zoom barrel extends. it's not like you're lugging a big heavy monster like the 17-55. and the price is quite reasonable for the quality.
     
  14. I actually had the Tamron 17-50 VC version when I owned a D90. It was a very nice lens, but I ditched all my DX stuff and got a D700. Then I ditched FX and got an Olympus E5. Now Im coming back round the circle with my D7000 and find myself wanting this lens again. DRAT!!! Silly? Perhaps, LoL.

    Group shot with the 17-50

    [​IMG]
     
  15. 35mm f1.8 is a terrific lens for what you want to shoot, it is an amazingly sharp lens and the price is right. Don't worry about being a newbie..We ALL were at one time.
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Eric Arnold has a good point. A 35mm lens is not even a wide angle on the DX format. If one of the objectives is to shoot group shots, you are better off to have a zoom that goes wider. Moreover, f1.8 is not that important for group pictures. Typically you'll stop down to f5.6 or f8 to gain some depth of field so that every person in the picture is sharp. f2.8 should be plenty fast for the purpose of focusing.
     
  17. right, 1.8 for a group portrait will not result in even sharpness due to narrow DoF, even if 35mm was wide enough, which it isn't. so now we are talking about 5.6 at least, but with a 2.8 lens you still get a bright viewfinder. with a d7000, the differences between 1.8 and 2.8 aren't going to matter too much, except in extremely dim conditions, since you have more latitude in ISO. but the bottom line is that a wide-mid standard 2.8 zoom is the way to go. trust me on this; as i said, i have both lenses, and would not use the 35 for a group shot. i tend to use fast-aperture primes for what they are best at, which is subject isolation at open apertures. if you're not going for subject isolation, IMO you're better off with a wide fast zoom.
    00Ywno-373249584.jpg
     
  18. While subject isolation is a benefit of a prime, it is not the sole reason for owning one or using one. Nor is it the only way you have to use one. Nikon prime lenses typically offer improved IQ over most zooms at equivalent focal length. Isolating the subject from the background often gives a photo a more appealing look because it mimicks how we see things. While 35mm isn't considered wide on DX, saying it isn't wide enough just doesn't make sense. Shouldn't the shooting environment and desired look dictate which focal length you would use anyway? After all, you can, under the correct shooting environment, take a group shot with a 600mm lens. The shot above possibly would have looked just as nice or better had you stepped back a few feet and shot at 35mm or stepped back a few steps more and shot at 50mm. In fact, opening your lens up to f2.8 or f3.5 at 50mm would likely have had your subjects in focus and perhaps blurred the background a bit which would give the image a totally different look, a look some prefer, and others not. My point is that more often than not there is no one right way to take a picture and typically no one specific lens that can take on the task. Everyone's preferences are different.
    By the way, your shot has at least 8 flare spots in it which probably would not have been there had you stepped back a bit and zoomed in. Not even sure where they came from as it appears the sun was behind you.
    What lens would be best for the OP's needs depends solely on how deep his pockets are. If he only has $200 to spend (the cost of the 35mm f1.8), he doesn't have a lot of choices.
     
  19. While subject isolation is a benefit of a prime, it is not the sole reason for owning one or using one. Nor is it the only way you have to use one.​
    elliot, i never said subject isolation was the sole reason for owning a prime. what i did say is that's how i tend to use them. obviously, YMMV.
    Nikon prime lenses typically offer improved IQ over most zooms at equivalent focal length.​
    that entirely depends on the zoom and the prime. kind of a misleading statement, IMO, since the 14-24 is better than the 14, 18, and 20mm primes, and the 24-70 is better wide open than many nikkor primes at 2.8, with the possible exception of the 24 and 35 1.4 Gs. if we're comparing the 17-50 tamron and the 50 and 35/1.8s, my experience is that the 17-50 just as sharp at 2.8 as the primes are at 2.8, which is stopped down a bit.
    While 35mm isn't considered wide on DX, saying it isn't wide enough just doesn't make sense.​
    i think we're going to have to agree to disagree here. what the OP said was "i'd like a lens i can use in small spaces" and "i take a lot of group shots." obviously, a lens which can go to 17mm is better in tight spaces for group portraits than a 35mm lens.
    The shot above possibly would have looked just as nice or better had you stepped back a few feet and shot at 35mm or stepped back a few steps more and shot at 50mm. In fact, opening your lens up to f2.8 or f3.5 at 50mm would likely have had your subjects in focus and perhaps blurred the background a bit which would give the image a totally different look, a look some prefer, and others not.​
    i was just using that shot to illustrate what 17mm looks like and how it's a good focal length for groups of people. i understand the principle of sneaker zoom, but you don't always have room to back up, especially indoors. also,i probably would have had to use f/4 or 5.6 to get everyone in focus, even at 50mm, but since the distance between subject and background isnt that big, i dont think i would have gotten too much blur in the background, which is why i didnt go for that. i also probably could have used a faster shutter there, but i used P mode as i didnt want to fuss with the settings and didnt have time--there were TV crews and other PJs there too, so i had to take a quick grab shot.
    By the way, your shot has at least 8 flare spots in it which probably would not have been there had you stepped back a bit and zoomed in. Not even sure where they came from as it appears the sun was behind you.​
    yeah, i know. fyi, the flare is coming from the reflection on the glass of the sun behind me. but that's PJ shot, not a professional portrait shot, so the flare doesn't matter. in other words, it doesn't have to be technically the best you've ever seen, just good enough for publication. btw, you should see some of the other PJ shots of that same event. one guy had a shot into the sun with lots of overexposed backgrounds and tons of purple fringing. yet it got published.
    If he only has $200 to spend (the cost of the 35mm f1.8), he doesn't have a lot of choices.​
    well, yes and no. for less than $200, the OP--who i believe is female--can get an 18-55 VR, which would be good for group portraits in good light. not so good for low light, but then you can always use flash in that situation. i'm gonna repeat what i said earlier: for group shots on DX, a wide-mid zoom or a 20 or 24mm prime would be better than a 30 or 35mm prime.
     
  20. Thanks for the feedback everyone, I always get such useful information back from this forum especially from Eric and Elliott so thankyou!. I think im definately going to go with the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 I done abit of research over the past two days and along with your feedback I think this lens would be the way to go considering ill be shooting in low light, I have a 18-55mm that came with my last lens kit but it just isnt good in low light. Thanks Jim thats very true :) Eric you would be spot on last time I checked I am female! Thanks for sharing the photos Patrick its a lovely shot!
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, could you please re-read what the OP wrote:
    I currently own the Nikkor 50mm 1.4G and works great on my D7000 but Im wondering if anyone can give me feedback on the 35mm?. I take alot of group shots and dance photos and sometimes I can get everyone in the frame unless i take a good 7-8 meter jump backwards so id like a lens that I can use in small spaces.​
    I'll take the liberty to assume that Brooke is a she; if I am wrong, I apologize.
    She has a very good DSLR in the D7000 and a 50mm/f1.4 AF-S G lens, which is like $500 or so. Therefore, I would like to think that she can afford another lens that is a few hundred dollars.
    And she wants to take group pictures in tight corners (small places).
    Based on that description, a moderate wide angle similar to a 35mm lens on FX should fit her quite well. Anything wider will likely exaggerate the size of the people near the sides of the frame. Unfortunately, a 35mm lens is not even a wide angle on DX (D7000). Therefore, something like a 24mm, including zooms from roughly 17-50mm should fit her quite well. The 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX is clearly not an approprate choice based on the OP's description.
    P.S. I hadn't seen Brooke's follow up when I wrote the above response.
     
  22. Sorry Brooke for my error...
     
  23. brooke, the tamron 17-50 is an excellent lens for street shooting and low-light photography. what makes it so good is the sharpness at 2.8 and compact size. few other zoom lenses manage that combo. another thing about a 17-xx zoom is that you have room to crop if need be. i could easily crop the edges out of my 17mm shot and get a tighter-framed shot. but if i was shooting with a 35, it would be much more difficult to get everybody in the frame and even if i did there would be no margin for error. for that reason, i much prefer shooting singular people with a 35. btw, i would still get a 35 if i were you at some point, but i would get the tamron and then maybe something like an 85 first.
     
  24. haha Elliot thats fine I know boys with the name Brooke.. easy mistake!! Thanks Eric im getting the Tamron today cant wait to start testing it out! than going to start saving for the next lens!
     
  25. I'll add another $.02. I have had the Tamron 2.8 17-50 (non-VC) for over a year. Great lens, suits my purpose for group shots, portraits, and general walkaround travel lens, with one exception. Inside dim buildings, e.g. churches. Even with the D90 pushed to ISO800 and the lens wide open, shutter speeds are getting down to 1/20, which I can't handhold and even a monopod doesn't give me enough stability. So, for those situations, I bought the 35/1.8. Having another full stop and a bit has been very useful.
    Bad news; razor thin DOF. Not good for people shots at close distance (i.e. your objective).
    Good news; very sharp, even wide open, and weighs almost nothing extra in the bag.
     
  26. rick, with a d90 you should be able to shoot at ISO 1600 fairly cleanly. also, with a stabilized lens, 1/15 or 1/20 should be possible very easily. i can handhold with a non-stabilized lens at that speed, and i've gotten 1/25 on a 70-300 at 270mm with stabilization. of course a stabilized lens wont prevent motion blur, but it's nice for still lifes and posed portraits, where you can usually get away with 1/40.
    brooke, a d7000 should be good for a full stop to stop and a half of high-ISO over a d90. so shooting at ISO 2500-3200 shouldn't be a big problem. be sure and post some pics with the tamron so we can see how you're doing!
     
  27. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Eric, I think your numbers are on the optimistic side. The D90 can yield decent results @ ISO 1600 and the D7000 @ ISO 3200, but those are at their upper ends and won't give anything near ideal results. (My rule of thumb is to avoid the top rated ISO on any Nikon DSLR.) So is hand holding at 1/20 sec; at such slow shutter speeds you have real concerns about subject movement.
    If you have no other choice, those ISO and shutter speed combos are worth a try, and you want to shoot a few more samples so that you have a better chance to find one with decent results. Otherwise, I would highly recommend using a flash and/or tripod; again, for any group image, you don't want to shoot at f1.8 or even f2.8; you need depth of field to get everybody sharp.
     
  28. Good luck with Tamron's 17-50/2.8, Brooke.
    But bear in mind that at the wide end, your kit-Nikkor 18-55 is 3.5, so at that end, you are only gaining 2/3 of a stop for your investment.
     
  29. And you'll probably also be getting a sturdier lens, I might add, before the devoted Tamron-owners do.
     
  30. I own both the lenses you are asking about, and I'd have the say the 35 1.8 is a better all-around player. It's usually easier to step forward with the 35 than to back up with the 50. Keep in mind that there's more depth of field and 35 than at 50 on your DX camera at the same aperture. With the 35 I find myself shooting at 1.8 nearly always to make sure I'm getting enough background separation. My 35 seems to focus more consistently than the 50 and is noticeably lighter in weight. For strictly portraits I'd favor the 50, but for everyday shooting and for group shots like you're talking about, the 35 is a much better option.
     
  31. Eric, I think your numbers are on the optimistic side. The D90 can yield decent results @ ISO 1600 and the D7000 @ ISO 3200, but those are at their upper ends and won't give anything near ideal results.​
    well, of course if everything was ideal, we'd all shoot at ISO 100 all day. if that was the case, we could just use D200s and D2x's. but with the d90/d7000, you can get usable pics at those ISOs with those cameras, shun. i haven't shot with a d7000, but i've seen reasonably clean ISO 6400 pics with it.
    i also am not recommending shooting people at 1/20--i clearly stated that 1/40 is about as low as i like to go, unless i'm using slow-sync flash. i just said 1/20 with a stabilized lens isnt out of the realm of possibility. if you have unsteady hands that's a different story.
    i probably wouldnt shoot a landscape shot at ISO3200, but for brooke's situation, that should be ok in a pinch with the d7k. more critical is the tamron's performance at 2.8.
    But bear in mind that at the wide end, your kit-Nikkor 18-55 is 3.5, so at that end, you are only gaining 2/3 of a stop for your investment.​
    that's like saying half a loaf of bread costs $2.00. who buys half a loaf of bread? people buy 2.8 zooms for constant 2.8 throughout the range.
     
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    shun. i haven't shot with a d7000, but i've seen reasonably clean ISO 6400 pics with it.​
    Eric, the problem is that whether an ISO 6400 pic from the D7000 (or for that matter any high-ISO capture from any DSLR) is clean or not highly depends on the lighting for that particular scene. If the contrast for a particular scene is high, ISO 1600 from a D7000 can have a lot of noise issues in the shadow areas.
    Last year, I pre-ordered the D7000 and received it from my local dealer pretty much as soon as it became available. Therefore, I have had one probably as long as anybody outside of Nikon. In my experience, 6400 is pushing it on the D7000. I certainly have had decent results at ISO 3200 from the D7000. I also have had really noisy images from the D7000 at ISO 800 and 1600.
    ISO 3200 or even 1600 and shutter speeds as slow as 1/20 sec would be my last resort for group pictures.
     

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