Nikon 35mm 1.8 vs Sigma 50mm 1.4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dale_maribao, May 13, 2010.

  1. Due to the great reviews of the Sigma 50mm 1.4, I'm inclined to get this lens for my Nikon D5000. I'm not sure if this is the right move since I already have the Nikon 35mm f/1.8. I also have the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 for portraits. Anyone out there see this as unnecessary? Thanks.
  2. I think 85mm is just too long for portraits and 35mm is just too short with DX. But you are not me...
  3. Hi Dale,
    Definitely Sigma 50/1.4 is a very nice addition to your glass. Just make sure to get a good copy. 50mm is very different from 35mm / 85mm and is not unnecessary... I have 35, 40, 2x50 (AF and MF), 58 and 85 and I get specific applications for each one.
    Unlike 85/1.8 Sigma 50/1.4 will autofocus on D5000 and that is an advantage too.
  4. The 50 is a nice short (too-short often) portrait lens. The 35 is a nice standard lens which is pretty okay for group portraits. They're totally different.
    If you like primes, why not both? The 35 is pretty cheap for what it offers.
  5. I would be more concerned about the field of view differences. Get the lenses that meets your needs. If you need a fast short tele then get the 50mm. If you need a fast normal get the 35mm. I use a 50 and 105 if FX for different purposes.
  6. You could stick with Nikon and get the AF-S 60mm f2.8G Micro-Nikkor lens. That would be about a 90mm lens for portraits, plus you can chase bugs and flowers if you wanted to do so. The 75mm (50mm on the DX sensor) focal length is good or bad, depending on what you want to shoot with it.
    Good luck!
  7. While I agree with Jerry that a 60/2.8 Micro is a useful addition to your collection (you'd need the newer AF-S flavor if you want AF on your camera body), I'd only go that route if you truly do see yourself using macro abilities.

    Whether or not 50mm is a good focal length for you is something only you can discover. I'm guessing you probably have a kit zoom that covers the 50mm focal length, so you should be able to do a little experimenting around the issue of working distance and perspective. I can tell you that if you like 50mm for some work, and you like the idea of shooting with a wide aperture to throw backgrounds out of focus, you'd be very hard pressed to get better results than that which the Sigma delivers. It really does produce gorgeous results.
  8. Have no idea if you'd use a 50mm. Don't know what you shoot. I decided against one and just have a Sigma 30mm f1.4. I tried the Nikon 35mm f1.8G and didn't like the image quality. Kept the Sigma 30mm f1.4.
    Kent in SD
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Anyone out there see this as unnecessary?​
    Dale, the only person who can determine whether an extra 50mm/f1.4 lens is necessary for your purposes is you yourself. Are you happy with your current 35mm? If that is too short and the 85mm is too long, it seems to make sense to get something in the middle.
    P.S.: Just to make things clear, Dale indicates that he already has the Nikon 35mm/f1.8, which is the AF-S DX and the Nikon 85mm/f1.8, which cannot AF on his D5000.
  10. You didn't say why you want the lens. You said "due to the great reviews" but what do you want to use it for?
  11. Personally I don't like 50mm on DX, it is too long already, for a standard focal length lens. If you have owned a 35mm/F1.8, I would tend to think the sigma 50mm/F1.4 is unnecessary.
  12. Ever since buying the excellent Nikon 35mm 1.8 AF-S I haven't used my 50mm 1.8 AF-D. I think if I had a choice I would prefer the Sigma 30mm 1.4, but it's too expensive for me.
  13. Go ahead and get it. A hobby is suppose to make you happy, not confuse :) But then part of the fun is talking about someone else's money. Have you check out the Tamron 60/2 macro, just in case you hardly go below f2 with your other lens.
  14. It depends on how the OP defines portraiture. The 35/1.8 is fine for environmental portraits, but you'll get perspective distortion if you use it for tight head shots. The 50mm on DX would be a classic portrait lens. as for what is too long - fashion photographers often use much longer lenses. It depends on what perspective you like.
    So, what to buy? It depends.
  15. Dale:
    I have the Nikkor 50 f/1.4D and it is wonderful for portrait work. It is sharp and it delivers great contrast and colors and the bokeh is very good. I use this lens more than any lens in the studio. The only potential problem is that I am not 100% certain it will AF on your camera. It is wonderful on my D300/
  16. Personally I don't like 50mm at all on DX. It's just the wrong length for pretty much anything to me. For portraits, I'll take the 85 any time. And to counter that there are a dozen that will say 50mm is great for portraits. And I'm terrible at portraits.... So, who to believe?
    If you want a 50mm, from all I've seen, the Sigma would be the one to get. That's fortunately the easy part.
    So, maybe a suggestion: if you also happen to have a zoom lens, maybe use that to check the differences for yourself, and see whether it's worth it for you. Since all those who say we cannot decide it for you are very right.
  17. i'd take matt's advice and try the 50mm on your kit lens (if you have it).
    reviews are most of the time subjective. and recommendations here will sometimes drive you crazy :).
    and don't make it hard on you, get a lens that will autofocus on your camera.
    unless of course you want to have fun with manual focusing. btw, to me 85mm is not too long for portraits.
    how about investing in a long zoom that starts with 50mm? i will throw in my favorite sigma 50-150mm for you to look into. great range for portrait, excellent for weddings and other events; and for sports where you can get a little closer. it will complement well with your 35mm. but if you like primes, be happy and get the right 50mm for you.
  18. Wow..I like the array of responses here coming from different points of view. Very helpful in my decision-making process. Just an added info, I'm not too worried about the macro aspect of my lens selection because I already have the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro which is a very sharp lens, and a 3-piece set Opteka extension tubes. I sincerely appreciate and thank everybody who took time to contribute their opinion and share their experience. Very informative responses.
  19. Ramon V (California): The 3 kit lenses that came with my D5000 are 18-55mm, 55-200mm, and 70-300mm. So I'm covered there. Thanks for the input.
  20. I have the Sigma 50mm F1.4 and I love it!
  21. It's a very good choice.
  22. 50mm is perfect for taking portraits on DX. The 35mm f/1.8 is what you need for a "normal" perspective on DX, and serves well as your walking around lens and for indoor shots. 50mm indoors tends to be too cramped for anything other than faces. The 35mm f/1.8 for quick moving subjects indoors is just right. I would go for both. These are even better than a f/2.8 zoom which is still too slow for indoor fast moving low light subjects.
  23. Frankly I do not understand statements such as "50mm on DX is not right for anything". Why not? You get 75mm on DX, while 85mm is considered standard for portraits. So, the only thing one would have to do is to move a little bit closer to the subject, if one adhered to standards. And 10mm of focal length shouldn't make a big difference in the result.
    Another question is of course bokeh (in this respect, I would prefer the 85mm/f14 on FX over the 50mm/f** on DX).
    As to me, I used this "not right" 50mm/f**+DX combo for situations ranging from portrait, over architecture, to landscape. On the other hand, I used 85mm to portrait landscapes.
    In the end everything just boils down to the photographer's creativity. For this reason I do usually not use zoom lenses (I have only one which came once upon a time attached to the cam).
    Perhaps a little bit off topic, but anyway.
  24. MS, the only one who said the 50mm is not right for anything was me, but it added "to me" (which alters the statement significantly); I'm ok if people disagree, likewise I disagree with the statements that 50mm on DX is perfect for portraits.
    Nobody said 50mm on DX is universally wrong.
  25. Dear Wouter,
    This wasn't supposed against you! However, such statements are often heard in this context, and at least from a technical viewpoint, they stand on shaky ground. Personal preferences, however, cannot objectively be measured on a technical scale ;-)

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