Overlap between 50mm f/1.4G and 35mm f/1.8G?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by johnyeatts, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. After a 4-year hiatus from DSLR's, I just traded my last remaining MF camera for a Nikon D7000 with a few lenses. Sadly I no longer have the time to devote to film.
    The D7000 is pristine and came with, among other things, 3 Nikon lenses:
    18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DX VR (the kit lens)
    55-200mm f/4-5.6 DX VR
    50mm f/1.4G
    Having spent the last four years shooting a Rolleiflex 2.8F and a 501CM with an 80mm, I have come to appreciate having two legs as a zoom. My original intention was to sell off the 18-105 and 55-200 and invest in a wider prime and perhaps a SB-400. I may hang onto the 55-200, but am definitely going to sell the 18-105.
    I am looking for a fairly general purpose walkaround lens that will give me 35mm or 50mm in DX. My photography is limited to mostly portraits, family shots, and landscape/outdoor scenes (hiking/fly fishing).
    My limited reading suggests the 35mm f/1.8G gets a lot of hype, and of course the price is attractive. I do wonder if it is a tad close to the 50mm f/1.4G I intend to keep? The 35mm (50mm equivalent) seems a bit narrow for taking shots of folks outdoors. Would I be better served with a 24mm (~35mm equivalent) and if so any suggestions?
    Thank in advance.
  2. The 35mm 1.8G is a wonderfull little lens for indoor portraits where you have little room and natural light, at almost no cost, so its a must have on DX n my world.. :) .

    The 50mm is a nice portraiture lens too, mailyt for outside, but i do not realy like the bokeh of the 1.4G , i'm using an old af 1.4 ( non D) and a 50mm 1.2 AI ( fully manual..), for head and shoulder shots, but that's just me...

    I think I would cary both the 35mm ( 50mm eq.) and the 50mm (75mm eq) for protraiture but i'm also a 85mm 1.4d addict ( call me mad, ..:) ) for "head shots" .... and al type of nice skin and bokeh shots ( this lens is incredebly "Skin friendly.. :) ) .
    For wider shots, i find the 12-24 zoom very good , especially at 24mm , so i have no need for a 24 prime ( also this is personal taste i guess) , i have not found a better 24mm on DX yet , and i do not need it to be fast at that focal length ....
  3. For the type of shooting you do, you would probably be very happy with the results you will get from 18-105mm lens, which is excellent for everything except low light shooting.
    After you shoot for a while, you should be able to figure out what focal lengths you need. The 35mm and 50mm offer quite different field of views. You would probably want them both, and if you prefer primes, may want to add the 24mm as well.
  4. Two very different focal lengths. I don't do a lot of portraiture, so when I got my 35mm f1.8G, it totally replaced my 50 f1.8, which I pretty much never use now. It's a "standard" DX lens, basically.
    When I take portraits outside, my favorite length is my 105mm f2.5 AI. Indoors, I'm okay with bounced flash and the 70mm end of either my 18-70 or 70-300.
  5. Thank you for the replies.
    For the kind of shooting I do, it sounds like the 18-105 would be fine. My two problems with the lens are 1) plastic mount and 2) size. These are both aesthetic complaints; I would prefer to have a metal mount and to not have a long lens hanging off the front of my camera; the D7000 is already a bit chunky for my tastes.
    If I did get a 24mm prime one day, what would you recommend?
    Thanks again.
  6. I tried the Nikon 35m f1.8G and it was OK, not great. It had more than the average amount of CA. I sent it back. What I ended up with is a Sigma 30mm f1.4. This is a pro level lens and is a bit faster (f1.4), puts more distance between it and 50mm, and the image quality from it is better than the Nikon. It's the only single focal lens I bother to take wth me. There are no modern 24mm lenses available for Nikon right now other than the Nikon 24mm f1.4G. Always a chance Sigma will make one in the future. Sigma has an older 24mm f1.8, but it's not really sharp until stopped down. What's the point? The lens I use most is the Nikon 17-55mm f2.8. There is also a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 that is small and light and gives far more flexibility than a single focal lens. If you are simply after weight reduction, this is what I'd suggest.
    Kent in SD
  7. I've used Ais28/2.8 with my D40 as walk-around lens. It didn't allow D40 to meter, but I just loved the 43mm equiv. AOV and the image quality. It can go up to 20cm, which enhances its versatility.
    If you came from 80mm lens on 6x6 camera, it is worth trying on your D7000 which will meter with Ais lenses.
  8. Since you have a D7000 you might want to consider shooting with manual focus lenses. They are small and have a very solid build.
    If I calculated correctly 80mm on your 501CM would give the same angle of view as 28mm on the D7000. There are several Nikkor lenses in the 24-28mm range and others brands like Zeiss as well.
    Keep in mind that you need larger apertures compared to MF to get a nice out of focus background. Personally, I would sell the 18-105 immediately.
  9. Thanks for all the comments. I actually used to own the 17-55mm f/2.8. It was a bit of a tank, but a wonderful lens. I don't have that kind of money to spend at the moment though.
    I suppose what I'm really after is better bokeh. I bought a Canon G12 about 6 months ago to give me some digital capability, and while it is a great little camera I can't throw things out of focus.
    I traded my 501CM for the Nikon in part because I wanted to gain that ability. So bokeh matters to me. My other priority is size. I don't want to go back to lugging around a bunch of huge lenses.
    Another reason I want to get rid of the 18-105 is exactly as you say Pete, the aperture just isn't wide enough for me.
  10. Have you considered an 85mm lens (f1.8 or f1.4)? They offer exceptional sharpness and bokeh. And is relatively small and light in weight.
  11. The 35 f/1.8 is great value for money, but indeed not that wide. Given your description, though, it is worth getting. The 50mm on DX is a bit an odd length, in my view; too short for portraits, too long for normal use. The 35mm length is very useful (and often my standard mounted walk around indeed).
    Getting a 24mm is very sensible. The AF-D 24 f/2.8 is a nice lens, though not great in my opinion. Small, light, simple, but not overly sharp in the corners. The good solution is the much much larger and vastly more expensive 24 f/1.4 (which I do not have, but would love to have...).... So, many people like the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, and the latest Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 seems good too. They are a lot smaller and more affordable than the Nikon 17-55. Personally, preferring primes, I stick to the 24 f/2.8 (Ai) despite its downsides (love the handling). But those 3rd party zooms are certainly worth the consideration. Or cover that with a lens as the Nikon 12-24 f/4 or Tokina 12-24 f/4, which give you a big extra ooomph of wideness, at the cost of one stop.
  12. Elliot -
    I hadn't in fact. I certainly don't have enough money for the 1.4, and the 1.8 may be in reach but I'd likely have to divest of the 50mm, which I don't think is a bad lens at all. I am trying to keep things cash neutral, which is fairly limiting.
    I think what I'll do is divest of the 18-105 (which I just listed in the classifieds, actually), get the 35 1.8 everyone raves about, keep the 50mm 1.4, and keep the 55-200 for a few weeks to see how I like it. I expect I'll probably sell it eventually though and either get something wider (24 or 28mm) or an 85mm depending on what I think my needs are.
  13. Wouter -
    The 50mm is a bit of an odd length on a DX sensor, but I don't mind it. I enjoy putting subjects in context, so if it is a tad wide then that is fine with me. I do like the speed. It will likely be the only 1.4 I have in my bag for awhile.
    I used to own the 24mm 2.8 many years ago (used it with my 6006 and F100) and it was a fine lens. Nothing spectacular. Just a workhorse.
  14. The Sigma or Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lenses sound like they are about perfect for you. I tried and didn't really like the Nikon 35mm f1.8G--the Sigma 30mm f1.4 is clearly better in all regards. I bought a used one and got a good deal. Only use it when I need the f1.4 though, as the 17-55mm f2.8 zoom is SO versatile (and has better image quality.)
    Kent in SD
  15. i would probably hold on to the 18-105 and slowly build up the lens collection. the 18-105 is useful as a utility lens, even if it's aesthetically-unappealing, plus it has VR. if your next-widest lens is a 50, then that would be problematic (for me). i would not want to be without at least one lens in the 18-35mm range. the problem here is there aren't a whole lot of inexpensive primes below 35mm (although i did find a tokina 17/3.5 used for $350).
    as an owner of both the 35/1.8 and 30/1.4 i can recommend both of them. i actually find 50mm too long for DX, especially indoors, yet not quite long enough for portraits. and i prefer 30mm to 35mm, although both are fine as far as focal length and sharpness. the differences between the 35 and the 30 are more than incremental, though. both are sharp lenses, but the 30 has much less nervous bokeh, besides having a wider aperture, faster AF, and a better build. if you want to shoot a lot of narrow DoF stuff, that's the way to go. if, OTOH, you plan on either filling the frame with the main subject or stopping down, or budget is an issue, then the 35 is great.
    might as well hold on to the 50 since it's a 1.4; you can never have too many of those. i would also consider the voigtlander 58/1.4 MF which is a better portrait length on DX and has aesthetic appeal in spades.
    i would think you could live without the 55-200, especially if you're a "prime guy". i would just start saving for the 85/1.8 or even the MF samyang 85/1.4 which is developing a cult following.
    i've also owned both the tamron 17-50 and the sigma OS version (which i currently have). that's my go-to lens for PJ stuff on DX, along with a 50-150/2.8. if you shoot a lot of low-light it makes sense to have a 2.8 zoom; if you're at f/8 most of the time, it doesn't.
    one last thing--enjoy your new camera!
  16. There are a few options at the 24mm focal length:
    The new 24mm f/1.4 AF-S lens is phenomenal, but also very expensive.
    The manual focus 24mm f/2 Ai-S lens is fast, but kind of soft all over.
    The 24mm f/2.8 AF-D or Ai-S (exactly the same optical design as far as I can tell) and it is fine, not terribly expensive, but also not terrific.
    The Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 ZF.1 lens is very intereting, with a delicious rendering and extremely close focus capability. Not sure if this is what you're looking for though.
    There is also a Sigma 24mm f/1.8 DG lens that I know nothing about.
    When I was using a DX camera, the Zeiss wasn't around, and I used a Nikkor 28mm f/2 Ai-S lens, which was terrific --- great bokeh, good close focus performance, and nice sharpness across the frame. It's a little less wide than my preference on a DX sensor though and it was hard to focus on a D70 wide open (even with a KatzEye screen). I switched to the 28mm f/1.4 AF-D lens and later to a D700, but I still have fond memories of the 28/2. If you can find an inexpensive copy of the 25mm Zeiss, that would be my main recommendation. Otherwise, the 24mm f/2.8 AF-D lens isn't bad, its just nothing special.
  17. I appreciate everyone's input.
    I have been extremely curious about the CZ lenses. I have been looking at image samples of the 50mm and 25mm and definitely like the look. I suppose the rendering reminds me of my 501CM. Pricewise they are a huge stretch for me. I could afford one and it would have to be used. And I would have to divest of the 55-200 as well to be able to do it. One lens to rule them all, I suppose.
    The 25mm f/2.8ZF.1 may be the ticket for me personally.
  18. The 25mm f/2.8ZF.1 may be the ticket for me personally.​
    It's a weird lens. The close focusing ability is great. The long focus throw is great or not depending on your subject matter. It's long and not so compact for a 24mm. Optically, on a DX, it very very good. Probably best except for the recent 24mm F1.4 I have had four N mount 24mm. If you don't need AF, go for it...
  19. well, there's also the CV 20/3.5 color-skopar, which seems like it would be good for landscape use (but not so great for people photography in low-light). the prices on the CZ lenses kind of scare me, and the CV's appear to have the same build (and possibly the same glass, at a much more reasonable price). i would have to be absolutely sure that's what i wanted before getting one. you don't see too many used CZ lenses on the market. the 25/2.8 goes for $1000 new, and i'm sure it would be a good match for the d7000's demanding 16mp sensor, but i'd probably rather have the 24/1.4 AF-S G nikkor.
  20. I too would want the 24mm 1.4G if money was no object. It's just that I had all my 24mm before the G even existed. And I was interested in 24mm mainly because I only had DX cameras at that point. With FX, 24mm isn't as vital anymore, Eric.
  21. The price of the CZ lenses are steep, but the price tag on that 24mm 1.4 is considerably steeper. Sure, I'd love that lens if money was no object.
    A quick search of the web revealed a few CZ 25/2.8's for sale privately every month or two on various forums.
    I was perusing photos taken with the Nikon 85/1.8 and was pretty impressed. That looks like a great lens. Good size. Reasonable price. Good bokeh.
    I think I will either invest in a wider angle CZ like the 25mm or get both the Nikon 85/1.8 and either a 20mm/24mm/or that 35 1.8. I will keep my 50mm 1.4 either way. I guess for me the question still remains: is 35mm on a DX camera going to be wide enough for me....
  22. is 35mm on a DX camera going to be wide enough for me....​
    well, 35mm on DX is 'normal', not wide. nevertheless, the lens is one of the best in price-to-performance ratio deals going... i know your preference is primes, but i'd consider the tokina 12-24, which is a killer, contrasty lens at f/8 and very good from 18-24. a CZ 24mm would definitely be an investment, no beans about it.
  23. With FX, 24mm isn't as vital anymore, Eric.​
    well, it is if you shoot landscapes and/or don't want to lug the 24-70. i get what you're saying, though, Leslie.
  24. It's a pity Nikon has no DX prime shorter than 35 mm (I am still waiting for a small 14 to 18 mm f/2.0 DX prime). In your shoes, I would get a Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8, keep the 50 mm f/1.4 and sell the rest. I own the 17-55 AF-S f/2.8 Nikon and love it, but it's heavy. A tiny, but valid alternative would be the 20 mm Voigtländer prime, which is chipped too, in my opinion a perfect travel lens.
  25. It's a pity Nikon has no DX prime shorter than 35 mm​
    10,5 mm is also a "Prime", a special one, but stil a prime.... :)
  26. So I've divested of the 18-105 and am in the process of selling my 55-200. After shooting with the 50mm f/1.4G for a few days I'm fairly pleased with it and will keep it.
    I've been debating whether to buy either
    1) both the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 + 85mm f/1.8 OR
    2) a CZ 25mm f/2.8 or 35mm f/2.
    I can only affford two Nikons or 1 CZ.
    A big part of me wants that 'blad feeling back. Slow. MF. The CZ look. The heavy metal feel.
    If I bought a CZ, which would it be? It sounds like the 35 f/2 is one of the more highly regarded CZ lenses. Of course on my D7000 it wouldn't get me very wide, but I rarely shoot landscapes per se. I am really looking for something to just walk around with and portraits.
    Did I just answer my own question?

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