Prime lens recommendation - 50mm vs 35mm

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by naveen_gupta|1, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I'm a hobbyist photographer, still at very early stage of the learning curve. I've got a D7000 with Sigma 18-200 DC OS, which has been serving me quite well over the past half year. It is a great travel lens for me, traveling being my primary photographic interest.
    However, now I want to learn and improve portrait and street-photography and have been thinking of getting a prime. I borrowed a friends Nikon 50mm 1.8 D (the one with the focus ring) and shot with it for a day. Generally I loved lens for its depth of field play and high aperture value. But found it difficult to use indoors because of the 50mm focal length on a medium format. By indoors, I'm not referring to a spacious studio or large hall, but normal apartment rooms, for casual photos of friends and alike. This is something, among other things, I would like to have a prime for. Also, street photos that I took using this lens didn't turn out as sharp as I was expecting. Though chances are high that I might not have been using the best settings to get the best results.
    I haven't had the chance to try a 35mm prime, but I feel the focal length is a tad more convenient to play around with, both indoors and on street.
    I'll be travelling to Paris soon specifically for shooting street pictures, with the hope of getting some good B/W shots as well. Would you recommend Nikon 50mm 1.8 D or a Nikon 35mm 1.8 G for street photography and portraits in general? The former is much cheaper at around €120, but I don't mind going for the latter at around €170, if it promises better results.
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    Naveen
     
  2. I use both, and find the 50mm had a crop factor which makes it 85mm in digital. so for portrait work I would pick the 35mm, but 50mm works too. I found I get a good head and shoulders shot with my 50mm from about 5 feet away if that helps. glad to hear you are a fan of prime lenses. cant beat them
     
  3. I bought the 35/1.8 for indoor family pictures. But it stays on my camera (D5000) most of the time. I use a 50/1.4 when I want a head/shoulders shot of one of my kids. But the 35mm is perfect for general use.
     
  4. If you have a d7000 a 50mm will have the same view as a 75mm lens. I have a 50mm 1.4 that I use on my 7k and it is superb for portraits. You would do well to get a 35mm as well for street shooting and general use.
     
  5. On a DX, I would go with the 28/1.8 G as my standard lens.
     
  6. lwg

    lwg

    The 35mm DX is a very nice lens, and is considered a normal lens (neither wide, nor long) for the DX format. It's a good choice. But I like a slightly longer lens for portraits and a slightly wider lens for general shooting. So a 50mm f/1.8 and a 28mm f/1.8 G would be a nice pair for general use on the D7000. But that's just me. I recommend you go and look at all your best shots and see what focal lengths you used most often.
     
  7. From the description of what you like to do it sounds like the AFS 35 f/1.8 lens is what you need. It's a great lens and fast when you need it and it's wider on your DX body than the 50 you tried. You could always add the AFS 50 f/1.8 later for portraits or a short tele lens later. BTW, I use the AF 50 f1.8 on a D700 and D2x and it's a very sharp lens and budget priced too. Your camera settings or technique may have been off when you tried it on your camera.
     
  8. I'd go with the 35/1.8, or (if you've touch more of a budget), Sigma's 30/1.4. It's not that it's faster (though sometimes every little bit helps), but that it's 5mm wider - which, on APS-C at that focal length, you really notice. Personally, I also like the Sigma's bokeh, CA behavior, etc., better when used at wider apertures. It's optimized around shooting fast, and it shows. But then, it's twice the price, and somewhat beefier to handle. Should you get a chance to look at one, you might really like it.
     
  9. I have both the 50mm f1.8D and the 35mm f1.8G that I use on DX with my D90. If I could only have one, it would be the 35, but the 50 is so handy and cheap and sharp that I'd rather just have both...
     
  10. For Paris, you need a fairly wide lens. Many streets are narrow, so you are working in close. At the same time, there are good compositions to be had with normal and longer focal lengths as well. In France I use, on full frame, 25, 28, 35, and 40mm lenses. I think I have taken maybe 2 shots with a 50. So unless you are going to buy a truly wide-angle prime--and it doesn't sound like you are planning on it--do bring along your Sigma zoom!
     
  11. +1 Dan.
    For street I would take a little bit wider one. Like the 28mm/1.8G as it was suggested before. Your 28mm will be a 42mm on a DX camera.
     
  12. I have the 35, 50 AF, and the 40mm. I use the 40 on my old D3000 as my throw in the car camera. I love the focal length and it's a very sharp lens. I almost never use the 35mm.
     
  13. Check your EXIF data for the photos you've already taken using your 18-200. That will tell you the focal length you use most often for the types of photos you're considering.
     
  14. On a crop body, the two newer Nikon primes are really great: 50mm f/1.8G for portraits, the 35mm f/1.8G as a very slightly long normal lens.
    Both are fast enough to create available light opportunities in normal room lighting, even moody light at a dinner party. Shooting in the light that people like for human interactions, I love shooting with these lenses.
     
  15. Portraits are most likely envisioned as more or less head and shoulder pictures of a person.
    There was a question what was the best focal length lens for portraits?, and majority recommended the classic portrait focal lents, e.g. 85mm on FX, or 50 mm on DX.
    Even though there were people recommending a 24 mm lens for portrait.
    Since D7000 has many pixels, picture cropping is possible and practically any lens could be used for portrait, but not every one would be "the best" for it.
    For Paris, I would even select a 24mm lens. A short zoom lens would be more practical, but they are not as fast as prime lenses, and less adequate for dark churches, museums, and night pictures.
     
  16. Thanks a ton everyone for your suggestions. Helps me to make a decision. As much as I would have loved to go for 28mm or even wider, my budget doesn't permit right now. So, I guess I'll choose 35mm 1.8G, and of course carry my Sigma zoom as well for those really tight corners.
    Hopefully will post some shots when I'm back!
     
  17. + 35 ... but why a prime lens ? For traveling and street photography, you should go for a middle zoom and a wide angle like 11-16 Tokina and 16-85 Nikon. If you cannot afford to buy two lenses, then by all means I will pick the 35 f/1.8. There are more options like 12-24 Tokina and 24-70 VC Tamron f/2.8 which are cheaper than the first combo that I mentioned. Happy shooting !
     
  18. Another vote for the (DX) 35mm f/1.8...and it's cheap too :)
     
  19. Hi there i am now in the market for a prime lens for my d7000 and i want to ask something
    35mm 1.8G DX and 35mm 1.8GNON DX is there any difference between these two lenses on a DX camera ? i know the dx lens will crop the pic on any FX body and reduce mp but both will work fine on a DX body ... but is there any difference in results ? does the DX lens give actually 35mm instead of 52mm like the 35 non DX ?
     
  20. Osama, there is NO 35mm f1.8G NON DX in existence.
    There is a 35mmG f1.4 non DX. It is WAY more expensive, and probably insanely great for FX.
     

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