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Thread: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

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    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Hi Friends.I want to buy one prime lens for my new NIKON D5100.I want to use it for Portraits and everyday photography.I do have my 18-55mm kit lens.But I have learnt from various resources that prime lenses are the sharpest lenses.Which one do you suggest?

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    Siggi-short for Siegfried

    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    I have the 50mm,very happy with it but at times I have to take a step back to get the shot,therefore I am considering the 35mm and crop if I need to.Experiment with the 18-55-play at 50mm and 35mm for a day and compare results

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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Hi.

    Most people would tell you that 35mm, even on a crop-frame camera, is too short for portraits, though you could crop the photos in post-production. It would be fine for the everyday stuff.

    The 50mm would be much better for portraits, (though technically still just slightly short for classic portrait length), and it would still be acceptable (though sometimes a little long perhaps) for everyday stuff.

    If you have a zoom that covers 35 and 50, make a point of setting it to these lengths and thinking which would be most convenient for what you shoot.

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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    the afs 50mm is a great lens for the money, i have used this at weddings with great results. it produces some great depth of field and picks up great detail, the above was taken using the AFS 50mm with a D7000. with little editing.. all the editing was done on an iPad.

    Exif data

    Camera Nikon D7000
    Exposure 0.003 sec (1/400)
    Aperture f/1.8
    Focal Length 50 mm
    ISO Speed 200
    Exposure Bias 0 EV
    Flash On, Return detected
    X-Resolution 1
    Y-Resolution 1
    Photometric Interpretation Color Filter Array
    Software Photogene for iPad v3.2
    Date and Time (Modified) 2011:09:30 09:49:21
    Exposure Program Manual
    Date and Time (Original) 2011:09:30 09:49:21
    Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:09:30 09:49:21
    Max Aperture Value 1.7
    Metering Mode Center-weighted average
    Light Source Flash
    Sub Sec Time 60
    Sub Sec Time Original 60
    Sub Sec Time Digitized 60
    Color Space sRGB
    Sensing Method One-chip color area
    Custom Rendered Normal
    Exposure Mode Manual
    White Balance Manual
    Digital Zoom Ratio 1
    Focal Length (35mm format) 75 mm
    Scene Capture Type Standard
    Gain Control None
    Contrast Normal
    Saturation Normal
    Sharpness Normal
    Subject Distance Range Unknown
    XMPToolkit XMP Core 4.4.0
    Lens 50.0 mm f/1.8
    Image Number 5871
    Flash Compensation -0.666666666666667

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    I have both lenses and use the 35mm as my walk-about lens on my D90 and the 50mm as the same on my D800. I use these because they are small, compact and not as intimidating. I already have the focal length covered in other lenses, so in reality I really could have gotten away not having either. While I will agree that a prime lens is sharper (and have less distortion_, unless you are doing large prints, you are unlikely to see any practical difference in overall sharpness. I also have the 18-55mm les and I have compared the results from both. The problem with the various websites that do the lens comparisons is that they are correct if you are a pixel peeper; i.e. blow things up to a large extent in Photoshop, but in reality you won't notice any difference. I still use the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm, especially when I am out on a hike and want to keep the weight down. The only thing I really don't like about either of these lenses is the plastic lens mount; it is not all that robust.

    You are in a similar position to me; the kit lens that you do have covers these focal length, albeit with a slower lens. Unless you have a very specific need, I would suggest that you do not duplicate exisiting focal lengths. Neither the 35mm or the 55mm are going to do much for portrait work (I'm writting about classical head shots to 3/4 shots). You want something a bit longer. This is why I went for the 55-200mm; it got me into the short to medium telephoto range. Its more than adequate for portraits and some telephoto work. It's not a sports or wildlife lens, but not bad for run of the mill telephoto shots and from a cost standpoint, it's about 10% - 15% more than either of the two primes.

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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Aloha,

    I picked one up a month or so ago and I love it. I too have a D5100 and use it as my walk-around. It is very fast focusing and great in low light. Keep in mind though that on the APS-C bodies, it is equal to a 75mm. So zoom with your feet accordingly. The 35mm will actually equate to 50mm on the APSC-C body. As mentioned before, play with the kit lens at the repsective focal lengths and determine which works best for you.

    Good luck!!

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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    i do agree with the above about no duplicating focal lengths, how ever the prime is good. i got rid of my kit lens some time ago. i now have. 10-24 tamron 16-85 nikon 70-300 nikon 150-500 sigma 50mm nikkon. the only lens that i would like now would be a 60 or 100 prime macro lens. just saving up for one. i find that these lenses give me everything that i need. i admit i don't use the 50mm that often but eery time i do i get great results and was the best 120.00 i have spent.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Some semi-random views from me;

    I have the 50/1.4 for my D5000 and agree that 99% of the time it never goes on because I have the versatility of an 18-200mm zoom, and the duplication of focal length just isn't worth it on grounds of sharpness - I know that for practical purposes I will see no difference between them.

    Consider also; for portraits, do you really need the extra sharpness of the prime over the zoom, won't you likely be softening most of it away to be kind to your model?

    I do find the 50mm is quite tight and wonder whether I should have gone with the 35mm. Given how little I use the 50mm and that I now have the diminuitive, RAW shooting, Canon S100 (eq 24 - 120mm), I really cannot justify even the low price of the 35mm (eq 50mm), as I can't see it getting much use on the D5000, I just use the S100 in my pocket!

    Getting a narrower DoF of 3 stops is occasionally worth it though, as is the ability to shoot in lower light if that same narrow DoF is compatible with the subject. Niether of these is particularly a forte of the S100, due its small sensor and enormous DoF.

    Hope they help,

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    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Thank u all.I like the logic of not duplicating focal length for the sake of only minor increase in sharpness.Then rather i should go for a 55-200 or 55-300!Isn't it?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by pinakibaidya View Post
    Thank u all.I like the logic of not duplicating focal length for the sake of only minor increase in sharpness.Then rather i should go for a 55-200 or 55-300!Isn't it?
    Nikon makes both lens you mention in your note. The reason I brought up the 55-200 is that it is more or less in the same price range as the two lenses you were looking at. I believe the 55-300 is more expensive.

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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    I have both an original Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF from 1986, and the new Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G, and the one great advantage of both these lenses over a zoom is low weight and bulk, so that you don't regret carrying a camera around with you for hours on end. If it had to be one or the other, I think I'd choose the 35mm, which is the new 'normal' in the DX format, as the wider angle of view makes it a little more versatile. Neither has VR, so if sharpness is your be all and end all, I'd use a tripod. An average quality lens mounted on a solid tripod will generally produce sharper images than even the best of lenses hand held.

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    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Thank u Manfred and Christopher for your suggestions.If i have to go for zoom I want to include long range so that i can do bird photography.I shall use then 18_55mm for portraits and day to day shooting.But temptation for 35mm will remain as it is less bulky and fast.I can take it later when i shall be accustomed to my new camera.
    Last edited by pinakibaidya; 14th July 2012 at 06:52 PM.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Prime lens Nikkor AFS 50mm f/1.8G or 35mm f/1.8G

    Quote Originally Posted by pinakibaidya View Post
    Thank u Manfred and Christopher for your suggestions.If have to go for zoom I want to include long range so that i can do bird photography.I shall use then 18_55mm for portraits and day to day shooting.But temptation for 35mm will remain as it is less bulky and fast.I can take it later when i shall be accustomed to my new camera.
    If you want to try bird photography, I would suggest the 55-300mm to give you a bit more range. I think you will find that it will be a better lens for portraits as well. Longer focal length shots tend to be more flattering when you do people.

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