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Thread: 35 vs 50 mm

  1. #1
    New Member
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    Uzma

    35 vs 50 mm

    Hi,
    Ok i need a lens...i have a Nikon D80 and other than the kit lens, i have a 18-200 , and a wide angle...the debate is i love close ups . Close ups of nature, faces etc. i am a novice so therefore not upgraded my camera but i want to buy one more lens...35mm,50 mm. Or ? ..would really appreciate some advice.
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Hi Uzma,

    the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 AF lens is the one to buy for portraits with D80. I use it on my D90. It is a fast and sharp lens, and is excellent value for money.

    Ken Rockwell has a review of the lens here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/5018daf.htm

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    You already have the range of 18-200mm covered, so buying a 35mm or 50mm lens would duplicate a focal length you already have, so unless you have a special need for something in that range, duplicating a focal length that you already have would not be a place I would suggest that you put your money.

    The 35mm is close to a "normal" lens for your camera, and would be okay as an unobtrusive walk-about lens for street photography, but in reality, your current lens is not all that obtrusive. The 50mm would be a very short telephoto. I personally find that the 50mm is a bit short for portraiture.

    The "holes" in your range are at the wide angle (18mm is not all that wide) and at the longer end of the telephoto range (past 200mm). So a true wide angle; for instance the newly released Tokina 11-16mm with the built in motor would work on your camera and the price is in the same range as your existing 18-200mm lens , or a long telephoto, like the Sigma 150-500mm range (a fair bit more than the wide angle) would be where my intial thoughts would be.

  4. #4
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Uzzfuzz View Post
    . . Close ups of nature, faces etc. . . .
    I had a micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 macro on my D50 for a good while and you can get really good 1:1 macro shots (flowers, bugs, lizards, etc) with it and it's said to be quite good for portraits too.

  5. #5

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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Uzma,

    One reason you might benefit from a 35mm or a 50mm lens even though you already have an 18-200 is that either prime lens is available in a much faster aperture. I believe you'll also improve the optical quality.

    My personal vote would be for the 35mm, but that's because I have one and use it more often than any other focal length. The lens is especially good because of its close focusing distance.

    If the idea is to get a lot of head-and-shoulder shots, I don't think the 50mm is quite long enough for many shooting situations and would recommend instead the 85mm focal length.

    Don't forget that you could borrow a friend's lens or that you could rent a lens for a weekend. The cost of the rental can be well worth it when making an important decision such as this..

  6. #6
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Close ups of nature, faces etc.
    If you mean very close then you need a macro lens, normally the longer the better but something in the 100mm range would be good.
    Last edited by graynomad; 3rd October 2012 at 01:44 AM.

  7. #7
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Uzzfuzz View Post
    Close ups of nature, faces etc.
    So, Uzma, have you decided which you prefer?

  8. #8
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Don't see why he can't just use the 18-200 if he wanting to get some close shots I know I have used my Sigma 50-200mm for some close up work and it looks great. As far as which to get 35mm vs 50mm I look at this way.

    If you shoot mostly indoors, get the 35.
    If you shoot mostly outdoors, get the 50.

  9. #9
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    whats you budget? Manfreds advice is spot on, why duplicate a focal length you already have??? i have a 50 1.4 and is a dreamy lens pin sharp and quick but its a funny length for a DX the 35 f1.8 is nearly as good but a lot cheaper, im not sure that either is good for closeups though. but the 105 2.8 is very good for that again a fab lens!!

  10. #10
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    I'm not a nikon man but for walk about use I think flexibility,size and weight are the main points so I would always go for a zoom. In this case the ideal one would be the nikon 16-85mm aps lens. There also a cheaper tamron 17-50mm, 16-50mm tokina. There are many lenses that cover the range of 28 to 80mm in 35mm terms. From test reports I suspect you would be very pleased with the tamron 17-50 with SP in the name. It's F2.8 but as usual starts working well at F4 and below. Makes me wonder why they don't make near perfect ones at F4 max but people have to have aperture. In this case it's under 1 stop.

    Personally I would never buy something like a 28-200. I pixel peak and wouldn't be happy with them. If I'm happy pixel peeping it's usually possible to get to longer focal lengths effectively by cropping. My next step up would be say something like 70-300. Zooms invariably benefit from having restricted focal length ranges. 4:1 is a max really and even that may have it's drawbacks.

    -

  11. #11
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: 35 vs 50 mm

    Until Uzma tells us what "closeups" means all suggestions are moot I think, a tight shot of a human face is a whole different thing to a tight shot of a bug.

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