Can't decide which prime. Help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TJ K, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok so I'm trying to decide between the nikkor 35 f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.8, or the 50mm f/1.4D. If you have any experience with them please let me know what you think. Thanks
    -TJ
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    do you have the kit zoom lens for your D90? Most of them cover a focal range including 35mm and 50mm so set your kit lens to one of those focal lengths and spend the day shooting it like a prime - do the same with the other focal range and see which one you prefer the use of overall. That should help you decide between the 35mm and 50mm options
     
  3. sA x sKy

    sA x sKy TPF Noob!

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    The f/1.4 depends on what type of camera you have. If you have a D40/D60, then it's useful cause of the built-in AF. The f/1.8 on the other hand, is a finer choice + much cheaper if you don't have the D40/D60. The 35mm, I'm not too sure of.
     
  4. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well not just the focal length but the quality,durability,bokeh.


    so the 1.8 is better than the 1.4D?
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I belive the build quality and durabilty of the 50mm f1.4 will be superior to that of the f1.8 version (since the f1.8 is budget aimed) but image quality will likly be very similar - I can't say about the bokeh comparison but I suspect both give a pleasing reasult with the 1.4 having the edge in that area.

    I can't say anything with regard to the 35mm lens sadly
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would try to head to a camera store in sunny south Florida and check the three lenses out in-person. You might find it worth your time and money to actually go to a store, handle the merchandise, and pay on the spot for the one you like the most. Even if it means driving an hour and a half to get to a store. Clearly, after a few minutes, you'll form an opinion.

    Be aware that on a crop-sensor d-slr, a 50mm lens is somewhat selective in what it will frame at indoor distances. Outdoors, or at longer distances in larger rooms indoors, a 50 is an excellent lens choice.

    The 35/1.8 is "new", small, and very affordable and has a wider angle of view.
     
  7. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sadly the camera stores in my area never really have anything but like some crappy tamron lenses so I am pretty much forced on online purchases. So would you say the image quality of the 35 1.8 is equal to that of the 50 1.8 or does the 50 have an advantage? Thanks for the help.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, I was suggesting that you might have to drive 90 minutes out of your area to get to a camera store...as far as optical quality goes, the new 35/1.8 AF-S G Nikkor lens is a better wide-angle lens design than the venerable 35mm f/2 AF-D Nikon has had for so many years. I don't own the new f/1.8 model ( I have the 35/2 AiS and 35/2 AF-D), but I have seen quite a few samples of it on another forum where the average user is a serious Nikon enthusiast, and I have looked at Nikon's MTF graphs.

    The images I have seen show a VERY good, but not quite excellent, performance. All for around $199. Given the price and the lack of 3rd party 35mm primes, the Nikkor is the only choice I know of except for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, which is a much larger and heavier and more costly lens option.

    Read the review of the 35/1.8 here and you'll see it has two points of total,overall image optimization: f/3.5 and f/8,which makes sense moving forward as DX sensor counts will climb into the 18+ MP range. Apertures smaller than f/8 have a performance decline, and a short focal length lens optimized for f/3.5 makes sense in several ways. Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8G DX Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
     
  9. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know. I think the 50mm f/1.8 seems nice because it will work with full frame and crop sensors and it's cheaper than the 35. I looked at flickr and some nice pics came from that lens as well.
     
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Well you have a crop frame camera, so that's kind of a moot point. Your D90 will autofocus all 3 lenses. Really it will depend on your budget, and what sort of field of view you want. If you're doing anything moderately close up, 35/1.8 might be the better choice on a DX sensor. Really it's dirt cheap, and has very good image quality. If you decide later on that you want more reach, you're only out $200, or you can probably sell it for very close to what you paid for it and put that toward a 50mm lens.

    I have the 50/1.4 and the 35/1.8 and I generally find myself using the 35 more often but there are situations where I want more reach from the 50.

    Both focal lengths have their uses.
     
  11. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's a hard decision. When do you find yourself really needing that extra reach?
     
  12. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    It's tough to say. Every situation is different. Generally when walking around I have one on the body and the other lens in my pocket because they're both pretty compact. I just switch if I need more reach or if I can't back up any further.

    Can you afford the 50/1.4 at around $500 or so?

    If you can, I say buy the 35/1.8 and the 50/1.8, then you have both focal lengths.
     

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