fixed lens?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Andrea K, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Andrea K

    Andrea K TPF Noob!

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    i was wondering what the benefits of a fixed lens are besides cost. i can't afford another zoom lens and the one i'm currently using on a d70 came in a kit with an n55 a few years ago, and is slow (and silver which i think looks horrible on a black camera:puke-rig: , but perhaps it's just because i'm a girl and i like things color coordinated). anywho, i was wondering if anyone has one (i'm currently looking at a 50mm fixed lens) if it is extremely annoying for the fact that you can't zoom in/out. i've also heard that fixed lenses create sharper images and are in general, faster. is this true?

    thanks in advance:)
     
  2. Jovian

    Jovian TPF Noob!

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    in the past yes...almost all fiixed lenses were sharper...in the last few years here though, zoom lenses have become much better than they were years ago imo. the biggest reason i can still see is speed, for the price, they are faster than zooms are.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Once upon a time it was true that prime lenses were usually sharper than zoom lenses, but comparing any zoom lens made in the last 10 years or so to a prime lens you probably won't see much difference.

    IMHO there are 2 good reasons to pack at least one prime lens in your bag:

    1) fast prime lenses are very cheap compared to fast zooms

    2) the way most beginners use zoom lenses keeps them from really learning about specific focal lengths, while being forced to stick with a single focal length teaches them the nuances of that focal length

    I always keep a fast (f/2 or better) 50mm lens in my 35mm camera bag. It's cheap and very handy in low light situations. I also like something a little longer (100mm to 135mm), although they usually come in around f/2.8
     
  4. kfoster

    kfoster TPF Noob!

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    I have a nikon 50mm f/1.4D that I use on my D70. Its a great lens and not expensive. Its great for lowlight situations because of the wide appeture. It is very sharp and looks great on the D70, LOL. I also have a 35mm f/2.0D that is an equivalent to a 50mm on a film camera (same angle of view) which is a popular setup for film. This lens is also fast and sharp, but a little more money. Many photograghers shoot only with fixed lenses.

    It is a little different not being able to zoom, but you get used to it and soon realize that the quality of shots you will get with a fixed lens is out weighs the ability to zoom. Besides with a 50mm you are right inbetween most small zooms, so by taking a couple steps forward or backward you get the same effect as zooming, without loosing the apeture the way you do with most zooms.

    Nikon makes two different 50mm lenses. One is the f/1.4 and one is a f/1.8. The f/1.4 is a high quality lens. The f/1.8 is only about $100 and is made much cheaper. I don't know how sharp the f/1.8 is, maybe someone else can shed some light on that. I bought my f/1.4 for $125 used which is half of new.

    There are also many high quality zooms on the market that won't break the bank. Maybe a better zoom is what your looking for?

    K
     
  5. Andrea K

    Andrea K TPF Noob!

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    thanks for all the comments, my mom recently got the 50mm f/1.8 for her d100 and has yet to use it, the reason i was looking into the same one is because it was a "mere" $100 (a lot of money to the eyes of a 16 year-old :er: ). i'll probably try to borrow it before i make my decision on whether to buy the f/1.8 or f/1.4.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    $100 is a lot of money, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to most f/2.8 zooms.

    Many lens reviews claim that the Nikon f/1.8 is superior to the f/1.4. Unfortunately I had already bought the f/1.4 model. Actually it seems fine, but I consistantly hear that the f/1.8 is actually sharper wide open, and that the f/1.4 doesn't live up to what many Nikon fans expect.
     

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