17-50 or 18-35 for natural light photography

mona525

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So yesterday I posted a thread about wanting a 24-70 the typical favorite lens. Well after further research and comments I have come to conclude that my camera body might be to small for it and the crop factor will be effected.

Now I have been looking at DX lens instead of FX because realistically I don't know when or if I will upgrade to a full frame and I figured if I buy refurbished or used I can eventually sell it if I do want to upgrade my body later.

So now I am researching DX lens and I have found the 17-50 2.8 Sigma and the 18-35 1.8 Art sigma there is a price difference but maybe if I'm patient about it I can find a good deal on the Art lens.

My question is would the 18-35 work for natural light portrait photography? Possibly family shots or will the 17-50? or do you know of any other lens that would work for that? I am just trying to make a smart purchase before going all in on a lens. I should add I have a 50mm 1.8f lens and a 5100 Nikon. I also have the two kit lens that came with it. I appreciate any insight you can share to this noob :p
 

tirediron

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I'm not familiar with the Sigma, but 35mm is generally considered too short a focal length for most portrait work. I would be thinking more in the >70mm range.
 

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I had the 18-35 f1.8. It's a good but very limited zoom lens. I sold it and bought a 17-50 f2.8 OS. I am delighted with the switch, the lens really is very good.

As said above 35 can be short as a main portrait lens

So, 17-50 my vote
 
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mona525

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Okay, I am also leaning on the 17-50. What other lens would you suggest to have for portraits? Is there a lens that goes to 70mm that I should research?
 

ronlane

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I'm sorry, I did not read your other thread about the 24-70mm and I don't shoot Nikon. However, I have a crop sensor Canon (7DmkII) and I got the 24-70mm f/2.8L lens in November and I love it. I have used it for natural light portraits and speedlight portraits too. I have also used my 50mm f/1.8 at times too.

I guess I don't understand why you think that your "body may be too small for it"?
 
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mona525

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I'm sorry, I did not read your other thread about the 24-70mm and I don't shoot Nikon. However, I have a crop sensor Canon (7DmkII) and I got the 24-70mm f/2.8L lens in November and I love it. I have used it for natural light portraits and speedlight portraits too. I have also used my 50mm f/1.8 at times too.

I guess I don't understand why you think that your "body may be too small for it"?

Well since I have a DX not FX the person suggested the 24-70 is better suited for a larger body and a FX camera. Honestly the crop factor has been very confusing to understand. So with a DX 24-70 wont really be 24-70 correct?
 

ronlane

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The 24-70 will still be 24-70 but the field of view will make it more like a 36-85mm when comparing the crop sensor to a full frame sensor. (I believe that Nikon's crop factor is 1.5.)

But as John mentioned
...I would be thinking more in the >70mm range.
and the 24-70 even with the crop factor is in this range.
 

spiralout462

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I like 100mm for portraits. Even 85mm is nice. Unless you're thinking "environmental portraiture", the 2 lenses you mention are too short in my opinion.
 

astroNikon

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That lens would work well with artificial lighting too. As a matter of fact, I think most lenses would work with natural and artificial lighting equally well.

If you use your two kit lenses, a 18-55 and 55-200 ?? and use those for a while and note the focal length that you use most often. then you'll have a better idea what focal length lens would best suit your needs. (digital images can store "EXIF" data which can tell you exactly how your exposed for the image, you may have to turn on those options in your camera)

If you do a lot of indoor ( from previous thread) then you may want the wider side of things. But if you really like portraiture you'll be pushed more towards 85mm and more for proper pespective, but you may not have the inside space for that.

Either way, you should use your kit lenses more and see what focal length you tend to like in the environments you shoot in. Then you'll have a better idea of which lens focal length best fit your use. You may end up with 2 or 3 new lenses, or none.
 

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Well since I have a DX not FX the person suggested the 24-70 is better suited for a larger body and a FX camera. Honestly the crop factor has been very confusing to understand. So with a DX 24-70 wont really be 24-70 correct?
The main thing that you're saving is the higher cost of the more "professional" or "prosumer" lenses, but the FX lenses will work on a DX camera.

The "crop factor" means that the larger FX lenses still project a larger image circle, but the smaller sensor captures only the middle of the image, and does not "see" the edges of the image circle.

As for a nice portrait lens, I recommend the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1:1.8 G. It is an FX lens, which means that if you ever do obtain an FX body, you can utilize the entire image circle. But then if you do end up with an FX body, you might then want something more like 135mm, which I don't have.
 
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mona525

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Well since I have a DX not FX the person suggested the 24-70 is better suited for a larger body and a FX camera. Honestly the crop factor has been very confusing to understand. So with a DX 24-70 wont really be 24-70 correct?
The main thing that you're saving is the higher cost of the more "professional" or "prosumer" lenses, but the FX lenses will work on a DX camera.

The "crop factor" means that the larger FX lenses still project a larger image circle, but the smaller sensor captures only the middle of the image, and does not "see" the edges of the image circle.

As for a nice portrait lens, I recommend the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1:1.8 G. It is an FX lens, which means that if you ever do obtain an FX body, you can utilize the entire image circle. But then if you do end up with an FX body, you might then want something more like 135mm, which I don't have.

I own a 50mm will it be similar to a 75mm on my DX?
 
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mona525

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That lens would work well with artificial lighting too. As a matter of fact, I think most lenses would work with natural and artificial lighting equally well.
Which lens are you referring to?
 

coastalconn

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Do you like the 50mm on the d5100? That would be a good place to start.. Is it too long? Too short?
 

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I own a 50mm will it be similar to a 75mm on my DX?
The field of view of a 50mm on your DX will have the field of view of a 75mm on an FX.
 

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