50mm or 35mm?


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Dec 30, 2008
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I have an XSI with the kit lens, and for my next lens I'm thinking either 50mm f/1.4 or the wide angle 35mm f/2.

I don't know which focal length would be best. I shoot mainly kids and pets, lots of indoor stuff. I want a faster go-to lens to replace the kit lens as my everyday lens.
I had the same debate with the Nikon 50 1.8 and the newly released 35mm 1.8. I opted for the 35mm just because the shorter focal length seems more ideal for my type of shooting, but browsing flickr groups helped me decide since they have whole groups dedicated to one lens now. Search through those and see which you like better based on other people's shooting styles. Also, one thing to remember is that a 50mm focal length on a cropped censor is somewhere around 80mm on a 35mm camera, which means you need to have a decent amount of space between you and the subject. If you're shooting indoors, in tight areas, that may not be ideal. Hope this helps.
I think that the 35 will be a lot more versatile on a crop body.
I guess you have the 18-55mm kit lens. Go through the exif data of your favorite shots and see if they're closer to 35mm or to 50mm on average.
The 35mm field of view is close to what your eye see's when not looking through the camera viewfinder.
It's a tricky one. I have both and I find that I use the 50/1.8 more often for low-light shots, but that's just me.
But since you have both and the are the same for low light i guess you like the 50mm for focal length more then for low light.
You are limiting yourself indoors somewhat with a 50mm lens and a crop body. Your FOV is closer to what you would get with an 80mm telephoto, so I would always recoment that indoor shooters with crop bodies go down to a 35, or even a 28mm lens with as fast glass as you can afford.

If you do a lot of portrait (head and shoulders) photography, then the 50mm is right on the money.......:thumbup:
I have the 50mm and I mostly use it indoors shooting my kids (because of the f/1.8 and the ability to shoot with less light) HOWEVER, I have to move pretty far away from them to get them in the frame and it is frustrating to me!! Especially in a tight space (which they seem to almost always find when they are doing something cute..hmmm). I am regretting that I didn't get the 35mm. Just my 2 cents.
I picked up the new Nikkor 35 MM lens the day it came out a while back.
I have been taking pictures of my new niece and my best friends boy and I LOVE the results I am getting with this lens on my Nikon D40. Very good indoors with no flash. Thats what I love best I think.

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