I think I want a prime lense


TPF Noob!
Dec 16, 2015
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I picked up a new d3300, prior to the I had a d60. I wanted the d3300 because of the video but there were also a lot of other upgrades that I received as well.

I had the d60 since 2008. I have ~7500 shutter clicks. When I was in school, I worked for the school media group and took pictures for the paper, sports teams, head shots, and marketing materials. I know the understanding of using a camera but I still have trouble putting all the steps together. More remembering to change each step before I start a new location.

Now that I am out of school, and starting a family, I want to be able to capture out events. I have the kit lenses for the d3300, the 18-55 and the 55-200. I would say currently 90% of my pictures are shot with the 18-55. I would love to get a good 24-70 with a low f stop but seems to be out of my budget. I am thinking about getting a prime lens with a f1.8 to hep in the low light situations and for good fov.

I don't have any particular subjects that I focus on currently. I plan to start shooting my hunting and fishing activities more though. Also want to shoot landscape and low light spots more. I have been spending more time doing time lapse too. I am really enjoying shooting video as well. I like to take short clips and put them together to tell stories.

I currently am trying to decide between the nikkor 50mm and the 35mm both f1.8. Seems both are the Sam enrich and I know that the d3300 magnifies the rating of the lens a little. I want to keep a good fov with having the ability to stop down to 1.8.

What lens would you suggest and why? Does one make more since with video?
"Good fov" is totally subjective. A 35mm would be a good all-around prime, while a 50 could be more useful for portraiture.

You don't 'stop down' to f/1.8, you 'open up' to it.

Either will work for video.

Which one you choose depends on what you plan on shooting.
If I were you, I'd look at the pictures you have already taken. You say that you use the 18-55 lens the most, but which focal length do you use the most? Are most of your pictures closer to 50 or 35? That will tell you which will feel more natural to you and which you'll get more use out of.
The 85mm F1.8G is truly incredible and will TRANSFORM your photography. Worked magic on my D32oo and works equally as well on my D750.
I am using the d3200 with kit lenses and have both 50 and 35 1.8. If you are looking to do the typical wide angle landscape photography, I doubt any of the primes are suitable.

Maybe you can consider Tamron or sigma 17-50 2.8? That would help in low light. I am considering those too and also the nikon one which is like twice the price.

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I love primes. I have a 35mm 1.8G, and my new 85mm 1.8G. The 85mm seems pretty incredible. I thought the 35mm was sharp, the 85mm is off the charts.

For me, the 35 works well for indoors with low light and tight space. It works nice for landscapes and general shooting. It does a great job on portraits as well as long as you not right up in someones face, belly button up and no distortion of facial elements.


I just received the 85mm and man, this thing is sharp. Mainly for portraits and low light shooting but I could use this thing darn near everywhere. I would show some examples but the site is not working.

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I have the 35mm f/1.8, love it. Was my first prime. Great first prime in my opinion, you can use it for very many things.

I also have the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8, and it's a good lens as well. I notice a bit more flare in low light, but it's a sharp lens and is built really well. Only thing I don't like about it is you don't have the manual autofocus override on it like on the 35mm, you're either auto or manual focus.
Primes are super awesome. Just that sometimes you just don't have the time to keep switching.

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I only shoot primes, my camera can't use zoom lenses which is great it makes you think more about the shot
I would get the 35mm 1.8 over the 50mm 1.8. I think having the wider angle, it's a little more versatile than the 50mm. Ideally, it'd be awesome to have BOTH...but one must choose. I started with the 35mm first, and found that it stayed on my camera almost all the time.
If you get the 35mm on the cropsensor camera it'll be about like the 50mm goto lens we used for 35mm cameras and the 50mm on the cropsensor would be like the 85mm we used to use for portraits and such.
Looking at your library of photos and seeing the setting most used on the zoom lens is the best idea I've seen if you're not experienced yet.
All good suggestions above. Be careful shooting at 1.8 - you will have almost no depth of field. Sometimes it is better to crank the ISO a bit and shoot at 2.8-4, still probably faster than the kit lens.
You have the best answer on your own 18-55mm.

Just use it one week only at 35mm, and then, one more week at 50mm.

Pay attention on how the background will change, perspective will be not the same at 35mm and at 50mm. The 35mm will give you an uncompressed background. The 50mm will isolet your subject by compress that background agaist it.

Also lens distortions on head shoot will be very different between both focal length.
That cat in the photograph is up to something. I can see it in his eyes. Don't turn your back....
As an owner of both a 35 and 50, I'll give you a quick opinion. Keep in mind, it's all personal opinion for my shooting/likes/style.

35mm first. With a crop sensor camera, I find that the 50 is just too tight for an every day lens. With these primes, I very, very rarely touch my zooms unless I want to go beyond 50 or really need the 18. Without knowing your life more than what you've given, I think the 35 is your best bet simply for the sake of versatility. You want to shoot your family, you want to shoot hunting and sports, landscapes, video. I think that while the 50 is a sweet lens, for someone who wants to shoot such a broad range of subjects, the 35 should come first. I've found that if I'm only taking one of the two, the 50 gets you into some tight situations.

I'm not saying it's the best solution, but it's easier (more practical) to walk closer with the 35 than step back with a 50. You want portraits, details, the 35 can give you those. Just my two cents...

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