Nikon 35mm/1.8 vs 50mm/1.8 - Which to keep?

Shades of Blue

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I purchased both a 35mm and a 50mm lens over the Christmas holidays with the sole intention of keeping both and selling my 18-55 kit lens. I like both, but really feel like I am going to use the 50mm more. I feel like I'm getting distortion with the 35mm on portraits and I haven't been able to fully make myself sell the kit lens yet because I like that it does go down to 18mm. I really don't have any issues with the 18-55.

I guess I just don't see a use for the 35mm at this point. Should I just sell it and put the cash towards a new body?
 

hamlet

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Going about my photography i learned one big thing: sell whatever you don't use or like to use. I mean most people here shoot because they love photography, might as well have gear with you that you like.
 

goodguy

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I dont think anyone can answer your question, you are the only one that can answer this, I have a feeling like you want us to validate your gut feeling and tell you to sell the 35mm
The truth is that the 35mm is a good lens but its not a portrait lens, its more of a street lens, my rule of thumb is that if I dont use equipment then I sell it but thats me.
Either way its a very common and non expensive lens so its not a big deal, you can always buy it again if you decide to sell it.
 
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Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue

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I dont think anyone can answer your question, you are the only one that can answer this, I have a feeling like you want us to validate your gut feeling and tell you to sell the 35mm
The truth is that the 35mm is a good lens but its not a portrait lens, its more of a street lens, my rule of thumb is that if I dont use equipment then I sell it but thats me.
Either way its a very common and non expensive lens so either way its not a big deal, you can always buy it again if you decide to sell it.

You are correct...looking for validation because people seem to really love this lens. But, as you said it isn't a portrait lens and I don't do street photography. I went ahead and put it in the For Sale section. I guess I shouldn't have wasted a thread on my gut feel haha, but thanks for the advice!
 

idcanyon

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A 35mm lens would be more useful for shooting a group, several people at a time, or for environmental portraits. If you back away for a group or to capture the scene then the perspective distortion is not an issue, as it is related to subject distance rather than focal length. Do you ever do these kinds of shots? For a group the kit lens might be fine, as you'd rarely be able to stop way down because of DOF issues. For environmental photos the kit lens may or may not work.

I would have a hard time making a call about whether I'd find a use for a lens after only a few weeks in the winter when I don't get out much.
 
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Shades of Blue

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A 35mm lens would be more useful for shooting a group, several people at a time, or for environmental portraits. If you back away for a group or to capture the scene then the perspective distortion is not an issue, as it is related to subject distance rather than focal length. Do you ever do these kinds of shots? For a group the kit lens might be fine, as you'd rarely be able to stop way down because of DOF issues. For environmental photos the kit lens may or may not work.

I would have a hard time making a call about whether I'd find a use for a lens after only a few weeks in the winter when I don't get out much.

I actually just shot a group of 25 this past weekend. I fully intended to use the 35mm, but ended up using the 18-55. It was a dinner party, and they wanted a group shot in a small room. I had to use a chair, and it was much easier to get everything cropped right with the zoom lens. It wouldn't have taken all that long to get everything right with the 35mm, but it's 25 people who want to keep eating and drinking, so I wanted to make it as painless and quick as I could for them.

Regarding making the decision to sell after just 3 weeks in the winter, I know that I'm a portrait photographer. I used this lens twice and realized I should have purchased the 50mm. I ordered the 50mm and it was exactly what I should have bought the first time. I thought I'd keep both, but I also want to try and sell a few things to get a D7100 body, so there's that too.
 

astroNikon

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A zoom is so much more convenient for general photography.
I have a few primes that I use for very specific things, but otherwise I'm 4 primary zooms 18-35, 24-85, 80-200, 150-600.
 
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Shades of Blue

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A zoom is so much more convenient for general photography.
I have a few primes that I use for very specific things, but otherwise I'm 4 primary zooms 18-35, 24-85, 80-200, 150-600.

I think that I will eventually try to get an 18-140 to replace the kit lens, but for now I think I'm ok with what I have. The 50mm lens will be my primary portrait lens, and I'll use the 18-55 and 55-200 for when I need to get close in, or far out.
 

goodguy

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A zoom is so much more convenient for general photography.
I have a few primes that I use for very specific things, but otherwise I'm 4 primary zooms 18-35, 24-85, 80-200, 150-600.

I think that I will eventually try to get an 18-140 to replace the kit lens, but for now I think I'm ok with what I have. The 50mm lens will be my primary portrait lens, and I'll use the 18-55 and 55-200 for when I need to get close in, or far out.
18-55mm and 18-140mm are both kit lens, good quality but they are slow, my recommendation is save the money and get a constant f2.8, for the long run you will be much happier with faster glass.
 

nerwin

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If you are on DX, I'd recommend keeping the 35 f/1.8. I didn't like the 50 1.8G on DX until I switched to full frame.
 

jaomul

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I'd keep them both unless you need the money. They are both good ones to have, good performance to cost ratio
 

SquarePeg

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I like having the 35 for low light situations when my 2.8 zoom won't cut it and i need something wider than the 50. Even though I don't use it that often, it was inexpensive so I decided to keep it. I agree the 50 is much better for people shots.
 

PaulWog

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The 35mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.8 serve different purposes. Speaking specifically to a DX body, this is how I would use the two:

35mm on DX:
Portraiture from waist up or further away than that.
Landscape, or stitched landscape panoramas.
General photography, including indoor photography (although 35mm on DX is still tight for indoors).

50mm on DX:
Portraiture of any kind.
Landscape, or stitched landscape panoramas.
General outdoor photography.

The two lenses serve very similar purposes, but they are different enough. The two lenses are relatively cheap, and both are worth having.
 

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