Should I keep BOTH my 35mm and 50mm 1.8G Primes?

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by omnicloud7, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. omnicloud7

    omnicloud7 TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, I'd like to share my story if that's okay.

    I have a Nikon D5500 and I am not a professional by all means. Photography is just a hobby I'm getting hooked to because I like to take photographs of family, friends whenever we have gatherings, travels and events. After moving on from my kit lens, I bought a 50mm 1.8G since I kept hearing so many rave reviews online about how it is a must get. I enjoyed the lens very much and on one particular event where there was a wide open space, it was such a blast to take pictures of friends with that lens. However, events such as those are very few and far in between and most of the time me and my friends just hang out and go to dinner (almost every night), try out new places and such which are all indoors. This is where I found myself having trouble as there was limited room to take pictures of anything.

    I mainly like taking pictures of friends and family, people, so I guess I'm more of a portrait photographer? Shots are mostly people on candid settings, group shots and portrait shots with the nice blurry background.

    After reading about it online recently, I learned about the full frame vs crop sensor thing, and that my 50mm is theoretically acting as a 75mm on my camera and that a 35mm would be closer to a real 50mm on my lens.

    Now I thought to myself, I'm not a professional but I do really like learning photography and getting better and I can see myself doing this as a hobby for a very long time. With that I thought about if I should upgrade to a full frame camera or just buy the 35mm lens? Unfortunately, the budget is really tight right now so I went off and bought a 35mm 1.8g DX lens instead since that's the cheaper alternative. I like how versatile it is but something's a bit off when I'm taking portraits of people, it seems that something's not quite "there", or maybe this is because I got so used to the 50mm and that I'm still adjusting. I'm not yet used to how close I should be to people in order to get shots and blur out the background so maybe that's a factor.

    Anyway, long story short, money is tight, I can survive without selling either of them but is it practical to keep BOTH? Thinking about selling the 50mm lens since the 35mm is more versatile but I like it better for portrait shots that's for sure. Do you think I should sell my 50mm?

    Thanks in advance for your opinions and sorry for the long post. I just wanted to share my personal story so you guys can understand me better.


     
  2. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    the 50mm is the better portrait lens, but 50mm on your crop body is going to be tight in most situations.
     
  3. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Oh boy, the dreaded focal length on a crop sensor confusion...
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/index.php?threads/407058/

    I replaced my 50mm 1.8g with a 35mm 1.8g because is was more versatile for what I shoot. The one issue with the 35mm is if you get to close to someones face it really distorts the nose, that's the "not quite there". I think the question has been brought up many times before on here. All I can say is you have to get out and use both and find out what works best for you and it sounds like the 50mm is doing it for you.

    If you did a lot of street shooting or still life shooting, the 35 is hard to beat, it's also a fantastic landscape lens in my opinion. I think you kind of answered your own question and it made sense because you do a lot of candid shooting. I do to0 but I know the limits of the 35 as far as distance from the subject. In the rare instance I get to close, I just adjust for the lens distortion in my editing software and its fixed. They are equally as sharp in my opinion but my 35 copy has a little better color rendering than the 50mm.

    Primes are fantastic but more difficult to use. They do not have VR and for someone like me (shaky) I have to use a monopod to keep the miss rate low. You may want to consider a quality 2.8 zoom with VR. I have a Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 which can be had for $399.00 new. They also make a 17-70mm which may be a little more useful for you. Are they as sharp as a prime? Yes, unless your a pixel peeper. If your a pixel peeper, stick with primes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  4. ruifo

    ruifo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd keep both if you plan to stay on a DX body.

    If you move to a FX body, you might deslike the 35mm once it's not an FX lens, while the 50mm is native to FX. One of the best portraiture lens for FX is the 85mm f/1.8.

    The best cost benefit, and less expensive, for an FX body today is a used D700 body. Still excellent in today's world. ISO noise free until around ISO 2000-2400, pro body controls etc.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    WHOA WHOA WHOA. BACK IT UP.

    *BEEP*

    *BEEP*

    *BEEP*

    the best:cost benefit for FX today is BY FAR the D600.


    There are some things the D700 has better, since it was in direct comparison a higher product model, but the D600 blows it away in many other aspects -- and the ones the really matter.

    The D700 uses CF with a similar continuous shooting speed and buffer despite files being half the size.

    The D700 is native at ISO 200, and had worse DR despite larger pixels.

    The D700 has 51pt AF module, but it has an identical EV detection range, so coupled with the better DR and better ISO handing the D600, is the better low-light shooter.

    When you compare D700 images to D600 -- same scene same lens RAW files the D600 is worlds better than the D700 (unless you enjoy fuzzy non-detailed images).

    single CF slot vs. dual SD

    95% viewfinder coverage vs. 100%

    EXPEED vs EXPEED 3

    1,005-pixel RGB sensor vs. 2,016-pixel RGB sensor (exposure metering)

    no video vs. video

    heavier bigger body

    It does have the more "pro" body, with a better shutter, and the PC sync port is nice, but I'm a firm believer that the D600 is simply much better of a camera.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  6. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    If you can afford to keep both why not??
    They complement each other nicely.
     
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  7. omnicloud7

    omnicloud7 TPF Noob!

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    So it wouldn't be redundant to keep both? Sorry, still new with all this gear stuff. As for upgrading to an FX body, that might still be far away and I wouldn't know now if I'll be staying with DX or FX for my next upgrade in the years to come.

    Does anyone here have the same experience as me and kept both? Right now the lens I see myself sticking to the most is the 35mm since it's more versatile and I don't know when to pop out my 50mm when I bring along a camera to outings with friends. Keep in mind I'm just a hobbyist so all this distortion stuff is still new to me and I might still be ignorant on those stuff I'm sorry :(
     
  8. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd personally just keep um. Use both for a bit and if you really find you dont use the 50mm, sell it. they are cheap and common.
     
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  9. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    My recommendation, keep both. As you said, at the moment your still just learning. So keep both for a while and shoot both. As your skills improve you'll start to see the advantages that each lens offer and you'll get more use out of them.

    Once you feel like you really know what your doing, that would be the time to decide if you really need to keep them both. Nice part about Nikkor lenses, they hold there resell value really well.

    So unless you really need the money, I'd keep the 50 in your bag for a while.
     
  10. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I never liked the 50mm on crop bodies, the 35mm was awesome because it was very versatile. It has a 50mm equivalent and could focus 1:4!

    I'm not a HUGE fan of the 50mm on full frame either, I just wished it could focus closer. But 50mm are really cheap, so they are worth owning for when you need that low-light performance or that extra shallow depth of field.
     
  11. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    The 50 on a DX camera is a nice portrait setup
     
  12. odagled

    odagled TPF Noob!

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    I agree the D600 has better IQ than the D700. I've owned both and used them extensively for events in low light. The D600 hunted to much for me in low light. The D700 would nail it! This was in my own experience, so I ended up selling the D600 and got a D750. However, the OP is on a budget and isn't getting paid, so I'd recommend the D700 for his uses. If he finds them nearly in the same price, then sure get a D600. But I find that a D700 can be bought for about $700 on Craigslist and a D600 goes for about $900-$1000.
     

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