50mm vs 35mm

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ChristianMommy's picture
Joined: 01/26/07
Posts: 26
50mm vs 35mm

Ok, which lens? I need a good one for taking pics of the kids (son's bday party this weekend) and also versatile enough to use in the mountains. I know I've asked this in another thread, I think LOL It has been a long week..My husband and I have been positive for the flu now 3 out of my 5 kids are sick Ugh!! I am going to purchase a lens in the AM for my Nikon3000 and I trust you guys. Also, does it matter what brand?

ps - I love close ups if that is important Smile Oh and thank you (lost my manners there for a second, sorry!)

Joined: 07/26/07
Posts: 132

I have both and although the 50 was my baby and less expensive, the 35 is a little more versitile. Better in tighter situations and wider for the landscapes. But honestly, saving a few bucks for the 50 is fine too. Either way you end up with a great prime! Happy shopping!!!! Smile

ChristianMommy's picture
Joined: 01/26/07
Posts: 26

Thanks girl and love your self portrait by the way! I am getting all out there, and husband would croak, but that 85mm is looking pretty good and tempting lol Maybe for Christmas Smile

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

I have a newbie question about the lenses: what are the advantages/disadvantage of having either a fixed 35mm lens or one that has a range that includes 35 (like 18-55)? I have to read more about lens types, but just thought I'd ask since you are discussing 35 vs. 50. Thanks in advance Smile

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3384

I only have a 50mm 1.4, so I can't really compare them. But my gut says go w/ the 35mm if it's in your price range. You can still get GREAT portraits (especially if you are limited on space indoors) and the wide angle will server you well for landscape shots.

I have been a 'lens snob' so far and only bought the Nikkor lenses. Nikon makes GREAT glass which is one of the reasons I went w/ a Nikon camera in the first place. And personally, I'd rather save a bit longer to get good glass as that will keep w/ me no matter my camera body. I know Sigma and Tamron have some nice lenses and if I were in a bind, I'd look into those. But both the 35mm and 50mm have pretty good price points for the Nikkor lenses.

And as for the pros/cons of a fixed distance (prime) lens vs. a telephoto lens. I honestly have not read TOO much on it, but I think the main pro for a prim lens is that w/ a telephoto lens you get some distortions at either end. I know I do w/ my 18mm - 20mm lens. Despite that, there are pros and cons for each type of lens. There are a good number of reasonably priced, FAST prime lenses. I think the 50mm 1.8 can be found for around $150. That's a GREAT DEAL (imho). Telephoto lenses give you more versatility. And it takes a while to get used to 'zooming w/ your feet' if you use a prime.

So, I'm not sure there's a good argument for going w/ a prime over a telephoto or vice versa. I guess it really depends on your needs, your space, and your budget to find the best fit for you at any given time.

FWIW, I have the 50mm prime and a 18 - 200mm telephoto lens. I use the 50mm for all of my 'portrait' work and all of my judo photos (b/c low light and fast action are my main issues). But I use the telephoto for all of my soccer pictures.

HTH.

best,
GiGi

kris10gal's picture
Joined: 11/02/07
Posts: 1306

I had to chose between a 50 and a 35 and went with a 35mm. I'm so happy I went with the 35 as I couldn't imagine being more limited than I already am now. I cannot wait until the time I can purchase a full frame camera!! I didn't want to buy any more lenses (I'm debating and probably will switch to Canon once I go full frame, so I don't want to waste money on lenses that I can't take with me for the switch), so having the one 35mm lens has been great.

connorsmum's picture
Joined: 11/29/02
Posts: 1160

I have a 50mm and soooo wish I had a 35mm because I am limited for space indoors (I like to be close to my subjects), but it would be good for landscapes too.

Kristen, I am dreaming of a FF camera too, but think I have settled on Nikon and is the same reason I am not buying any more lenses or gear for this camera.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

I really think the 50mm is the best starter lens because it so closely resembles what we see with our naked eye.

Joined: 01/16/07
Posts: 951

I had 50 for about a week before I returned (b/c it's only manual focus on my body) and for indoors it was kinda hard to get far enough back. Even in my garden I was forever running backwards.
You have the 18-55 kit right now correct? Put it at 50 (and then 35) and walk around where you like to take pics and see if they work for you.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Oops...didn't think about the Nikon non-af issue...I'd go with the one with auto focus.

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Thanks for the info GiGi! LJ that's a good idea about putting the zoom at those lengths and testing them out. I'll have to try that too.

So Alicia, what'd you get? Smile

ChristianMommy's picture
Joined: 01/26/07
Posts: 26

Thanks for all the great advice! I am going with the 35mm lens. I did as LJ suggested and liked it best. I will just take both lenses with me to the mountains Smile I am going to order it tomorrow, and I am getting Nikkor, because I have the Nikon D3000, they suggest Nikkor products. Since my other lens is Nikkor, and I really do like it for the most part, just gonna stick with that brand! Now, I'd still really like the 85mm LOL