50mm, 30mm, and Nikon or Sigma, OR Lensbaby?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bashveank, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. bashveank macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #1
    I'm actually getting a job (as a photographer!) and instead of paying off some of my student loans I will first be getting a new lens, but which one?
    I'm considering the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM, or waiting for the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 af-s.

    On my 18-55 I'm at 30mm most of the time, so I personally feel like that would be a good choice, but I'd be fine shooting at 50mm if the lens is better.

    Now the other thing is that this wont really be a moneymaking lens for me, just a fun walk-around, so I was also considering the Lensbaby Composer+Optics. I've never used a Lensbaby, but they look like so much fun, and I love the effect. There are times when I wish I had a fast prime, but for simple snapshot shooting when I want a shallow DOF I almost feel like the Lensbaby would suffice.

    What's Macrumors' choice?
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #2
    Err ahh ... what kind of camera do you have? I assume Nikon, but what model?
     
  3. bashveank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #3
    I have a D40, that's why I've ruled out non AF-S/HSM lenses (except for the Lensbaby)
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    The Lensbaby is very specialized and I really doubt it could be used without a tripod. I don't have one but I've never even once heard of anyone using a tilt or swing on a hand held camera.

    Does your camera have a focus motor? If not why not upgrade the body, then buy the fast prime. If you want the shallow DOF effect the longer 50mm is have less DOF than a 30.

    If you have a d40/d60 they are not as easy to manulay focus as the older cameras, no split prism focus screen. Also the AF lenses have a poor "feel" on the focus ring. You will want AF. A d40 to D50 upgrade can be done for even money. But the new 50mm 1.4 is from what they say worth waiting for and it will work with any body.
     
  5. bashveank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #5
    The new Lensbaby composer looks like it'd work quite well for a walk-around actually.

    Don't want to spend the money.

    So the 50 would have a shallower DOF than the 30? that makes sense, but would it make a big enough difference to sacrifice my preferred focal length?
     
  6. jpfisher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #6
    Nope. If that is the focal length you are comfortable with, you'll be cursing the length of the 50mm. I shoot with a 31mm on my APS-C DSLR and a 35mm on my APS-H rangefinder in most situations -- I've got other lenses in my bag when I need them, but they are speciality, not walk-around.

    Consider the Nikon 35mm f/2, though -- very nice lens. You'll lose a stop, and it's a bit longer, but not significantly so. I've shot with it on my father's D50 and a friend's S5 and have always been happy with the results.
     
  7. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #7
    If the Sigma 30mm is as good as their 24mm, then you won't be disappointed. My husband has the 24mm, and I covet it (we use different brands, so we can't share lenses). It's insanely sharp and renders beautiful tones. Also, having f/1.4 will make a noticeable difference over f/2.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    Before you go splashing out on a new lens, why not see if your new job will have equipment you can borrow? You may also find that you're wanting something that makes the new job easier, depending on what type of photography it is.

    There's a big angle of view difference between 30mm and 50mm- but if you're seriously looking at the 50, you may also want to look at the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, I have a Canon shooting friend who likes it better than the inexpensive Canon 50mm's that he's had in the past.
     
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #9
    These are three very different lenses, I don't think you can compare these lenses (except those at the same focal length). From your post, it seems clear that you prefer 30 mm (which corresponds to 45 mm on full frame), so there is really no question about which lens you should get from the ones you've listed. The advice to consider a (used) 35 mm Nikkor isn't bad either.

    You seem to have settled on a prime, but if you want a zoom to replace your kit lens, that may be an option as well.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    I'm pretty sure that all the 35mm Nikkors are AF-D or earlier, so if the OP is only looking at the AF-S 50mm, looking at an AF-D lens for the D40 may be counter-productive.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    I'd get the Sigma 30 mm because you prefer it.

    Otherwise, the Sigma 50 mm is probably better than the new Nikon 50 mm. When designing the lens, Sigma was willing to sacrifice the small size of a typical 50 mm lens, for slightly better image quality. So yes, the lens is much bigger than the typical 50 mm lens, but the image quality is a bit better. If you don't mind carrying around a much bigger and heavier lens, then the Sigma 50 mm is probably the better choice.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    You're right, I forgot that for a second.
     

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