DSLR Upgrade - Kit lens or Prime?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bassanoclapper, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. bassanoclapper macrumors 6502

    bassanoclapper

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I'm about to purchase a Nikon D5100 to replace a secondhand D40 I have just sold. I already own a 55-200mm telephoto and I'm debating on whether to accept the 18-55mm kit lens or go for either a 35 or 50mm Prime with my new camera.

    I don't shoot a lot indoors, nor many portraits. I like landscape photography but would consider a decent pancake lens in time.

    As an amateur, I appreciate the convenience of a zoom lens but have read more than a few articles on the use of a Prime lens to improve skills.

    So, my question is kit, 35 or 50?
     
  2. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #2
    I have both lenses and love the 35, I could care less about the 50. I have been using the 35 as much as I can and also wanting to find ways to use it because for me it works really nice, it's sharp and I can do things even inside a bit easier than with the 50.

    I tried to get use to the 50, outside all over the place and even a few family functions inside but it never worked out. I waited a good deal for the 35 and it's been on my Nikon ever since except for zoom situations.

    I guess it really depends what you would like from the lens or hope to do with one of them. I should add it (the 35mm) was nice to ride around with and get some Xmas light photos from around the area.
     
  3. NYRangers11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    #3
    Im also looking to unload my D40, how much did you sell it for?
     
  4. bassanoclapper thread starter macrumors 6502

    bassanoclapper

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #4
    £150 to a friend, though I probably could've got near £200 on ebay if I could've been bothered
     
  5. Bokehlicious macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #5
    The first lens I bought for my canon t2i after the kit lens was a 50mm because everyone raved about the 50mm focal length. Well, I didn't like it much. At the time when I purchased the 50mm lens, I didn't understand that a 50mm lens on my crop sensor camera body would be 80mm (due to the crop factor). The 50mm lens would ONLY be 50mm on a full frame camera. Once I learned this fact, I quickly got my hands on a 30mm sigma. I have nothing but great things to say about the 30/35mm focal length on a crop camera. It is a fantastic focal length to use to improve your composition skills. The prime will force you to zoom with your feet and discover new perspectives and focus on composition rather than standing in one spot, zooming in and out, with a zoom lens. I can't say enough good things about the 30/35mm prime lens!
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    I'm a Canon guy, but thought I would chime in on the 35 vs 50mm prime discussion: I have a 50mm prime but on a crop body like the Nikon 3100 (or my Canon T2i), it is virtually worthless since the effective length is approx 80mm. This makes it practically a zoom lens. Often times it can be difficult to get a shot in a tight spaces (like in small houses). And frankly, you want a prime mostly for use in doors where lighting can be at a premium. I'm considering going with something in the < 30mm range. Remember you have to multiply by a factor of 1.6 to get the true focal length.

    Hehe, guess my opinion is shared by more than just me!
     
  7. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas Metroplex
    #7
    On a DX body, I would recommend the 35mm f/1.8. The 50mm is just too long, unless you are using a FX body.
     
  8. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    #8
    I'm using the 35 1.8 on my D7000, and I must say, go for it! I liked it much more than the 50mm I used to use on my Sony DSLR, the 50mm equivalent is much more useful than 75mm on a crop body. I would take one of these over an 18-55 any day.
     
  9. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
  10. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #10
    Guess it depends on whether you like primes or not? The 18-55 is a great little lens and at 18 its certainly a lot wider then 35 or 50, so that will be great for your landscape shots.
     
  11. bassanoclapper thread starter macrumors 6502

    bassanoclapper

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Thanks for your thoughts all. Think I'm gonna stick with the kit lens until I get back from my holiday next month and then look into getting a 35mm prime
     

Share This Page