Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8 DX or AF 50mm F1.8D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dubels, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. dubels macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    I picked up a used Nikon D80 last week to start my adventure in to the world of DSLRs. The D80 came with a Nikkor AF 35-70mm F3.3, and a Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD. Since then I have been reading Scott Kelby's Digital Photography books and have been learning a lot, but now I find myself interested in buying a prime lens. I have been taking test shots with the lens that I have now and I just find that in low light conditions the lens are not fast enough. Also I want to have a sharper lens.

    I have been looking into the Nikkor AF 50mm f1.8D, but the Nikkor 35mm F1.8 DX is also interesting. I admit I am new to photography but from my understanding the 50mm on my D80 would be a 75mm due to the crop factor. That seems a little limited, I am looking for a fast lens that I can use indoors in places were flash is not acceptable. I will be traveling a lot this year and would love to have a prime lens to use in addition to my zoom lenses. I am leaning towards the 35mm because it seems like I can use it more because it is a wider lens, its rare in indoor situations that I can't walk closer. I worried that in cramped places I might not have the ability to get enough room away from the subject to use the 50mm. The 50mm is going for $100 used and $130ish new with warranty, while the 35mm DX is going for around $200-240 new. Should I save my money and go with the 50mm or should I just spring for the 35mm DX? I have considered getting a SB600 but I feel like I would use the prime more since I can foresee limited use of the flash due to other people and restrictions.
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    Go for the 35mm. It didn't exist a year ago, when I was first getting into photography with Nikon. It replicates the 50mm perspective (52, to be precise) and is a very sharp lens, even wide open.

    Read about it here:

    The 50mm on DX is in a bit of a dead zone at 75mm, though it's considered a very mild telephoto on a DX camera. The only catch for the 35mm is that it's a DX lens and therefore cannot be used normally on an FX (or film) camera. The 50mm 1.8 can be used on any Nikon camera.
  3. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2008
    I recently got the 35mm too. very sharp and also it suits my focal range. 50mm is a little too long
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    You have a lens that covers both angles of view. Shoot with it at both and your choice should be easy.
  5. NinjaMonkey macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2003
    For indoors I'd go with the 35mm. If I were you I'd eventually buy both.
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    tape your zoom at 35mm and then walk around (indoors), and then do the same at 50. try to take pictures of what you would be taking indoors.

    in all likelihood, you'll want something 35mm or wider.
  7. Dman77 macrumors member

    May 23, 2009
    London, UK
    I had the same decision to make yesterday and despite the fact I can only use manual focus on the 50mm, I went for that one.

    Fantastic lens, pin sharp and anything but the budget lens it suggests it is.
  8. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    You could get hold of a used 35mm F2 and a 50mm 1.8 for the same money as a 35mm 1.8 new :D
  9. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    There's also:

    Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM
    Sigma 28mm f/1.8 (cheaper and full frame)
  10. juanm macrumors 65832


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161

    This would be the smart choice...
  11. dubels thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    :eek: People are asking 250 for the 35mm AF f/2D? I am going to look around if I can get a 35mm and a 50mm for the price of a 35mm F/1.8 that might be better. Also luminosity brings up the good point that if I were ever to upgrade to a FF camera I would not be able to use the DX, but then again I wouldn't be able to use my Tamron either. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Edit: I just played around with 35mm and 50mm focal lengths and it seemed like in my house the difference between the a 50mm and a 35mm is standing about a foot and a half closer to the subject to get the same frame. I think if I cannot find the 35mm f2 for cheap I might just go with the DX and a 50mm f1.8 later. I am hoping that if I do upgrade to a full frame that the DX will hold its value since it is a Nikkor. The 35mm F2 seem to be going for $350 new and $250 used so...
  12. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    forget about "if." in all likelihood, you won't. more importantly, just because it works on a different format doesn't mean you'll like the focal length. for instance, i hate the 85mm focal length on 35mm, but i'd like it just fine on medium format.

    the exact distance varies from subject to subject. make sure you are taking pictures of whatever you'll actually be taking pictures of, taking different compositions into account.

    i typically photograph people indoors. i would never use 50mm (on APS-C) indoors, unless i'm in a large room, like an auditorium.
  13. crackintosh macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2004
    50mm is for FX cameras, D80 is not an FX camera. You will get the SAME pictures with the 35mm on a DX camera (D80) that you would using a 50mm on an FX camera. This is what I have read and am very happy with my new 35mm af-s dx.
  14. darrellishere macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2007
    I got the d90 too and was sad-juiced by the 35mm 1.8 after loveing the 50mm on my D70!

    But to be honest for me it was a bit of a disappointment at first.

    Maybe it was because its my only lens on my new D90 and I came from a Tamron 17-50 on a 450D. And cost 3 times as much as my 50mm!

    Don't get me wrong it dose take great shots, just reviewing them now on my 32" LED TV! NOT with my D90 though, my mums D40! (Strange maybe the noise reduction is making my Raw images look like ****! (Another thread!)

    But it dose suffer from CA noticeably in some of the shots, which the 50mm never did!!!!! EVER!

    Its is also so sharp in Low light!!
  15. dubels thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    50mm would be like a 75mm and the 35 would be like a 52. Multiply everything by 1.5. I am most likely going to to go with the 35mm. But for $100 for a used 50mm it will most likely end up in my bag sooner or later. I guess i am going to have to wait, it is sold out everywhere and i dont feel like paying a $50-150 dollar mark up. Hopefully it'll be in stock before my trips start.

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