"Upgrade" to the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by spice weasel, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I have a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D that I bought for about $100 five or so years ago to use with my D50. I recently bought a D3200, though, so the old D lens is now a manual focus.

    Should I bother getting the G version just for the autofocus? In exchange, I'd be giving up the ability to stop down to f/22 (the G only goes to f/16). I haven't used my nifty fifty in a long while, but I recently bought the 35mm f/1.8G and I love it, and have decided to shoot with primes only for a while.

    It's not like it's an expensive lens to buy, but $200 is $200, money I could put towards am 85mm or something else.
  2. I AM THE MAN macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2011
    Honestly depends on if you use the 50mm focal length often. If you feel like the autofocus matters then you should look into spending that $200. What do you usually take pictures of with your prime lens?

    For me personally, I find that auto-focus is really essential because I often take shots of moving subjects and just in general, I like to be able to have my lens quickly focus on a subject rather than me manually focusing it.

    Hope I helped!
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    I wait until I can't do without it... :)
  4. Patrick-Photo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    As already posted: If you like the 50mm focal lenght on your DX body sell the 50 Af-D and get around 80-100 for it and buy the 50G... If you like the 35mm length more now and want a longer lens for your camera sell and save up for the 85G.
  5. Caliber26 macrumors 68000


    Sep 25, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I also have the 3200 and bought the 50mm f/1.8G and it's probably the one lens I use the most. I think you'll be just as happy with it.
  6. jakeOSX macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2005
    i'm going to voice the opposition.

    your 50mm lens is an FX lens, and will be useful on any Nikon you get, even if you go full frame.

    the 3200 is a great camera (i have a 3100 and dig it still) but you will outgrow it at some point. the 50mm will easily go with you to a new body. G lenses will be come less and less useful. (the "G" designates a removal of features, such as aperture ring, not an addition of them...)

    that being said, i have the 35mm G lens and use it non-stop. it is my go to lens, and i am starting to wonder if it will still come off it has been on my camera so long.

    since you have both, i'd say keep as you are, knowing that if you go 50mm it will be manual focus only (which is good for learning too!)
  7. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Thanks for all the feedback. I think for now I'm going to keep my D lens and see whether the manual focus starts to bug me after a while. If it does and I do decide to get the G version, I'll just keep it anyway for use on a full-frame body later. In that case, the G will go to my wife (along with the D3200 - she gets the hand-me-downs!).

    More money for the 85mm!
  8. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    85 mm

    I love shooting with primes as well, and after using (and loving) the 35mm/1.8 in tandem with the 50mm/1.8D as my two primary primes, I decided that it might make more sense to use the 35mm and an 85mm/1.8 to give me a little more range, or at least more spacing in between the two. I picked up a used copy of the 85/1.8D to that end.

    In practice, and for the things that it turns out that I shoot, the 85mm on a crop body like my D7000 is actually a little too long for most of the places that I tend to shoot, but too short to really replace any kind of zoom. I was pretty surprised to find myself going back to primarily carrying around the 35 and 50mm lenses, and rarely using the 85mm. When I do use it in situations that are appropriate, I love the images I make, it just turns out to be a funny focal length for me on that body. A friend of mine has found something similar, (though with the 105mm), and has gone back to pretty much just the 35 and 50.

    I don't know how moving to FX plays a role, here, as any FX camera you move to should work fine with the 50mm/1.8G (unless I'm missing something).

    Manual focusing is a really useful technique to learn on cameras that give you the relevant tools to do so, but I'm not sure the D3200 is such a camera for the ways most people use it. My old film cameras had the prism thing on the view screen that helped you line things up, my NEX-5N has focus peaking and easy zooming on the viewscreen that also help. Manual focusing on my D40, though, was an exercise in frustration, as all you had to go on was a little green dot in the viewfinder. Not easy to manually focus with that when you're working with a shallow depth of field and in typical situations with people moving around. The D3200 is probably better if you use live view and zoom, but still, autofocus is really helpful. If you have the means to spend $100-200 to get that feature back, I think you'll feel like it was money well spent.

    If you've still got your D50 around, I wouldn't sell the 50/1.8D, as you won't get that much for it and it can be a bit of a bother to do so. I'd just park it on the D50 and use it as an awesome spare body.
  9. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    I am unhappy with my 35mm lens and took the weekend to use a 50-200 for taking pictures in the 85mm range. I am happier with the output, and am thinking that the 85 might be a better bet than a 50. I'm leaning to an 85 myself for better portraiture, which is really what I used a 50 with my FE2 back in the day. Just a thought.
  10. spice weasel thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Do you mind if I ask what you type of shooting you tend to do? I have been using my 35mm as a walk-around lens and I love it. However, I find it too short for impromptu and inconspicuous "street portraiture" type shooting, even on my crop body. That's why I was thinking that the 85mm would be better. I really don't like getting up in people's faces when taking photos.

    I might just take out my old 28-80mm kit lens that came with my D50 and see how I like that at the long end. Regardless, any new lens purchase is going to have to wait a while anyway.



    What, exactly, don't you like about it? Is it the image quality, or is it the focal length for the type of shooting you do?
  11. jakeOSX macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2005
    i have a 135mm for my film camera, which is similar to what the 85 would be on an DX body. for inside stuff, it is a bit tight, shall we say.

    for outside, it is great, and if you wanted to do street photog with it, i think it would work. it does great portrait work too.

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