What 35mm f1.4 to f1.8 lenses would you recommend?

Started Jan 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
cptrios
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Re: What 35mm f1.4 to f1.8 lenses would you recommend?
In reply to jbwong, Jan 31, 2013

So what I'm getting from you is not that the bokeh on the SEL35 isn't nice enough, but that there "isn't enough background blur," basically? I.e. the depth of field isn't thin enough? Unfortunately then, your only choice is to get a 35 with a faster aperture than f/1.8...and as RGBaker said, your choices there are extremely limited. And all of them will be manual focus, obviously. Some options (prices are my estimates based on the last time I looked at them, which is not all that recently):

- SLR Magic 35/1.4 ($279) Biggish and not great in terms of sharpness

- Samyang 35/1.4 ($300-400) Huge, especially with the adapter, but great IQ all around

- Nikon 35/1.4 AI-S ($350-600) Decent but really showing its age

- Voigtlander 35/1.4 ($400-500) Much more compact than the others but IQ is again just "decent"

Everything else is a whole lot more expensive.

Unfortunately, what you're trying to do (wild field of view, low depth of field) is one of the situations where an APS-C sensor really does become a big drawback. If I may make a suggestion: go get a legacy 50mm f/1.2 lens and step back a few feet. There are plenty out there in the $100 range. I reckon you would have needed to be about 15 feet away from the dancers in your above photo with a 35mm lens, which means you'd need to be about 25 feet back with a 50mm. 50mm and f/1.2 at 25ft will get you a marginally slimmer DoF than 35mm and f/1.8 at 15.

If this kind of shot is your main use for your camera, I'd very strongly consider ditching your NEX stuff and investing in a used Canon 5D and a nifty fifty. You'll get the whole thing for under $600 if you play your cards right.

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