Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8

Started Feb 23, 2013 | Questions
Wsbaker
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Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
Feb 23, 2013

Hello Everyone from a long time lurker.

I started out with a Nikon D70 and due to my husbands health problems never really did anything with it and ended up giving it to a relative.

This Christmas my husband surprised me with the Nikon D5100 and I am ecstatic over it.  I have always been interested in two photo topics: 1) Grand kids, 2) Macro photography.

I have a Sigma 105mm 1.2.8 D macro lens that I just could not give up when we gave away the D70. I did get some great shots with it on the D70 and was learning a bit about Macro Photography when life interrupted the process.   This lens is completely manual on the D5100 and I am playing with it hoping to get the hang of a totally manual lens. But it has been a bit frustrating.   In your much much esteemed  viewpoints is it worth hanging onto this lens and keep trying with it? Or would it be better to sell it and invest in something more compatible with the D5100?  I guess it is a bit sentimental to hang on to it, but I remember saving for it, and it seemed forever to get it, and I still remember how excited I was to finally receive this lens and how thrilled I was with the results.  So it is very hard to give it up.

I am visiting my grand kids for my granddaughter's second birthday and am looking for a lens to take with me.  Yes I have the kit lens, but wanted something a bit sharper.  I have a very limited budget and due to Best Buy Reward Zone and a Best Buy gift card I can get the Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8 for way under $200 and I can get the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 for under $100.  I like the 40mm because it seems to combine both my desires to have a lens where I can get a decent portrait of grand kids and macro capabilities in one lens.  I haven't seen many examples of pictures of kids with this lens.

I like the Nikon 35mm because of the f/1.8 seems like a good choice for limited light and pictures I see with it our pretty good looking.

I have done a lot of searches on the site to compare the two lenses but seem to come up with a lot of nothing found   Guess I don't have the hang of getting the correct search combos yet.

I lean toward the 40mm, but when I look at the price of the 35mm and some of the results I lean toward it, so I wanted to post the question for those who have used the lenses, either one or the other and both to get your opinion.

Thanks so much

Wanda

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Nikon D5100 Nikon D70
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Robert Soderlund
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

From what i understood from your question, i would absolutely recommend the 35mm f/1.8 over the 40. Since you already have a macro lens. Personally i tend to use macro lenses nearly in a surgical way, AF and metering rarely turn up perfect anyway. But for general birthday shoots/indoor shoots/portraits and everything general, being forced into manual mode is not the way often, even if it can be fruitful for learning photography. With the 1.8 you will also get more out of focus backgrounds if that is what you want, when shooting wide open. My advice: Keep your macro, get the 1.8, its a bargain.

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Lightpath48
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

The 35/1.8 is extremely popular. It does a lot of things well, for a reasonable price. It isn't a macro lens for sure, if you're used to having that feature. But it works very well as a "normal" prime lens on a D5100, a combination that I also own and enjoy a lot.

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AlexBakerPhotoz
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Lightpath48, Feb 23, 2013

Nikon 35/1.8 is a great lens, very sharp, fast and light. Since you already have a macro, it's a no brainer. get it.

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ChristianHass
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

The 40 micro is an odd lens.

Yes it does 1:1 macro, but you more or less have to touch the front of the lens to the subject to get it.

It's very sharp, I found it sharper than the 35mm f1.8, but it's only f2.8 and less than that at close distances. I also liked the bokeh on the 40mm better than the 35mm, but of course the 35mm can give you a shallower depth of field due to it being f1.8.

I found the AF slow'ish, even with the limiter enabled.

In the end I decided to keep the 50mm f1.8 G over both the 35 and the 40 because it suited my needs best. I found the 35mm wasn't long enough when I wanted that and wasn't wide enough when I wanted that. I never expect the 50mm to be any kind of wide, so it's easier for me to just work with it for what it is.

The good part is that all three lenses (35 f1.8, 40 micro and 50 f1.8G) are absolute bargains for what they deliver, so it's just a matter of picking the right one for your needs.

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AlexBakerPhotoz
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to AlexBakerPhotoz, Feb 23, 2013

Oh, and you'll get the hang of using the macro manually, which for macro work is pretty common anyway. It'll be good practice to have a manual lens, keeps you in touch with the underlying reality of photography in my opinion.

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Wsbaker
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

Thank you all for your quick responses.  I am leaning toward the 35mm.  Best Buy does not carry the 50mm af-s and as I am relying on my best buy reward zone points to bring the cost down it is not an option at this time.

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silent tim
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

You really can't beat the 35 1.8 for value for money, and it's so small and light you can carry it around effortlessly.

Here's one of my niece (while she was being carried across the road) taken with the 35 1.8 when I was visiting my sister.

True the bokeh isn't top notch but it's good enough for me



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Wsbaker
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to silent tim, Feb 23, 2013

To Silent Tim

Great shot and what a sweet baby!

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Wsbaker
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

Hmmm I may have to re-think the 50mm, I assumed the Best Buy one, was incompatible with the D5100, but on checking out the Nikon site, it says it has the silent wave motor.

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GRimage
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

Your answer in part might be in this thread http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50895714 which focuses on the 35mm f1.8, though if you are looking for a lens to do mostly portraits then the 50mm f1.8 (same price at Best Buys I think though don't hold me to that I am not in the US) may be the better option for you. Save the change over the 40mm f2.8 and upgrade to the newer model Sigma 105 in due course it gets some really good reviews.  Though the Tamron 90mm f2.8 is also a great macro option.

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Wsbaker
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to GRimage, Feb 23, 2013

Yes, thank-you that was the link that made me take a closer look at the 35mm

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bluemooze
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

35 1.8  

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GlennW
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 23, 2013

Wsbaker wrote:

Hmmm I may have to re-think the 50mm, I assumed the Best Buy one, was incompatible with the D5100, but on checking out the Nikon site, it says it has the silent wave motor.

You should be able to get the Nikon 50 1.8G at BB for the $199 rebate price. In your case, perhaps you need to do ship-to-store & get it in about 5-7 days. At least in Nashville it appears 1 store out of several carries more camera items than another.

For small children, either the 35 1.8 or the 50 1.8 would be a good option. Both are AF-S, so will work fine on a D5100. The little 40 may just be too slow compared to the others. As a macro, it is good for non moving copy items. A better option for big bugs is the 85 3.5 macro, that has $100 off from Nikon.

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Marvin Thomas
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 24, 2013

Wanda,

While you're making up your mind, you can check out photos at pixel-peeper dot com.  The site allows you to choose camera and lens combinations and then shows you photos that reside at Flicker that were taken with that particular combo.

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Nexu1
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to silent tim, Feb 24, 2013

silent tim wrote:

You really can't beat the 35 1.8 for value for money, and it's so small and light you can carry it around effortlessly.

Here's one of my niece (while she was being carried across the road) taken with the 35 1.8 when I was visiting my sister.

True the bokeh isn't top notch but it's good enough for me



For those good with math ....

This photo is at 1/125, F1.8, ISO400

if I wanted to compare what type of shutter speed I could get for this pic with the kit 18-55 at the same ISO, and guessing that at 35mm let's guess the kit lens can do f4

Am I correct in saying that's a 3 stop difference?

And would I be correct in saying that I'd need 3 stops of slower shutter speed with the kit lens at f4, ISO 400 to compensate?  Which would be 1/15?

Is this pretty close to being accurate?

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ChristianHass
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Nexu1, Feb 24, 2013

Nexu1 wrote:

For those good with math ....

This photo is at 1/125, F1.8, ISO400

if I wanted to compare what type of shutter speed I could get for this pic with the kit 18-55 at the same ISO, and guessing that at 35mm let's guess the kit lens can do f4

Am I correct in saying that's a 3 stop difference?

And would I be correct in saying that I'd need 3 stops of slower shutter speed with the kit lens at f4, ISO 400 to compensate? Which would be 1/15?

Is this pretty close to being accurate?

f1.8 - > f2 is 1/3 stop
f2 -> f2.8 is 1 stop
f2.8 -> f4 is 1 stop

so 2 1/3 stop difference. Apply that to the 1/125 shutter speed and you end up with around 1/25. Or 1/200 with a flash

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Wsbaker
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Re: Hello and Nikon 35mm f/1.8 vs Micro Nikon 40mm f/2.8
In reply to Wsbaker, Feb 25, 2013

Thank you for the link, it was very helpful.

Well I decided on the 50mm 1.8G - After going out and looking at a lot of pictures taken with the same camera I have and with the 35mm/50mm lens I decided that I liked the look of the 50mm better.  When I went to Best Buy, they had all three lenses in stock, the 35mm, the 50mm and the 40mm so I was able to try all three   I really liked the 50mm.  I liked the way my camera felt with the lens on it and I liked the pictures that I took, there was a little kid running around so I took some quick shots of the kid (I made sure I deleted them after comparing the lenses).

I am at work and can hardly wait until I can try out this lens.  Again thanks for all of your help and suggestions.

Wanda

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