Viewfinder D40/D50 Surprise

Started Jan 14, 2007 | Discussions thread
Hank Wolfe Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: Jin, why do you say this? ...

If we are defining "inexpensive prime" as one costing significantly less than the Sigma 30mm, I guess the unnamed suspect is the Nikkor 50mm f1.8.

While I would love to be able to use this lens on my D40 (and would buy it in a second if it autofocused), it certainly would not be a lens that I would use for more than, say 5% of my photography. I think a lot of new DSLR users get the cheap 50mm offered by their camera maker and are fascinated by the novelty of taking candid indoor shots without flash. They see that the available light photos look better than P&S direct flash shots (many have never tried an external flash unit). They also are wowed by the out of focus background that they couldn't acheive with P&S.

For a lot of people, I suspect that the novelty may wear off after a while when they realize that 75 mm (with crop factor) is not a versitile focal length for indoor candids. The blurred background, too is a novelty that can wear off, and might hamper learning how to plan a portrait with an interesting or artificial background. In fact, for portraits, it seems like it is often a good idea to a have decent depth of field to keep subject's face sharp (especially with multiple subjects). The point? A good bounce flash (or other lighting options that are beyond my level of ambition) is what's really needed to for general purpose indoor shots- so the fast lens becomes less of an issue (image quality of the prime is better, but for my purposes, it's not a discernable or at least important difference, considering the decent quality of Nikon's cheap mid-range zooms).

Again, I qualify all this with the admission that I would buy a 50mm f1.8 for $100 if it would autofocus on my D40. I would use it in those situations where I couldn't use a flash, didn't have my SB-600, or really needed a blurred background. Probably about 5% (a guess).

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