NX100 it is but which lens?

Started May 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
NXism Regular Member • Posts: 177
Re: NX100 it is but which lens?

No matter which of the two primes you prefer, if you already own the 20-50mm, there are some very strong arguments for the 30mm over the 20mm.

1- The 20-50mm is an awesome lens and performs best at 20mm. It is only slightly slower than the 20mm pancake and is sharp even wide open at f3.5. Also, don't forget that at shorter focal ranges, you can get away with slower shutter speeds.

2- It depends on your tastes but when it comes to a fixed focal length, I don't think you could strongly argue that either the 20mm or the 30mm is more versatile than the other for the range of images they can produce. What I would say is this: the 30mm equates to the classic, 'normal' prime and therefore provides a more natural perspective which one could argue gives more consistent 'look' across the range of subjects.

3- The maximum aperture of the 20-50mm at 30mm is only f4.3- i.e. there's greater disparity between this value and the f2 of the 30mm prime.

4- One of the great strengths of prime lens is large maximum apertures. Not only does f2 on the 30mm prime let more light in, it boosts the already shallower depth of field against the 20mm f2.8 (remember that longer focal lengths have shallower depth of field given the same aperture setting). For me, my 30mm is my low light lens and it still ain't fast enough. You need all the light you can get.

5- Talking of longer focal lengths, everyone knows prime lenses make you work harder to get the right composition. Again, this is a matter of personal tastes and how your mind works, but a normal focal length and it's smaller field of view really does force you to think about what you don't need in your frame. In other words, it really makes you think about how you're isolating your subject, which for me is one of the keys in a great picture.

6- Don't get seduced by the iFunction on the 20mm. I think it has potential with a few tweaks in operation, but I never use it on my 20-50mm and I regard it as more of a gimmick. It takes no greater time or effort to access the same parameters via the main controls which are well laid out.

7- The 20mm is not worth the extra you'd be paying at those prices. It annoys me a bit that it's so much more expensive. I feel it should be more or less on a par with the 30mm in terms of prices. I suspect that a 30mm iFunction will eventually make its way and then you'll have to pay the £65 premium for an extra plastic button, some extra letters on your lens, and some additional firmware. Get the original, not marketing-enhanced 30mm while you can.

8- Did I mention that the 20-50mm is GREAT at the 20mm wide end? I think I did but I'll say it again! To my eye, it matches the 30mm pancake in picture quality at this resolution. (It's not bad across the range either but does get a bit soft at 50mm which is fine for portraits).

It's worth mentioning that I don't own the 20mm pancake and therefore my views may be biased. There are plenty of fans of the 20mm prime here too. If I was going for the ultimate COMPACT setup, I'd complement the 30mm with the 20mm into a two lens kit with no hesitation.

Hope this helps!

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