Advice needed on 35mm and 50mm lenses on my D90

Started Nov 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
brightcolours Forum Pro • Posts: 14,241
You do not have the 18-55 VR kitlens?

Slayer33 wrote:

Hi there,

I have a question in regards to lens choices. I currently have a D90 and a 50mm 1.8d lens. I have been able to take some amazing photos of my newborn and 2yr old daughter with the 1.8d but I am looking for something that will give me a little more. I would say at the moment 75% of my pictures are indoors and 25% outdoors. I also have an SB-600 flash that I use when needed.

I have noticed that with the 50mm 1.8d I run out of room sometimes trying to capture what I want in the photo. I have read this is due to the D90 being a DX making the 50mm more of a 75mm lens in reality.

So I have considered buying a 35mm lens (DX making it more like a 53mm?). The one I am looking at is the 35mm 1.8g Nikon lens.

This lens (Nikon AF-S 35mm f1.8 DX) is quite a horrible lens, bokeh wise. One of the least attractive lenses I know. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 EX DC is a much more attractive lens for sure. If you shoot everything at f8, of course the bokeh character does not matter at all. But since you are looking at primes, I guess you are using them more open.

I had looked at the Sigma 30mm 1.4 but I have read mixed reviews and don't know if I want to take a chance on it.

You should, it is a nicer lens than the Nikon (if you use it with big apertures... if you stop down to f5.6-f8 all the time, it doesn't matter much which one you choose).

So my main question is, should I buy a 35mm 1.8g lens and use it along side the 50mm 1.8d lens, or sell my 1.8d lens and get either the 50mm 1.8g or 1.4g?

How will changing your 50mm lens to another 50mm lens solve your problem? It will not. You will not run out of room less often, you will not get a wider view.

The nicest 50mm lens is the AF-S 50mm f1.8, by the way. It has by far the nicest rendering (super nice bokeh).

Will the 35mm 1.8g take great photos of my children? or would upgrading the 50mm 1.8d to a 50mm 1.8g or 1.4g be best?

The 35mm f1.8 DX will take fine photos IF YOU STOP IT DOWN A LOT. Its bokeh character is quite nasty, and then other lenses are a much better choice (Sigma 30mm f1.4, Nikon 40mm f2.8 micro).

My budget is about $500, of course the less I can spend the better.

If you had the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR kitlens, you would be able to determine which focal lengths suit you best. If you do not own one, it might be an idea to get a copy, just to find out what you would prefer.

Another option would be to just get the rather good Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX DC OS HSM. It is probably a bit above your budget, but offers great optics for a standard zoom, with f2.8 across the range and image stabilization.

Prime wise, a totally different approach could the the rather nice Voigtlander 20mm f3.5 SL II, a manual focus pancake prime with very nice optics. This would get you wider than 30-35mm.

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