Does anyone use a 50mm as their main lens on a full frame?

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Not so much..

I used the 50mm back a long time ago because I had to. It was all I had in 1959. I bought my first 50mm since then with the new 50 f/1.8G last year and bought it because it was only $219 brand new. After a week or so of use, I realize is a great sharp lens. The problem is I don't really use it and it now stays on the shelf more than with my kits. I find it too darn wide for most portraiture I do and way too long for walking around or landscape.

I have an absolute pristine old 35-70 f/2.8D that does an incredible job during he somewhat rare times I even need or want a mid-range zoom. Again, it generally stays more on the shelf then with me and for the same reasons. I just don't use those middle focal lengths much. It's not because they're boring but more for me, because they are frustrating. They're either too long or too short for what I want or need at the time and they hog up kit room in the bag (and it's large roller). I could fit an extra SB800 in that spot maybe.

The only mid range I carry much is the 60 f/2.8G Micro because it has it's own uses and I like it's rendering. When I don't carry the superb Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro because of size, the little 60 gets the nod.

For many years, my bread and butter lenses were the 35mm and 105mm. Later, the 35mm and 85mm become my go anywhere lenses with a few others tagging along with them. A couple months ago, I bought the new Nikon 28 f/1.8 and find it to be an incredible lens and I finally retired 35mm from that kit and to the shelf.

Here would be a typical vacation fun kit for me and a D800 and D3S

  • Nikon 16-35 f/4 Zoom
  • Nikon 28 f/1.8G
  • Nikon 85 f/1.4G
  • Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 Zoom or 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 Zoom or maybe both

I might also throw in a Sigma 15 f/2.8 Fisheye and that 35-70 f/2.8 zoom but only as afterthought type additions. All would depend on where I'm going and how long, of course, but that's typical.

I might walk the streets on holiday with that 85 f/1.4 on the camera and the 28 f/1.8 in my pocket or belt attached lens pouch. Maybe one on each camera. That middle range just doesn't give me much.

So, the 50mm you might keep mostly because it's too inexpensive to not keep it,but only you can decide if it does or doesn't fit your particular shooting style. See if you shot much at 24mm with your current zoom on the D90 and if you did, look at the 35mm. If you shot more at 18mm, get the 28 f/1.8. It's incredibly inexpensive as well.

If you're just now going to FX, the new 24-85 might be the choice, especially when basically given away as part of a bundle. That's a no-brainer.

28 f/1.8

85 f/1.4

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Cheers, Craig
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