50mm Lens for D7100

Started Apr 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: 50mm Lens for D7100

On full frame, 50 mm provides a "normal" field of view. You would think that's a good focal length for portraits, but although in person we can sit pretty close to someone else without seeing anything strange, when you shoot a portrait at 1 meter or so, the perspective is such that the nose looks a bit big and the ears and forehead a bit small. At a larger distance (at least 3 meters) that goes away and portraits tend to look better. So if you're looking for waist up, head and shoulders or just the face then you need a tele lens.

On DX the 50 mm is on the short end of the tele range, so it works well for waist up and couples and the f/1.8 aperture allows for blurry backgrounds. However, a tele zoom also works well for portraits if you have enough light (or an expensive f/2.8 lens). The 85 mm f/1.8 would be a good choice on FX and is also great on DX for tighter portraits / more distance / even blurrier backgrounds.

The 50 mm on FX or the 35 mm on DX is a good choice for whole body shots or groups of people as well as for general walking around, where the 50 mm on DX easily gets a bit too tight.

The 50 mm f/1.8 is available as an old style AF / D lens which requires a focus motor in the camera body (which the D7100 has) and a modern AF-S / G lens. The former is cheaper and has almost no distortions, the latter is reportedly a hair sharper and also works on entry-level DSLRs and allows for easier switching between auto and manual focus.

The 35 mm f/1.8 is only available as AF-S / G but there is a DX model and one that is compatible with FX (without DX or FX in the name).

I have the 50 mm f/1.8D which I like (and not just because it's tiny and retro) but don't use all that often and the 35 mm f/1.8 DX which I also like and use a bit more.

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +4 more
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