buying a 35mm lens

Mar 25, 2018
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I have a Nikon D5500 and would like to buy a 35mm lens but I am not sure which lens would be more beneficial to me. I am trying to decide between the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED Lens and the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens. Any advice? Thank you.
 
Your 50mm becomes a 75mm equivalent, which is passable for portraiture. 85mm-200mm (with a f/1.8-2.8 aperture) is generally considered best for portraiture, which on your body, would be about 60mm-135mm. (Pros also like to use 300mm-600mm lenses for portraiture, but this usually requires an assistant and radios to communicate with the model.) The smaller sensor also increases depth of field, so you may want to budget for an 85mm or 100mm f/1.8 or f/2.0 lens in the future (80-200mm f/2.8 zoom would be ideal, but is very pricey). The longer focal length will help reduce depth of field to help you blur the background in portraits.

35mm would become 52mm, which is considered a "normal" lens - decent for all-around snapshots but not really excelling at anything. If you want to do landscapes and scenics while traveling, I'd go for a wider lens, possibly a zoom. 20-28mm would be a good range to target, maybe even going as low as 18mm (if you go too wide, the bulk of the photo ends up being filled by sky and ground, so isn't as interesting).

Is the 50mm your only lens? Most people buy the body with a kit zoom lens. A couple months of using the zoom will give you a good sense of what focal lengths you prefer and what your next lens purchase should probably be. If you're using a photo management app which reads the EXIF data in photos, many of them let you generate a histogram of the focal lengths of all your photos shot with a particular zoom, and you can see where your preference is.
 

Lutfij

Splendid
Moderator
If you have the budget for the AF-S ED, I'd go for that. However since you're trying to choose between a prime lens with some bells and whistles(and additional engineering) might I ask what sort of work you'd tax the lens to?
 
Do note that the D5500 uses Nikon's DX sensor, which is 1.5x smaller than full frame. So the field of view of a 35mm lens will be the equivalent of 52mm on a full frame DSLR. If you wanted this lens for wide-angle shots, you're going to have to drop down to around 24mm (36mm equivalent) or wider. And once you start getting into these wide-angle lenses, the DX lenses actually end up being cheaper because they're designed for the smaller mirror box on the smaller DX sensor. Full frame DSLRs need to use a retrofocus design (basically two lenses mounted on top of each other) to go wider than about 30mm.
 
Mar 25, 2018
6
0
10
0


 
Mar 25, 2018
6
0
10
0


 
Mar 25, 2018
6
0
10
0
Thank you Solandri. So I have a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens. Does it make sense then to get the 35mm if the field of view will be reduced to 52mm?
 
Your 50mm becomes a 75mm equivalent, which is passable for portraiture. 85mm-200mm (with a f/1.8-2.8 aperture) is generally considered best for portraiture, which on your body, would be about 60mm-135mm. (Pros also like to use 300mm-600mm lenses for portraiture, but this usually requires an assistant and radios to communicate with the model.) The smaller sensor also increases depth of field, so you may want to budget for an 85mm or 100mm f/1.8 or f/2.0 lens in the future (80-200mm f/2.8 zoom would be ideal, but is very pricey). The longer focal length will help reduce depth of field to help you blur the background in portraits.

35mm would become 52mm, which is considered a "normal" lens - decent for all-around snapshots but not really excelling at anything. If you want to do landscapes and scenics while traveling, I'd go for a wider lens, possibly a zoom. 20-28mm would be a good range to target, maybe even going as low as 18mm (if you go too wide, the bulk of the photo ends up being filled by sky and ground, so isn't as interesting).

Is the 50mm your only lens? Most people buy the body with a kit zoom lens. A couple months of using the zoom will give you a good sense of what focal lengths you prefer and what your next lens purchase should probably be. If you're using a photo management app which reads the EXIF data in photos, many of them let you generate a histogram of the focal lengths of all your photos shot with a particular zoom, and you can see where your preference is.
 
Since you already have the 35mm range covered with a zoom, but you're looking to buy a 35mm prime, the wider aperture must be important to you. So I would go for the ED. It performs substantially better wide open at f/1.8

https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-35-mm-f-1.8G-mounted-on-Nikon-D500---Measurements__1061
https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-35mm-F18G-ED-mounted-on-Nikon-D800E---Measurements__814

From a quick perusal of its reviews it looks like the 35mm f/1.8 ED is a retrofocus design, which is unfortunate because it needlessly adds expense to a lens for a DX camera. But you've included it in your comparison so its price must be within your reach. So I think this is one of those cases where if you get the cheaper lens you'll constantly be second-guessing if you made the right decision.
 
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