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50mm prime lenses for dslrs?
For a first prime lens, to complement a kit zoom, should I be looking for a 50mm or a 50mm equivialent for a DSLR? (35mm or less, depending on model?).

From what I've learned it is possible to get good and fast 50mm for a reasonable price, however I would think that a 50mm eq, would be more versatile for daily use (as a 'real' 50mm would be in the zoom range)..

Thanks for your help!..

Comments (8)

WHat camera system are you using? The Nikon 50mm 1.8 for example is extremely good value at under 100 (UK pounds), but I've no experience of the Canon (or other camera system) equivalents..

You're correct that the crop factor changes the usefulness of a 50mm - I find that while it is a great lens, I have to take a few steps back from the subject - when in fact a lens giving me a true 50mm field of view would probably be better and require less legwork!.

That said, my Nikon 50mm is so small and light, it is an essential part of my kit and a great lens for candids - once you get used to the fact it is essentially a 60-70mm!.

Cheers BThttp://www.flickr.com/photos/bigtom..

Comment #1

For a first prime lens, to complement a kit zoom, should I be lookingfor a 50mm or a 50mm equivialent for a DSLR? (35mm or less, dependingon model?).

From what I've learned it is possible to get good and fast 50mm for areasonable price, however I would think that a 50mm eq, would be moreversatile for daily use (as a 'real' 50mm would be in the zoom range)..

Thanks for your help!.

It depends what you want it for. 50mm is slightly telephoto on a crop-sensor DSLR and is good for portraits etc. but may be a little restrictive as a general-purpose walk-around lens. 50mm used to be the standard on 35mm cameras as it gives a field of view about the same as your eye; the equivalent focal length on a crop-sensor DSLR would be about 30 mm. Many good 50mm lenses are very cheap - e.g the Canon 50mm f.1,8 is about 70 (UK), whereas shorter focal lengths are much more expensive..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #2

Only you know what focal length would be useful to you..

In broad terms a 50mm lens on a 1.5x crop sensor becomes a 75mm equiv so it's useful for portraits ( as others have said ). Whether that's what you want is something we don't know..

The best first lens to get after a kit lens is the one you are likely to use most often. It need not be a prime and primes are not the best choice for everyone..

Have a look at this lens review site :.

Http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html.

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #3

Thank you all!.

I am not sure what kind of lenses I will use the most....

..but I was reasoning like this:.

I was reasoning that if I get a 10mpix DSLR instead of a 6mpix, the increased noise (from more pix/sensor) can be avoided by using lower ISO, if having a sufficiently fast lens. Then, having a relatively wide lens (~50mm equiv) , 'zooming' could be achieved by cropping, which is possible without sacrificing image quality because having more mpix on the sensor.....

Comment #4

Fu8 wrote:.

I was reasoning that if I get a 10mpix DSLR instead of a 6mpix, theincreased noise (from more pix/sensor) can be avoided by using lowerISO, if having a sufficiently fast lens. Then, having a relativelywide lens (~50mm equiv) , 'zooming' could be achieved by cropping,which is possible without sacrificing image quality because havingmore mpix on the sensor....

I see the logic. But there are other ways to achieve the same result:.

1. Choosing your camera carefully. There is no discernable increase in noise on the D40x compared with the D402. Shooting RAW will improve IQ.

3. Get a quality used f/2.8 zoom then use the Mpixels to extend the zoom range..

50mm primes are only cheap because they have paid for their development cost many times over in past decades..

P.S The Nikon 35mm f/2 is quite affordable..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #5

Fu8 wrote:.

I am not sure what kind of lenses I will use the most....

You don't need a lens in this case !.

..but I was reasoning like this:.

I was reasoning that if I get a 10mpix DSLR instead of a 6mpix, theincreased noise (from more pix/sensor).

There is no noise increase. What differences there are are subtle and you would never see them. Optical limits of the lenses have a far greater effect..

Can be avoided by using lower ISO, if having a sufficiently fast lens..

As I said this is an elaboration you don't need to do..

Then, having a relativelywide lens (~50mm equiv) , 'zooming' could be achieved by cropping,which is possible without sacrificing image quality because havingmore mpix on the sensor....

Well you can indeed crop but ....

A typical 50mm ( "normal" ) prime has it's best optical performance at about f2.8 - f8 depending on the lens. However the majority of them have relatively poor performance up to f2 or f2.8. So having a very wide aperture is useful for some circumstances but may not actually get you the resolution benefit and is likely to actually be counter productive in the context you want it for..

In a practical sense there is little real resolution to be gained going from 6 to 10 Mp except under ideal circumstances. There is an advantage, but bare in mind the vertical/horizontal resolution difference is only 30%, and that 30% is very hard to reach in real world conditions..

Note that these effect means that at wide apertures there is little practical difference between using a normal prime wide open on a D40 or D40x. The optics are a limiting factor. The same can be said after f8 when diffraction effects limit the optics and it again makes little difference which sensor you have..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #6

50mm lenses are cheap to design and manufacture. 35mm lenses are much more expensive due to retrofocal requirements, and usually slower in aperture..

Stick with 50mm for cost reasons..

Greg..

Comment #7

From what i've heard the Pentax FA f2 35mm lens is often available at quite reasonable prices and is a very nice lens. I personally find both the M 1.7 and 1.4 Pentax 50mm to be very nice lenses and the modern versions are probably better...

Comment #8

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