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Fixed Lens
Hey guys, after doing some more research I think I would rather go the path of fixed lenses rather then zoom. I'm looking to take my photography skills to a semi professional level and I feel that using fixed lenses will help me improve my cropping skills and gives a better bang for buck. The first lens I was looking to get is the Nikon 50mm f1.8, is it worthwhile getting the f1.4? The price is nearly double just for better quality low light pictures, are there any other benefits? I was also interested in knowing what lenses would be good for portraits and landscapes...

Comments (10)

Genki_Vega wrote:.

Hey guys, after doing some more research I think I would rather gothe path of fixed lenses rather then zoom. I'm looking to take myphotography skills to a semi professional level and I feel that usingfixed lenses will help me improve my cropping skills and gives abetter bang for buck. The first lens I was looking to get is theNikon 50mm f1.8, is it worthwhile getting the f1.4? The price isnearly double just for better quality low light pictures, are thereany other benefits? I was also interested in knowing what lenseswould be good for portraits and landscapes..

I would have thought the logical order would be to define your use then decide upon a lens to fill it. Presently we do not know:.

What camera?what use?what is your budget?.

A 50mm lens on a DX crop camera is neither fish nor fowl..

Why the antipathy to zooms?.

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #1

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Genki_Vega wrote:.

Hey guys, after doing some more research I think I would rather gothe path of fixed lenses rather then zoom. I'm looking to take myphotography skills to a semi professional level and I feel that usingfixed lenses will help me improve my cropping skills and gives abetter bang for buck. The first lens I was looking to get is theNikon 50mm f1.8, is it worthwhile getting the f1.4? The price isnearly double just for better quality low light pictures, are thereany other benefits? I was also interested in knowing what lenseswould be good for portraits and landscapes..

I would have thought the logical order would be to define your usethen decide upon a lens to fill it. Presently we do not know:.

What camera?what use?what is your budget?.

A 50mm lens on a DX crop camera is neither fish nor fowl..

Why the antipathy to zooms?.

Chris Elliott.

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

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/.

It's on a Nikon D80, I would be using the lenses for pretty much everything, portraits, landscapes, normal shots. I wouldn't use such a strong word as antipathy but for me I feel that I will get more out of a fixed lens...

Comment #2

Genki_Vega wrote:.

It's on a Nikon D80, I would be using the lenses for pretty mucheverything, portraits, landscapes, normal shots. I wouldn't use sucha strong word as antipathy but for me I feel that I will get more outof a fixed lens..

I think you are almost certainly wrong about that..

The principle reason for having zooms is that they act as a whole seies of lenses, and offer greater shooting opportunities as a result, all the more because they do not have to be swapped on and off so often..

This is not to say that fixed f-lengths are of no use. Far from it! It's just that their role is secondary alongside zooms, these days.Regards,Baz..

Comment #3

Genki_Vega wrote:.

It's on a Nikon D80, I would be using the lenses for pretty mucheverything, portraits, landscapes, normal shots. I wouldn't use sucha strong word as antipathy but for me I feel that I will get more outof a fixed lens..

If you insist upon one prime lens a 50mm is the wrong one. There are two realistic options:.

Nikon 35 f/2Sugma 30mm f/1.4.

The Nikon is cheaper..

But you really need 3 primes;.

35mm50 mm85mm.

For the same price as a 50mm f/1.8 new you will get a lightly used 18-55mm kit lens and you will get an 18-70mm or 18-135 for roughly double that price. You will get a faster lens using prime but it will be no sharper at most settings and SO much less flexible..

Get a kit lens then a prime in which case the 50mm f/1.8 will be OK as a general purpose low light lens..

Look at the lesn revies here:.

Http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview.

And here:.

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showcat.php/cat/2.

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #4

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Look at the lesn revies here:.

A case of the dreaded 'lesn revies', eh?.

Looks like you are having the same trouble typing as me, today....

Barrie Davis wrote:.

.... as a whole seies of lenses,.

Styill, nevar mond. Wors thongs hjappen atr sea. Regards,Baz..

Comment #5

DSLR cameras are better than P&S cameras because they can be set up to handle specific situations better. You can change the lens, use high ISO, etc. for specific situations..

A prime lens is part of that, but a prime is specialized lens on a specialized system. You are not yet specialized..

Get a decent body and a decent (maybe better than the kit) mid range zoom. Find out what you want in your next lens by taking pictures long enough that you will know you need "wider" or "longer" or "faster" or "closer" or whatever it is you like to do and then get a lens for that. It might be a prime at that point. It might not..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #6

I'd argue that a 20mm lens should replace either the 50 or the 85, if someone is limited to three primes on a D80..

Most people find a wide angle lens useful..

BAK..

Comment #7

The 50mm f/1.4 is sharper at larger apertures and built better. At f/4 the 1.8 has a very sharp center. For just over $100 it's hard to beat, but if you are really set on fixed focal length you'll probably end up buying the 1.4 at some time...

Comment #8

Genki_Vega wrote:.

Hey guys, after doing some more research I think I would rather gothe path of fixed lenses rather then zoom. I'm looking to take myphotography skills to a semi professional level and I feel that usingfixed lenses will help me improve my cropping skills and gives abetter bang for buck. The first lens I was looking to get is theNikon 50mm f1.8, is it worthwhile getting the f1.4? The price isnearly double just for better quality low light pictures, are thereany other benefits? I was also interested in knowing what lenseswould be good for portraits and landscapes..

Hi.

Some fixed lenses will give you a better bang for buck...and some are just plain silly as far as price goes....this also applies to some zooms..

Cropping...what makes you think primes will improve your skills?...for me it's the opposite as you can still use a zoom as a fixed lens...stand where you would as if it was a prime, but you also have the luxury of getting it right (or nearly so) in camera....great for when you can not move around, also lets you "see" the photo by zooming...you might see something you would not otherwise if the focal length is fixed..

Generally (but not always) faster lenses are better than slower ones iq wise. You can also stop down a fast one but can not speed up a slow one....so I would get the fastest you can afford and are likely to use..

Primes are still (mostly) better than zooms iq wise...there are a couple of exceptions that cost a lot. The difference is not that much though these days and has not been for a few years..

Given the same aperture I would always go for a decent zoom over a prime....thats the point though, primes can give you faster apertures that are simply not available for zooms..

For me it's primes when the light is really low, when a blurred background is needed ie portraits where the subject is to stand out....if it's more an environmental portrait then, stopping down means you can use any lens that will get what you want in frame..

One thing to consider is getting manual focus primes to start...you can get a faster aperture for less money..

I would get a wide to mid zoom, the fastest you can reasonably afford and the fastest prime you can afford to start with...does not matter what focal length but would probably be 50mm...50 1.4 and Tamron or Sigma 17-35 2.8-4 can be had for reasonable prices. After that you could add a 28-75 2.8 zoom, then go either longer (85 1.8) or shorter (30 1.4) or whatever you desire....you will soon know what you are missing. You could add a reasonable long zoom after that..

Depends on what you want to shoot thogh, you may end up shorter still or going long..

Me, I am on a budget and use manual focus 28 f2, 50 1.2, 85 1.8, 135 1.8 and 300 2.8 lenses with auto focus zooms Tamron 17-35 2.8-4 and Sigma 28-105 2.8-4 (among other old lenses) on my Pentax dslrs. Future buys will be a Tamron 28-75 2.8 to retire the Sigma 28-105, and maybe a 50 1.4af lens for when I need to get the shot quicker....also want a better, faster, manual focus(out to 200mm) zoom than the mf and af ones I currently have. Of course on my pentax all my lenses are stabilised and I can auto focus them with an adapter (and 1.7x increase in focal length and decrease in aperture)..

Neil..

Comment #9

Genki_Vega wrote:.

It's on a Nikon D80, I would be using the lenses for pretty mucheverything, portraits, landscapes, normal shots..

I'd suggest that the 35mm f/2.0 should be your first prime lens. (A "normal" lens for a D80 would be a 33mm lens.) The 50mm f/1.8 is a good portrait lens, but it is too long for landscapes and would be inconvenient even for some normal shots...

Comment #10

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