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 Post subject: Which Nikon Prime?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:38 pm 
Hello!

I currently own the 18-55mm kit lens and a Tamron 80-210mm f3.8 lens with my D3100. I am planning on buying some new glass as I feel I am moving on in photography.

I have decided on a new telephoto as the lack of auto on the Tamron is starting to annoy me slightly. I am choosing between the Nikon 55-300 or the 70-300. I understand the advantages of the 70-300, however it is quite expensive for me at the moment.

I would also like to purchase 1 or 2 cheap prime lenses. I saw today that Nikon released the new 40mm f2.8 micro lens, which looks very appealing!

So, for the prime lenses, I am choosing between:
35mm f1.8
50mm f1.8 (the new one)
40mm f2.8

As mentioned, I could buy one or two of those primes. Which ones should I go for.

Thank you very much for your help. [/list]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:12 pm 
I don't believe the D3100 has a built in focus motor so if you get non-AFS lenses you will have to focus manually.
The 35mm will give you a wider field of view roughly approximating to a "standard" lens which is great for general photography,street shots and the like.
The 50mm is slightly longer and will make a good portrait lens as well as a general usage glass although the 85mm is even better for portraits. If you shoot a lot of portraits then go for either the 50mm or 85mm. If you want a lens for general shooting then the 35mm or 50mm would be better.
The 50mm is available in 1.4f and 1.8f max apertures but I believe the 35mm is only available as a 1.8f. The 1.4f lenses are considerably more expensive but do enable you to shoot in dimmer light without necessarily increasing your ISO to noisy levels. I myself have the 50mm and 85mm 1.8f versions and have been more than happy with the image quality.
I know nothing of the 40mm. To be honest I didn't know there was one.
Good luck with whatever you finally decide to purchase.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:14 pm 
35mm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:16 am
Posts: 237
Perhaps you could give some information as to why you want the prime lens and what your intended uses will be. Without this information, it seems hard for anyone to suggest a particular lens.

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Body: Canon Rebel XS, Canon EOS 7D
Lenses: Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.0 OS HSM DC Macro, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM, Canon EF 85mm f1.8 II USM


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
Hey Ranald, and welcome to the Cameralabs Forums!

To answer your question, all three of these lenses all have different purposes. The 35mm is a superb, small, compact and inexpensive lens that gives a 35mm equivalent of 50mm on a DX camera (such as your D3100) resulting in a "normal" field of view. It's a great lens for day to day shooting, both indoors and outside. I'd go for this lens if you want something that will function as an all-purpose prime.

The 50mm is also a nice, sharp prime that gives a 35mm equivalent of 75mm, meaning that it would be great for portrait work or everyday shooting. It's not as wide as the 35mm, so in some situations you may find yourself looking for the slightly wider field of view, but it's still a wonderful lens. I'd take a look at it if you're really interested in portraiture.

The new 40mm f/2.8 is more of a specialized lens, it's a small, general purpose micro (macro) lens for shots of flowers or other close up objects. It's a tad bit larger than the 35mm, but a full 1 1/3 stop slower, so you do lost a fair bit of light. It gives a 60mm equivalent, so it's somewhere between the 50mm and 75mm that the other two offer. The fact that it doubles as an "everyday" lens plus a macro lens is a great reason to consider it, but you'll have to deal with the loss of light. I'd purchase this lens if you want a prime that will work in most situations, plus double as a macro lens.
You can read more about it in my post here.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:47 pm
Posts: 202
Location: Osijek
35 mm lens...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:10 am 
Hi Guys!

Thank you all for your advice, it is all very helpful.

As I mentioned in the first post, I have not really specialized in one field of photography yet, however below are my favorite things to shoot:
Sport (Please could anyone advise on whether to go for the Nikon 55-300 or the 70-300)
Travel (Pictures of holidays including family shots, visits to places, a little bit of architecture etc)
Macro (I do like to shoot macro, especially small models like Lego figures, flowers and I would also like to get into more insect photography)
Moon shots (again, advice between the 55-300 or the 70-300)

I have two main options:
70-300 and ONE prime
55-300 and TWO primes

I think for the primes, I will definitively go for the 40mm, as I do like macro. Will the 40mm be good for portraits as well though? If I was to get a second prime lens, which would you go for between the 35mm and the 50mm.

Thank you so much for your help, it is very useful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
Hello,

For a telephoto used for sports shots or moon shots, I'd definitely go for the 70-300. It's a wonderful, well built tele zoom that has many features that the 55-300 doesn't offer (such as the focusing window, the manual focus override, etc) and it's much sharper. Also remember that if you ever upgrade to a Full Frame body in the future, the 70-300 would be comparable with it (being an FX lens) while the 55-300 wouldn't perform very well.
For travel or macro shots, the 40mm would do just fine but keep in mind that you'd lose the extra stop and a bit of light that the 35mm or 50mm offers, the 35mm or 50mm would be the better choice if you do a lot of indoor, low light photography. Otherwise, the micro should be a very nice compact lens. For insect photography however, you'd probably want to take a look at a lens like the 105mm micro or a 3rd party brand such as the Tokina 100mm micro if the 105 si too expensive.
For portraiture, although it's not what the 40mm is designed for, it could get the job done for most situations. I'd take a look at the 50mm for portrait though, as the wider aperture can isolate the subject better and the longer focal length comes in handy.

If you have your heart set on a 40 micro and a 70-300 tele zoom, you should have a pretty good combo. However, if you can find room in your budget for a second lens, I'd go for the 50mm if you really like doing portraits but the 35mm for everyday shots of anything else.

-Evan

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:23 am 
Thanks Evan, that's really useful!
I think I might place a pre-order for the 40mm, and then wait a couple of months before buying the 70-300, because it is quite a big investment!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am
Posts: 1551
Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
You're welcome, I'm glad that I could help :)

You'll love the 70-300 over your old 80-210mm f3.8 (the push pull, I'm presuming?).

Have fun with the new lenses!

_________________
-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:01 am 
Yea, it is a push-pull. The condition of it is actually fantastic, however the need to use it in full manual, and no auto focus is slightly annoying!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:05 am 
35mm F1.8 is great lens, the 50mm F1.8 is also great, probabaly eveb a bit better then the 35mm. 50mm is a bit useless for indoors photography. At least in small rooms anyways. So if you want to photograph indoors 35mm would be best. If you want to use it outside I recommend 50mm a bit over the 35mm.

But in both cases you might encouter (rare) situtations that you think: I wish I bought the other one.

I dont know about the 40mm didnt know there was one until i read this post.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:13 am
Posts: 182
Location: Oxon, UK
Hi Ranald

I would echo the recommendation of the 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens, its a superb lens and great if you ever decide to go full-frame.

In relation to the prime lens dilemna, I own a 50mm Nikkor lens. It takes brillian pictures, and the lack of any zoom makes you rethink how you compose your pics. The only down side I find is that if you are in a confined space then the crop factor means that you can't always compose a picture quickly, as the lens will effectively function as a 75mm. So I would give the 35 mm a close look if I were you

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:16 pm 
@NikonFreak, the 40mm was just announced a day or two ago form Nikon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
I'd personally prefer the 35mm F/1.8 over the 40 2.8 macro, but that's only if you intend to shoot in lowlight (indoors) more than macro.

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