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View Full Version : 50mm or 35mm as prime lens on D50



GuyB
09-12-2005, 09:34 AM
I'm thinking of getting a D50 body with a Nikon 50mm AF f/1.8 prime lens instead of the kit lens. But this will, according to what I've read, effectively act as an 80mm lens (50 x 1.6 = 80) on the D50. This would seem too narrow as an all-purpose prime lens.

I really like the way a 50mm lens on a film SLR mimics the human scale and view point. Would I need to use say a 35mm prime to act as a 50mm would on a film SLR?

nwpoland
09-12-2005, 09:51 AM
I'm thinking of getting a D50 body with a Nikon 50mm AF f/1.8 prime lens instead of the kit lens. But this will, according to what I've read, effectively act as an 80mm lens (50 x 1.6 = 80) on the D50. This would seem too narrow as an all-purpose prime lens.

I really like the way a 50mm lens on a film SLR mimics the human scale and view point. Would I need to use say a 35mm prime to act as a 50mm would on a film SLR?

One correction, the D50 actually has a 1.5x multiplier effect instead of 1.6 like the Canon Rebet XT (don't know about the other Canon cams). Not that that's a huge change, but fyi. So you're spot-on about the difference in how the lens would act on the dSLR vs on a film SLR.

D70FAN
09-12-2005, 04:53 PM
I'm thinking of getting a D50 body with a Nikon 50mm AF f/1.8 prime lens instead of the kit lens. But this will, according to what I've read, effectively act as an 80mm lens (50 x 1.6 = 80) on the D50. This would seem too narrow as an all-purpose prime lens.

I really like the way a 50mm lens on a film SLR mimics the human scale and view point. Would I need to use say a 35mm prime to act as a 50mm would on a film SLR?

I would recomend the 18-55 DX kit lens first. For the $150 spent you will be money ahead. If you want to decide which fixed focal length lens to buy later you can set the kit lens at 28mm, 35mm, or 50mm and decide which focal length would better fit your specialty needs, or whether all 3 should be in your collection.

Personally, I have opted for the Nikkor 35mm f2 and the 50mm f1.8. Both very nice lenses, but not very utilitatrian. For everyday shooting I use a Sigma 18-125. The SB800 (another recommended purchase) makes up for the fact that it's not very fast. Works for me. ;)

Nick
09-12-2005, 07:19 PM
I believe my first ever lense was an Industar-22 f/3.5 50mm. Did I have some adventures with that - I think my six year old self spent a great deal of time backing into walls and cabinets ;)

What I mean is I found the 50mm to be a little restricting, especially inside. Now if you consider that you'll be using the smaller-sensor multiplication factor, it will be far too narrow to use indoor. So, the 35mm should be perfect for you, performing as a 50mm - excellent and regarded as 'standard' ( at least at some point ) for both indoor and out.

George gave good advice, though! It might not turn out to be very practical, the 35mm.The 18-125 or something similar with a wider range might be helpful to you and using a flash to compensate for it's slower speeds can produce great results, especially if you're shooting NEF. Here are my thoughts, though:

Whatever kind of lense you have will not help at all in regards to what kind of photographer you are. Technique and experience, both of which come in time if you're interested in progressing your skills, will. The 18-70 didn't make my photographs any better then those I took with my 50mm; neither did the 70-200. It made them sharper, but that's nit-picking; I still found them boring and undeveloped somehow. My advice: get a 35mm and learn to work with it and around it, anywhere and everywhere. Learn to use the digital darkroom well. By the time that you see improvement and results in your work, you'll know what glass and equipment you need - and what you don't.

Cheers and hope I was at least a tad helpful.

GuyB
09-12-2005, 11:52 PM
Many thanks all - very helpful. A bit of background:

The D50 would be my first digital camera. Previously I've have had an Olympus OM-1 with a 50mm lens that took fabulously clear and bright interior art installation/gallery shots; an Olympus OM-2 with a 35-70mm lens that I find bulky and OTT; and an Olympus MjuII snappy with a fixed 35mm lens which was great for quick fun shots.

I like the idea of a fixed 35mm lens for the D50 for it's discrete minimalism; I find restrictions in zoom quite creative in the way it makes you use "foot zoom" - I'm always happy to move a lot to frame the subject; small and light weight.

On the other hand, the 18-55mm DX lens is such a bargain when bundled with the kit; starting off with just a prime lens might be unnecessarily "hair-shirt".

I think I'd like to rethink/relearn everything in the digital world, rather than rely on what I've preferred and learnt with film. Once I've got used to the possibilities of the 18-55mm, I can always get more lens later.

Does the 18-55mm DX lens have "actual" (film SLR-like) settings marked on it so I can see how it would look if it were a film 35mm or 50mm lens? Or should I simply start to think digital rather than film?

D70FAN
09-13-2005, 06:39 AM
Many thanks all - very helpful. A bit of background:

The D50 would be my first digital camera. Previously I've have had an Olympus OM-1 with a 50mm lens that took fabulously clear and bright interior art installation/gallery shots; an Olympus OM-2 with a 35-70mm lens that I find bulky and OTT; and an Olympus MjuII snappy with a fixed 35mm lens which was great for quick fun shots.

I like the idea of a fixed 35mm lens for the D50 for it's discrete minimalism; I find restrictions in zoom quite creative in the way it makes you use "foot zoom" - I'm always happy to move a lot to frame the subject; small and light weight.

On the other hand, the 18-55mm DX lens is such a bargain when bundled with the kit; starting off with just a prime lens might be unnecessarily "hair-shirt".

I think I'd like to rethink/relearn everything in the digital world, rather than rely on what I've preferred and learnt with film. Once I've got used to the possibilities of the 18-55mm, I can always get more lens later.

Does the 18-55mm DX lens have "actual" (film SLR-like) settings marked on it so I can see how it would look if it were a film 35mm or 50mm lens? Or should I simply start to think digital rather than film?

The lens is pretty minimalist as far as markings (as you might expect from a $150 lens) but it does have focal length markings. Keep in mind that this is now the equivalent of a 27mm-82.5mm lens on a D50 due to the crop factor compared to 35mm film. As mentioned previously this is always the case.

For other settings (aperture and shutter speed) you can see these on the small LCD display and in the viewfinder.

I recomended the 18-55 sight unseen. But from what I have read so far, it works very well within it's limits. A little soft wide open (f3.5), with normal barrel distortion at 18mm, but still a very good low-cost first lens.

My Sigma 18-125 is not a high end lens, but works very well for $270. It does vignette a little at the extremes, but I can eliminate it in Nikon Capture 4. My copy is pretty sharp, and has served me well for over a year.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words... most of these are taken with the 18-125:

http://d70fan.smugmug.com/

brandname
09-13-2005, 05:31 PM
I would go with the nikon 18-70. i tried the 18-50 and ot was a crappy plastic toy.

D70FAN
09-14-2005, 06:34 AM
I would go with the nikon 18-70. i tried the 18-50 and ot was a crappy plastic toy.

Yup. I never said the 18-55 was a super high quality build, but optically it appears to be a good compromise for the cost ($150 vs. $400 for the 18-70), and a good starter lens.

The 18-70 was very nice, but not long enough for me so I opted for the Sigma. Turns out to be as good (or better) optically but not quite as good build wise, but still darned good for a $270 lens.