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What lens should I buy (Nikkor or third party lens)?
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May 17, 2013
7:05 pm
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I have a Nikon D7000 camera unit.

Is it okay to purchase sigma brand or tamron brand (third party) lens?

Additional question.

Prime Lens:
AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D = USD 135.00                                            

AF-NIKKOR-50mm-f-1.8D.jpg

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G = USD 220.00

AF-S-NIKKOR-50mm-f1.8G.jpg

Do I need to buy D or G? I use D7000 (with built-in motor).

please compare the two lenses (advantage and disadvantages)

Thank you.

 

 

 

Thank you.

Best regards,

May 18, 2013
3:56 am
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Between the nikkor 50’s, everything I’ve read says that the newer G is the better, even for the 7000.

I don’t recall if you have the 35mm 1.8G.  If not…. That is the prime, I believe, is what you should buy for a DX camera.

 

At these prices, I’d stick with Nikon lenses. If you get to the point where you are considering expensive lenses, then it

it time to buy off brand.

-- Mandrake --

May 20, 2013
6:49 am
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Regarding the focal length of the lens.. to get a shallow DoF I need a wide aperture and long focal length right? please correct me if im wrong…

Is 35mm 1.8G  better than 50mm 1.8G?

Or does 15mm really matters?

Thank you sir mandrake

Thank you.

Best regards,

May 20, 2013
4:45 pm
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The 50mm should give you a more narrow dof, but the 35mm is probably a bit sharper…. The important thing with both of these is the 1.8 aperture opening.  With either, you will get great dof.  I chose between the two and chose the 35mm.

-- Mandrake --

May 20, 2013
8:08 pm
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Thank you for the recommendation..

but now im confuse… because my other friend recommended thr 50mm lens… :)

Thank you.

Best regards,

May 21, 2013
5:03 am
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Ken Rockwell has a great site for reviews of lenses…

 

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nik…../index.htm

May 21, 2013
5:58 pm
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Another good site is for both camera and lens reviews is DxOMark:

 

http://www.dxomark.com/index.p…..Nikon-D600

May 21, 2013
7:32 pm
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Thank you mscharff…

Thank you.

Best regards,

May 23, 2013
3:35 pm
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What are planning to shoot with it? Both 50mm and 35mm are good lenses. You have to keep in mind that with 35mm you will get a lot of distortion when shooting portraits. It will work for a full body, but for closeups not so much. 

May 23, 2013
9:00 pm
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I would like to use is for portraits.

May I know why does 35mm give a lot of distortion? and what is distortion in photography.. hehe

Thank you.

Thank you.

Best regards,

May 24, 2013
12:07 am
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Very ofter you get distortion with white angle lenses. For example if you take a portrait, the things which are closer to the camera appears much bigger – disproportional. There are photographers so, who use this to their advantage and make it their style. For example Platon:

http://www.google.com/search?q…..8;bih=1077  

But I would assume that for a lot of his work he uses even shorter lens when 35mm + I think he shoots medium format, so the lens will be shorter then on cropped sensor. 

It you get a chance, go to the store and ask them to try 50mm and 35mm on your camera. Take a close headshot of somebody with them. Go home and compare. Let me know which one you like better. 

 

May 29, 2013
6:05 pm
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I asked the shop if I can try the lens they say “NO” unless I will buy it..

HAHAHAHA…

they say if problems occur I can return the item for warranty claim..

I try to ask again from another shop maybe next week..

Thank you.

Best regards,

May 31, 2013
9:29 pm
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UPG_8244.JPG

50mm 1.8D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPG_8246.JPG

35mm 1.8D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend said that 35mm is better when shooting in rooms..

 

The Bokeh of 35mm is also good but I like the bokeh of 50mm…

 

but I think the difference is minimal.. Ill probably buy thr 35mm… thnx

 

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Thank you.

Best regards,

June 3, 2013
11:02 am
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Chasmz…

You probably have a 18-55mm zoom.  Set it to 35mm, leave it there, don’t touch it…… and then take a bunch of pictures.
Now… Change the zoom to 50mm, leave it there, don’t touch it….. and take a bunch of pictures.

Which was better for you?

It’s kinda like picking a girlfriend.

-- Mandrake --

June 10, 2013
8:03 am
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Hi chasmz. Before you spend any money, check around your city. There may be a camera club or photography school/class that you could visit. The 50mm (i.e. the “nifty-fifty”) and 35mm are very popular lenses and it’s likely that another photographer in your area has one or both so that you could test them out for free! But neither might be the best choice for portraits — due to the widening distortion that could result.

If you’re going to be taking portraits, you might also consider using a zoom lens — zoomed to the max. This is what many pros use. And there are advantages for doing so:  the greater distance from your model might make them more comfortable and at ease (which will definitely yield better shots) and the zoom lens’ compression will make for more flattering shots (i.e. less distortion). If you have a zoom lens on-hand, give it a shot. You might be pleased with the results. And as long as your subject is a good distance from the background, you will still get lots of lovely blur to isolate your model.

Tips hat,

James

 

June 25, 2013
9:20 pm
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Thanks for the comment Wattage

Thank you.

Best regards,

July 5, 2013
1:24 pm
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wattage said
Hi chasmz. Before you spend any money, check around your city. There may be a camera club or photography school/class that you could visit. The 50mm (i.e. the “nifty-fifty”) and 35mm are very popular lenses and it’s likely that another photographer in your area has one or both so that you could test them out for free! But neither might be the best choice for portraits — due to the widening distortion that could result.

If you’re going to be taking portraits, you might also consider using a zoom lens — zoomed to the max. This is what many pros use. And there are advantages for doing so:  the greater distance from your model might make them more comfortable and at ease (which will definitely yield better shots) and the zoom lens’ compression will make for more flattering shots (i.e. less distortion). If you have a zoom lens on-hand, give it a shot. You might be pleased with the results. And as long as your subject is a good distance from the background, you will still get lots of lovely blur to isolate your model.

Tips hat,

James

 

Hi Jamie,

 

I must disagree with you. 50mm is a great lens for portraits and for those who just starting out you can’t really beat the price! Before I got my 85mm (which is a great portrait lens, but more expensive), I used 50mm all the time. You goet different look and feel from it them from lets say 200mm. Not all pros use zoom telephotos. It all depends on your style and how you like to work with model. Sometimes you want to be clother to the model to be able to direct her/him without having to scream. It also depends on the crop (full body, heatshoot, etc.) and the space you have to step back. Sometimes you don’t have enough space to step back with 200mm. 

 

I have a video in mind comparison all possible portrait lenses. I hope I can do it very soon. 

 

Also the trick to get less distortion is to leave more space then you need around your subject and then crop it a bit in post. It also useful in general, because of different print sizes. You have more flexibility this way. 

 

Here some examples of portraits takes with Nikon 50mm f1.4:

 

1. ISO 100, F2.5 1/250

2. ISO 200  f3.2 1/4000

3. ISO 100 f11 1/100

4. ISO 100 f4.5  1/250

5. ISO 100 f3.5  1/30

50mm_portraits_10.jpg

 

 

 

  

50mm_portraits_11.jpg

 

 

50mm_portraits_12.jpg

 

50mm_portraits_13.jpg

 

 

50mm_portraits_14.jpg

 

July 6, 2013
7:32 am
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We’re veering a little off-topic from the OP’s original questions, but ok..  

Your example photos are very nice. And they demonstrate that portraits can be executed successfully with a 50mm lens. But as you pointed out, for shooting portraits with a 35mm DX or 50mm FX the photographer must be a bit more careful about composing, setting up for the shot, and editing it after the fact. And some models will be comfortable with the photographer being so close if using a wider lens.

But if we’re talking about distortion, comparison shots better illustrate the distortion that wider-angle lenses introduce. Since I don’t have any shots like this of my own ready to go, I’ll reference test shots done by others (with link provided). These shots came from an article about this very topic. The author references a video from well-known professional Scott Kelby that goes into even more detail. He and most of his staff support using zoom lenses for portraiture.

Everything’s relative, but I like the look from the telephoto lens better. It’s one reason Nikon can still command $2400 USA for their kingpin 70-200mm f/2.8. But any zoom will do the job, a kit lens or a bargin-bin-priced 70-300mm. And a zoom lens offers lots of versatility for those just starting out.

I’m glad you’re thinking of doing a video for portrait lens comparison. Will be good to see.

James

 

lens-distortion-1.png

 

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July 6, 2013
11:56 am
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You are right, the wider the angle, the more distortion you get (especially on FX body due to shorter focal lens). My favorite lenses on FX is 85mm and 105mm (macro) for close up portraits. I also use 50mm on FX for more full body shoots. If it comes to zoom, I love 24-70mm f2.8. If I could keep only one lens, 24-70mm f2.8 would be the one. I also have 70-200mm, but I mostly use it for stage performances or events. Rarely for portraits. It is my personal preference. I like to be closer to the model and like the look of shorter lenses better. I feel like long lenses compress image more and shorter ones make it look more 3D and make model look more personable (kind of like viewer can look into the soul). Also it is more easy to active the look where eyes are in focus and the rest slowly falls out of focus with shorter lenses. With longer ones it is easier to get the whole person in focus. Ones again it all depends what you are going for and what your style it. 

I don’t think that statement, all professionals use long zoom, is right. I know a lot of portrait photographer who use shorter focal lens primes (85mm is very popular). Scott Kelby and his staff have certain style and this is why they all use the same lenses to keep it consistent. 

Also your example is very close head shoot, and the closer you get to the model, the more distortion you have.  But portrait isn’t always a close headshot, it also can be full body and environmental. In a lot of cases you will find yourself restricted by the space and will not be able to step back far enough to use long lens. 

There is no 100% right or wrong answer to the question, if you should use long or short lens for portraits. It all depends on the situation, the crop (headshot, full body, etc) and your personal style. I probably would not choose anything less then 50mm on DX and less then 85mm on FX for close up head shoot, but for full body/environmental is a different story. I also disagree that telephoto (like 200mm) is the only way to go. 

 

Also you can’t beat the price of $200 for 50mm f1.8. Huge difference compare to $2400 for 70-200mm. 50mm f1.8 could be a great starter for anyone. 

 

Here some example of portraits with my other favorite lenses:

 

1. 24-70 f2.8 on DX (shoot at 58mm – it was the case when I could not step back more) ISO 320, 1/80  f5

2. 85mm f1.8 on DX – ISO 100, 1/100 f2.8

3. 105mm f2.8 macro on FX – ISO 100, 1/100 f8

 

24-70mm_portrait-2.jpg85mm_portraits-1.jpg100mm_portraits-1.jpg

 

 

 

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July 6, 2013
12:24 pm
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I think you’re confused on what I have said. Perhaps you misread my earlier post(s). In both, I have presented a case for the OP to ‘consider’. Specifically, I said many professionals use zoom lenses for portraits, not all. And this is a true statement, many professionals -do- prefer using zoom lenses for portraits. Clearly, you are not one of them. And this is fine.

The great thing about photography is that it’s very subjective and opinions and preferences vary greatly. As do definitions of “Portrait”. This brief discussion is proof positive of this. And there is no single right answer. It all comes down to what the photographer and/or the client like. When I look at the portrait shots side-by-side, I prefer the results from zoom lenses. I like the flattering effect that the lens compression gives to facial features like the cheeks, nose, and eyes.

I think the best thing for the OP to do is try everything that’s available to him/her, compare the results, and make the decision that way. 

James

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