First prime advise


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#1
Hi pple,
I'm looking forward to getting a faster glass and have narrowed it down to a few lens and would like to hear some feedback and advise from fellow csers. The primary use of this new lens must assist me ( ultimately i'm the one who screws or makes the shot) in capturing nice n memorable shots.

My previous lens are the 28-100 and 70-300 G lens by nikon. That said, they were good lens to start off my passion n my knowledge; but being slow, they were only relatively good in strong sunlight and their performance drops really fast when light starts to fade. (have seen and am very interested in taking nice nite shots)

Hence my short list of 3 lenses which seems to confound me at the moment.

Contender 1: Nikon 50mm/f.18
well, its cheap, fast and allows me to capture in almost all kinds of light. Not much negative feedback whereever i try to find. ( maybe its the cost-comparison effect)

Contendere 2: Sigma 30mm f/1.4
heard from fellow csers that this lens is superb, allows creamy bokeh, works even better in low light due to the apperature size but may suffer from the peeling ( acceptable cos I cant afford n find a 28mm f1/4 one by nikon) and some front focusing issue meaning choosing THE KEEPER lens is very critial.

Contender 3: Tokina 12-24 f/4 lens
Well,not really a prime but basically as an extension to my lens aresenal which is not an overlap. Also, it can be a 'better' walk-around lens.

My concerns are many and long but i'll list down the few major ones.
1. the huge price difference betwen the 50mm and 30mm primes.

2. build quality and durability of the prime itself.
is there extra care that these lens must b subject to compared to my previous G lenses? ( not that i abuse my g lenses :bsmilie: )

3. how badly does the crop factor afffect my buying decision?
ie: should i be concerned about the equivalent 50mm and mm focal distance from the two primes?

4. How would this prime lens affect my future lens purchase decision?

5. resale value
I'm not particularly interested in resale primarily the 50mm is rather cheap and if i do get a keeper sigma 30mm, it'll be on my d70s body most of the time to help me take photos.

6. Comparing the walk-about ability between these 2 primes and the ultra wide angle tokina, which has a better walk-around ability? Also, would the wide angle suffer from more distortion, ca and other lens related issues compared to the primes?

7. filters...since there is a good chance the prime would be of a different size with my other lens ( current and future). Do I just standardized everything by purchasing a 77mm now and use step-up adaptors from now on?



Sorry for the long winded post.
Do feel free to give me some advise, and comments on the above and anything i've missed out.
 

sci80298

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Jul 16, 2006
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#2
Changed to DSLR? I'll go for the 85mm f1.4 for portrait shot. Best for outdoor shoot (nice bokeh). Coveting this lens myself. Waiting for my bonus to come in. It's sharp. The 85mm creates a nice bokeh and very good resale value. Price should be $1650. Oracle may be able to get at $1400 for MO. Treat it as an investment. No point buying lens that you don't like and sell them again. Might as well rent them. I know price is your concern. Wait for bonus like me loh.

Anything more than 85mm, you have to be very careful of handshake due to the crop factor. It uses a 77mm filter.
 

#3
I'll go for the 85mm f1.4 for portrait shot. Best for outdoor shoot. Coveting this lens myself. Waiting for my bonus to come in. It's sharp. The 85mm creates a nice bokeh and very good resale value. Price should be $1650. Oracle may be able to get at $1400 for MO. Treat it as an investment. No point buying lens that you don't like and sell them again. Might as well rent them. Anything more than 85mm, you have to be very careful of handshake due to the crop factor.

It uses a 77mm filter.
hmm...would keep in mind this lens.
though the price is abit out of my reach atm, but i wun mind waiting a while hee hee.
u hit the spot, having the 70-300 sitting in my other camera bag most of the time makes me want to consider each and every lens purchase carefully. no point buying and not utilizing it.
 

#6
yup, actually meant 70-300 is sitting in my camera bag most of the time when i'm out shooting. i do put them back into my dry cabinet when i'm done with it.

if i use the camera n lens on a daily body, would it be better to leave it outside for convinence sake or put them in the cabinet n take them out when required?
 

sci80298

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#7
yup, actually meant 70-300 is sitting in my camera bag most of the time when i'm out shooting. i do put them back into my dry cabinet when i'm done with it.

if i use the camera n lens on a daily body, would it be better to leave it outside for convinence sake or put them in the cabinet n take them out when required?
Won't be much of a use if put in a dry cabinet as it takes time for the humidity to disappear anyway. My stupid cabinet can take 2 days to reach 40%. A bit retarded. That's the problem with buying a cheap one. As long as you use it daily, it won't turn mouldy (esp if its exposed to a bit of sun). If not daily, its better to put in the cabinet. Once mould is formed, there's no way to remove them 100%. It'll just grow back at an exponential rate.
 

#8
Won't be much of a use if put in a dry cabinet as it takes time for the humidity to disappear anyway. My stupid cabinet can take 2 days to reach 40%. A bit retarded. That's the problem with buying a cheap one. As long as you use it daily, it won't turn mouldy (esp if its exposed to a bit of sun). If not daily, its better to put in the cabinet. Once mould is formed, there's no way to remove them 100%. It'll just grow by at an exponential rate.
well, as long as its doing its job...cant fault it for being cheaper rite?
how would one spot mould? a little fleck somewhere in the lens near the mount or in the front element?
 

ExplorerZ

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2006
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#11
just wanna say something... do you choose lens because it is a prime, or do you feel the need to get that lens (mainly for the focal length, big aperture or quality) :dunno:
if you reason is just to get a prime, get the 50mm f1.8, it is cheapest of the lots.
 

#12
just wanna say something... do you choose lens because it is a prime, or do you feel the need to get that lens (mainly for the focal length, big aperture or quality) :dunno:
if you reason is just to get a prime, get the 50mm f1.8, it is cheapest of the lots.
erm, yup tat qn did pop up on more than one occasion.
the reasons for buying a new lens are
1. the 28-100 wasnt very sharp and tend to be noisy when in low light areas
2. it was also unable to take any good nite shots without flash. ( some of the junked pics were due to motion blur ( both camera n subject), just too dark to capture the moment

so yes, the 50mm was the first upgrade to be considered which seems to be able to satisfy the above 2 criteria.
so after a little more digging, i realized most of my pics in the 28mm (50mm equivalent region) area wasnt really that focused and sharp as i love them to be and a prime at the 30 mm region would best suit me. (except that the next lens i will buy must be able to work well in low-light places hence the sigma 1.4 prime).

likewise, i also know by shifting myself forward or backwards, i can overcome this fixed lfocal length. but was tempted to see wat responses and comments there were for buying the first prime lens. like do i go for the cheapest first or go for the range where most of my shots r or start near the end of my zoom range and work back?
 

Jun 27, 2002
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#13
after shooting primes for a while i will know where to stand to get the shot, i walk to my shot before i reach for the viewfinder.

my suggesting is to do 2 things, see your shooting patterns closely and get the one that is nearest to your 'always used' focal length.

or

buy the 50mm prime and try, if primes are not your cup of tea, the tea will not be so painfully expensive.
 

Peterpan00

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Oct 6, 2006
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#14
Many people would be happy to give you advice and suggestions, there are also many websites that proves reviews on lenses. But I think what is most important is YOU. What pictures do YOU want to take? What sort of investment are YOU confortable with? What is the weight YOU are confortable carrying? What is your shooting style and what in a photo is important to YOU?

The Nikon 50mm F1.4 lens is slightly heavier than the 50mm F1.8. Some photographers claims that the 50mm F1.4 is sharper than the 50mm F1.8, thought I cannot tell the difference. But do you want to spent the extra $300 on the 50mm F1.4 instead of the 50mm F1.8 to have better flexibility in low light and if you believe, sharper images? But one thing was must helpful to me in my work is that the 50mm F1.4's shallow depth of field is helpful in isolating my primary subject from the background. But ask yourself what is important to YOU?

The 50mm is not the only prime lens. But I think in deciding what you want, you should ask yourself first. But my usual advise to my friends is that buy a 50mm F1.8 normal prime lens first. Give it a try, if you are using a nikon, it will only cost you about $180. If you think prime lenses work better for you than a Zoom, then go buy more prime lenses.

I hope this helps.
 

#15
just wanna say something... do you choose lens because it is a prime, or do you feel the need to get that lens (mainly for the focal length, big aperture or quality) :dunno:
if you reason is just to get a prime, get the 50mm f1.8, it is cheapest of the lots.
I'm choosing this new lens for its big aperature, quality and low-light ability.
as for focal length, i think it would be a change to move myself nearer or further from the subject ( which would also help me to gauge and see what should and shouldnt be in the picture)
 

#16
after shooting primes for a while i will know where to stand to get the shot, i walk to my shot before i reach for the viewfinder.

my suggesting is to do 2 things, see your shooting patterns closely and get the one that is nearest to your 'always used' focal length.

or

buy the 50mm prime and try, if primes are not your cup of tea, the tea will not be so painfully expensive.
yup, thanks for ur advise.
could decide if this tea suits me or not :p
 

#17
Many people would be happy to give you advice and suggestions, there are also many websites that proves reviews on lenses. But I think what is most important is YOU. What pictures do YOU want to take? What sort of investment are YOU confortable with? What is the weight YOU are confortable carrying? What is your shooting style and what in a photo is important to YOU?

The Nikon 50mm F1.4 lens is slightly heavier than the 50mm F1.8. Some photographers claims that the 50mm F1.4 is sharper than the 50mm F1.8, thought I cannot tell the difference. But do you want to spent the extra $300 on the 50mm F1.4 instead of the 50mm F1.8 to have better flexibility in low light and if you believe, sharper images? But one thing was must helpful to me in my work is that the 50mm F1.4's shallow depth of field is helpful in isolating my primary subject from the background. But ask yourself what is important to YOU?

The 50mm is not the only prime lens. But I think in deciding what you want, you should ask yourself first. But my usual advise to my friends is that buy a 50mm F1.8 normal prime lens first. Give it a try, if you are using a nikon, it will only cost you about $180. If you think prime lenses work better for you than a Zoom, then go buy more prime lenses.

I hope this helps.
yup, thanks for ur advice.
the question of wat i normally shot and wat I want to shot did surface frequently when i was deciding what lens i want to get. A big priority for me now is to get low-light shots ( best if it can be done handheld for those impromtu shots).

i'll re-think some of the aspects which I may have overlooked like weight, how it affects my shooting style and wat i want to shoot.
 

#18
given that the 50mm f1.4 is able to provide a shallower depth of field compared to the 1.8 brother, how would one using the 50mm 1.8 version mimic or simulate tat same shallower depth of field?

once again, i like to thank everyone who has given their input.
it has been great trying to decide which lens is more suitable for my needs.
thank you guys! really appreciate it.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#19
given that the 50mm f1.4 is able to provide a shallower depth of field compared to the 1.8 brother, how would one using the 50mm 1.8 version mimic or simulate tat same shallower depth of field?

once again, i like to thank everyone who has given their input.
it has been great trying to decide which lens is more suitable for my needs.
thank you guys! really appreciate it.
1.4 vs 1.8 is just that lil bit more but at a much higher price. So get the 1.4 only when you are sure that you really need that extra bit of advantage.

Look around in the galleries and you should be able to find quite a few shots taken with the 50mm f1.8 and at low light too...

I've tried it at ISO 1600 and f1.8 in night and it gave me some pretty good shots. You just need to learn the composition.

As for shallow DOF, f1.8 is quite shallow already. If you dun focus at the right spot, you are liable to get OOF shots very easily. So at f1.4, it will be even lower/shallower DOF...



Here's one image which I posted before and you can spot the shallow DOF easily.. Only a small portion of the cat is in focus.
 

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