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To prime or not to prime. That is the question?

lens choice. d3200 dx prime lenses

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66 replies to this topic

#1
Squibs

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Dear  forum, as a shiny new member of this site and to DSLR photography, I seek some knowledge and wisdom from your good selves.

 

I have a D3200 which came with the  standard  18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. Good lenses in their own right for my needs, but I'd like to be able to play with depth of field and distortion a little more. Oh! and another reason to bug my wonderful children.

 

 I am looking at 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.8 which I believe with DX cropping, will get me what I'm looking for (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'd prefer to stick to Nikkor, but this isn't vital. Obviously price is a factor as well, so  anything around the £150 mark.

 

Any help and advice  would be greatly received.

 

Squibs.



#2
Afterimage

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Prime lenses teach you a lot about photography through their simplicity, sharpness and handling of the available light. Many folks here, myself included, consider learning to shoot on a prime lens paramount to later success. Even a super inexpensive prime like the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8  ($125 US) will teach you important concepts like composition and depth of field. So, yes! get a prime and never look back!



#3
Squibs

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Many thanks A.I.



#4
Gordo

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IMHO the Nikon 35/1.8G DX and 50/1.8G are both very decent glass for the money.  Simple and lightweight as well.



#5
alden

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Either one will do. 50mm is better for portraits. I'm from the old school when all we used were primes, so I prefer them for their speed and DOF.

#6
Adam

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Dear  forum, as a shiny new member of this site and to DSLR photography, I seek some knowledge and wisdom from your good selves.

 

I have a D3200 which came with the  standard  18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. Good lenses in their own right for my needs, but I'd like to be able to play with depth of field and distortion a little more. Oh! and another reason to bug my wonderful children.

 

 I am looking at 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.8 which I believe with DX cropping, will get me what I'm looking for (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'd prefer to stick to Nikkor, but this isn't vital. Obviously price is a factor as well, so  anything around the £150 mark.

 

Any help and advice  would be greatly received.

 

Squibs.

Those two primes are both great starter lenses.  I have the 24-120 for my D800 but most of the time, I find myself using primes for better image quality.  On DX, 35mm gives you a normal focal length so I'd recommend starting with that.



#7
Kenafein

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I think the 35/1.8 is a must have for Nikon crop cameras.  I suggested it to a friend, and he's been thanking me ever since.  Stick to G lenses.  Your camera won't AF on the older, cheaper, D lenses.  At some point you should have both the 35 and the 50.  That's probably all you really need, but I'd start with the 35.



#8
Tony892

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Dear  forum, as a shiny new member of this site and to DSLR photography, I seek some knowledge and wisdom from your good selves.
 
I have a D3200 which came with the  standard  18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. Good lenses in their own right for my needs, but I'd like to be able to play with depth of field and distortion a little more. Oh! and another reason to bug my wonderful children.
 
 I am looking at 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.8 which I believe with DX cropping, will get me what I'm looking for (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'd prefer to stick to Nikkor, but this isn't vital. Obviously price is a factor as well, so  anything around the £150 mark.
 
Any help and advice  would be greatly received.
 
Squibs.

Welcome to the forum Squibs and I recently upgraded to D7100, also purchased my first prime lens 35/1.8 and I am very pleased with the results I have been getting - very sharp, particularly around the edges.



#9
Squibs

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My thanks to one and all. I was leaning towards the 35mm f/1.8G lens, but then I saw the Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D and thought "arh not sure now". So once again thank you all.

Squibs



#10
Merco_61

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Remember that the 50/1.8D wont focus on a D3200. The 50/1.8G will though, and is a very nice portrait lens on DX format sensors.



#11
Squibs

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I did think there may have been an issue on the focus front, but wasn't sure. I suppose without the auto focus, it would make me work harder at getting the best shots. Hardly a bad thing from what you chaps / chapess  have said.  Thank you for the pointer Merco.



#12
wedgtail

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Primes really make you think about your shots and are a great learning tool . 



#13
Kenafein

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I did think there may have been an issue on the focus front, but wasn't sure. I suppose without the auto focus, it would make me work harder at getting the best shots. Hardly a bad thing from what you chaps / chapess  have said.  Thank you for the pointer Merco.

Don't get the 50/1.8D.  I have one for my D600, and I love it, but there's no point in having it if it won't AF.  You could buy a manual focus lens if you want to.  It should save you even more money.  For the D3200, however, I would stick with the G lens.  I don't think the D3200 supports a lot of the metering modes for legacy lenses.  



#14
cowleystjames

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Got to agree with the statement from several others that with a DX body the 35mm 1.8G is the way to go. Gives you roughly the equivalent of a 50mm on an FX. A 50mm is more like a mild telephoto on a DX, nothing wrong with that, but the 35mm Gives you arguably a handier field of view. Oh, by the way, welcome to the forum. Pull up a chair and stay a while.

#15
nikoninjection

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AF-S NIKKOR 50mm 1:1.8 works nice on my D3200......Getting used to fixed images though no zoom.....other than how many steps I take.



#16
alden

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An alternate suggestion is to get the 40mm macro. It's a dual purpose lens.

 

You have a focal length in between 50 and 35, it's an f/2.8 so it's fairly fast, and it's a macro. 



#17
K-9

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If you're snapping your kids a lot, I'd go for the 50mm. Less barrel distortion, more pleasing facial features, ability for a tighter head shot, and better control over depth of field.

#18
B Grace

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My observations and thoughts:

 

AF-S primes such as that neat little 35mm will focus and meter correctly on the D3200.  Most of the G prime lenses are so new as to have few available on the used market at discounted prices.  Might as well buy them new.

 

AF-D primes will work fine on the D3200 with proper metering but without autofocus.  Not really a problem unless you need AF for fast moving subjects.  Such as children.  I used my AF-D primes on my D40x for five years and I do have a lot of out of focus shots of my kids but it was fun.  Used AF-D primes are great buys.

 

There are additional options with Nikon lenses but I'd suggest a person go with the above lenses, especially with a D3200.  If I were starting fresh with a D3200 I'd definitely choose that 35mm DX G lens.



#19
Tony892

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My thanks to one and all. I was leaning towards the 35mm f/1.8G lens, but then I saw the Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D and thought "arh not sure now". So once again thank you all.
Squibs

Not wanting to burst your balloon, but have just come off the phone from a friend who is a very experienced photographer who has been using Nikon's for years. We talked about this very subject i.e. 35mm v 50mm and he reckoned the 50mm was the one to go for.

#20
ashchuckton

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We all have opinions Tony. Thanks for posting your friends. What is yours?

 

I have both a 50 & 35. If I could only have one I'd take the 35 for my DX camera. Learned by shooting a 50 for many years on a film body, & the 35 on a DX is the same for me. Just my opinion, carry on.  :)

 

Primes can be zoomed, with your feet. 







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