My first Prime Lens

Discussion in 'The Photography Lounge' started by Jay Brown, May 11, 2017.

  1. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I purchased a Nikkor 50mm 1.8G Lens for my camera and wanted to test the advantages and disadvantages to having a prime lens. I've been so used to Zoom Lenses that I wanted a challenge. Quite obviously, the need to move around to frame your subject, rather than relying on your lens's zoom capabilities is number 1. I've read many articles and testimonials regarding using a 35mm or 50mm prime lens on an APS-C body because of the crop factor. Naturally you would think to use a 35mm because you'll get around 52mm in actual focal length, but many have said that the 50mm produced sharper images and a better shallow depth of field.

    I took these test shots using the 50mm and my walk-around 18-140mm 3.5/5.6 lenses.

    50mm f1.8
    1/30 sec.
    Focal Length @50mm
    35mm Focal Length @75mm (Crop factor)

    18-140mm 3.5/5.6
    1/10 sec
    Focal Length @75mm
    35mm Focal Length @112mm (Crop factor)

    Trying to match the exposure settings for each lens to get a similar output, you can see (in the picture itself) that it was more of a struggle to match the settings of the 50mm using the 18-140. Lowering the shutter speed, and increasing the ISO, I bent down on my knees to take this shot and I tried to stay still as long as possible.

    With the 50mm under low light conditions, it was much easier to take a shot in the same position with a faster shutter speed and an ISO of only 800.

    You can also see the difference in background blur between the two lenses. The 50mm 1.8 for the price can really isolate a subject when taking shots, pretty good for portraiture, but that's not my cup of tea. I would more than likely use it for a walk-around, and floral shots.
  2. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I became a prime fanatic when I moved to Olympus. I own four f/1.8 primes now. I find that more often than not they challenge my creativity and result in better shots rather than limiting me.
  3. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Active Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I clearly prefer the first shot.
  4. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Yes it is a very interesting aspect of creativity that I can tap into.
    Chris, as you can see, the lens along with speaker are straight compared to the second shot. The Shutter speed was set to 1/30 sec. I could burst a few shots and they would still be much straighter than with the 18-140.

    The second shot is not as sharp as a result of the slower shutter speed and trying to keep still while on my knees. For any attempts to capture objects in low light, the Prime lens was much easier to configure compared to the 18-140.

    Now I did compress the files in Light Room to create smaller jpegs, but you can see much more noise in the second shot, considering the fact that it was shot at an ISO of 3200.
  5. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Member

    I find a "normal" lens (50mm FF equivalent) a bit restrictive for a walk around lens. I more prefer a 35mm equivalent.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. chad

    chad Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I loved the 50 and the 35 almost equally but for different purposes.

    Now my camera (FujiX100) is just a permenant 35mm.

    I need to dust it off.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Jason Lorette

    Jason Lorette Active Member

    I have my 50mm 1.8 (also Nikon) that I used a lot for a long time, but since I got my Sigma ART 18-35mm 1.8, I find I hardly use my 50mm any more. The "art" lenses are absolutely fantastic, and I find that with such a small range of this lens I still have to move like the 50.

    Enjoy the 50!
    Jay Brown likes this.
  8. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    The Art equivalent is high on my radar, but considering the amount of money I paid for the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, the Nikkor 50mm will suffice for now.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
    Jason Lorette likes this.
  9. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I brought my camera to work today and took a few shots. Lots of moving around as opposed to letting the lens do all the work.




  10. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Active Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Really like the second one. That depth of field really works with that subject. Nice shot!
  11. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Thanks, I'm really enjoying keeping the lens at 1.8, Depth of Field abuse. One aspect of shooting I'm getting used to is using the focus ring more often now with this particular lens. I'm also enjoying shooting at higher shutter speeds, while the histogram on the camera tends to favor the middle of the grid, rather than far to the left or right. Doesn't take much during post processing although I tend make my shots more "contrasty" than I should.

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