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How can I tell which lens is better?
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May 2, 2014 06:05:02   #
wingnut1956
 
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yesterday, now I'm looking for a prime lens..still stuck between the 35 & 50mms. I like shooting landscapes and occasionally portraits. I want to get the blur in the background, not sure which to get, first... (I have a feeling i will end up with both) but the question I have is, how do I tell one lens from another quality wise? They all seem to have identical numbers and letters, but the prices vary by hundreds of dollars. Is there a chart or something that shows the differences? What would be considered an acceptable quality level of lens to get? I see some in the $200.00 range and wonder how they compare to others..also, at B&H they have a "special edition" 50 mm for about $280.00..it's a 1.8..has anybody used this lens, and is it a decent one to get?

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May 2, 2014 06:25:26   #
queencitysanta
 
I like the 35/1.8 DX great all around lens. Good Luck

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May 2, 2014 06:59:27   #
DavidPine
 
Congratulations! You will love the D7100. If I can make a suggestion, get the 50mm f/1.8 to start unless a lens came with the body. Get a copy of Bryan Peterson's, "Understanding Exposure, 3rd. Edition. You will be doing yourself a favor. Learn your camera. There are a lot of free videos on YouTube. Just search D7100 or Learning the D7100. You can get blur with any lens as it is a matter of DoF (depth of field). You should do a search on this also. Good luck and have fun.
wingnut1956 wrote:
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yesterday, now I'm looking for a prime lens..still stuck between the 35 & 50mms. I like shooting landscapes and occasionally portraits. I want to get the blur in the background, not sure which to get, first... (I have a feeling i will end up with both) but the question I have is, how do I tell one lens from another quality wise? They all seem to have identical numbers and letters, but the prices vary by hundreds of dollars. Is there a chart or something that shows the differences? What would be considered an acceptable quality level of lens to get? I see some in the $200.00 range and wonder how they compare to others..also, at B&H they have a "special edition" 50 mm for about $280.00..it's a 1.8..has anybody used this lens, and is it a decent one to get?
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yeste... (show quote)

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May 2, 2014 06:59:50   #
mardak
 
I use canon and the equivalent 50 mm 1.8 lens for portraits. I like it ( and the 85mm) for portraits in preference to the 35mm and smaller mm lens because I get less distortion. I also use a 24mm for landscapes. if price is an object then I would agree with Flyfishn the 35mm is a good all rounder

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May 2, 2014 07:28:06   #
craggycrossers
 
wingnut1956 wrote:
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yesterday, now I'm looking for a prime lens..still stuck between the 35 & 50mms. I like shooting landscapes and occasionally portraits. I want to get the blur in the background, not sure which to get, first... (I have a feeling i will end up with both) but the question I have is, how do I tell one lens from another quality wise? They all seem to have identical numbers and letters, but the prices vary by hundreds of dollars. Is there a chart or something that shows the differences? What would be considered an acceptable quality level of lens to get? I see some in the $200.00 range and wonder how they compare to others..also, at B&H they have a "special edition" 50 mm for about $280.00..it's a 1.8..has anybody used this lens, and is it a decent one to get?
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yeste... (show quote)


Both the Nikkor AF-S f1.8G 35 and 50mm lenses will serve you well with this camera.

For a little more versatility (a workhorse zoom) look closely, very closely, at this Sigma ........

http://www.bythom.com/Sigma17-50mm_lens_review.htm

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May 2, 2014 09:29:21   #
DaveO (a regular here)
 
The above mentioned lenses,particularly the 35 and 50,are priced so reasonably that I bought all three. I rarely use the 35,but it depends on what I feel like. Love the 85 and the important thing to remember is that it's for our enjoyment! I finally ordered the book on exposure that was part of DavidPine's solid advice. I quite typically do things backwards!

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May 2, 2014 09:42:01   #
wilsondl2
 
If you are going to do portraits the 50mm is the one to get. If you use the 35 the folks you take head shots of will have big noses. The other thing is that if you want blur in the background you will have a hard time getting it with your 35mm. You will have to have the background way back and the subject close to get any. Here is a thought. I see 50mm lense that are auto focus that use the cameras motor on eBay for around $60. You can tell them because they have 5 contact points the ones with motors have more. These will work with your D7100. You may just want to look at the lenses with auto focus without a motor on eBay there are some super bargens. When I got my D7100 my D80 was an extra so I have my wife use it. I got a Nikon 28-80 auto focus lens for it for $20. This was a kit lens that Nikon had for film cameras and it is built cheap but seems to have good optics. Have a great time with your camera. I love mine. -Dave

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May 2, 2014 09:46:45   #
bull drink water
 
put both on your camera, take a lot of pictures, compare them side by side, and make a judgement. any other way is relying on someone else experience.

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May 2, 2014 09:50:44   #
Moles
 
Either lens will do portraits and landscapes just fine. If you are really serious about your photography, consider the 24-70mm 2.8. It's my overall favorite lens, and the optics are super.

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May 2, 2014 23:19:35   #
amehta
 
wingnut1956 wrote:
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yesterday, now I'm looking for a prime lens..still stuck between the 35 & 50mms. I like shooting landscapes and occasionally portraits. I want to get the blur in the background, not sure which to get, first... (I have a feeling i will end up with both) but the question I have is, how do I tell one lens from another quality wise? They all seem to have identical numbers and letters, but the prices vary by hundreds of dollars. Is there a chart or something that shows the differences? What would be considered an acceptable quality level of lens to get? I see some in the $200.00 range and wonder how they compare to others..also, at B&H they have a "special edition" 50 mm for about $280.00..it's a 1.8..has anybody used this lens, and is it a decent one to get?
Hello again..well, I got the new d7100 body yeste... (show quote)

Let's get a few specifics straight:
1. Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX, $200
2. Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G, $600
3. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, $220
4. Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D, $120
5. Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition, $280

* The two current "nifty-fifty" lenses are #3 and #1 ("nifty-fifty-DX"). The 35mm DX has the field of view of a 52mm FX lens.
* Lens #2 is more expensive because it is not a nifty-fifty, it is a wide-angle lens for an FX camera. Covering the FX sensor is more expensive than covering the DX sensor, especially for wide-angle lenses.
* Lens #4 is the old "nifty-fifty" which does not have a focus motor built in, so it is cheaper. It is an "AF" lens, a lens with the focus motor is labeled "AF-S" like the other four on the list. Your D7100 has a focus motor, so you can use #4 in almost the same way as #3, saving $100. The significant difference is that you can have #3 in AF mode but focus manually, while you have to switch #4 from A to M to focus manually.
* Lens #5 is an overpriced lens to go with the similarly overpriced Df.

As far as whether you want the 35mm (#1) or 50mm (#3/4) lens, I think the 50mm seems to meet your needs better. One factor for shallow depth of field ("blur in the background" ) is having a larger distance to the subject, which will happen more with the 50mm. The 50mm will also be better than the 35mm for portraits.

I will throw out one other option:
6. Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G, $500

Lens #6 is more expensive because it is a longer focal length and still f/1.8. It also has excellent image quality, one of the best Nikon lenses. And it has excellent bokeh (good "blur" ).

Editorializing: The 35mm prime is a "normal" lens, but I don't want "normal" pictures. The 85mm, especially on a D7100, would be different, in a good way. :-)

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May 3, 2014 01:00:24   #
wingnut1956
 
amehta wrote:
Let's get a few specifics straight:
1. Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX, $200
2. Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G, $600
3. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, $220
4. Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D, $120
5. Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition, $280

* The two current "nifty-fifty" lenses are #3 and #1 ("nifty-fifty-DX"). The 35mm DX has the field of view of a 52mm FX lens.
* Lens #2 is more expensive because it is not a nifty-fifty, it is a wide-angle lens for an FX camera. Covering the FX sensor is more expensive than covering the DX sensor, especially for wide-angle lenses.
* Lens #4 is the old "nifty-fifty" which does not have a focus motor built in, so it is cheaper. It is an "AF" lens, a lens with the focus motor is labeled "AF-S" like the other four on the list. Your D7100 has a focus motor, so you can use #4 in almost the same way as #3, saving $100. The significant difference is that you can have #3 in AF mode but focus manually, while you have to switch #4 from A to M to focus manually.
* Lens #5 is an overpriced lens to go with the similarly overpriced Df.

As far as whether you want the 35mm (#1) or 50mm (#3/4) lens, I think the 50mm seems to meet your needs better. One factor for shallow depth of field ("blur in the background" ) is having a larger distance to the subject, which will happen more with the 50mm. The 50mm will also be better than the 35mm for portraits.

I will throw out one other option:
6. Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G, $500

Lens #6 is more expensive because it is a longer focal length and still f/1.8. It also has excellent image quality, one of the best Nikon lenses. And it has excellent bokeh (good "blur" ).

Editorializing: The 35mm prime is a "normal" lens, but I don't want "normal" pictures. The 85mm, especially on a D7100, would be different, in a good way. :-)
Let's get a few specifics straight: br 1. Nikon A... (show quote)


Very informative...thank you..I'm pretty decided on the 50mm 1.8 af-s Nikor for the first one...will let you all know how it works out...thanks everybody!

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May 3, 2014 01:05:59   #
amehta
 
wingnut1956 wrote:
Very informative...thank you..I'm pretty decided on the 50mm 1.8 af-s Nikor for the first one...will let you all know how it works out...thanks everybody!

:thumbup:

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May 3, 2014 05:36:07   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
If bokeh is your goal, consider upgrading to a FX camera - while you can get some decent blurring, it will never be as dramatic as what you can get with an 85 F1.4, or the 105 F2 DC, or the 135 F2.8 DC. These 3 lenses are the go to lenses for bokeh with portraits, but are probably going to be too long on a cropped sensor camera. You can get a clean used D700 for around 1200 these days.

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May 3, 2014 06:28:09   #
cthahn
 
If your camera is DX, get a 35mm. If it is a FX, then get the 50mm. You do not want to get blur, you want out of focus. That is something you will have to learn. Look up DOF, depth of field on Google and learn something.

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May 3, 2014 07:00:38   #
Brandmic
 
I use the d7100 and have both the AF-S 35mm / 1.8g and AF-S 50mm / 1.4g
They are both top lens. The first was rated by several review sites as #1 Nikon lens and the second rated highly as well. Both are very sharp and super low light lens. I bought the 35mm first and it pretty much stayed on my camera. The second is more of a portrait lens with 75mm focal length (with crop factor). The 35mm is $200 on amazon and a great buy. I paid $359 for the 50mm but it's usually $469 (Amazon pricing error gave me the great price).

Either is a great start and similar in their use ability. I like that I can get closer and use less light with the 50mm. I use both for pics of my grandkids mainly and general shooting. Can't go wrong with either. The pic on my profile was shot with the 35mm with some cropping.

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