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“Go to” or standard lens
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Jul 9, 2019 23:10:37   #
targa75
 
Having heard arguments for both 50mm
and 35mm for use as standard lens, was
wondering which of the two you
folks would recommend?

50mm or 35mm

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Jul 9, 2019 23:13:35   #
GoofyNewfie (a regular here)
 
For what format?
Depends on what things you shoot.
You’re going to get a lot of different answers.
My “standard” lens when I shot 35mm film for the newspaper was the 35. And I had another body with an 85 on it. That combo changed depending on the event. Never liked the 50.
There is no wrong/right answer.

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Jul 9, 2019 23:16:50   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
It also depends on your style of photography.

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Jul 9, 2019 23:17:27   #
Toolking
 
50 for FX 35 for DX

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Jul 9, 2019 23:27:59   #
imagemeister (a regular here)
 
For people/events - 35 on full frame - also like the 85 - never liked the 50 .....
.

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Jul 9, 2019 23:33:55   #
DaveyDitzer (a regular here)
 
I'm conflicted about the 50. Mine is an f1.4 so it is good for low light, but otherwise I fall in the 85mm camp for most of the time and a shorter one (35 or 28) for people events.

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Jul 9, 2019 23:37:00   #
BlueMorel (a regular here)
 
I bought the nifty fifty for my crop sensor camera. I love it for some things like closeups of this and that. It wouldn't be my choice for walking around for large landscapes, so I'd probably rather have a 18-200 or so zoom to cover the wide angle or zoom shots. I dont do BIF or action shots. So a walkaround to me is a lens that fits YOUR style of photos and your camera body. One size doesn't fit all. It depends on your budget, too. So research research research.

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Jul 9, 2019 23:58:27   #
lev29 (a regular here)
 
targa75 wrote:
Having heard arguments for both 50mm and 35mm for use as standard lens, was wondering which of the two you folks would recommend? ...
Welcome to the Hog, targa75!

While I realize that you’re referring to two prime lenses, a "go to" lens, as I’ve seen it employed, refers to any one lens, regardless of its being a prime or zoom, that a particular individual has on his/her camera most frequently.

Hence, for my Full Spectrum mirrorless camera that has an APS-C sensor size, my go to lens is an 18 - 135 mm made by Sony.

Might I ask you, are you really inquiring about a "go to" lens or the first prime focal length lens to train with, or something else?

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Jul 10, 2019 00:25:53   #
mwsilvers (a regular here)
 
targa75 wrote:
Having heard arguments for both 50mm
and 35mm for use as standard lens, was
wondering which of the two you
folks would recommend?

50mm or 35mm

That all depends on the camera format you are using, where you intend to use the lens, and for what subjects. Your query is way too vague.

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Jul 10, 2019 01:20:06   #
Wallen (a regular here)
 
Recommendation not possible as I do not know how you intend to use them nor your style of photography.
There is really no right or wrong choice but there have been preferred use for each lens because of their characteristics.

On a full frame, 50mm is nearly the same thing the eyes see but with a cropped field of view. Whereas the 30mm make things look smaller, but the field of view is nearer to what we see thus looks more natural when printed and usually without much distortion. Hence the 30mm is better for a wider application as it creates space and unique perspective much more than the 50mm. Its draw back is portraits as it tend to distort or balloon the face. But here, the 50mm does not bring anything special too. For portraits, its better to use a longer lens like the 85mm up to the 200mm if you have the distance. If there is anything the 50 would be good at would be product or forensic photography.

On a crop sensor (Nikon), you question would be would be similar to comparing 18mm to 35mm lens. A 50mm on a crop sensor would be around 80mm field of view.

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Jul 10, 2019 01:41:39   #
ken_stern
 
I have always used a full frame 35mm camera -- Prior to purchasing the 35mm 1.4 L back in 2005 when I still shot slide film my standard on the camera almost always was the 50mm 1.4 --- I have since it's purchase "almost" totally retired the 50mm -- A really great lens that's now hardly ever used

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Jul 10, 2019 06:30:08   #
CO (a regular here)
 
A focal length between 43mm and 45mm on a full frame camera gives a perspective close to what the human eye sees. That's why Tamron made the 45mm f/1.8 SP VC lens. I have that lens and use it on a Nikon D750. Samyang just came out with a 45mm f/1.8 lens for full frame Sony cameras. So, if using a full frame camera, 50mm is close and a 35mm is good for a cropped sensor camera.

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Jul 10, 2019 06:30:24   #
CO (a regular here)
 
I just got the book "Life in 50mm: The Photographers Lens" by Tanya Nagar. Check it out. The father of street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson, liked the 50mm lens the most.

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Jul 10, 2019 06:47:57   #
rmorrison1116 (a regular here)
 
Neither. There are multiple variables to consider. I personally rarely use my 35 or 50 mm primes on my utility camera, a Canon EOS 5D mk IV. My go-to lens for general photography is my EF 28-300L zoom lens. It's not as fast as the primes but it's fast enough and its versatility outweighs its limits. I am not afraid to turn up the ISO when needed.

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Jul 10, 2019 06:58:48   #
Bill_de (a regular here)
 
For many years the 50mm (or close to it) was the standard lens that came with many cameras. The original 'kit' lens. That would be like using a 35mm lens on a DX camera.

I don't remember the year, but it predated digital, Modern Photography published an article accompanied by lots of photos shot with a 35mm lens. The photographer they interviewed said that the 35mm had become his standard lens on his 35mm SLR. He explained all the advantages. Gradually more and more work was being shown, shot with that 'wide angle' 35mm. Then came DSLRs, originally all crop sensor, and those same photographers continued to shoot with their 35mm lenses. Not many talked about the crop sensor back then. So, in effect, the standard became 52.5mm {Nikon} and 56mm {Canon} equivalent.


The best way to choose 'YOUR' standard lens is to look through the viewfinder and see what pleases you most.

---

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