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Lusting after 35 f/2 ... or should I?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by alex_a, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    It's been awhile since I've gotten my 17-55. The lens is so good, that it rarely leaves the camera, and it quenched my lens lust for over half a year :) 

    Yet, somehow I end up wanting to get that 35 f/2. What do y'all think about this? Would it be just a redundant piece of glass in the bag, and I am better off spending $$$ somewhere else (180 f/2.8, 105 f/2.8 are definitely on the list), or do I really need it?

    Oh, and to make matter more interesting, I see some posts here about Sigma 30/1.4 ... I'm not sure I like the samples posted as much as the ones from 35/2, though.

  2. buy the 35/2
    you won't regret it
    it isn't that expensive
    the lens is wonderful... light/great focal length
    uncle frank turned me on to this lens a long time ago.... glad he did

    perfect for taking this picture of my dad from his last birthday
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  3. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Do it. I've been kind of lusting over it too since that recent POLL. Maybe I can prolong my lust and live vicariously thru you.
  4. MikeG76


    Jun 11, 2008
    Middletown, NY
    I bought one recently. I like it a lot. The review on photozone.de I'm finding is very accurate. Especially the MTB values. The sharpness at f2 is noticably softer than at f2.8. F4 appears to be the sharpest, however, the gains are minimal over f2.8. You'd have to really zoom in at that point to notice it.

    One thing I don't like is the HN-3 hood I bought for it. Its a screw in metalic type. I need to find a different one if possible. This one doesn't come out nearly as far as I'd like. So, just be wary of the hood you get for it, as I wasn't, lol.

    I'm still learning this lense. Like a new car, you need to learn how each new lense handles. What it can and can't do, etc.
  5. I like my 35 f/2 a lot. Great little lens.
  6. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    This is one of my favorite lenses until I turn into Canon. Yes, I still have it in case the price of the D700 drops below $2000. :) 
  7. neimac


    May 26, 2008
    I have been considering this very question myself. The sigma 30 1.4 is very very tempting but ill probably go with the 35/2 because I want as few DX lenses as possible.
  8. I had the 17-55, sold it , got the 35mm, its very sharp and light, and blows the 17-55 in terms of sharpness at 2.8, also its a full frame lens.... I also had the sigma 30mm, great lens and sharp, but there is something mystical about the Nikon glass, the colors just look nicer than other lenses...but maybe I am weird in that way...I found zooms at short focal length boring.
  9. The 35 f2 is a great "general" lens. I often use it at parties instead of my 17-55mm. The 35mm is small and doesn't seem to attract attention from your subjects as the 17-55mm sometimes does (if that makes sense?!?). Get this lens.

    Here's a shot from a party earlier this year -sharp lens:

  10. I love the 35mm f/2. It's my favorite Nikkor prime. It doesn't have a tendency to back focus like other Nikon AF-D primes. I dumped my 50 1.4 after using the 35mm f/2, far more useful of a lens. Wide open it's a sharp sucker.
  11. gfx1


    Mar 31, 2008
    the Netherlands
    Quick snapshot at f/2 and ISO1600 didn't want to use the flash.
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  12. TVayos

    TVayos Guest

    35F2 rocks, I use this lens all the time.
  13. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    i hope you ment last birthday as in previous and not finale?he looks very vibrante in you most excellent picture!
  14. onemorelens


    Jul 3, 2007
  15. Sigh ... not a single voice of dissent ... I guess, I'll just have to buy it now :smile:

    Seriously, though, thanks for all the opinions! Keep them coming :) 
  16. When I shoot a wedding, I'll use my 28-70/2.8 for the ceremony, but the 35/2 for the reception. It always delivers.

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    I team the 35/2 with an 85/1.4 for portrait sessions.

    View attachment 219414

    What's not to like? It does a great job at anything from closeups...

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    to scapes.

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  17. I just got a 17-55/2.8 and already had the 35/2. I find them similarly sharp at f/2.8, though for me the 17-55/2.8 focuses faster on my D80 (YMMV will vary as the more advanced bodies have faster screw motors). Quieter, too. My 35/2 is a bit soft at f/2 so I try to avoid using that when possible.

    I'm debating selling the 35/2 as it would help defray the cost of the 17-55/2.8. If budget wasn't an issue, though, I'd likely keep it. There's something enjoyable about walking around with a "normal" lens on a DX camera. It becomes very light and more compact, especially compared to the relatively heavy and bulky 17-55/2.8.

    That said, I've not used my 35/2 in the couple of weeks since I got the 17-55/2.8. If that trend holds up after the initial honeymoon is over, I will sell the 35/2 since it'd be a waste of a good optic.

    I believe that Edward Neal was in a similar position and the 35/2 was the only prime in the zoom range that he kept.
  18. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    Aug 10, 2007
    It's a very versatile focal length, especially on a DX body. Though you can duplcate the fov with your 17-55, the f/2 prime is a heck of a lot smaller and lighter which adds a lot to the overall versatality. It's both sharp and has great color and contrast and can rival a dedicated macro lens for close focusing. It can be somewhat prone to flare, but with a DX body, it's possible to mount a 50mm lenshood with no vignetting which can help.

    The "bokeh", while not bad, isn't exactly anything to write home about either as the standard aperture ring (and high contrast) can lead to somewhat harsh oof elements, particularly of backlit scenes. Personally, I don't mind this very much but if you're really picky about such things, the Zeiss MF 35 would be a good basis for comparison.

    For events and general purpose uses, it's usually my first choice. There are some better 35's out there, but dollar for dollar and as AF models are concerned (even if not SWM based), the f/2 is a terrific lens and a great bargain.

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    View attachment 219419
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  19. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    great lens but not fast enough or wide enough for me...;-)

    d40/sig 30 1.4 @f2
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    same combo @1.4
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    on the d200 @1.4
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    and another on the d40 @1.4
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    again @2.2
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  20. jadog2


    Dec 18, 2007
    I don't think you have given us a good reason for wanting the 35 f2 lens.

    Do you find yourself wanting a faster lens in that focal range? Do you like the 35mm focal length? Do you miss your 50 1.8? (i think you sold yours?)

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