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Utility of the 35mm lens?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kgill, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    Hi Again!

    I am wondering if you might share with me, for those of you who use one, why you like your 35mm lens (on DSLR body), what you use it for primarily, and if you see a real value in having the 35mm f/1.4 AIS over a 35mm f/2.0?

    I am kind of leaning toward putting the f/1.4 AIS on my 'wish list', but am wondering if it makes sense to have that prime if I will also have a 17-35mm in my kit-- some people have said the 17-35 is better at 35mm than the prime...

    Thank you all for your help and thoughtful observations!

  2. I cannot really answer your question, since I have no experience with the f/2 version.
    I do have the Ai-S f/1.4 version and can tell you that it is an outstanding lens. The CRC close range correction is very effective. You can be very creative at f/1.4 with it (but that takes a bit of practice - certainly not a no-brainer). Then, stopped down a tad at f/2 or f/2.8 it is incredibly sharp.
    Methinks that the f/2 version is nice, but cannot compete in those areas (just a non substantiated opinion).
  3. I can reply to some of your questions as I have the 2.0. I use it primarily for everyday people, inside shots. The focal length just seems to work for me. I also have a 17-55 and 28-70, but the 35 is not far off quality wise. I also find the 35 not as intimidating to the subject (usually one of my little kids) as either of the other zooms.
  4. The humble 35/2 is so versatile that I use it as my walk-around-lens. It's lightweight and not much larger than a lens cap. Here it is, featured on my d200. It makes an unobtrusive rig that doesn't scream PHOTOGRAPHER! I think the metal hood adds a cool, retro look.


    But despite its diminutive size, this affordable lens packs quite a punch in terms of speed and image quality. Here are a few samples from my recent trip to Florida.

    copy work... in this case, a hand held shot of a grouping of vintage pictures.
    View attachment 109027

    posed formals
    View attachment 109028

    View attachment 109029

    View attachment 109030

    pet pics
    View attachment 109031

    and about anything else you can think of. (I couldn't think of a category for this shot :redface:) 
    View attachment 109032

    I think autofocus is one of the greatest inventions since Seran Wrap, and a real boon for my aging eyes. But if you don't mind taking the time to fiddle with focus rings, having the extra f/stop would be neat. Note: if you like manual focus lenses, maybe you should try a film camera, too... kind of Back to the Future. The viewfinders on full frame bodies allow for more precise manual focus.

    I have a big zoom, too... the 28-70/2.8... and when it's in my camera bag, I leave the 35/2 home. But there are lots of times I don't want to pack the heavy metal, and if you don't mind zooming with your feet, substituting the 35/2 will get you pics that are as good as any zoom can deliver. Jmho.
  5. snakeman


    Feb 26, 2006
    :wink:Impressive samples of the 35 f2 Frank..think my saving fund for the 85mm 1.4 has just lost £200..lol..why oh why do I look in this section!..lol:tongue:
  6. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Try searching too, I've posted a ton of mainly baby pictures and little hands and little feet with my 35/2 but don't have time to re-post them. I'm going to get the best shots I have from each lens in my bag into separate albums specifically for Cafe people. The 35/2 is the perfect delivery room lens! :smile:
  7. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    wowowow. I am so captivated by that shot of the man holding the fish.
    Now this has thrown a monkey wrench in my plans....
    Get the 35mm f/2 (or 35mm f/1.4) or a different lens!!!
    If only I weren't so poor and could get whatever I wanted!!!
  8. I'll take your word for it, but I don't know many poor people who have a 17-35 in their camera bag :rolleyes: .

    The nice thing about the 35/2 is its liquidity and the way it holds its price. They sell for $320 new, and the market for LNIB used ones is in the $275 range. So you can pick one up, try it for a few months, and recover most of your money if you find it doesn't suit your needs. And if you start off buying a mint used copy, you can probably recover all of your money... or even make a profit!
  9. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    I haven't bought the 17-35 yet!!!! I go sign the contract next week that will allow me to buy it as an early Christmas present to myself, then that's IT for the year! (I have a Tamron 90mm on the way, also). I have such lack of discipline in these things... Most women go buy handbags and purses. I saw some VERY NICE handbags in the Tod's fall line up, but now when I see the prices, I measure them in terms of lenses... "Do I want a 35mm lens, or do I want those shoes???"
  10. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    Frank u really have a command of that lens ....fine examples all of them..but that darn fish pic just really does it for me,,wonderful!!!

  11. So the next question is, why do you want the 17-35? It's a landscaper's delight, but if you're looking to take a variety of pictures, the 17-55 is, imho, the better choice. On the other hand, since you already have a 50/1.8, why not just add a few primes, and stay away from the big, bulky, expensive zooms?
  12. Well if you dont mind manual focus, and want a little more then the 35mm/2 nikkor can offer, then you always have ZF 35mm/2.

    17-35/2,8 is and excellent lens for landscapes/cityscapes and all other scapes you can think off :) . Its and excellent zooom no doubt, but if you want a good performer at 35mm why buy a zoom.

    Manula focus can takes sometime to get used to,and surely chasing kids can be a little tricky, then again a d200 can struggle quite a bit in lowlight and a prime with no af-s.
  13. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    I'd like a zoom with a wider capability. I bought the 50 f/1.8 when I got the camera and it's useful for food shots and other shots I do. I am mindful not duplicate ranges, however, I want at least one versatile zoom in my kit and I have already discovered that I'm not that interested in longer ranges for walking around. I think a 17-35 would be nice, or a 17-55, but am leaning toward the 17-35. Haven't committed to either yet... But since there's no definitive answer on which is better, I'll just go for my instinct at the time. How's that for an explanation?

    Oh, I'm not buying a zoom *just* to get the 35mm, but if someone says that the 35mm of the 17-35 (or 17-55) is just as good as the prime, then I may just skip the prime.
  14. Fair enough, i chose the 17-35 aswell, then again the 17-55 has never been interseting for me. Since i have the 28-70/2,8 and i dont fancy dx glas.

    You can get quite creative with the 17-35 if you like.:wink:
    Heres 2 snaps @ F/2,8


  15. Most of the people who make that claim do not own a 35 prime. But if someone can show me a few good shots taken with the 17-35 or 17-55 at f/2, I may see some merit in the argument.
  16. yea ill will as soon as you post at shot @17mm with your 35mm.....:eek: 

    Kind of flawed logic there...
  17. Only if your reading comprehension is limited, Paul. I was referencing claims that the 17-35 zoom was as good at its 35mm setting as the 35/2. That has nothing to do with the range of a zoom vs. a prime.

    Not to worry. I can't read Swedish at all, much less comprehend it. But I can detect the level of civility in almost every language :rolleyes: .
  18. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    The more I look at these examples, the more I believe I want/need this lens. I am considering to rekindle my "WTB: 35/2" thread. :) 
  19. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    ok here's all of my close focus samples that i just posted in another thread








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