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10-01-2013, 07:42 AM   #1
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Prime lens 50mm or 35mm

I'm looking to buy my first prime lens and have a question.... every one has always said that I should buy the 50mm 1.8 lens to go with the DSLR and that is what I had planned to do after purchasing my camera a few months ago. However, the more I look around the more I am considering the 35mm 2.4 or 2.8 lens instead. I have seen some amazing portrait shots and others taken with the 35 lens. I want to take some really sharp, clear portraits and other things.

For those using a Pentax (all my friends use Nikon), if you didn't have a prime yet and were considering purchasing just one....which one would you choose and why? Anyone have both and wish to chime in? I'd love your thoughts! Which one do you find is more versatile and if you could have only one .... which would you choose? (I do have to mention I have a 50mm manual focus lens but wanted an autofocus that produces SHARP images.) Both of these lenses are rated really well. I'm going to ask for one for Christmas so I thought I'd better start researching which one I want now so I can save for it. :-)

I'm using a K-x...

Thoughts please?????

Thanks!


Last edited by Hope9811; 10-01-2013 at 08:35 AM. Reason: added which camera I'm using.
10-01-2013, 07:46 AM   #2
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If it's pretty much just portraits, I'd go with the 50 to keep the camera a bit farther from the subject. If I were planning to use it for general photography, I'd get the 35mm as 50mm can be pretty tight indoors.
10-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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I have the DA35 and wish I had the DA50 also for tighter portrait shots but for an all around lens I would use the 35 more
10-01-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lguckert79 Quote
I have the DA35 and wish I had the DA50 also for tighter portrait shots but for an all around lens I would use the 35 more
I agree that the 50 may be too tight indoors. Also the 35/2.4 has a great reputation and a reasonable price!

10-01-2013, 08:20 AM   #5
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Interesting question... What camera are you using? If its a K5 then the old time standard of a 50mm (with film cameras) might need to be changed to something like the 31mm or 35mm lens to get the same effect. A 50mm lens on a K5 would become essentially a 75mm lens which is a strong portrait lens. All are good in their way but it would help if you could put the various lens options on your camera and take a look...
10-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodywesty Quote
Interesting question... What camera are you using? If its a K5 then the old time standard of a 50mm (with film cameras) might need to be changed to something like the 31mm or 35mm lens to get the same effect. A 50mm lens on a K5 would become essentially a 75mm lens which is a strong portrait lens. All are good in their way but it would help if you could put the various lens options on your camera and take a look...
Sorry....I should have stated that I'm using a K-x....
10-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
If it's pretty much just portraits, I'd go with the 50 to keep the camera a bit farther from the subject. If I were planning to use it for general photography, I'd get the 35mm as 50mm can be pretty tight indoors.
Pretty much my thoughts as well.
10-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
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It's all up to your taste and style. If you have the 18-55 set it to 50mm and try to work with it for a day and then lock it to 35mm and try it out the next day. You should easily find out what feels best to you. Optically they are very close though the 50 lets in a little more light (higher max aperture).

If they feel the same maybe go with the 35mm and get a cheap manual 50mm? There are tons of nice ones that goes for almost nothing and I highly recommend the Auto-Chinon MC 50/1.7, I got my copy for scraps and gave it away, but now I miss it.
Chinon 50mm f1.7 .... Not bad..

10-01-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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I have DA 35mm f2.4, M 50mm f1.7, and DA 40mm f2.8 XS. (and some other manual lenses in this focal range, but lets ignore those for now)
I would recommend the XS. Fast AF, very compact, very sharp and great bokeh. But the other two perform a little better at widest aperture. And the XS has a very inconvenient filter thread size (27mm...). You can sometimes get a used DA 40mm ltd for a great price, and it is an amazing lens, with distance scales and QS and great lens hood. But I like the DA 40mm XS more than the DA 35mm f2,4, not just because of FoV, but overall rendering.

I don't have the DA 35mm 2.8 ltd, but most people praise it as an amazing landscape and macro lens. And because its on a crop sensor, its also very capable for portraits, so it might make sense to save up for this one. 50mm is not super convenient on a crop sensor, 35-40mm is more generally usable. The good thing is that, in terms of IQ, all the Pentax primes are stellar and you wont be disappointed. As a first prime, I would recommend something wider than 50mm, unless you really want that f1.8.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 10-01-2013 at 09:04 AM.
10-01-2013, 09:00 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
50mm is not super convenient on a crop sensor, 35-40mm is more generally usable.
Hey, I use my 55mm 90% of the time!
10-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
If it's pretty much just portraits, I'd go with the 50 to keep the camera a bit farther from the subject. If I were planning to use it for general photography, I'd get the 35mm as 50mm can be pretty tight indoors.
Yep, I agree.

35 is a better focal length for me, but 50 would generally be better for portraits.
10-01-2013, 09:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
It's all up to your taste and style. If you have the 18-55 set it to 50mm and try to work with it for a day and then lock it to 35mm and try it out the next day. You should easily find out what feels best to you. Optically they are very close though the 50 lets in a little more light (higher max aperture).

If they feel the same maybe go with the 35mm and get a cheap manual 50mm? There are tons of nice ones that goes for almost nothing and I highly recommend the Auto-Chinon MC 50/1.7, I got my copy for scraps and gave it away, but now I miss it.
Chinon 50mm f1.7 .... Not bad..
Great idea....how do I lock it to a mm size?
10-01-2013, 09:27 AM   #13
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get 35mm now as your first prime lens. The FA 50 f/1.4 was my first prime and while it's awesome, I found it too tight many times for indoor shooting. Then my second prime was the FA 35 f/2 and it stayed on my camera (K-x also) for a long time. Excellent versatility, so sharp and great images! You may also find that if you start with the 35mm now, in the future, if you add another prime that is more dedicated to taking portraits, you can get a DA 70, FA 77, or DA*55. All those three are pricey, however, so you could always add the DA 50 f/1.8 in the future if funds permit.
10-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hope9811 Quote
Great idea....how do I lock it to a mm size?
A rubberband or similar
10-01-2013, 06:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
A rubberband or similar
So not the response I was expecting! LOL. But hey, whatever works. I'll give it a try. :-)
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