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Old May 11, 2009, 2:20 PM   #1
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Default Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Vs nikon 24mm f/2.8

I have been offered the choice of one of the two prime lenses above by a photographer friend. I would like to get opinions on which will be the better lens for my intended use. I would like to be able to take good landscape pictures and also group photo shots, the latter both indoors and outdoors.

Of the two which would be the better choice. Am I right in thinking that the 50mm f/1.8 will be better all round if taking pictures in low light than the 24mm f/2.8 ? Also are there any caveats to using either lens on a nikon d50

Any help greatfully appreciated

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Old May 11, 2009, 4:33 PM   #2
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For your intended use neither are overly great as they are still not all that wide on a D50. You will get the same field of view in 35mm terms as 75mm with the 50 and 36mm with the 24. I'm not saying you can't do landscape with them as I've probably up to 300mm for this but for a general landscape shot being able to go wide is helpful. Also for group shots, you couldn't even consider it with the 50mm as this is more of a standard portrait length for one or two people. The 24mm is OK but you might find yourself wanting to go wider if you are having to back up a long way to get everyone in.

Another really important thing to consider is (unless I'm mistaken) that neither of these lenses will auto focus on the D50 as the camera doesn't have a focus motor and these lenses don't either. Yes you can mf these lenses but it is not easy to get right and also it is slowing down your photo taking process.

You are right regarding the brightness, the 50mm f1.8 is letting in over twice as much light as the 24mm f2.8 so it is better in low light, but not really suited to what you desire.

I hope that gives you some food for thought and sorry it isn't more positive.

What lens/lenses do you currently have?

Mark
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Old May 11, 2009, 4:55 PM   #3
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Mark, the D50 has an AF motor built into it's body (it was the last entry level Nikon dSLR model to include one). Only newer entry level bodies like the D40, D40x, D60 and D5000 do not have a body based focus motor.

So, as long as the two lenses being mentioned are AF lenses, they should Autofocus on a D50.

If they are not AF lenses, that complicates things, as you don't want to mount some manual focus lenses on a D50 unless they're AI (or have been converted to AI); and you lose metering with non-CPU lenses on a D50.

dotibwai:

Are these AF (Autofocus) lenses? If so, they should work fine on your D50. But, as Mark pointed out, the wider 24mm lens is going to be a better choice for the subjects you're interested in (group photos, landscapes) as you may not be able to back up far enough to fit your subjects into the frame using a longer 50mm lens in some conditions.
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Old May 11, 2009, 4:59 PM   #4
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First of all let me correct Mark1616 the D50 does have a focus motor and will out focus with any Nikon AF lens it’s the D40, D60 and new D5000 that will not.

However if these are manual focus lenses than you will have to manually focus and you will not have any meter functions. You would have to shoot in manual and use a hand held meter or guess.

The 50mm will make a good portrait lens but it’s not wide enough for groups. The 24mm is a little better but still a little shy

Yes 1.8 is a better than 2.8 for gathering more light in low light situations however if your intent is group portraits and landscapes you will not want to use the lenses wide open anyway. You will want to use a tripod and stop down to about F8 or more in most cases..

Last edited by tjsnaps; May 11, 2009 at 6:18 PM.
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Old May 11, 2009, 5:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for such a prompt reply. The lenses are both autofocus lenses and will auto focus on the D50 I am reliably told. This is because the D50 does indeed have an on body auto focus motor.
If, as seems to be the consensus, neither lens is particularly suited to my intended use, what lens(es) will be ? I am new to the DSLR platform and would rather not have to spend large sums of money for a suitable lens.
Any recommendations for a good lens(es) would be gratefully received and hopefully will provide a good reference point when seeking out the best kind of lens for my intended use.

Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far. Its nice to see people with knowledge willing to help a newbie out.

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Old May 11, 2009, 6:39 PM   #6
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It's probably a good idea to have a zoom starting out at around 18mm for a bit more framing flexibility. Do you have any lenses for your D50 yet?
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Old May 11, 2009, 8:10 PM   #7
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IOW, you'll probably want a general purpose "walk around" lens if you don't have one already. A popular starter lens for a camera with an APS-C size sensor is a zoom in the 18-50mm range (for example, the 18-55mm kit lenses that manufacturers often bundle with dSLR models).

You've got a number of options, including many available lenses from third party manufacturers like Tamron, Sigma and Tokina at a variety of price points (with higher quality lenses with wider available apertures tending to cost more). I'd let members know what lenses you have now and what kind of budget you've got in mind for better recommendations.

Primes are nice to have (I'm a big fan of them), so I wouldn't turn one down if someone is willing to let you have one (for example, you may find that a brighter lens like the 50mm f/1.7 can come handy for low light shots when you have room to use it). But, you'll have more framing flexibility for things like group photos and landscapes with a zoom starting out wider than the lenses you're looking at.
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Old May 12, 2009, 2:52 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reply. As for the lenses that already own, they are as follows:

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S
Nikon 70-210mm f/4.0-5.6 AF-D
Nikon 70-210mm f/4.0-5.6 AF

The main reason for the two 70-210 lenses was to compare which would be the better lens for action shots as I read some where that the AF-D lens was quicker to focus.

As well as the prime lenses mentioned at the beginning of this thread I would also like a telephoto zoom whcih is a bit lighter than the two I already own, to use mainly for travelling with.

Once again thanks

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Old May 12, 2009, 5:08 AM   #9
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The 70-200d provides distance info to the camera to allow for better flash exposures. I'm not sure that it focuses faster as the D designation has nothing to do with focusing.

Really the lenses you have will cover your needs. Although you don't have a true low light lens, for group shots and landscapes you'll need to stop down to around f8 anyway. A flash is much better for low light group shots because if you shoot wide open, you likely won't have enough Depth of field to keep everyone in focus.

I'd certainly take a free lens if one was given to me. My issue with primes is the lack of flexibility, and although the two lenses you mention are very good lenses, personally i'd rarely use them. I have the 50 and can't remember the last time I used it. It is nice to have a f1.8 for times you cannot use flash, so it is worth having. I'd probably take the 24 from your friend for low light, and it is better for the type of shooting you mention. It is also more expensive to buy on the used market. You can always sell one of your 70-200's and pick up a used 50 if you really feel you need it.

As far as tele zooms that are lightweight, the 55-200vr is probably you're best bet. You could go even lighter with the non vr version of the lens, but vr is a helpful tool with longer focal lengths.
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Old May 12, 2009, 6:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjseeney View Post
The 70-200d provides distance info to the camera to allow for better flash exposures. I'm not sure that it focuses faster as the D designation has nothing to do with focusing.

Really the lenses you have will cover your needs. Although you don't have a true low light lens, for group shots and landscapes you'll need to stop down to around f8 anyway. A flash is much better for low light group shots because if you shoot wide open, you likely won't have enough Depth of field to keep everyone in focus.

I'd certainly take a free lens if one was given to me. My issue with primes is the lack of flexibility, and although the two lenses you mention are very good lenses, personally i'd rarely use them. I have the 50 and can't remember the last time I used it. It is nice to have a f1.8 for times you cannot use flash, so it is worth having. I'd probably take the 24 from your friend for low light, and it is better for the type of shooting you mention. It is also more expensive to buy on the used market. You can always sell one of your 70-200's and pick up a used 50 if you really feel you need it.

As far as tele zooms that are lightweight, the 55-200vr is probably you're best bet. You could go even lighter with the non vr version of the lens, but vr is a helpful tool with longer focal lengths.
Thanks for the info above. The reason i gather that the D version of the 70-210 lens focuses faster is apparently down to the gearing on the lens.

Also regarding the use of a flash for low light conditions which flash would you recommend as a good partner for the D50. I've seen speedlight 400/600/800 being advertised for sale locally but am not sure which would suit me best.


Thanks once again
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