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Old Nov 18, 2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Which lens is sharper ?

I have the Nikon D5100 DSLR and I love it. I am going to purchase another lens for it which I will use as my prime lens. My choices are between the Nikkor AF-S DX 35MM F/1.8 G and the Nikkor AF-S DX "MICRO" 40MM F/2.8 G. My question is: Which one of these two lens would produce "sharper" image quality ? I have been told in the past that most lenses that have macro capability will generally be sharper than a similar lens that does not have macro capability. Is this generally true ? I know that the 35mm is the faster of the two, but I want to know which one would be sharper. What do you think ? Thanks.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 3:33 PM   #2
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See SLRgear's tests for both lenses:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX AF-S Nikkor (Tested)

Nikon 40mm f/2.8G DX AF-S Micro Nikkor (Tested)

The 40/2.8 has less distortion, but the 35/1.8 has less vignetting. At f/2.8 and f/4.0, they're about equally sharp, but at smaller apertures (numerically larger f-numbers) the 40/2.8 is sharper.

Photozone.de says much the same:

Nikkor AF-S 35mm f/1.8 G DX

Micro-Nikkor AF-S 40mm f/2.8 G DX
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 4:52 PM   #3
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Thanks "TCav", Great information. Question: of the two, which one would YOU choose ? Thanks.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 7:13 PM   #4
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Just depends which you would use more - a stop and a third more light gathering potential or macro ability?

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Old Nov 19, 2012, 5:58 AM   #5
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I'm very much an available light photographer, so I would value the 35/1.8 moreso than the 40/2.8 Macro. Plus 40mm is pretty short for a macro lens. If the subject isn't inanimate and/or not well lit, you'd be better off with something longer anyway.
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