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Prime Lens For D5000

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#1 Kaneez Rizvi

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

I own a Nikon D5000 and have the basic kit lens.  I'd like a fixed focal length lens (35mm 0r 50mm) f1.4 or f1.8.  Since the D5000 has a crop factor, should I buy the DX or FX lens.  I might upgrade to a full frame camera down the road and I don't want my lens to go to waste.  I thought I could get a full frame lens, but after watching Tony Northrup's video on full frame lens on a crop body, he does not recommend it.  Apparently, the focal length and the aperture of the lens will change on the crop body.  I am very confused as what to buy to produce nice sharp images.  Does Nikon even make a 50mm lens for the DX format?  Thanks


#2 Meergrapher


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Posted 24 February 2017 - 07:32 PM


#3 John W

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 07:48 PM


I can provide some general information on the subject.  Someone else may be able to give you more specific lens suggestions for your system.


I enjoy shooting small circle lenses (the generic term for DX / EF-S).   :)  It's not a waste.  I believe on Nikon you can even put a full frame body into DX mode and crop the lens just the same (with a lower megapixel count) -- meaning they're still compatible [that's not true on Canon].


Lenses behave differently on DX vs FX.  (normal becomes portrait; wide become normal... but hit the DX button and they're equal because the focal length is constant)  Buying for a body you don't have yet will confuse things now and you might miss something you could really use or enjoy (such as ultra wide DX or a multi-purpose zoom).  Small circle lenses tend to be less expensive.  If you find a focal length you want and/or a good deal regardless of DX or FX take it -- they'll both work the same on a DX body.  (nothing physically changes about the lens -- the focal length is constant, they just behave different which is why the crop terminology comparisons include the word 'effective' before everything)


Tony's video and crop comparison terminology exist to help people learn how DX behaves if you're coming from film or FX (or the complex DX vs FX comparison).  DX has more depth of field and a more narrow field of view (more "zoom").  But if you haven't shot FX or film or don't care for the math then it doesn't matter.. just learn DX as it is.  I came from film but think in terms of small circle now -- it's not difficult to get a feel for it.


The lens to avoid (the caution that was mentioned) that you may commonly come across would be a poor quality FX zoom (ex. older standard or low-quality multi-purpose zooms).  With respect to Nikon focus/aperture compatibility, modern (recent) zooms and all primes should perform fine on a DX body.  The caution in the video is that a poor quality FX zoom becomes effectively even poorer on DX (technically it doesn't, it's just that if you push the lens as if it were a DX lens [moving further away] and/or pixel-peep you'll quickly discover the limitations; it doesn't mean you can't, it just means that it's a less practical buying decision).  Other than that, all the lenses should look great and shooting DX bodies carries some advantages.  (FX does too -- everything's a tradeoff and a DX/FX comparison is a complex subject and must be taken in context of what you're shooting, under what conditions, and what print size you'll be making).


50/1.8 35/2 primes (or similar; don't worry about plus or minus a third of a stop) are usually inexpensive and high performance lenses in every 35mm D/SLR system.  They will also work well on both DX and FX bodies (for different purposes).  They should be cheap enough that you could opt for the FX primes.  These are lenses I doubt you'll get rid of.  (primes are generally optically superior to zooms and even if you do get a faster zoom or prime in the future, these are lightweight alternatives)


Sharpness is a common point of confusion.   :huh:  [Uhoh, here comes the technical/practical explanation...]  Image sharpness is more affected by the qualities of light and technique in practice than it is by the sharpness of the lens.  Lens sharpness is useful, for example, as one metric in comparing cost and revisions of a lens, but it doesn't translate to linear improvement in practice.  In practice, only a few points in your composition even cross the plane of focus.  And it doesn't matter that the plane isn't completely flat because your subjects are rarely paper targets (unless you're testing).  Corner sharpness and vignette doesn't matter for general photography because your subject normally isn't in the corner and stuff in the corner that's sharp or illuminated distracts from the subject.  Stop a lens down one stop, the corners get sharper.  Add another stop and the corners get brighter. (aka "f/5.6 and be there")  By contrast, the more optically perfect (or compensated) a lens is, the more you might find yourself in PS blurring or darkening the edges/corners when distractions intersect the frame. ;)


Further reading:

  • All RGBG/RGGB [the current standard] DSLRs are soft at 100% magnification.  For the techncal reasons, see: bayer interpolation  (spoiler:  DSLRs count subpixels unlike RGB displays which count pixels -- cameras only have ~1/3 of the number specified in RGB equivalent terms but they interpolate ("resize") to a quality of ~1/2 the amount; the quality varies by firmware or RAW processing software)
  • DX/FX lens planning against an FX upgrade path is a common concern and FX isn't for everyone -- it depends.  For more info on both, see: full frame upgrade myth


Awesome advice above. The primes you are looking at are not overly expensive. You can buy a very good used 50mm 1.8G on ebay or Fred Miranda Buy & Sell for less than $150 so not much downside. I just bought one refurbished from Nikon for $175. Here is one review that compares it favorably to the f1.4 -  https://photographyl...kon-50mm-f1-8g/

#4 geedee


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Posted 26 February 2017 - 04:47 AM

Confusion reigns here.... Without the understanding of all the mathematics relating to optics, I thought the "simple" rule was that crop factor as in DX camera`s equated to 1.5 times multiplication of focal length applied to full frame FX lenses when fixed to a DX camera body...?


My expectation would therefore be that a FX 50mm lens when mounted on a DX body would create an image through the viewfinder or captured on the sensor as that of a 75mm DX lens..?


I imagined that while both DX lenses and FX lenses may indeed be categorised as having the SAME focal length (i.e. 50mm) it seems when FX and DX are mixed in terms of lens to body difference, the  real world outcomes differ....?


But then what do I know for I am NO expert, I`m just trying to grasp understanding the basics.

#5 Meergrapher


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Posted 26 February 2017 - 06:48 AM


#6 JestePhotography


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Posted 05 March 2017 - 03:59 PM

If you are wanting a 50mm look to your crop body pick up a 35mm lens.

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