When we speak about fixed focal length lenses, it is usually to extol their merits. We even dedicated a large portion of our lens buyer’s guide to fixed focal length lenses. However, the main question most people still have, is which fixed focal length lens they should choose: 35 mm, 50 mm or 85 mm?
That is why this “Practical Wednesday” will be dedicated to helping you better understand the differences between these lenses.
APS-C or 24×36?
The fist question you need to answer is whether your camera’s sensor is APS-C format (or even smaller on certain hybrid cameras) or full frame format (full format, 24×36).
This is our third buyer’s guide dedicated to lenses. If you were forced to choose between a good camera and a good lens what would be your choice? Many of us would normally choose the camera since it is full of gadgets and innovations. But, would that really be the best choice?
The lens: your camera’s most crucial component
The lens is one of your camera’s most crucial components, if not THE most crucial (for both reflex and hybrid cameras): the lens is what makes it possible to capture light. Put a poor-quality lens on a good-quality camera and you will quickly discover that the camera will not be able to achieve its full potential. The opposite is also true to a lesser extent, and there is really no point in putting a very high-end lens on an entry-level camera.
The idea here is to find the right balance, without forgetting that a lens is an investment that will undoubtedly outlive your current camera – if you intend to remain with the same manufacturer when you buy your next camera. It is probable that you will change cameras in 3, 6 or 8 years, but the same can not be said about your lenses, especially if you have chosen good-quality ones. Lenses do not really wear out, they do not really get damaged (depending on how you use them) and do not really diminish in quality relative to the new lenses appearing on the market.
While buying the camera itself and especially afterwards, it is often difficult to know exactly what to do when considering buying a lens. What do all of those technical characteristics mean? What is the best lens to suit your budget? What type of lens do you actually need? What is a fixed focal length lens? Basically, you probably have thousands of questions and I will try my best in this article to answer some of them.
This is actually an ideal moment for me to do this since two of my friends asked me for advice last week regarding photographic equipment, and I myself bought a new lens (which I will undoubtedly speak about in detail once I have had enough time to play around with it ).
Building the ideal equipment of lenses in which you will rely on during your adventure as a photographer can be difficult, not just because of the large number of options and alternatives available, but also because of the diverse amount of technical details, numbers and nomenclatures that they present.
For instance, Nikon offers more than 200 alternatives in its own lens range called Nikkor, which are meant to allow you to transform the picture you visualize in your mind into a real one. Each of these lenses is designed for a particular type of photography.
If you do a web search or directly investigate a little on the manufacturer’s website, you will realize how difficult is for an amateur photographer to build an ideal lens equipment.
Knowing how to choose the material that best suits your needs when it comes to taking pictures is essential. Everyone knows that in photography nothing is cheap, so before buying anything I recommend that you think about whether it’s really something that you need.
Lenses are the most expensive things in photography, sometimes costing even more than the camera itself. That’s why it’s worth being well informed and reading many of the analyses and reviews that can be found on the internet.
While the essential ingredient of taking excellent photographs is yourself, having a good team of lenses will make things a lot easier.
Putting together a good team that accompanies you photo by photo as you travel your way into the world of digital photography isn’t as simple as it seems since there are hundreds of models, brands and technical aspects to consider, not to mention your budget.
Samyang has announced the availability – for the month of December – of the first two lenses from their Premium XP product line: the 85mm f/1.2 and the 14mm f/2.4.
Presented last September, just prior to Photokina 2016, Samyung’s Premium XP – eXcellence in Performance – lenses are entirely manual and have been designed to accommodate very high resolution sensors – more than 50Mpx. We were able to confirm this during our recent field trial of the ultra wide angle 14mm f/2.4 mounted on the Canon 5Ds R. Both lenses boast a high quality of optical design – which includes aspheric lenses and a UMC – Ultra Multi Coating – to minimize flare. Their circular diaphragm consists of 9 aperture blades in order to produce an harmonious bokeh.
The official price for each of Samyang’s Premium XP lenses is 1000$. At the moment, only the availability for the Canon EF mount has been announced; availability for the Nikon F and Sony E mounts remains unknown.
Samyang products are distributed in our country by Rodolfo Biber. More information can be found on the product webpages for Samyang 85mm f/1.2 and Samyang 14mm f/2.4.
The Nikon D3400 aims to be one the stars of the market as it is the Japanese company’s low cost DSLR option. Even though the D3300 is still for sale and is a good option, there is no doubt that the D3400 will soon be discounted and be the new ideal camera for newbies in the world of photography. If you either have a Nikon D3400 or a Nikon D3300 and are planning to buy a lens, here is a list with the best lenses for these two cameras.
The best lens for the Nikon D3400
There is a lens that is better than all the rest in terms of the quality/price ratio, and also in terms of picture quality. This lens is the Nikon 35 mm f/1.8. It’s a very well known lens among all Nikon camera users. Its price is considerably affordable since you can get it for less than 200 euros, but it’s still the best option is you’re looking for high quality pictures. Its maximum aperture f/1.8 delivers pictures with a great bokeh effect. Actually, thanks to the fact that this is the maximum aperture, we can work with a little more resolution than ultra high resolution, but at the same time maintaining a great aperture, perfect for night photography just to name one use. Even though it also offers versatility that allows us to use the lens to produce a portrait in which we will try to defocus the background, while getting closer to the subject. It’s even great for recording videos. Without a doubt it’s the best thing you can buy for your Nikon D3400 or Nikon D3300. Being a fixed lens, you are forced to move closer or farther from the subject since you won’t have zoom, but that is made up for by the great quality that a fixed lens like this one offers.
Nikon presents its new AF-S Nikkor 105 mm f/1.4E ED, which will be the brightest 105 mm on the market today. With new optics, the AF-S Nikkor uses an electromagnetic diaphragm that has been advocated for in the world of optics for many years.
As we’ve mentioned, those in charge at Nikon have confirmed that the old – but by no means outdated – mechanical operation lever of the diaphragm of the Nikkor lenses, which is reminiscent of the sixties, does not only fail to offer the needed precision for the available means of exposure in the cameras of the 21st century, especially regarding burst shooting in sequence, but in addition, it also takes away the designers’ freedom when deciding on the optical scheme. This is because with this type of lever, the diaphragm must be located as close as possible to the mount to avoid issues with torsion of the lever. It then becomes a limitation when deciding upon the location of the lenses and their diameters.