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low F-stop lenses Nikon

Marissa Balough , Jul 02, 2012; 02:52 a.m.

I've been using a DSLR for a while, but learned on an old fully manual film camera. My lenses in the past have not gone down in F-stop past 3.5. I would really like something in the 1.8 range. What lenses would you recommend and if I did get one that had that F-stop what is the focal distance be for that lens? Also I'm going to upgrade to a Nikon D7000. Thanks everyone!


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Leslie Cheung , Jul 02, 2012; 03:05 a.m.

35mm 1.8g ~$225

Cyrus Procter , Jul 02, 2012; 03:16 a.m.

50mm F/1.8G.
My Personal favorite is the 85mm. The F/1.8D is very good I hear the F/1.8G is even better.

Michael Kohan , Jul 02, 2012; 03:32 a.m.

Type of shots on a D7000 with...
35mm f/1.8, equal to 52mm or "normal" view, for group shots, street activity, travel
50mm f/1.8, equal to 75mm "semi-telephoto", medium portrait of one or two people, isolating a subject
85mm f/1.8 equal to 127mm "medium telephoto", headshot portrait, isolating a subject even more
These are only general descriptions, you can use any of these lenses any way you like. And with 1.8 and the very good high ISO, very low light will also be possible.

Hector Javkin , Jul 02, 2012; 05:34 a.m.

If you're interested in an 85mm, the discussion in this thread discusses the f/1.8D and the f/1.4D. Some of the things that have been criticized about the 85mm f/1.8D (harsh out of focus highlights) are said to have been corrected in the 85mm f/1.8G, which has gotten excellent reviews. These days, I use an f/1.4D, which I bought used, and like it very much.

Andrew Garrard , Jul 02, 2012; 05:45 a.m.

Marissa - why do you want a faster lens? If you want something you can hand-hold in the dark, wider lenses are easier (suggesting the 28 or 35mm would be a good starting point - the 24mm is silly money, and the Sigma 20mm is optically iffy; if you could put up with manual focus, the 35mm f/1.4 Samyang gets good reviews too and is cheap) - but bear in mind that these lenses aren't image stabilized. If you want to lose the background, longer is usually better, and if the 85 is within your budget then it's a good choice - the 50mm or something like a Tamron 60mm f/2 would also be good.

It's more usual to pick the field of view (focal length) that you want first, then worry about the aperture. Interesting that you're starting at the other end; I'm just curious why. Did you ever use anything faster on your film camera?

Incidentally, I'm assuming when you say "focal distance" you mean "focal length" (of the lens), not "close focus distance" (how close you can get to something in focus). If the latter is a concern, the 60mm f/2 mentioned above is a macro lens. There are several longer f/2 lenses that will lose the background as well or better than the 85mm f/1.8, but generally the price goes up the farther (each way) you get from 50mm.

I hope that helps. If you tell us a bit more, we might be able to give some more advice.

Wouter Willemse , Jul 02, 2012; 06:17 a.m.

On a D7000, I'd much prefer the 35 f/1.8 over a 50mm myself (I find the 75mm equivalent is either too short, or too long, but never quite right).However, that's just my preference.
You can determine for yourself which focal length suits you best, by using your zoomlens at those lenghts, and when you know which focal length you prefer yourself, you'll know which fast lens to get.

Howard Vrankin , Jul 02, 2012; 06:40 a.m.

For general photography with an APS size sensor, definitely the 35mm/1.8. I love using mine in a variety of situations, low light or bright light.

Richard Thomas , Jul 02, 2012; 06:54 a.m.

35mm was not too wide for me so I opted with the 28mm 1.8G for $699. The 28 1.8G is a much better designed lens optically compared to the 35 1.8G and it is all worth spending the extra $$$.

Kent Staubus , Jul 02, 2012; 09:15 a.m.

It's hard to answer your question because you didn't tell us how you intend to use the lens or for what. FWIW, the only lens of that type that I own is a Sigma 30mm f1.4. It's an excellent lens and the f1.4 is faster than the f1.8. It would be perfect on a D7000 and is a better lens than the Nikon f1.8 models.

Kent in SD

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