• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

28 mm vs 35 mm (1 Viewer)

JTweedie

Well-known member
Hello, I've always been pretty much an amateur with my photography. My DSLR is an old Nikon D50, the entry model of their old range. It still takes OK pictures, although for the last few years I've mainly been using my iPhone as a camera. But the phone has serious limitations especially in poor light.

I've been looking at the Nikon Z6ii and while I'd like to eventually use it for birding, I'm also interested in street photography. I was wondering for those with more photography experience what you would choose from a 28 mm or a 35 mm lens? I saw a video where a 28 mm lens meant needing to get closer to the subject so if you were out taking photos in cities you might end up in people's faces, although apparently it brought more immediacy to photos. 35 mm seems to be the workhorse lens but demands a bit more in terms of composition (although you can fix part of that with good use of cropping). I was thinking of buying the camera with one of these lenses, instead of getting the kit zoom lens you can get with it. The 28 mm seems to be the cheaper option (£259 v £899) so I'm toying with that just to get started.

I've never used a full frame camera before - do you think I'd see a big difference from what I get from the D50?
 
For street photography I preferred 35mm on full-frame, but both can work well. 28mm I rarely found than useful - if I wanted wide-angle I prefered 24mm, but it really is personal preference. 35mm gives a more natural perspective.
 
I prefer full frame with 35mm, but that's possibly because I grew up with full-frame and knew how my manual lenses performed (still occasionally run a roll of film through my old Nikon FE). The small sensors do have a big advantage for bird photography though giving you greater reach for the same size lens.
 
Do you think it would be better investing at this stage in the camera + kit lens (24 - 70 mm f4) just for getting started? I can see how that would provide more flexibility. I've never used a fixed length lens before so I'm not familiar with their advantages.
 
Kit will help a great deal with bird photography, you are trying to capture a small moving object a fair distance away. But with landscapes and streetscapes, composition and artistry are much more important in producing a "good" photograph.

35mm will produce a more naturalistic image, but if you are aiming for art then the more exaggerated perspectives of wider angled lenses can be effective. A prime lens will give you more dynamic range to play with than a zoom, remember also that without the speed constraints of trying to capture moving birds you have a great range to play with.

Consider that a lot of the Golden Rules date back to the time of film photography, if you are going to adjust things in post processing then constraints of lighting and perspective can go out of the window.
 
Do you think it would be better investing at this stage in the camera + kit lens (24 - 70 mm f4) just for getting started? I can see how that would provide more flexibility. I've never used a fixed length lens before so I'm not familiar with their advantages.

Generally kit zooms won't be quite as good optically compared to primes, but unless you plan on making big prints or selling your work they'll be plenty good enough. Main disadvantage of cheaper zooms is the maximum aperture - the smaller the aperture (typically f2 on a basic prime) the more you are able to selectively focus and throw the background into soft-focus, and also use at lower shutter speeds. I'd be tempted by the kit lens and then add primes when you know you have specific needs it won't meet.
 
Cheers both. I think I'll go for the kit lens just now and decide later if I want more specialised lenses.

I'm also keen on this camera to force me to learn to use the camera properly rather than the hand-holding the D50 does. I want to feel that my photos are down to skill rather than just the camera helping me out.
 
I had the same issue, and because my primary targets are birds, I spend money in the long lenses and a macro lens, and I got a cheap 2nd hand small zoom, until I figure out what I need for those street, landscape or random pics.
 
For street photography I preferred 35mm on full-frame, but both can work well. 28mm I rarely found than useful - if I wanted wide-angle I prefered 24mm, but it really is personal preference. 35mm gives a more natural perspective.
I enjoy either 24mm or 28mm for my street photography….. I feel way too confined using a 50 unless in crowded situations like parades etc. … 35mm is ok and do use it. Will often venture out with a 24 & 35…
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top