35mm VS 50mm Lens for Canon and Nikon The N° 1 Final and Brief Guide

Article: Canon Nikon 35mm VS 50mm   Research: 14 Hours   written by: BenoThePhotographer

Confused about which lens to buy 50mm or 35mm for your DSLR to suit your photography needs? This article will provide you enough knowledge and help you choose wisely.


First let's learn about the basics:

1.8G – The first primary lens by Nikon specifically designed for the DX format cameras from Nikon. This lens helps to capture photos where the depth of field is shallow, thus making your subject stand out.

1.8D – This lens enables quick auto-focus and lends additional sharpness to the images. It is an AF lens, hence is compatible with all Nikon DSLRs. It is also a full coverage FX lens, which makes it a great choice for FX digital, DX digital  also film photography.

1.4D – The perfect lens to blur out the background, so that the subject is isolated and captured with utmost focus and clarity. It has wide aperture settings which enables it to give a natural blur to the backgrounds in the photos.

Crop Factor – When you click a photo on your DSLR, only a rectangular portion of your subject is captured (known as crop sensor) though your view hole will show you a round image. Crop factor is the ratio between the sensor size to the full frame or 35mm.

DX And FX Sensors – DX formats have smaller image sensor while FX format have larger image sensor. DX lenses are smaller and lighter while FX lenses help in capturing photos with more light, and have no crop factor.

We Will Cover in this Article:
  1. A small Test that you can do it at home, for know exactly which lens you Need (35mm or 50mm).
  2. Comparing 35mm Lens with 50mm Lens.
  3. Recommendation before taking a buying decision
  4. Best deals & prices in two separate tables on Nikon, Canon, Sony 35mm & 50mm Lenses 

1. Which Lens Is Your Lens? 35mm or 50mm

Wondering if should go in for the 35mm or the 50mm? Yes different types of photography required different lens, but which one should you buy? Let’s use your kit lens to find out.

Mount your 18-55mm lens and zoom it to 35mm. Now click a photo of any subject. Next change the settings to 50mm and repeat the shot. See a difference? Chose which one you like and need. You can also do a long period testing by using your kit lens zoomed at 35mm for a few days and set it to 50mm for a few days.

The best thing about photography is that you never know when you are going to get that perfect shot. After the 35mm Vs 50mm test, you will know which you require more or which you prefer more. Invest in that lens first. 

2. Nikon 35mm Vs 50mm

Both the lenses are great for different situations.  If you are looking for a lens that can give you some great portraits, you should go in for the 50mm 1.8G as this lens was specifically designed for DX format. The focal length is just right for individual portraits as it makes your subject stand out and blurs the background. The overall effect achieved is just brilliant. However, if you are clicking portraits of subjects above the age of 50, the 50mm would not be a good choice as it focuses more on details and can highlight the wrinkles and flaws on aged skin.

The 35mm 1.8G would be a great choice if you want to click individual portraits of older people. Yes this lens is a little too wide for individual portraits, but when your subject is on the older side, you need a lens that will not highlight the flaws. It can blur the background beautifully and make your subject stand out and get all the focus in the photo.

When Should You Opt For the 35mm?

If you want to cover a wider angle, like in a family function or a general gathering, you should opt for the 35mm as it will enable you to cover more and is optimal for a group portrait. When you want to cover the whole scene and not just a single subject, this lens would be perfect.

When in a known crowd, your subject will more receptive to the idea of you getting close enough for a good shot. This won’t be possible when you are shooting unknown subjects. Be it the 1.8 or 1.4, a wide coverage is what you will get with a 35mm lens.

Best Deals for 35mm Lens

CameraFocal LenghtBuy Now
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G (5 Stars & FREE Shipping)
Canon 35mm f/1.4L (9% OFF & FREE Shipping)
Sony 35mm f/1.8 (FREE Shipping)

When Should You Opt For the 50mm or More?

If you want to shoot a video for video blogging etc, you need more focus on your subject. Though you cannot physically get close to your subject all the time, you need to get close to it through your lens and this is exactly what the 50mm will enable you to do.

When you are a wild life photographer or a street photographer, you need to focus on your subject and the rest should just fade into the background. In these situations, you cannot afford to get up close and personal with your subject. When you use the 50mm you can stay at a safe distance yet get a good clear picture.

The Nikon 50mm would be an ideal lens for street photography as the focal length will enable you to put a safe distance between you and the subject, which is what you need for candid shots. If you get too close to your subject, they may get conscious which would ruin the idea behind candid shots.
You can even go in for lens with a longer focal length if you want to be very conspicuous and get real good candid shots of your subjects.

Best Deals On 50mm Lens

CameraFocal LenghtBuy Now
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G (5 Stars & FREE Shipping)
Canon 50mm f/1.8 (#1 Best Seller & Free Shipping)
Sony 50mm f/1.8 (FREE Shipping)

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography requires you to focus on a subject while the background is also covered.  The wide angle provided by a 35mm is what you need for landscapes of limited area. If you want a long and wide shot of an expansive landscape, the Nikon 35mm 1.8g would not be sufficient as it is not wide enough.
Read More: 4 Best Wide Angle lenses

Consider It All Before You Buy the Lens

When it comes to 35mm Vs 50mm Nikon or canon or Eve, Sony, you requirements are what will determine the lens for you. The depth, focal length, angle and the type of photography will decide which lens will be optimal for your use.

Your DX cameras have a crop factor, which should also be taken into account when you decide on the lens. With a 1.5 crop factor, you can get more focal length with both your 35mm and 50mm, thus enabling you to stay farther away from your subject. The lesser the focal length, wider is your angle, more the focal length, closer is your subject.

You also need enough knowledge about aperture settings, lighting, shutter speed and depth of field, before you can get the best out of any lens. 

"When you are guided by an experienced photographer, you will know that pursuing photography will be a delightful experience and a worthwhile adventure" - BenoThePhotographer 

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