I finally opted to re-invest in some new photography equipment, this time in the optical area.
I contemplated between the new 55mm and the 35mm, since the 55mm certainly has a unique close-up perspective (and from what I understand a slightly better portrait shot) but since I already have a 55mm in manual form, and 35mm seemed a bit more versatile, I opted for it in the end.
Most of my comparisons will be to the kit lens my D40 came with, the 18-55mm stock zoom that is pretty much the cheapest lens Nikon sells. My first impressions are that this thing produces very sharp pictures. Perhaps I just haven’t picked up my DSLR in a while, perhaps I just haven’t been using RAW often enough, but these look pretty sharp to me. Thanks to the F1.8 aperture size, plenty of light can enter the camera in low light, which makes it easier to capture a shot without dropping shutter speed to blurry-inducing levels, or increasing the ISO on the rather limited sensor of the D40.
To compare, check out the two shots below, first with the 18-55mm at about 35mm at F4.6 (largest allowed at this zoom point) and 1/200 shutter speed. The next is the same image shot wide open (F1.8) with the 35mm prime. Both were shot at ISO 800 on the D40.
My goal was to be able to shoot in lower light without being forced into high ISO ranges, so this should help out quite a bit.
Check out more shots of the day on the Flickr set.
Fun with new 35mm, a set on Flickr.