50mm f/1.8 G vs D lens

edited April 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I am fairly new to the Nikon D3200 and I'm looking to upgrade my lens from the kit lens. I am just not getting extra sharp photos with the kit lens.
I have a charity photo shoot coming up where I will be taking photos of families, many with young children.
I am not sure if I should get the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 D prime lens, or spend more money and get the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.
It's really important that I get really great photos so I want to invest in he correct lens, but I'm just not sure. Any advice or suggestions?

Thank you!


  • The D lens has no internal motor, so it will not auto focus with your camera.

    It will meter fine, and give good pictures if you manually focus, but in order to get AF with this camera, you must get an AFS lens that has the motor in the lens.

  • edited April 2016
    Thank you! I'm going to go with the G. Do you ever purchase used? I've compared the prices of new versus used on some reputable sites such as B&H and Adorama, and I'm tempted to buy used but worried about being without a warranty. What do you think?
  • edited April 2016
    The best used vendors will include a warranty, including B&H and Adorama, and also KEH. KEH has a warranty and a return policy. Their prices tend to be a little on the high side, but their quality rating is very reliable. I've bought a number of things from them, and even their "bargain" grade is usually quite decent. Above that you can pretty well go without worry. Do make note, though, of whether caps, hoods, etc., are included. If they don't say they are, they probably aren't. Right now their web site is poorly organized. They keep changing it for reasons unknown, but their service is good.

  • edited April 2016
    I'll look at that, thank you!
  • edited January 2017
    I've bought many lenses from B&H but have read a few bad reviews on Adorama, so I avoid them based on those (too many to ignore). Some of my more priceless lenses (no longer made because they rivaled factory equivalent) I still use today on my D90. Although some of the features (autofocus for some because of internal motors) don't work, manual use is still possible, and I really do enjoy some of those older lenses.
  • edited March 2017
    Be sure the 50mm is the lens you want. Its equivalent field of view to full frame is that of a 75mm lens. It's a nice lens and good for portrait, but it will be a little tight for group and wider shots.

    The 35mm f/1.8G DX series is a little cheaper than the 50mm (sometimes), and its equivalent focal length is 52mm. It works well for portraits (more DOF than the 50mm though), and wider shots, and image quality wise it's a beautiful beautiful lens. I adore the way it captures light. If you go with it make sure it's the DX series G lens though, I've heard the FX version (more expensive though) is not such a good lens. No personal experience with it though.

    Remember if you do get any DX lens, if you later upgrade to full frame, you'll only be able to use it in crop mode.
  • edited March 2017
    I would second the above, in that the 35mm is a more versatile lens for general use on DX. The 50mm is very nice, and likely better for portraits, but the 35mm is likely to be more useful in general. If you have not already, it would be a good idea to look through the images you've already made, and see what focal length you tended to use with the kit lens, which covers both 35mm and 50mm within its range. Find the shots you liked the best, and look at the EXIF info for them.

    If you're in doubt, remember that you can crop a 35mm shot, or move closer to your subject, to mimic a 50mm in field of view (though not in depth of field), but the only way to can make a 50mm mimic a 35mm is to move further away.

  • I recently bought one and all my photos have a green/blue tint on them. No problems with any other lens just this one, do I need to alter the white balance somehow?
  • I have not noticed a problem in white balance with the 50/1.4D, but some lenses may vary a little. I've noticed that Auto WB often runs a little cold in broad daylight and many images look better if you switch to daylight mode. You'll have to switch back to another WB setting if you come indoors or shoot in artificial light, or adjust it later in post if you shoot Raw.

    Depending on how much it varies, if daylight doesn't do it, your next step would be Cloudy, and after that Shade. Cloudy should warm it up pretty well.

    You can also set a custom white balance, using either a gray card or a white object like a piece of paper, and switch to that when using that lens.
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