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I'm currently considering buying the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens as a second lens for my Nikon D3100. A lot of people suggest that I go with a telephoto zoom lens as my second, but I disagree because I believe it is a very personal choice. I love shooting indoors and in low light settings, and the kit lens (18-55mm) really struggles in these conditions. A telephoto zoom is nice, but it's also more expensive and I don't think I will use it as much as a 35mm prime.

Before I make the purchase, I have a few questions:

  1. I didn't see any 3rd party alternatives that looked good at the price point offered by Nikon. Have I missed any worthy alternatives, or is the Nikon model the clear champion?

  2. I am going to purchase the lens on Amazon because I have gift cards to use. However, I am concerned about shipping a delicate lens. If I opt to buy one used, do I add a lot of extra risk of damage during shipment?

  3. Is there any point to waiting for sales? Do sales on lenses even exist? (I don't think they do because of the cost of production and lifetime usefulness)

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closed as not a real question by Itai, mattdm, AJ Henderson, Dan Wolfgang, MikeW May 16 '13 at 19:20

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
Way too many question here. The only thing I'll say is that it is a personal choice. Go with what you want. –  Itai May 16 '13 at 17:48
    
Yeah, I think it would be best if you broke this out into 3 questions. You'll get better answer (and more points! :- ) –  Paul Cezanne May 16 '13 at 17:51
    
I'd say keep it as one because other people will likely have the same train of thoughts. –  Unapiedra May 16 '13 at 18:09
1  
Another arduous shopping question. Another round of poor answers and arguments to close/open. –  dpollitt May 16 '13 at 18:26

2 Answers 2

I was in similar situation. I love shooting indoor and also in low light. And love shooting without flash (photos lose the right atmosphere). So 35mm f1.8 was my clear choice. And I don't regret. I bought new one, because it's not so expensive. I can really recommend to buy one.

Answer to 1): There are some alternatives. But they are slightly different. There is Sigma 35mm f1.4, or Sigma 28mm f1.8. But I believe that for the price Nikkor 35mm is the best. It's really sharp. Maybe little slow in autofocusing.

Martin

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Your first question is, whether a 35mm is a good second lens. The answer is clearly yes, just like you made the justification (indoor + low light). Keep in mind that with the 35mm indoors, your 35mm is not very wide. You can shoot beautifully indoors but you will sometimes feel that you are too close. I'd still buy it.

1) The Nikon lens is already quite cheap. Here is a link with all lenses available at 35mm. Link. I checked prices for some that were possibly cheaper (no point checking a Carl Zeiss lens). They are all f/1.4 which is somewhat nicer. I would go for the cheaper f/1.8 but that is personal preference.

  • Samyang 35mm f/1.4 >$500, most around $700
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (new model) around $900
  • Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 ~$500

2) No Idea. But can't you return it if it arrives damaged?

3) Sales exist quite a bit (check NikonRumors.com) but they tend to be bundles. I'd buy now because saving $10-20 is not quite worth it, imo.

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Regarding question 2: If I buy it used, I'm not sure what would qualify for a return. It looks like I'd really only save about $10-20 dollars, and it seems that it really isn't worth it unless I can inspect the lens in person and also be sure that it will be shipped properly. What do you think? –  Jester87 May 16 '13 at 18:15
    
I agree with your reasoning. I read the question asking about damage in shipment, overlooked the used part. It's a personal choice. I haven't bought used on Amazon before so I can't really say. –  Unapiedra May 16 '13 at 18:47
    
More options do exist: Nikon 35mm f2, Nikon 35mm f1.4, Sigma 30mm f1.4. Plenty of other older lenses, too, though not really suitable for a D3100. Also, for the second bullet, I suspect you means Sigma, not Samsung. –  Dan Wolfgang May 16 '13 at 19:12
    
@Dan: Thanks, fixed. I left out the other options because they were either not suitable for D3100 (no autofocus, etc), or were guaranteed to be more expensive. –  Unapiedra May 16 '13 at 20:52
    
@Unapiedra ...but the Samyang and Rokinon are manual focus only, too. –  Dan Wolfgang May 16 '13 at 22:40

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