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Old 12-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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50mm or 35 mm for Disney

We leave for Disney next week. I was wondering which lens would be better for pictures at character meals and all around pics with characters. We have an
18-200. But was wondering if I should buy something smaller and lighter. We have a d5100 thanks.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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I've found 35mm to be perfect to get a scene in the dark rides. If you're trying to shoot an environmental portrait during the character meets, it may be what you want there, also. Push in close on your subject and have room to get the background.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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I've always preferred wider at Disney. But it really is a matter of personal preference.

It seems to me though that by the time I backed up enough to get what I wanted in a shot with the 50 at a character meal, I'd be sitting at someone else's table. Likewise, out in the parks, if I backed up, a bunch of other people would step between me and my subject.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:02 PM   #4
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I wouldn't go to Disney locked into a single focal length. It's do-able certainly, but wouldn't be my preference. A fast prime lens can certainly give you added benefits, including dark rides and superior portraits, but I wouldn't leave your zoom lens at home.

Character meals can be difficult with a fixed 50mm lens, or even at 35mm lens. There often isn't room to "back up" at character meals and meets&greets. For a wide shot with multiple characters/family members, even 35mm may not be wide enough in a typical character meal environment.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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We went in November, and I carred both my 18-55 kit lens and a 70-210. I found that I used the 18-55 near the 18 end most of the time.

If the 50mm is made for a cropped-frame, then it might be OK. If it is made for a full-frame, then it will be about 75mm equivalent on your D5100, and that will most likely not be what you want.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rymahoney View Post
We leave for Disney next week. I was wondering which lens would be better for pictures at character meals and all around pics with characters. We have an
18-200. But was wondering if I should buy something smaller and lighter. We have a d5100 thanks.
As much as I love my 50mm f/1.8 I'd take the 35mm to WDW on a crop body. Or the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 if it's in your price range. It's an outstanding lens for the price.

Originally Posted by mcraige
If the 50mm is made for a cropped-frame, then it might be OK. If it is made for a full-frame, then it will be about 75mm equivalent on your D5100, and that will most likely not be what you want.
Just so there's no confusion here, focal lengths are measured in the lens. From the front of the lens to the node. When you're talking about lenses made for a given mount 50mm is technically still 50mm regardless of if the lens is made for a crop sensor or a full frame sensor. The difference comes from the projected image in the lens (crop lenses obviously don't need as large of a projection) and the change in the field of view between the two. Focal length numbers on lenses are kept consistent in the DSLR world.

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Old 12-27-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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35mm is a really nice focal length to have - on a D5100, it is should produce shots that look pretty close to how you see them in real life, rather than being somewhat distorted in one direction or another which can happen when using a wide angle lens.

I've had both 35 and 50 at one point, but found 35 to be a much better length.

Having said that, I would personally still take the 18-200 because I find it too useful at Disney having a zoom of some kind. A 35 will produce some nice shots in darker conditions or at 35mm, but for sunny days or where 35mm isn't quite what you want, the 18-200 will prove too useful to leave at home
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
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35mm and if you have a cropped camera possibly the 28mm...
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
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Last time I went to Disney I took both my 18-200 lens and the 35 mm lens. It was nice having both with me. On things like the Kilimanjaro Safari having the zoom was grat, while having the fixed length gave me some great pictures at MK. I don't know if I would go with just the one prime lens- I like having the choice.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:10 PM   #10
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When i go i leave the kits home and go with my 10-24 and 24-70 2.8. I just picked up a 35 1.8 and that will be in the bag at all times. Those 3 will do everything but the distant pics in AK.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #11
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On our recent trip, I planned to take my 35mm and my 18-200 with my D7000. Our departure from home was one of those if it can go wrong, it will mornings and the 18-200 didn't make it into the bag (blessings to our pet sitter who confirmed this within hours so I didn't spend the entire trip worrying that I had somehow lost an $800 lens).

As a result, I just had the 35mm. This actually worked out for me as (1) it is light and (2) I really thought about what I was shooting instead of becoming a vacation-crazed, snapshot shooting monster like I normally do. My results are MUCH better than my usual Disney photos as a result of that thought. Of course, 30 years after my father first placed a Canon AE-1 around my neck, I might finally be learning how to take photographs rather than pictures.

The 35mm was an awesome Disney lens. I'll make sure the 18-200 comes along next time since it is my most versatile lens but the 35mm may keep its spot as lens number one. Of course, maybe Santa is just late getting that wide angle zoom into my Christmas sticking....
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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I have the same camera/lens combos as the OP. I find the 35mm is better but I bring the 18-200 when I'm looking for something wider (I haven't used > 70mm in quite a while).
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #13
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IMO, the 50 would be way too tight for most shots and too limiting. I even think the 35 is too tight for pictures with characters. For the past 2 trips, I've had my 35mm and an 11-16mm - I shoot with a crop sensor. I ended up using my 11-16 for character pictures because the 35mm was too tight.

Here's an an example with the 35mm. I was basically sitting on some woman's lap at the table next to us.

sept21l by 4forSarah, on Flickr

Here's an example shot at 16mm

sept18g by 4forSarah, on Flickr
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:25 PM   #14
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I carry a 35mm 1.8 and. 50mm 1.4. Always.

Then you will want to add a 12-24 and a 55-300 for some items. I find those 4 lenses handle all my situations.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #15
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I bring a 30mm Sigma, a Nikkor 50mm and a 18-200. The 50 is nice for portraits but I really like the Sigma for lowlight.
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