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I'd say it depends on how many lenses you ultimately want to own (or carry with you).
There are several possible combinations. I own a 25 and found I matched very nicely with the 85 for landscape. 100 mm is maybe a bit to far away and 35mm would match it better.
For a three lens combo 25, 50 and 100 are spaced out nicely, that will be my 3-combo now, since I just received a 50 MP a couple of days ago
21, 35 and 100 will work just as well. It just depends on what focal lenghts you prefer.
If you will end up with 4 lenses 21, 35, 50 and 100 will be good set.
I started with the 25, then got a 85, then replaced my Nikon 105 Macro with the 100, and just now couldn't resist a good offer for a used 50 MP (they are rather rare) although I rather wanted the 35.
I might replace the 25 by 21 and 35, we will see.
The 25 is rather versatile, and I really like the focal length since it is not to extreme but a lot wider then the 35 which I rather consider a wide "normal" lens then a wide angle. I find it a very good walk around lens for landscape.
- but it has a few limitations. When you shoot against the light it can produce some CA (purple and cyan). Also when shot against the light, the Bokeh can be a bit harsh at apertures around 4 and even 5,6. This is mostly true for certain distances in the mid range, say 1-3 m, not so much at distance or very close range.
For landscape sharp from front to back f8 works best. There it really shines.
It is very sharp from 2,8 on at wider distances (from 3m or so on).
At close distance it is rather soft at 2,8, but given the very close focusing abilities this is rather a good feature than a bug, since it creates a dreamy look.
Also field curvature helps in the very close range to separate the objekt from the background and create nice oof bokeh. For landscape field curvature is no issue. When in doubt one can always frame a bit wider and crop a bit, so the worst sections of the corners are cut out.
The 35 is certainly an easier lens from what I gather, then either 25 or 28 are. The 21 is a more spectacular lens then either 25 or 28.
I have never really shot people with the 25, so I can't really comment on that kind of use. But I don't think it can be used very well for portraits due to distortion, I guess 35mm would be the better FL for that (and 50 and 85mm).
The most limiting factor with that lens for me is that it's f2,8. This limits the amount of soft out of focus area. If it had 2,0 I'd probabely like it even more. Therfor I might at some point get the 35 instead, or wait for a newer faster version. Over here I find, that there are a few to be found at the bay right now, maybe people waiting for the newer version are dumping the 2,8? You might get a used one and try out for yoursef.
Mostly the 35 is valued over the 25 and 28, but it seems that few people have actually tried it. Hope this helps a bit.
Edited on Mar 06, 2011 at 09:33 PM · View previous versions