Author Archives: Arne

Where the X100F is good at

2019: By now, the X100F seems to be almost outdated, with a successor on the horizon. Time to move on? Of course not!

In 2019, the D7500 became my main camera. Still not doing any paid work, though for two events I got tipped later.

The X100F saw considerably less use that year – in a sense because it does not pose a challenge. With the Nikon, I now worked out a Raw-based processes to get good skin tones, while I still struggle with Jpeg. The Fujifilm is excellent for skin tones even using Jpegs straight out of the camera.

And there is no lens choice. No what-if, no what-about, no should-I-rather. This fixed lens is not a serious limitation. Even without panorama stitching or cropping in post, Jpeg mode offer three common and useful fields of view. Now I see one could rise any say “But the image quality of digital zoom is not as good”. As if every photo must be taken with the optimal resolution.

I would prefer digital crop to digital zoom, but still use the digital zoom. As for wide shots, the lens is nicely wide. Not ultra wide, which would get boring quickly.

Taking Raw photos is almost a disadvantage with this camera. Again I see someone would rise, and in a high-pitch and determined tone, lecture me about things possible only with Raw.

For me it is not so much about what is possible. Rather about what is done.

City after sunset, taken December 31st 2019. Camera’s digital zoom to 70 mm equivalent.

If my photos which I create for no money would rely on being shot Raw, I would be more a digital artist than photographer. If the photos don’t rely on Raw, why put that extra time into it? Because of more facebook likes? Or because even in film times, images were manually developed in order to optimize the outcome? Indeed, pros did it. I was a consumer and went to a drug store, getting the prints a couple of days later.

Of course, certain events justify Raw usage. Midsummer night I  switched to Raw. All images from that day shown here are still a Jpeg exports done by the camera.

Long exposure on June 22nd.

Thing like sensor quality analysis. Or lens sharpness analysis. As if a bit of noise, or less that mathematically possible detail resolution ruins an otherwise good photograph. If you cannot improve in any other way, if you already consistently capture the best moment, if your composition is impeccable every single shot, I would see why you look at your images in 1:1 pixel zoom. Why would I care about the accuracy of some pixels if the photograph itself has issues?

With the X100F I took a couple of group shots, some of them printed with the Instax SP2 as a quick small gift. The X100F also served as camera for casual gatherings when I want to have something not as big as a DSRL. Faces are more relaxed looking at this camera instead into a large lens which appears to be a high-performance skin-issue detector.

On trips, the camera served as machine to record visual memories.

Faux macro shot

When taking it to a cherry blossom area, I caught some bees in flight. It is not an action camera but focus is quick enough for my practical needs. I took wide-angle shots and near-macro shots, the latter amplified with digital zoom. I also used the fake macro capability for other stuff like those mini fungus. Not fully sharp but still a lot of detail.

The X100F with Acros simulation got me some excellent photographs. Some portraits looked so good that color would be a distraction. With Classic Chrome selected, I went on a city history trip guided by one of my colleagues. Took too many pictures but the ones I selected to show the other colleagues, are straight out of camera.

I used the camera to photograph a politician. Being in the front row, still no-one mistook me for the press. And another photo-shooting of people in summer, ladies in dirndls. The shots had to be good, so I played safe and used the X100F.

For midsummer night, the X100F was only a backup, but vital to document the shooting event itself. And on the way, I got this picture of noctilucent clouds.

These clouds were lit after sunset on midsummer night

I used the camera while being blindfolded for a game. Now I have weird pictures showing other participants, also blindfolded.

First on foremost I like the camera for travel. Bohek options are limited – oh no, now I get snarky remarks from the friend how just bought a new fast which weights more than the X100F camera and – who thought of that? – gets more background blur.

Also no zoom, while everyone knows that one must of course carry a zoom in order to not waste any megapixels in crop. Okay, for the highest facebook resolution, a crop would yield a 100 mm equivalent lens, or for mobile uploads, digital crop gets you to some 210 mm. But every picture taken at any point in time for any reason must be of commercial-grade quality, or you are just a beginner. Imagine you are out there, and in the distance is something you never went to so you have no emotional connection, and to get it big on a photo you have to crop much so that one cannot create a sharp 36×24 inch print. What a shame. Quick, let’s load our photo backpack,

But first, let us discuss which seven of our eight lenses we put into it. Yes, all that is what I need on travel.

More than one system

With otherwise using DSLRs, I like the optical viewfinder option of the X100. An electronic viewfinder can be useful, or a combination thereof, optical finder with a small digital preview. Everything is offered by the X100F.

Articulating screen? I have a bigger camera for that. And yes, I use DSRLs on some travels, too. Sometimes I shoot even Raw.

What do I actually need? Feature-wise, a Nikon FM2: It shows shutter speed and aperture in the viewfinder, and iso on the camera back if you use the cardboard holder. Shutter speed ranges from 1 second to 1/4000 with a bulb option available, flash sync up to 1/200. If offers an assistant – here a split-screen – for focus. There is an electronic light meter. And a shutter release button. The camera even shows how many exposures were taken and thus one knows how many are left.

The X100F is not free of issues. Autofocus sometimes misses completely and falsely confirm the focus, auto-whitebalance used in landscape is prone to produce a purple tint. The lens however is excellent, producing sharp pictures at almost all settings, and nice aperture stars at f/4.

The camera’s focus is not as snappy as known from a DSLR, some shots I took in a boxing class were not optimal. But many turned out to be good.

When looking through this year’s photo taken with the camera, I relived many events. Looking at the DSLR photos, I often also remember the struggle to carry and manage the gear.

Bee and cherry blossom

Having an X100F does mean other cameras are superfluous to me. In fact, I went into the DSRL world only about one and a half year after buying the X100F early in 2017.

Still using the Fujifilm, like today on new year’s eve.

A sharp moon photo

This blog post describes how I got this photo. In order to reproduce, you need your camera and a long tele lens, I also assume you have image editing software able to read Raw files, and to apply common adjustments.

This is the result:

Here is the original Nikon D5600 NEF file. You can download that file and use it as you like except claiming ownership. You can use it commercially if you want as long as you credit me, Arne Seifert, and also link to “http://www.aths.net/a-sharp-moon-photo”.

For the processed images in this article, as all of the Jpeg images in my blog, I claim full copyright. Please don’t use them.

Get experience

The moon is so bright it could be shot handheld if the lens has VR, but we go for the best result. That means, please use a tripod. If the lens has VR, disable it to avoid accidental “correction” when none is needed. I think by now VR is smart enough to not activate accidentally but we are not taking risks here.

On the camera, configure the selftimer. Use a delay of some seconds, and set it to do a couple of shots in succession with some seconds delay in-between.

I also use exposure delay mode, so that after the mirror moved up, the camera waits a bit before releasing the shutter. The vibration caused by mirror motion is thus gone.

Set the camera to full manual exposure including manual iso. For now, begin with 1/100 s, f/10, iso 100. For the Jpeg profile use the flattest you have available. Set the camera to Raw recording (the Jpeg profile still applies to the included Raw preview.) Make sure that when you are reviewing a photo zoomed in, that your camera gets you a full-resolution review even with Raw. Otherwise, use Jpeg+Raw just to get a full-resolution review.

Enable live-view, configure it to shoot on tapping if the camera has a touch screen. Turn the lens to the shortest setting, adjust the camera position until the moon is in the center of the screen. You notice after changing the angle when you then fix the position of the tripod mount, it still moves a bit until it settles down. You have to compensate for that and fix the mount position with the moon a bit higher because during or even after fixing, the camera stills moves a bit. There are tripods available for astronomers which can be oriented with wheels, allowing delicate changes of direction after mounting. But we work with consumer-grade gear.

Now turn the lens to the longest setting.

For focus you have two choices:

  • Zoom in via live-view, use autofocus as often as you like until the image appears to be the sharpest. Then switch to manual focus and keep it.
  • Use autofocus all the time

The former method gets you consistent results, where for the latter I sometimes get images slightly out of focus. I still recommend the latter, because the earth atmosphere between lens and moon is not static. Warmer air moves up, and because density depends on temperature, mixing air of different temperatures causes changes in how it interacts with light. Using autofocus all the time, you have to live with slight waste because somehow it might not always hit perfectly but overall it adapts to changing conditions. Also you might be outside for a while, with the moon moving on the sky, meaning the thickness of atmosphere changes over the night. Since air interacts with light, if only very little, we can use autofocus to have the camera adapt.

Begin the shooting. Then review the results. The earth turns so fast, the moon will wander to one of the edges. Consider this for the next shooting. Get the moon to a place that during the shooting, it goes through the center of the image. The lens usually gets you the best resolution in the image center.

Very important, please check exposure in the review. You might need to adjust it. If you have a very long lens, you might want to shorten the shutter speed, like to 1/200 s, because the longer the lens, the quicker the moon moves. Compensate shutter speed with iso (in this case, iso 200) instead of aperture. This is because most lenses have their sharpness peak if stopped down. This is especially true for most tele zoom at the long end.

Do all these experiments to learn how you get the best results with your gear. You can also do some basic processing of your images, to see what is possible.

Get the perfect night

When the moon is high it means there is less atmosphere between the moon and the lens. The chance of disturbances is smaller. We don’t photograph a rising or setting moon if we want the best quality. The moon subjectively appears to be larger if close to the horizon but of course the actual size is the same.

We also need night with no clouds. It should be cold, because hot air moves which interferes with image sharpness.

On paper, we want a so-called super moon. Because the circling around the earth is done on an ellipse, the moon is sometimes closer to use than other times. Being closer means a bigger image and thus more details. Super moons are full moons but the full moon has little contrast. This is why I went for a phase. The contrast around the terminator, the day/night border, is always nice, and high contrast helps with the appearance of a sharp shot.

If you do your first moon shooting just at the perfect night, you are likely to overlook something so you get less than optimal results. The result used for this blog was taken with about five shootings worth of experience. First I got experience with my 70-300 mm, when I had the chance to borrow a Tamron 150-600, I could apply all the routine and instantly get some good results.

In each of moon-hunting nights, I took several series of 9 photos each, with re-positioning the camera after each series. Quite some work especially if it is cold outside. But that is the main ingredient of that photo.

Select the photo

You now have a lot of photos looking all alike. Review them in 1:1 zoom to cull the baddies. For the remaining pile, compare if you can delete further images.

For those shootings I used a D5600 (sadly, the live-view broke later in 2019) and a D7500. With the D5600 having more resolution, one would expect more details. But somehow I almost always get clearer, more detailed results with the D7500. Resolution seemingly is not everything.

However the shot used in this blog was made with the D5600, because I don’t want to suggest you should upgrade your camera just to get a little edge for a couple of moon photos.  I also don’t go into stacking, that is the use of multiple exposures which are aligned and then averaged for a final image which has more information and therefore allows more post-processing.

First work on the photo

Some, but not all Raw editing tools offer to compensate for lens distortion. For this project I disable it because we don’t want have the image stretched and squeezed, reducing details just to get a slight geometric distortion corrected. I used the automatic color fringe removal though.

First, crop. You want to show the moon, not the empty space. After cropping, adjust brightness levels. First, adjust the white point, that is, stretch the histogram so that white almost but not quite touches the max level. You might also want to adjust the black point. Accept some clipping here, we want to clip the noise in the black.

In order to reveal details in the bright parts, use a function to recover highlights and/or play with the tone curve, that is a curve showing how input brightness translates to output brightness. We are not going for full realism, because to the eye the moon surface is very bright without a lot of texture. We want to use a greater range, that means we show most of the moon in moderate brightness so that we can stretch the image representation over a larger range of brightness levels from medium-grey to white instead of bright-grey to white only.

Do only basic adjustments now, we worry about the final touch-up later. But now would be the time to check if there are color fringes on the edge of the moon. If your program has no automatic correction, you can reduce overall saturation. A more complicated fix is to reduce saturation just for that color fringe hue. or to manually mark the border and then reduce saturation locally in that marked area.

This is what I got now:

Reveal the details

Set sharpness strength to the max and change the kernel size to see how it affect the image, until you get good crater edges. For this example I kept the max strength while using a kernel of 1.1 pixels. I also used a mask threshold of 20%. That means, low-contrast areas get no sharpness applied. They would not benefit much anyway and we don’t want unnecessary noise amplification there.

Now export the image with downscaling. I downscaled the 1342 pixel edges to 1000 pixels. This gets us less pixels but more information for every remaining pixel. This is where at now:

This version is the one we continue to work on. Now we add even more sharpness! I went with max strength again (150%). Kernel size now smaller because we go for the fine details, I used 0.7 pixels. Masking threshold quite high, 59%, to keep the maria clean. A mare, Latin for sea, is a large dark area filled with frozen lava, in earlier times believed to be actually seas.

We can add this extra sharpness without producing too much of artifacts because of the previous downscale. Now I have this:

More adjustments

I now correct the histogram again in order to get more punch, also use a selective saturation slider to get some color amplified. The effect is subtle but you notice that on the right part, one of the dark areas, Mare Tranquillitatis, gets a blue or purple tint. For more oomph I also added filters which add local contrast, that is they adjust the turne curve not just for the whole image and instead check for the surrounding brightness. If something is dark and the surrounding bright, such filter makes the dark area even darker, and vice versa. I added some more sharpness, with the smallest kernel available (here: 0.5 pixels.)

I also then applied noise reduction, masked so that only low-contrast area get denoised. I then manually marked areas of craters in the maria, and locally added more sharpness to have them stand out. Finally I changed overall brightness because why not? The result was posted at the top of the article.

Other ways

There are a couple of commercial tools around, some claim to be AI-based. The ones I tested are not intelligent enough for best automatic settings but when finding good parameters for a given photo, the clean-up-work is good, enhancing details and removing noise at the same time. The primary advantage is that if such tool detects an edge, it seemingly re-draws it with internally higher resolution, which results in great distinct single craters. I used this several times for postings on Facebook.

The downside is high-frequency content. The part of the moon with many overlaying craters get artifacts. I doubt that many ever notice, but having watched the moon through a telescope at different phases, I personally do notice.

A better camera sensor seems to help as well. The D7500, while having lower resolution, gives me clearer detail and less noise. Finally, if you have the time, using a stacking approach to combine similar exposures to a super-image can get you more options for processing and thus more detail as well.

This blog entry shows that even without all that, one can get a detailed depiction of the moon – that is, if one has access to a long lens.

35 or 50 mm for my DX camera?

This seems to be the most common lens question. Let us not waste any time!

What is DX?

Nikon’s first digital SLR cameras were made for professionals and used a DX-size sensor. Today, many professional cameras use the larger FX format, but DX still exists covering entry-level up to mid-range.

The FX size conforms to classic small-frame film. It is roll film, 35 mm wide. Because of the holes on each side, for sprockets to transport the film, only 24 mm remain for the image. Used for still photography, the film moves sideways. The long side for the image is defined as 36 mm. While considered small frame film then, today’s marketing of digital cameras calls the same size a full frame sensor.

The DX sensor is roughly 24×16 mm, actually a bit smaller. Another label for this size is APS-C, an uncommon consumer film format. Though so-called “APS-C” sensors are slightly smaller than the actual APS-C film frame. Marketing has the tendency to not be very precise. Again, Nikon uses its custom label “DX” instead.

The D in DX probably means digital, F in FX perhaps full frame, or just “F” as in the name for F-mount based film-SLRs, but I never saw an official explanation.

Mechanically and optically, DX cameras can use both DX and FX lenses. But not all cameras support all lens features.

First things first: What does 1:1.8 aperture mean?

Usually, someone posts two 1:1.8 lenses, a 35 mm and a 50 mm and asks which is better.

1:1.8 means the absolute aperture is 1/1.8th of the focal length. Just divide the focal length, 35 or 50 mm, by 1.8!

The  35 mm 1:1.8 lens has 19.4 mm diameter for the lens input. The 50 mm has 27.8 mm input diameter. Both results rounded to one decimal place.

We see that the 50 mm 1:1.8 lens gathers more light in absolute terms, because the diameter for the input of the lens is larger. But it also needs more light, because the magnification is higher. Think about the image taking light from a smaller area, thinning out the light in comparison. That is why the aperture is given as ratio. Ratio to the focal length, shortened as letter f.

No matter what the focal length might be, with the same aperture of “1:1.8” for both lenses, the output brightness is the same as well. The “f-stop number” omits the numerator part, it is just “1.8”.

To reduce the amount of light coming in, one can stop down using aperture blades which form a narrower entrance pupil.

Turn the lens upside down. Play with this lever and you see how changing the aperture works

Actual brightness is also impacted by loss of light within the lens. The more lens elements and simpler lens coating, the greater the internal loss of light. The technical term is “t‑stop”. Letter t for transmission of the light.

And finally, aperture blades are mechanically controlled by most lenses, which means it is not always completely precise. It can be that sometimes the real aperture is a little wider or narrower.

35 or 50 mm, but which lens exactly?

For 1:1.8 aperture, there are two different 50 mm and 35 mm autofocus lenses.

For 35 mm:

  • Nikkor AF-S 35 mm 1:1.8G
  • Nikkor DX AF-S 35 mm 1:1.8G

The main difference is the output area, the area of projection. The former lens can be used for film and FX sensors. Those lenses have no special designation, there is no “FX” being mentioned in the name. Of course it can be used with your DX camera, too. The 35 mm FX version (which, as just said, has no “FX” in the name) uses a more complex lens design, and is of better build quality. But it is a bit bigger and heavier, and costs a lot more than the DX version.

The DX version of the 35 mm lens only illuminates a DX sensor which is smaller in size than FX. Hence the “DX” label, so you know what you get. As side note, this particular DX 35 mm product almost projects on a film or FX sensor, but not quite. I used it once for film, but got dark corners.

If you have a DX camera, you probably want to get the DX 35 mm lens because it costs considerably less.

For 50 mm:

  • Nikkor AF 50 mm 1:1.8D
  • Nikkor AF-S 50 mm 1:1.8G

Both lenses are FX, but again these lenses can be mounted on DX cameras. There is a catch: The former lens is “AF” and only focuses on the D7000 series and above because it relies on a motor provided by the camera. On the D5000 and D3000 series, which don’t have this motor, it becomes a manual-focus lens!

The AF-S version has the motor included in the lens itself and offers autofocus on all current Nikon DSRLs. “AF” is for “auto-focus”, and “S” for silent. It is not really silent, but quieter than AF. Talk about marketing …

“D” means that the lens CPU sends the approximate focus distance to the camera which helps with flash, because flash brightness has a considerable falloff depending on the distance.

The “G” caption includes the D feature. In addition, G lenses have no aperture ring anymore. But even if you buy a lens which has an aperture ring, you would set aperture by the camera wheel instead of that lens aperture ring – unless you have a really old Nikon film SLR.

All digital SRLs and many film SLRs since 1996 don’t use the aperture ring, so you are not missing something here. If you got a lens with this ring, set the aperture to the largest f-stop number before mounting, in order to make it usable with the camera’s own aperture mechanism. The camera then automatically opens the aperture to the widest in order to meter, and to autofocus.

The AF-S 50 mm 1.8G lens is newer and uses an improved lens design. It costs a bit more than the 1.8D, but is quieter when focusing and compatible with all DSLRs and not just some.

There are even older Nikkor 50 mm 1.8 lenses, which have no auto-focus at all. I bought one used, because the manual focus feels fantastic on this one. Much smoother than on any modern lens.

But remember!

Neither of these 35 or 50 mm lenses is stabilized. Your zoom lens probably is. Unless you want to freeze motion, you can use that lens stabilization (“VR”, Vibration Reduction) for a longer exposure time in order to get enough light while the image is still sharp.

With the 35 or 50 mm lens you rely on short exposure times to avoid shake blur. In order to get enough light, you have to open the aperture. That gets you more light, too, and more background blur. You might or might not want that blur in the background. If you take a photo of two persons, both should have the same distance to the camera, or at least on of it will be blurry.

Why is 50 mm so cheap, compared?

The flange distance between mount to film or sensor is roughly 46 mm for the Nikon F‑mount. A simple lens cannot be in focus is the flange is longer than the focal length. Luckily the retrofocus design exists, allowing shorter lenses, like 35 mm, to get in focus. This requires additional lens elements.

A Nikon 50 mm lens, considering some 46 mm flange, can use a simple design instead. Or use more lens elements for better image quality. Here is what Nikon did, judged by DXOMark’s sharpness results:

  • The 50 mm 1.8 lenses, both D and G, are always FX lenses and very sharp. It makes no sense for Nikon to produce DX versions because the normal, FX-size lenses can be manufactured for a reasonable price anyway, since the design is not too complex.
  • The FX 35 mm lens is also very sharp, but correspondingly bulky and expensive.
  • The DX 35 mm lens is designed to be affordable and lightweight.

Now what?

Because I have the Nikkor 50 mm 1:1.4G version, I stopped down to 1.8 in order to simulate the 50 mm 1:1.8G lens.

But let us begin with the DX 35 mm 1.8.

Okay, good. The background is a bit blurry. If we would like to get it sharp, we would have to stop down, meaning we would use a higher f-stop number. That means to get a smaller input diameter for the lens. The smaller the input diameter, the more parallel the light rays processed by the lens, thus the sharper the focus over the frame. But decreasing the input size also means to have less light. For our experiment, we just keep the f-stop at 1.8.

Now, from the same position, the 50 mm set to 1.8.

As expected, we get some magnification. Also, the background is much more out of focus, showing noticeably more blur. What if the crop the 35 mm lens image to this frame? Let us try.

Using the right crop, field of view is the same. The depth of field is not – the longer lens, 50 mm, got us more background blur than just doing a crop on the 35 mm lens image. That means, both of these statements are true:

  • Using a longer lens results in a narrower field of view
  • Cropping an image results in a narrower field of view

But this statement is false:

  • Cropping the image increases the focal length

I like to repeat: Crop does not simply act as a multiplier for the focal length, because using an actually longer lens gets you a different image with a shallower depth of field and thus more background blur.

The trap of thinking “35 mm on DX is some 50 mm”

Let me repeat again, cropping does not impact the focal length. It still gets you a narrower field of view. A longer lens also does that, but additionally gets more background blur. There is an even more confusing misconception.

When discussing FX lenses used on a DX camera, you often read something like “on DX, 35 mm is like 50 mm”. This could make you think that depending on being the FX or DX version of a 35 mm lens, you get a different field of view on your DX camera. But that is not the case.

35 mm is 35 mm. Mounted on a DX camera, both the FX and the DX version of the 35 mm lens have the same field of view.

Before we continue, let us summarize what we learned so far:

  • The same aperture, like 1:1.8, means the same brightness regardless of focal length
  • With stopping down the aperture, we control exposure, but also the depth of field
  • To get more background blur with the same aperture, having a longer focal length helps

As alternative to a longer lens, having a wider aperture (lower f-stop number) also helps to get a blurry background. But using instead a longer lens gets you the desired background blur in a more cost efficient way. Of course, the field of view narrows as the lens gets longer.

Perspective

If we prefer to have the ability to get nice background blur, why not just take the 50 mm lens then? Because the field of view is not very wide. Outside you might be able to walk back a few steps, but inside a building you are confined. There is another reason why different lengths are important for different results. Let us first look again at the 50 mm image:

Now, we use the 35 mm lens, and to compensate its wider field of view, we walk towards the sign to get it as large as before.

Since the focus distance is now closer, the background is a bit more out of focus than we had it before with the 35 mm lens. So we learn:

  • To get good background blur, move as closely to the subject as the frame allows.

There is another observation here. The sign, photographed with the 35 mm lens, is as large as we had it when we were farther away and used the 50 mm lens. Now look at the trees in the background. They are smaller compared to the 50 mm photo. Why? When we walk towards the foreground, it gets larger more quickly than the background. The proportions change.

If we instead get the foreground larger with using a longer focal length, foreground and background are zoomed by the same rate. This makes the background appear comparatively large, meaning the apparent distance between fore- and background gets compressed.

Result: Walking closer to the subject is not the same as zooming in with the lens, or as cropping the image. The appearance of a photo is not just determined by the field of view – the position of the camera and its relative distance to the subject is very important for the overall photo!

  • “Zooming by feet” only works for the foreground. A good photo also cares about the background, even if out of focus. This means sometimes you have to first change your position to get the photo you envision – and then you might need a longer, or shorter lens to get the desired frame.

If you want to make a rather barren place look more beautiful, you might want to get farther away and then zoom in, enlarging background trees to get them big into the picture. Or if you instead want to emphasize the subject, you might instead want to zoom out and get closer, so that the foreground subject appears really prominent compared to the background.

  • The longer the focal length, the higher the magnification for the whole image, including the background. Use a longer lens and move away to enlarge the background. Use a shorter lens and move close to the subject for small background proportions.

Different lenses for different uses

Which lens is better now? Regarding build quality, the 50 mm lens feels a bit more solid. But a 35 mm design for F-mount is complicated, having an affordable 35 mm option for DX is great!

The lenses produce different images. If you put a 50 mm lens on a DX camera, it often requires you to be a bit farther way to the subject. Often farther than you would be as a naked-eye spectator. That gets you quite large background objects compared to the foreground, perhaps not looking very natural. On the other hand, it is easier to get background blur.

The 35 mm lens lets you get closer to the subject because the field of view is wider, which results in a more natural appearance of the background scale compared to the subject. In situations you cannot walk backwards as you want because the space is confined, you probably need the wider field of view more than a blurry background.

Long story short: If you can employ it, the 50 mm 1.8 lens will be very welcome. As everyday lens, the 35 mm 1.8 would serve you better because it is wider.