" Which Lens Should I Get Next? "
My own first photographic experiences were based upon this as it was the only option available then - zooms were horrid and dodgey at the time - and I learned my craft/trade/art/hobby/horrible mistakes using that one lens. As it happened, that lens was one of the sharpest ones ever made for the camera it fronted, and I never realized how good I had it until I moved on...story of our lives, isn't it?
Well, the story for the new photographer who asked is going to revolve around this lens. She's got a perfectly good Nikon DSLR with the kit lens...also perfectly good...and this will be the equally perfect key to portraits for her family.
I used it with the Nikon APS-C cameras in the studio for dance pictures and found it to be fast and razor-sharp at full-length shots. Closer in, the depth of field of a 35mm focal length was kind to the head and shoulders portraits while still keeping that sharp focus. The fact that it was physically light was a bonus - I was starting to flag at a certain point dragging an 18-200 lens everywhere.
As terrible as this may sound in a column designed to get you to come in and spend money for photographic equipment, that year of discipline would make for greater success in the future. Umm...let's save the retail situation by saying that you could spend some money on a new tripod and bag...