30mm Lens: f/1.4 or f/1.8?

Hey everyone,

It's that time of year again where I'd really like to splurge a bit and pick up a new lens for my DSLR. Sadly, I'm really stuck. I'm a student and I don't have a lot of money to throw towards extra equipment, so I really need to be budget-conscious. It's also important to know I have a D200 with an APS-C sensor.


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At first I thought a good option would be the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens. It looked like a solid option. I had really enjoyed my manual 50mm Series E lens. My only two gripes were that it was too difficult to focus in many situations (without AF) and that it was a bit too much on the long end. The field of view was simply too narrow on my smaller sensor. I'm hoping that the 35mm focal length will be a lot more comfortable.


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All was looking good until I came across the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. I had always wanted to experiment with an f/1.4 lens. I really felt compelled to shell out a little extra for the bigger aperture. The reviews seem to all chime that the Sigma is a more attractive option, especially with the really shallow depth of field when shooting wide open.

Anyways, now I'm just not sure what to do. I'm not really an expert when it comes to lens specifications, and I've never owned a Sigma lens before. If you had to choose between these two, what would you do?