nikon – Is a 35mm or 50mm lens better for landscape photography and portrait photography?

Portraiture is an art form and there are no rules in art, you are free to follow your heart. That being said, if you are doing portraits for a living, your goal should be pleasing your client. Likely what your client wants is an image that is a close match to what he/she sees in the dressing mirror. In other words, an image that approximates the dressing mirror perspective.

How this relates to focal length: Many think, 105mm is idyllic portrait focal length. This comes from the following:

The typical commercial portrait will likely be an 8×10 inch image displayed on a mantelpiece. Likely this image will be viewed from about 3 feet distance. The dressing mirror perspective is achieved when the viewing distance is approximately the focal length multiplied by magnification (enlargement). To make an 8×10 from a full frame requires approximately 8 ½ x magnification. Suppose a 105mm lens is used. The viewing distance becomes 8.5 x 105 = 893mm ÷ 25.4 = 35 inches.

This is the origin of this rule-of-thumb, it is not engraved in stone, follow your heart.

As to landscape, most choose a wide-angle 28mm thru 35mm.