Great article over at DPS on the benefits of prime lenses and more specifically, the “nifty fifty.”
But, it is for a fact that the best optical quality is delivered by prime lenses … because they use a smaller number of glass elements inside the lens, which means lesser loss of quality, and hence better pictures.
I personally prefer the 35mm prime for my Nikon’s DX sensor — while more expensive, it is a more true 50mm replacement. Using a 50mm prime on a DX sensor is the equivalent of using a 75mm lens on film. For my taste that limits the lens just a little too much.
A few choice photos taken with my 35mm: