50 1.4G (on DX) -vs- 85 1.4 (on FX)

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by watsonD50, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Like everyone else, I lust after the beloved 85 1.4. That being said the price is a bit too steep for me. Considering the 50 1.4G is reasonably close to 85mm on a DX camera and it has the same maximum aperture I have often wondered if the 50 1.4 could be the "poor man's 85".

    If someone who owns both a Nikon DX and FX camera and these two lenses could take some pictures with the 50 1.4G on DX and the 85 1.4 on FX to demonstrate detail, bokeh, etc it would be much appreciated. I know it's a bit apples to oranges considering different bodies and formats are to be used, but humor me as I am not looking for scientific results I am just looking to satisfy my eye ( and wallet :wink:)

    For this test the newer 50 1.4G must be used, however either auto-focus 85 1.4 is fine.
  2. i have a d90 and the 50g plus a d700 and the 85g, if i get any free time (long shot) i'll try this for you.... why torture yourself if the 85g is out of budget? the 50g will be a great portrait lens on your dx....
  3. I've got some shots with the 50mm 1.4G from my D90. Let me know if you'd like to see a few examples.
  4. This is pretty obvious, but maybe this will help quantify things for you. As far as DOF is concerned:

    50mm f/1.4 on DX

    85mm f/1.4 on FX

    The FX has a shallower DOF (obviously), but it's quite a substantial difference. FX85mm is 0.08 ft where DX50mm is 0.17 ft.

    I highly prefer the 85 over the 50. But on DX, I prefer the 50mm focal length over 85. It's really too bad Nikon doesn't make a decent 50mm. I really feel like the 50G is sub-par.
  5. If you don't NEED the 50 asap, why not save for the 85? Everyone knows it performs better than the 50.
  6. Mr. Clean

    Mr. Clean

    Aug 23, 2007
    Olympia, WA
    It's not even in the same league. Maybe consider the 85mm 1.8 instead if you want that focal length.
  7. Thorsten

    Thorsten Moderator Moderator

    On DX I much prefer the 85/1.8 over the 50/1.4, for it's subject isolation, rendering and bokeh.
  8. That's what I opted for. I have the 50G and the 85mm f1.8. The 85mm is more than fast enough and a very good lens in all respects. Really how often would you shoot wide open anyway?

    As I have a D300 and a D700, if you want some samples, I could do them in a couple days.
  9. Had a 50 1.4 "D" and sold it for the "G". bad mistake. Didn't like the "G" at all. wound up with a voigtlander 58mm mf that I really love. But in the end, 85mm is a nice fl both on DX as well as FX. I'd also ask for a comparison with the 50 "D". I'd do it if I still had mine. If you'll consider mf, I'll do the 58 1.4 and the 85 "D" 1.4 side by side.
  10. +1 on the voight 58/1.4. You must have a camera w/a good viewfinder though as it is MF only.
    On dx, I find the 50 too short and the 85 a tad too long. Nikon should really make a portrait lens for dx. 60mm. 0r 70mm./f 1.4. I'd buy one but I don't think they're gonna make it in the near future.
  11. I'm curious to those who didn't like the 50 1.4G what was the problem ? Bjorn gives this lens his highest rating and photozone also gives it high marks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2010
  12. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles
    I really like the 50G.

    But, for what you are comparing, I think the Sigma 50mm will do better.
  13. Rooz


    Nov 22, 2008
    Sydney, Oz
    where can i find that tool ?
  14. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles
  15. Rooz


    Nov 22, 2008
    Sydney, Oz
    ty thats a neat little tool. :smile:
  16. Pianisimo

    Pianisimo Guest

  17. Thanks, the 85 1.4 is obviously better, but the 50 1.4 really holds its own. The plan is to eventually own both, but the 50s price is more attractive in the short term.
  18. Thanks, I will definitely consider the Sigma as well, though these days I am more likely to stick with Nikon for resale value.
  19. rooster


    Jul 13, 2008
    50mm is such a standard lens that it should be in everyones bag. Althought, I'd much perfer 85mm focal length.

    What about add a used 50mm f1.4D and save up for the 85mm?
  20. Another vote for the Voigtländer 58/1.4 Nokton!

    Of all the lenses in the 50-60mm range that I've tried, the Voigtländer is the sharpest at f/1.4 and f/2, and it has lovely bokeh, too... Its build quality is excellent, and it meters on any modern Nikon body. Only downside is MF, but perfect for relatively static portraits - just not good for chasing kids around the house :smile:

    58mm is the DX equivalent of 85mm FX, too. 50mm on DX is a tad too short.


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