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50mm 1.4 or 1.8 ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Parrotman, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Been thinking about getting a 50mm and after seeing some of the pics in the Cafe ( particularly recent thread(s) ) decided to go for it.

    However, do I get the 1.4 or 1.8 ?

    And in my total ignorance, what advantages will the latest 1.4G have over the 1.4 AF?

    Advice warmly welcomed.

  2. I'm debating upgrading my 50 1.8 to a 1.4, but I want to see some comparison pics between the two.

    The new 1.4G has AF-S which allows it to autofocus on the D60 and D40, I doubt the quality will warrant the extra 200 over the current 1.4
  3. bigshot


    Aug 17, 2008
    Hollywood, USA
    There are three choices... the old Nikon (which is a bit soft wide open and has chromatic aberration issues but can be found very cheaply used), the new Nikon (which is likely has a little better image quality and has AF on a D40) and the Sigma (which has the best image quality and bokeh wide open, and has all the features of the new Nikon but is large and heavy). The new Nikon isn't out yet. It should be available by December. If money is an issue, shop for a used old Nikon and hold out for a really good deal. People will probably be dumping them to get the new lens later this year. If image quality wide open is important, get the Sigma. (I have an old MF Nikon and just got the Sigma.)

    There's also a Zeiss alternative, but it's expensive and it appears that it's not that different from the old Nikon.

    I don't see any reason to upgrade from 1.8 to 1.4. The difference doesn't justify the money you'd lose on the trade.

    See ya

  4. Thanks Steve, but if starting from scratch would you opt for 1.4 or 1.8 ?

    Regards John
  5. aaephoto


    Jun 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    I have a 50mm 1.8 and very happy with it besides its tad cheaper than 1.4
  6. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    I have the 1.8 and think it's great. I don't see why I should spend a bunch more money for that little .4 more DOF
  7. Starting from scratch, get the 1.8.

    I've owned 3 versions of the 1.8, and I now own a 2nd version of the 1.4. Unless you want a VERY thin DOF, the excess spent on the 1.4 is just that...excess.
  8. Thanks for your advice and comments. Much appreciated by a novice. 1.8 it is...now where's that piece of plastic!!!!!!!!
  9. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    It's nothing personal against you but it really irritates me when people automatically assimilate large apertures only with DOF, it also means more light which is a huge reason to prefer the 1.4 against the 1.8 …
  10. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    twice as much in fact- right ? - Important for certain conditions, very important

    Bokeh too?

    I have 1.8 and never tried 1.4 - but - am very interested to see how fast the AF-S is in comparison
  11. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Actually the 1.4 lets in 2/3 more light than the 1.8 . Check out the typical one-third-stop f-number scale.
  12. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    duh, ok, Close but no cigar.
  13. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    A cigarillo then :tongue:
  14. 50mm 1.4 or 1.8

    September 26, 2008

    I own one 50mm F1.4 and two 50mm F1.8 AF-D Nikkor lenses. The difference in speed between the two lenses is about 2/3 of a stop.

    If you have a digital camera body, you can "cheat" and up the ISO setting two dashes or so and get a higher shutter speed, without having to pay nearly $200.00 more for the slightly faster lens.

    The 50mm 1.8 lens has an outstanding reputation for being extremely sharp, low in cost and capable of producing outstanding picture quality.

    The 1.4 lens is faster, heavier and nearly $200 higher in cost. What are you getting for that extra $200.00, to be honest not much. A bit more glass in the design of the lens.

    The diameter of the lens opening is about 1/4 " wider in circumfrence, the weight of the 1.4 lens is about 9 ounces, versus about 5.5 ounces. The more expensive lens looks a little bit better with it's "little footage window" and that is about it.

    There is one more lens element in the more expensive lens, and that is about it to describe what the differences are between the two lenses. While the 1.8 lens looks less "pretty" then the 1.4 lens, I have used both versions, and while the 1.4 looks nice on my F5, I use the lower cost lens more often. The new G lens has NO aperture ring, so if you have much older Nikon bodies, it won't work. The AF-D 1.8 and 1.4 lenses both have aperture rings.

    I hope that I have answered your questions. Only you can decide which one to get, I would suggest that you do testing in the camera store of both versions and then make your decision.

    Steve Zalewski
    Syracuse, NY

    P.S. I called up Nikon's toll free number on two different times, and both times, I asked if the 1.4 lens was more rugged then the 1.8 and the rep told me NO, both lens are equal in ruggedness.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2008
  15. bigshot


    Aug 17, 2008
    Hollywood, USA
    I recently made that choice. I got the 1.4 Sigma.

    See ya
  16. Thanks for that descriptive explanation Steve. Decided to go for the 1.8 which I now have. I don't think my needs really warrant the extra 1.4 cost and as you said, found by upping the ISO a bit seems to do the trick. Oddly enough though, I've found by practising with ISO & Shutter speeds it's given me a better understanding of light and exposure particularly as I want to get a grip on manual op, coming more or less direct from a p+s ' background '.

    As we're enjoying some sun at the moment going to have a crack with it in the garden tomorrow.

    Thanks once again everyone for your advice. :smile:

  17. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    don't know why but there seems to be more sample variation with the 1.4. however, a good sample of the 50 1.4 is better thana good sample of the 1.8 (imho). play with the iso all u want, the 1.4 is still 2/3 of a stop faster. and this is something u can NEVER do with your 1.8

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

  18. sllywhtboy


    Jun 28, 2006
    i poured over this decision for a while. i ended up with the 1.4 because the colors, extra 2/3 stop, and OOF/bokeh are better. i thought the 1.4 looked better at f2 than the 1.8 did at f2.

    also, you can shoot at 1.8 w/ the 1.4, not the other way around :tongue:

    they're both relatively budget lenses so they're not gonna work great at every setting.
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