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50mm f/1.8

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kgill, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    I am learning photography with the 50mm f/1.8 and I am very happy with it! Is it worth replacing with the 50mm f/1.4, or is that money best spent towards another different focal length lens?

    My favorite shots to date:

    A friend


    A man paints


    A boy and his father


    Zucchini Flowers


    The bakery


    My best friend

  2. Nice shots, I would keep going with what you have.
  3. Dave_Canada

    Dave_Canada Guest

    The 1.4 is a better lens optically and the .4 will make some difference if your looking for a very shallow depth of field.
    The popularity of the 1.8 and cost is wide spread I'm happy with mine and to be honest I cant see the difference maybe if I was using a $6,000.00 monitor and $10,000.00 printer then I would invest the extra for the 1.4 .
    The extra money could be used towards one of Nikon's other 1.8's theres a couple in the $500.00 dollar range i'm looking at myself.
  4. Lowolf


    Jan 26, 2006
    stick to what you have and save up for a nice lens in the future the 1/8 is fine
  5. Gonna hafta disagree there. Some f/1.4s are better than some f/1.8s, but the reverse is true also (as evilgreg and I tend to mention). This includes wide apertures as well, though of course the f/1.4 does have an extra 2/3 stop at the wide end, which MAY be useful in certain circumstances.

    Were I going back to AF primes, I'd get the 50/1.4 simply due to the build quality difference (which is not extreme but noticeable), but since I stick with old manual focus stuff where build quality isn't in question, I prefer the optics of the smaller aperture 50s (my 50/1.8 and 50/2).
  6. You are doing great with the 1.8! I can't offer any suggestions...I just wanted to comment on your great shots.
  7. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    I know this is debated on the 85mm f/1.8 also, but is there REALLY an optical difference in the the 1.4 vs. 1.8 lenses just for the casual glance (and not the scrupulous photographic eye)?
  8. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    Some nice shots here. I don't think you could improve the pics with 50/1.4. 50/1.8 is probably the best bargains you can find in the Nikon line-ups.
  9. fscherz


    Jul 28, 2007
    The 1.8 is great, no need to go for 1.4. Look for 35/2 or 85/1.8 as an addition and you will find even more nice shots like the ones you do already!
  10. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    Well maybe I phrased that in the wrong way. I should have said the average person vs. the scrupulous photographic eye. Will the average person really be able to discern a meaningful difference between the same subject taken at the same settings with the same light but with a 1.8 vs. 1.4 (50mm or 85mm)?
  11. Is there a difference? Kinda sorta. Is it detectable via casual observation? Not unless the exact same picture is taken twice, in which case you can see a slight difference in color cast (with the 50/1.8D being a tiny bit warmer than the 50/1.4D). Sharpness, etc...I'm going to put that into the air as a sample variation thing. I've found the 50/1.8 superior to the 50/1.4 except in the corners at wide apertures, but others find the 50/1.4 superior...and both arguments seem to be widely supported on observation and testing rather than just cost-driven insecurity (as is the case with some other lenses).

    But the cost difference between the 50/1.4 and 50/1.8 is not that huge. $150-200 for 2/3 stop, better build quality, without losing much or anything optically? Try to find another deal like that in the Nikkor lineup.
  12. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    Robert-- So you think there is a meaningful difference in the pictures that would justify getting an f/1.4 over an f/1.8?
  13. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    With any discussion such as this, individual opinion and lens samples have a bearing on the answer given. If we were talking $150-200 difference on a lens that was going to see a lot of use, I would recommend paying the extra. in the case of the 50 which for many is a rarely used lens, I question the need. The difference will buy an SB-600 or SU-800.
  14. Stick with it until you've got all your other needs looked after. Then you can decide whether it's worth it. For now, concentrate of taking pictures.

  15. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    Stick with the 1.8. The 1.4 @ 1.4 is very soft, lacks contrast, & doesn't handle white very well (ghastly looking). The 1.8 is virtually as good at f2, and better from f8 on. Spend time creating pictures (yours are good) rather than worrying about this subject. Perhaps spend your upgrade money on a different lens.
  16. Absolutely not. I am against "image quality justification" which tends to breed snobs who know very little about what they look at (including myself, not all that long ago). The difference in picture quality is nil (unless you really really want there to be some difference).

    Don't look in the pictures for justification...it will not be there. It will not be there in the vast majority of lenses. The 50/1.4 won't make your photos better. It may make them very very very slightly different if you look closely...but that doesn't mean better or worse.
  17. slappomatt


    May 13, 2006
    San Diego CA
    I just sold a 50 1.8 and got a 1.4 and unless you really need the extra speed, I would say its probably not worth it. I think my copy of the 1.8 was sharper than my current 1.4 copy. even stopped downt o F2.0 or 2.8
  18. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    excellent post, Robert. yes, samples do vary. and where else can u find 1.4 AFD glass for $300 or less?
  19. sreeves31


    Jun 25, 2007
    Mason, OH
    I am kind of late to this discussion and hate to argue against buying new glass but I am having trouble seeing how the images you have posted could be bettered. Unless you are finding yourself in situations where the extra fraction of a stop would be beneficial, I would stand pat. The images are gorgeous BTW.
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