50mm f1.4 vs f1.8

Joined
Jun 3, 2007
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California
How much advantage is there in having a 50mm f1.4 vs f1.8? I'm trying to decide on which lens to get. I'm sure this question has been brought up before...I'm fairly new to the Cafe.
 
Joined
May 30, 2007
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Boston, MA
IQ on both is fairly similar. So is build quality. The real question is if you want that extra speed for the extra money. I have the 50/1.8 and I love it. I'm sure you'll hear valid reasons for both, though.
 
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Jun 4, 2007
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Rockville, MD
To be completely honest I find my 35mm f/2 to be a much more usable lens than either of the 50's and highly recommend it. I just find the 50mm focal length to be odd on digital - not short enough and not long enough :frown:
Same here. I haven't used my 50/1.8 in months now. I was thinking of selling it, but it might come in handy for when my little girl starts crawling and toddling around in the house and for portrait type stuff in parks as she gets a little older. In that case the 35/2 might not quite have the reach but the 50/1.8 likely would. We'll see. If it doesn't get some use during that phase then I'll never use it and will just let it go on here probably. I'd probably try to pick up a more telephoto prime in its place like the 85/1.8 or similar.
 
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You've already got 3 ways to yield 50mm, so clearly you don't need the focal length. And I doubt that either 50/f1.x's is all that much better than the 17-55 in mid-aperture or later. So you're really after low light capability - so the real answer is whether or not you really need that extra half-stop. A half-stop is the difference between 1/30th and 1/45th shutter speed. I doubt that the DOF difference associated with a half-stop is all that significant.
 
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If you don't feel the need for the extra little bit of light gathering, then save your $$$ and get the 50mm 1.8. I wound up wanting the extra little bit for indoor sports events and got the 1.4.

John
 
You've already got 3 ways to yield 50mm, so clearly you don't need the focal length. And I doubt that either 50/f1.x's is all that much better than the 17-55 in mid-aperture or later. So you're really after low light capability - so the real answer is whether or not you really need that extra half-stop. A half-stop is the difference between 1/30th and 1/45th shutter speed. I doubt that the DOF difference associated with a half-stop is all that significant.
What Brian said. :smile:
Guys,

I'm no math wiz but if I remember the whole integral powers of the square root of two thing, isn't f/1.8 something more like 1.33333 stops faster than f/2.8?

So you're looking at more like the difference between 1/30th and 1/60th+, no?

Like I said, I'm no math wiz though. I'm sure I'm just getting it wrong in my head. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, I shoot my 50/1.8 AF at f/1.8 sometimes and it's pretty useful, IMO. Here are a few from May:

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Greg
 
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May 3, 2007
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A van, down by the river (in the SW Chicago 'burbs
Yep, but the discussion involved the difference between 1.8 and 1.4. 2/3 of a stop.

Cheers,
Ah, I see--I must have been thrown by Brian's comments about his existing lenses already covering 50mm. Compared to his existing lenses at 50mm he's gaining either 1.33 stops or 2 stops (a big jump, either way--so I agree with both of you).

As a sleep-deprived parent of two little little ones, I should try to pay more attention ;)

Greg
 
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gvk

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Jun 17, 2005
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Mystic, CT
As a sleep-deprived parent of two little little ones, I should try to pay more attention ;)
Greg
When my eldest son (now about to turn 27) was an infant, I don't think that he slept for the first year of his life! Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little, but it seemed like it then. :smile: Fortunately, I had a 50 mm f/1.4 (old non-AI version from the early 1970s) mounted on my F2 loaded with Tri-X pushed to ISO 800 so I could document the awful faces he made when his exasperated mother sent me in to calm him in the middle of the night.
 
Joined
May 23, 2007
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29
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ny, ny
If you could, I would personally recommend getting one of the old 50/1.4s if you can find one cheap. I lucked out and got one bargain condition on KEH, great deal. The build quality went down in the AF-D version, and the D really doesn't affect anything. Could be hard to find though.
 
N

nbmro

Guest
I have the 1.8 version and it really feets my needs. (indoor photos of my little girl). actually, I took pictures in conditions that i don't think that even 1.4 would be enough.
but for me, it was cheaper at that time and it still is :)
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2007
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U.S.A
I just got the 50mm 1.8 yesterday. I have not been able to use yet. On your flower picture are you using extention tubes or is this just the lens? Are you having to use a tripod for this picture?

Thanks, Gary
 
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