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Distinguishing the 50mm - f/1.2 v f/1.4 vs. Sigma 50mm f/1.4

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kgill, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    So in researching the Sigma Primes (another thread in lens lust) and their costs, I saw that the new sigma 50mm f/1.4 is slated to cost $499. What will the 50mm f/1.4 offer over the current Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 that would justify the price difference? Something in the autofocus? Is it the same as someone choosing the 50 f/1.8 over the 50 f/1.4 (notwithstanding the price difference)?

    Just curious. I was looking for the 50mm f/1.2 AIS the other day and someone told me that optically it's not a great performer, that people rave about it because it's fast, but that a better quality 50 prime is the 50 mm f/1.4 or wait for the new Sigma...

    Any thoughts? Hard question, I know, since few people here have first hand experience with the Nikon mount, but I'm always curious to learn about a particular lens's distinguishing characteristics (from an optical point of view).

  2. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I guess if you need an AFS type lens for a D40/D60 and a low light prime
    Nikon has no answer this for it yet

    Sigma has beaten them to the punch so far

    I wouldn't think it is worth $200 more than the Nikon, if you have a body to turn it
    possibly the bokeh will be "better", ala the Sigma 30 1.4
    I prefer the colors from the 35/2 to the 30 1.4, so I'm assuming, I will like the Nikon 50 over the Sigma

    guess we will seem some test pictures soon...

    the 50 1.2, is a whole other thing
    it is manual focus, and has a differnt look all together,IMO
  3. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    I completely disagree with your friend stating that the 50mm f/1.2 is not a great performer.

    Some of my favorite pictures taken by this lens:



    View attachment 227620


    View attachment 227621

    I may have missed the focus on the last photo, but the image quality is still appreciable.

    I'm not going to get into an argument about which is better than what, but I'm definitely opposed to a blanket statement about the 50mm f/1.2 as "poor."
  4. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    Hi Panda, the statement was "not a great performer" and it was made in comparison to the 50 mm f/1.4. It was not a blanket "poor". I appreciate and listen to all opinions, and I find yours as valuable as the one from the person who said he didn't find the 50 f/1.2 to be one of the best optical performers. I also appreciate your photographic samples, particularly the ribs which I wish I could eat right now.
  5. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    Thanks :smile: Hope I didn't sound too mean, I just wanted to be emphatic that the 50/1.2 is not a "poor" lens :)  And I know you're into food photography too, so I figure those would be more appropriate samples for you to appreciate!
  6. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    no you didn't sound mean and yes i did love your pics!!!!!
  7. tfenne


    Apr 10, 2008
    Cambridge, MA
    I have to agree with you Panda! I have the 50/1.2 AIS and I really enjoy it. Sure at 1.2 it's a little soft, but I like it's dreamy rendering. And by f2 it's very sharp and contrasty. A couple of examples:

    Headshot at f/1.2

    White Magnolia at f/2:

    Yellow Rose at f/2.8

    Many more at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tfenne/tags/nikkor50mmf12ais/
  8. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    The old 50/1.4 AIS is the same optically as the current 50/1.4 AF-D. Yes it's a really, really old design.

    regarding the 50/1.2 AIS, that's an excellent lens.
  9. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    personally i think the cz 50 f2 produces the most pleasing bokeh of the 50's..fact i like everything about the cz 50 f2 cept it's mf....;-)
  10. Well hopefully it will offer better performance wide open, and better bokeh. USM is also welcome for those who use D40/60.

    Its not out in the Nikon mount yet, so time will tell.
  11. marioni


    Jan 22, 2006
  12. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    Add to that (based on the Canon version) better wide open sharpness, more contrast, less coma, less purple fringing wide open, less vignetting, and an HSM motor. However, wide open the Sigma does have soft corners on FX, but nobody cares about that when shooting wide open.
  13. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    I agree...


    View attachment 227626

    View attachment 227627

    ...but the price is double to triple of the other lenses that were in question...
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