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Nikon 50mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.8

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by inukshuk, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Money isn't an issue, so for indoor people pictures would the 1.4 be worth it or not compared to the 1.8? Comments experiances please.
  2. Jim Last

    Jim Last Guest

    I kown this is not a direct answer to your question, but, I use a 35mm f2. It is usable wide open and also gives you a better distance nearer to 50mm on digital.

    I'm sure many others will be able to give you pointers on 50mm f1.4 and f1.8 lenses.
  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The main difference isn't the 2/3 stop difference, but the fact that 50/1.4 is quite usable wide open. With the f/1.8 I personally prefer to stop down a little to get better sharpness. All of this translates into a significant advantage for the faster lens, given you do indoor shooting. Used outdoor there would not be much difference between them and in several aspects the f/1.8 performs better, for example, when stopped well down.
  4. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    I have the 50mm 1.4 AIS I bought on ebay some time ago and I'm very satisfied. I can't compare with the 1.8, some say it's sharper when stopped down. But the whole idea of having a 1.4 or 1.8 is that you can use it in low light conditions where the slower lenses are useless. I used the 1.4 a lot for indoor shooting at a jazz pub, with VERY low light, at ISO 1600. In this case the real issue is noise, not so much the lens. I've also recently done some sunset shots, using my Sigma 24mm 1.8, the kit lens (18-70) and the 50mm 1.4 (perhaps this evening I can post a sample). The best and sharpest results were with the 50mm. The Sigma, though an AF lense, has serious focus problems in low light and focuses very slow. It's faster to work manual on the 50mm, and the results are much more rewarding. I have a D70 body, just for reference. Hope it helps.
  5. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    The 50/1.4 AF-D is my favorite lens. 50 1/.8 needs to be stopped down which is not useful with a low light lens. If the light is good enough for the 50/1.8 then it is probably good enough for average zoom.
  6. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    I also have the 50mm, f/1.4 and I like it. In the "old days" all the 35mm cameras came with a 50mm lens (okay not EVERY camera), and I always ordered mine with the 1.4 that was available for it.

    NIKON D70    ---    50mm    f/1.4    1/50s   
  7. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I prefer the 50 1.4 also, just wasn't happy with the performance of the 50 1.8 at the widest apertures, which are the whole point of a lens like this for me. I have f/2.8 zooms I can use if shooting stopped down. The 50 1.4 isn't as "magical" as the 85, but it's a good lens and is very useable in the f/1.4-f/2 range when you need the lowlight capability.
  8. I use my 50/1.4 mostly in low light conditions, and for that it excels. I had a 50/1.8 for about a month and below f/2.8, I preferred the 1.4.

    Just watch your DOF / focal planes when shooting wide open.
  9. Raindog


    Nov 26, 2005
    Asheville, NC
    I haven't had the pleasure of using the 1.4 but the 1.8 is certainly no slouch in low light. Here's one from sunday in less than ideal light...


    D70, 50mm, f1.8, 1/40, ISO200
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