Which 50mm lens?

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Nikon 1.4D or 1.8D?

The price isn't really the driver. I think I want the 1.4 but want to make sure everyone's happy with the quality of that lens. I saw a review of the new Nikon 1.4 AFS on Tom Hogan's site and he kinda bashes the 1.4D a bit.

Thanks
 
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Nikon 1.4D or 1.8D?

The price isn't really the driver. I think I want the 1.4 but want to make sure everyone's happy with the quality of that lens. I saw a review of the new Nikon 1.4 AFS on Tom Hogan's site and he kinda bashes the 1.4D a bit.

Thanks

I'd get the New AF-S 50mm. Very nice. I need to use it more.

Alot of people here like the Sigma 50mm, but I for one did not like the size and weight of it.
 
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Here are a few pictures from 50mm afs. Taken with D200. Hope these will help you decide.

@f/1.4
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@f/2.5
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@f/3.5
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@f/5
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Nikon 1.4D or 1.8D?

The price isn't really the driver. I think I want the 1.4 but want to make sure everyone's happy with the quality of that lens. I saw a review of the new Nikon 1.4 AFS on Tom Hogan's site and he kinda bashes the 1.4D a bit.

Thanks
bill, give the search a try. There's been quite a few threads asking about and comparing the 1.8D, 1.4D, and 1.4G AF-S. I've owned all three and my preferences are 1.4G/AF-S, 1.8D, and then 1.4D, although I don't think my 1.4D was the best copy.
 
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if weight dont matter try the sigma50,better wide open,better af speed. and if you get a focusing prob,just send it for calibration,then you'l see how amazing that lens can be.
 
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Thanks,

I'm not afraid of Sigma (check my equipment list :)) just started out this search thinking the Nikon was better. I have done a lot of searching and what I've found is a lack of consensus. I think some of that is clouded by the cost difference between the 1.8D and the rest.

So I am thinking it's between the AF-s and the Sigma but I haven't decided which yet.
 
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I have the 1.8D and the 1.4D. The 1.4D is one of the worst lens I own. The frindging (or CA) is so bad if you are anywhere around bright light. I've read it is fairly common so I have no idea why people recommend this lens. Here are samples:

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This image below..look closely at the "100mm" text. The 1.4 is softer and has a slight purplish glow. (these were both taken at f1.8)
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If you want a 1.4 I would look into the sigma or the new 1.4G
 
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if weight dont matter try the sigma50,better wide open,better af speed. and if you get a focusing prob,just send it for calibration,then you'l see how amazing that lens can be.
And it's heavy enough you can whack annoying civilians with it.

The 1.4D seems too expensive to bother with (now that the 1.4G is out) if you don't already have one.
 
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Did you considered to get the 60mm/2.8 AFS micro? It's a very capable lens with (IMO) a more desirable FOV, nice bokeh and very good results from 2.8. But yes, it's just 2.8, this might be the show stopper...
 
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Also have a look at the Zeiss ZF 50 f/2 macro. Though being manual focus, it`s an exceptional lens (sharpness, contrast, bokeh).
 
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I have the 1.8D and the 1.4D. The 1.4D is one of the worst lens I own. The frindging (or CA) is so bad if you are anywhere around bright light. I've read it is fairly common so I have no idea why people recommend this lens. Here are samples:

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



This image below..look closely at the "100mm" text. The 1.4 is softer and has a slight purplish glow. (these were both taken at f1.8)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


If you want a 1.4 I would look into the sigma or the new 1.4G
wow! that is evident. I have the 1.8 only and can not offer a comparison
 
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I have the 1.8D and the 1.4D. The 1.4D is one of the worst lens I own. The frindging (or CA) is so bad if you are anywhere around bright light. I've read it is fairly common so I have no idea why people recommend this lens. Here are samples:

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



This image below..look closely at the "100mm" text. The 1.4 is softer and has a slight purplish glow. (these were both taken at f1.8)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


If you want a 1.4 I would look into the sigma or the new 1.4G
A couple of comments. First, you can get some good objective information from Dpreview, which has reviews of all of these lenses, with very detailed charts, graphs and interactive resolution/f-stop displays. The bottom line is that Sigma is sharpest. But, many users complain of hit-or-miss AF accuracy. With the razor thin DOF at 1.4 (which is all that matters - why else get one of these anyway?) that means that the resolution advantage may be meaningless.

BTW, in your comparison shot above of the two cameras, I don't think I'd compare the "100mm" text, as, clearly it is out of focus in the 1.4 pic - that is, it is not the sharpest text around the lens. Rather, I'd compare the text "Series E", or the numbers "19" which are more in focus. Then the differences are not nearly so dramatic.

The G version is a tad sharper than the D, but not much, and some reviewers conclude that it may not be worth the extra price.

As to purple fringing. I think it is very easy to misunderstand that a color shift may be unavoidable because it is due to being out of focus. Again, the 1.4 DOF is so thin that most of the pic is out of focus. Distant bright edges are going to shift to blue and nearer ones shift to red (as I recall). Below is a picture (100% crop) with two bright edges, the near ones (around the glass's rim) are in focus and with no color shift, the far edge (top of balding head) shifts to blue. If the lens were inherently prone to CA, then I think you'd see a similar shift everywhere. The shot is somewhat low in contrast, which I think shows its tendency to reflect internally a bit, which, perhaps, the G version with its nano-coating might minimize.

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The second pic is a 100% crop, and more than sharp enough for portrature.

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I've been very pleasantly suprised with this lens. I had the 1.8, and, overall, the 1.4 is preferable for me. The lens performed so well that my friend's wife immediately gave the go-ahed for a 50mm 1.4 purchase by him after seeing the pics from it I took with it that day.

Dave Harris
 
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As to purple fringing. I think it is very easy to misunderstand that a color shift may be unavoidable because it is due to being out of focus. Again, the 1.4 DOF is so thin that most of the pic is out of focus. Distant bright edges are going to shift to blue and nearer ones shift to red (as I recall). Below is a picture (100% crop) with two bright edges, the near ones (around the glass's rim) are in focus and with no color shift, the far edge (top of balding head) shifts to blue. If the lens were inherently prone to CA, then I think you'd see a similar shift everywhere. The shot is somewhat low in contrast, which I think shows its tendency to reflect internally a bit, which, perhaps, the G version with its nano-coating might minimize.
Dave Harris
Great post, Dave. I learned something from reading that.
 
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A couple of comments. First, you can get some good objective information from Dpreview, which has reviews of all of these lenses, with very detailed charts, graphs and interactive resolution/f-stop displays. The bottom line is that Sigma is sharpest. But, many users complain of hit-or-miss AF accuracy. With the razor thin DOF at 1.4 (which is all that matters - why else get one of these anyway?) that means that the resolution advantage may be meaningless.

BTW, in your comparison shot above of the two cameras, I don't think I'd compare the "100mm" text, as, clearly it is out of focus in the 1.4 pic - that is, it is not the sharpest text around the lens. Rather, I'd compare the text "Series E", or the numbers "19" which are more in focus. Then the differences are not nearly so dramatic.

The G version is a tad sharper than the D, but not much, and some reviewers conclude that it may not be worth the extra price.

As to purple fringing. I think it is very easy to misunderstand that a color shift may be unavoidable because it is due to being out of focus. Again, the 1.4 DOF is so thin that most of the pic is out of focus. Distant bright edges are going to shift to blue and nearer ones shift to red (as I recall). Below is a picture (100% crop) with two bright edges, the near ones (around the glass's rim) are in focus and with no color shift, the far edge (top of balding head) shifts to blue. If the lens were inherently prone to CA, then I think you'd see a similar shift everywhere. The shot is somewhat low in contrast, which I think shows its tendency to reflect internally a bit, which, perhaps, the G version with its nano-coating might minimize.

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


The second pic is a 100% crop, and more than sharp enough for portrature.

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


I've been very pleasantly suprised with this lens. I had the 1.8, and, overall, the 1.4 is preferable for me. The lens performed so well that my friend's wife immediately gave the go-ahed for a 50mm 1.4 purchase by him after seeing the pics from it I took with it that day.

Dave Harris
Those were just 2 examples I had onhand. I have used this lens for over a year and the CA and the softness is so common....It is an issue I never have with any other lens.

The issue I have is when there is bright light. I can shoot indoors with it fine, but introduce bright sun or flash and it goes down hill. I can shoot someone with the 1.8 with their back against the sun no problem..with the 1.4D i will get a purple glow all around them...not just at f1.4 but up to f3+.

This shot was impossible with the 50mm 1.4D (i tried...the CA was bad around the hair I had to swap it out with the 35mm F2).
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Jul 4, 2007
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Redmond, WA
I just bit the bullet and bought the 50/1.4G AF-S. I had the old 50/1.8D and 50/1.4D. Despite Nikon's MTF charts and Photozone's review, I found the 50/1.4D sharper at f/1.8 and f/2 than the 50/1.8D. It just goes to show that there is some sample and testing variation -- SLRGear.com's test had the opposite results than Photozone's.

The 50/1.4D did exhibit purple fringing but otherwise was a nice lens.

I looked very carefully at the comparisons between the Nikon AF-S and Sigma lenses. Mark (Bourboncowboy) posted two side-by-side examples that I actually interpreted differently than some. While the Sigma looked a little sharper and the bokeh was a little better wide-open -- it wasn't a huge difference. And not enough to offset the risk of playing Sigma roulette. Not that Nikon samples are perfect either -- Photozone's copy was very slightly decentered!

The size/weight of the Sigma is another factor in a desire for a small prime.

The final factor for me is that I would like a prime that is wonderful corner to corner at smaller apertures, something that I valued with the old 50/1.4D and 50/1.8D. I know the mantra is "I don't buy a fast lens to shoot stopped down" but my own reality is that sometimes I do stop down a fast lens.

Speaking of sample variation, Thom Hogan's test had the Nikon slightly sharper in the center wide-open than the Sigma. That's not consistent with other tests.
 

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