50mm 1.8 vs 50mm 1.4?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by BuZzZeRkEr, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

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    What should I do?!?!
    50mm 1.8 = 109.00
    50mm 1.4 = 295.00

    I could buy the 1.8 and purchase a SB 600 off camera flash for the price of the 1.4.....what would you do?
     
  2. Yahoozy

    Yahoozy TPF Noob!

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    go for that hahah
     
  3. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    1.8 + flash :thumbup:
     
  4. There is more to lenses than the aperture. The 1.4 is phenomenally better lens - in build quality, in focusing speed and accuracy, and in the image quality and rendering. The 1.8 is not bad, but the 1.4 is a lens for life.

    Of course, it depends on how you shoot. I don't use flash.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you can use the 600 off the hotshoe, than no question what you should do.
     
  6. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 1.8, and a buttload of TMax.
     
  7. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    You don't specify what brand. If it was Nikon or Canon, I'd definitely go with the 1.4. Sony or Maxxum, I'd save the money.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think there is confusion...

    The OP said SB-600 flash therefore I believe he meant Nikon.

    I believe Iron and others were referring to the Canon 50mm.
     
  9. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would go for the 1.4. The lens is just so much better in every regard; it's sturdier, has better image quality, it's heavier (so easier to hold), and, of course, you can shoot 50% faster with it than with the 1.8. That's not to say the 1.8 is a bad lens. It's a million times better than a kit 18-55 lens at 50mm, it's just that the 1.4 is so much better.

    Also bear in mind that unless you own another lens or want to add coloured filters for different effects, you won't need a flash when you're using an f/1.4 lens indoors (unless all the of the lights are off)

    Heh, proved wrong again. I don't actually have the 1.8 or the 1.4, so I was basing my opinions on what I thought would be right :p.
     
  10. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I've had both the f/1.4 and f/1.8 versions of the Nikon 50mm and I'd say that if you have to ask, just get the f/1.8. If you find you really need the f/1.4 later, sell your 1.8 to somebody else just starting for hardly less than you bought it for new (or the SAME price if you bought used, lol) and go upgrade to the f/1.4.

    In my experience, the build quality is the same cheesy plastic Chinese build quality. The 1.8 is a little sharper wide open, more resistant to contrast wash out when shooting into light sources, and is overall easier to shoot with. The 1.4 is a bit softer wide open, the contrast degrades more when shooting into light sources, and getting anything in focus at f/1.4 is a real chore and requires far more attention to composition and pushes your AF system to the max. Overall I like the optical performance of the 1.8 better, but I shoot with the 50mm when I need speed, and when I need speed, f/1.8 is still "slow", but f/1.4 will get the job done.

    The 1.4 lets me pull off stuff like this, along with the silent shutter of my D40. Manual focus, iso1600, 1/25s, wide open at f/1.4.

    [​IMG]

    The 1.8 would have put me down at 1/15s which would have been even more difficult to hand hold well. I would have needed iso3200 to make up the difference, but the added noise would have ruined the "peaceful sleeping tranquility" effect of the photo. That above is literally straight off the camera with no processing.

    That's extreme. For "normal" use the f/1.8 is fine and actually probably a better choice, a bit better optically in my experience, one-third the cost, and far easier to shoot with, which is why I say if you have to ask, just get the f/1.8.
     
  11. federerphotography

    federerphotography TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. There might be a build quality difference on the Canon side... but not on the Nikon side. Both are cheap, light, plastic.

    I've got Nikon gear. I shoot weddings in really low light. If you don't plan to use the lens at 1.4... get the 1.8. Chart-wise, it's sharper anyway. But the 1.4 is infinitely sharper than the 1.8 at 1.4.... if you catch my drift.

    And off-camera lighting is fantastic... if I HAD to chose between those two options, I'd get the flash and the 1.8... that having been said, I'd get the 1.4 and the flash. ;)
     
  12. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    or you could get a 50mm 1.4 off e-bay for 100 bucks.
    I have an older manual focus one. its built like a tank, its in perfect condition,
    its the same optics as the brand spanken new one and it was 200 bucks cheaper. I would bet that you could pick up a auto focus one on ebay for only a bit more.
     

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