for about the same money, 1.4 autofocus or 1.2 manual focus?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by kaboom, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. kaboom

    kaboom TPF Noob!

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    So this is my current conundrum.
    for about 200 bucks (a few more for the autofocus, but negligible) i can get either of these.
    I do a lot of night and available light photography, but i'm uncertain whether the loss of sharpness and autofocus is worth the one third of a stop i get from the 1.2. Oh, and factor in the fact that owning a 1.2 is just massively cool and satisfying (i'm of the kind who holds lenses in his hand while watching TV)
    oh yeah, and the 1.4 would be new in the box and the 1.2 is second hand.
    soooo!
    help, advice!
    which of the two?
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What brands are the lenses.
     
  3. jimiismydaddy

    jimiismydaddy TPF Noob!

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    going from 1.4 to 1.2 would you even get one more shutter stop?
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are basically asking if some unknown f1.2 lens is sharper than some unknown f1.4 lens.... not exactly enough info to go on...

    Are your eyes good enough to focus a f1.2 lens manually on a camera (autofocus) with no focus aids?
     
  5. kaboom

    kaboom TPF Noob!

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    They're both nikkors, and i KNOW the 1.2 isnt as sharp as the 1.4
    regarding the manual focus... apparently the 1.2, being AI-S can use the Nikon's electronic rangefinder focusing aid, which should be the hell of a lot more useful at night than the microprism i have in my F-1.
    So knowing that the 1.2 isnt as sharp, is it a good idea to trade in that loss of sharpness and lack of autofocus for the increase in speed?
     
  6. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is up to you to decide if you need more speed. For argument sake:
    1/125 s at f/1.4 corresponds roughly to 1/140 s at f/1.2 (if my calculations are right). I don't know if such a difference is worth compromising on sharpness.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The question that needs to be answered is "how they both compare at f/1.4?" Most lenses do not perform their best at wide open. In the case of comparing both lenses at f/1.4, one will be stopped down (a little) and the other shot a wide open... sometimes the faster lens stopped down will be sharper.

    Also... the focal length. If it is a 50mm or more, every little bit of shutter speed will help in low light. If it is a wide angle lens, it doesn't matter so much.

    Also.. age plays an important role. The newer the lens the better the coating and optics as technology has progressed... There is a lot more to how a particular lens renders an image than mear sharpness.

    I would probably go with the newer f1.4 lens since you are convinced it is sharper and has AF.

    Then there is size as well... faster lenses tend to be less compact.

    A while ago, I was deciding between an 50mm f1 and 50mm f1.4. The f1.4 was sharper at wider apertures but the 50mm f1 quickly caught up once you start stopping down. There was a particular unique way the f1 rendered images that I found pleasing. In the end, I chose the f1 and do not regret it one bit but I realize that there is a place for the 50mm f1.4 too.. more compact and razor sharp. I'm slowly saving up for a f1.4 to accompany the f1 but in 35mm focal length which is just as sharp.
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is a no brainer. Not only is the 1.4 a better lens optically but it provides AF which will make it more useful on modern cameras and have a higher resale value. I wouldn't recommend the f1.2 at an price to be honest.
     
  9. kaboom

    kaboom TPF Noob!

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    actually since things are hardly sharp when shooting at night, the extra sharpness is just a bonus. the real question is, is the third of a stop really going to be ANY use?
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why are things hardly sharp when shooting at night?
     
  11. kaboom

    kaboom TPF Noob!

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    our eyes are best adapted to see during the day. during the night things dont look particularly sharp to us, and its harder to tell depth and volume.
    with lower light, movement looks more blurry to our eyes, and even the naked eye sees haze around point sources of light
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then how does this relate to photographs and photographic lenses?
     

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