Lensbaby Composer or 50mm f/1.4?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by blash, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    I recently got a check in the mail from a matured bond ($360 and I can go slightly over), I've already budgeted well so I've got a bit of a windfall to spend on a cheap lens. I was thinking of getting either the Lensbaby Composer (sticking with the included double-glass optic for then and there but eventually probably getting the single glass and maybe some of the converters down the line) or the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, both priced around $270. But, I also need to pick up a flash, so the SB-600 is on my list as well.

    Coming from a Nikon D80, Nikon F100 (mostly for film classes), flimsy Tamrom 28-80 f/3.5, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 (glass is fine but the filter ring is broken, repairs are too expensive considering the cost of a new lens), kit lens 18-135 f/3.5 DX, 55-200 VR f/3.5 DX. Ergo, I'm wondering if a 50mm f/1.4 is rather redundant, or if I should go with a Lensbaby when the Lensbaby site says that autometering does not work with a Lensbaby on a D80.

    Thoughts, comments, alternatives to get/save up for?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love shooting with primes. For me, no zoom that includes 50mm within its focal range is making my primes redundant.

    Lensbaby lenses are very very very specialized creatures. It is NOT a question of "or". It is a question about your needs. If you want the special effects of the lensbaby, then get the lensbaby. If you are looking for a prime with superior IQ than your zoom, then get the 50mm f/1.4. Lensbaby does not have the IQ nor features (AF) of the 50mm prime. The prime is not capable of the special effects of the Lensbaby (photoshop argument aside)
     
  3. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Well that was part of the point though - it's not whether the 50 f/1.4 was going to be redundant because of the 28-80 but rather because of the 50 f/1.8.

    Thanks for the input about the Lensbaby though - I was looking into it purely because I love the effects it produces, but (as can be derived from the fact that I was looking into a Composer) I'm a rather loose shooter most of the time and no AF and no AE kinda puts a crink in that.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah... sorry I missed that part. If you are happy with the 50mm f/1.8 and love the lensbaby effects, I'd go with the lensbaby then. I have the 2.0 version of the lensbaby... its fun to shoot with buy not really for anything serious... more like a toy just to carry along for the ride.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bah... I'd go for the prime. You can do anything that a lensbaby does in post processing. ;)

    [​IMG]

    There are 2 things that one should never skimp out on... great glass and good lighting equipment. Everything else is replaceable.
     
  6. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Well, that's kinda the thing though, you can't add any blur effects (as far as I know) to film in film post-production - so, I'm basically looking at the 50 f/1.4 prime and saving up for a film scanner later on if I decide to continue film work? Those are kinda expensive though, about the cost of a new lens or more - any recommendations?

    edit: ehhhh.... looks like the only real good film scanners are Nikons that are a grand plus a piece. Uggh.... stick to optical printing for now. Still not sure about the prime or the Lensbaby if I'm going to start shooting more film (it's more fun than digital :p).
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you foresee a great need for blur effects (a fad or not something used everyday for 95% of photographers) vs a quality lens, and also see that you will be more film than digital in the future, you may want to consider the lensbaby... however, film is slowly fading away, with digital already the predominant media on the market (for better or worse, but thats a topic for another thread), so it would be to your advantage to still go for the better lens.

    No one knows your needs more than you. Consider your own pros and cons, and I am sure you can come to your own decision. ;) :)
     
  8. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    I don't see a great need per-say but I like what people have done with it. I will agree though it's starting to look more like a cool toy, something I'd rather get for my D80 except for the fact that it can't do AE or AF on a D80 which makes this toy rather cumbersome to use. I think I'm going to get the 50 f/1.4 then but I'm really starting to think about film stuff.

    On that vein, I freely admit that film is dead in a few areas, namely sports, photojournalism, and most business purposes. However, I'm not into photography for the business part but rather for the fun, as this is just a hobby. My F100 is an AMAZING camera body in my limited experience (especially since I got it off B&H for $280 used - still can barely believe that it cost me 1/3rd the cost of a new D90 body, and digital vs. film aside the F100 is infinitely superior), nice and heavy and I really feel like I control the F100 in contrast to my D80 where I would be fighting the camera at times - also, I absolutely love setting the shutter speed to 1/8000 and letting it go off continuously, makes such a beautiful sound :)

    But about that film stuff, right now I have access to a pretty capable darkroom but in the future, what I may want to do is to just get a flatbed scanner since those (i.e. Epson V500 or 4490) appear to do just fine for film, and those Epson scanners are pretty affordable - couple it with an old umbrella shade stand (like http://content.costco.com/Images/Content/Product/824444L.jpg) but without the umbrella and instead have instant-darkroom fabric draped over it so I can make an impromptu darkroom purely for loading film into reels, and thus something that would fit in a dorm room, and as a result actually buying those reels, darkroom chemistry, etc. Or maybe I'm just dreaming XD

    So I guess the NEW question is (as my threads always end up being), 50 f/1.4 or 28 f/2.8, considering the fact that I'd be buying for a film camera? Or maybe that SB-600 after all (probably not I guess though since I really need a lens that can take a filter right now for photo class, and besides you don't really use a flash for B&W photography, right)? I guess it's really just which one I buy first.

    edit: on that note.... $300 (actually more like $215 probably since I'm more likely to buy used off of eBay) for the 50 f/1.4 D lens or spend a few hundred more ($500 total, out of my price range for right now) on the G version that's on back-order?

    edit 2: Adorama appears to have a bunch of these primes available used right now, prices look very good.... decisions decisions arrggghhhhh! :D

    edit 3: and about that 28 f/2.8..... maybe a 20mm f/2.8 instead? Not that the angles are that much of a difference, but if anyone knows about difference in IQ between them?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  9. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    Since you dont have a decent mid-range zoom, i would go for the 17-50 2.8
     
  10. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    What, the Tamron one?

    1) I don't buy Tamron glass.
    2) What, a zoom? Pfff.... real men use primes and zoom with their feet :p

    Besides, I spent about $240 on eBay today, got a 24mm f/2.8D + B+W filter + Lens hood.... not a bad deal if you ask me :)
     
  11. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

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    Don't be so quick to dismiss all Tamron lenses. Sure, most of them are crap, but not all of them. The 17-50 is on par with the Nikkor 17-55, and has prime quality. Besides, not everyone needs a prime to prove their manhood.

    And if you really don't want a Tamron, go for the Sigma 18-50 F2.8. Supposedly, its better than the Tamron and has HSM focusing, however it has more sample variation.
     
  12. Well, the thing to do this year is actually SAVE the money.

    But if you drink the "spending-is-good-for-the-economy" Kool-Aid, I would suggest the 50mm. It will last a life time. The LensBaby is a toy and a special effect. It's fun, but hardly necessary. I bet you can find a nice used one if you look around.

    ... then again, same goes for the 50mm.

    But really, go put the money in the bank. You have a 50mm, you don't actually need a lens.
     

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