Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 vs AF 50mm f/1.8

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bencze, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. bencze

    bencze TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everyone,

    First of all let me apologize for not obeying a general rule of forums - no I did not run a search if there were similar topics before. It was a crap day at work and lately I barely have time to check personal e-mail or so - although I am preparing to buy a new lens for my D50 (hopefully one of these from the topic). In case you have a link to a topic discussing this feel free to just throw it at this thread, or just formulate your own opinion.

    Right now I have:
    kit zoom lens 18-55mm
    an AF 24mm f/2.8 lens (pre D)

    Basically I would look for a bright lens to do pictures in not so good light - had this problem before and I would like to make it better. I am thinking of evening pics outdoors, or indoors pictures at artificial light. My previous lens need flash in these situations, but then again my budget is limited and I figured I rather go with a different lens that I can use in many situations rather than getting a flash that I use in specific circumstances only.

    Now I have read some reviews about both lenses on the Internet; opinions are various. Some even say it's not worth paying the more than double price for the f/1.4 as it is not better quality than the f/1.8 one, and that aperture difference doesn;t worth it. Others say it does worth it and the f/1.4 is a very good lens for its price and it should be one of the few targets of someone with a limited budget.
    I can buy either of these but obviously won;t buy both; I am just a beginner in photography. I don't restrict myself at any specific pictures, I just shoot whatever comes my way; indoors parties or portraits, outdoors like landscapes or city pictures or whatever.

    While my main problem I want to solve is light, I would really like to know
    some opinions of more knowlegeable fellows regarding these lens. If it is indeed worth it I can spend the extra $$ to get the f/1.4 one - I cannot decide if it is worth it or not. For quite a while I probably won't be getting any other lens. I decided for a prime as I rather move a bit but try and have good pictures - it seems to be ageneral opinion that primes are generally better quality than zoom lens (if we're talking of roughly same price range at least).

    So please share some opinions if you have.

    Thanks,
    Endre
     
  2. James79

    James79 TPF Noob!

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    I think both are supposed to be very good lenses for the price ... that said, I own the 1.4. In fact, I've owned two as the first one was stolen :x

    I use mine for live music photography, I went for the fastest possible lens as I shoot mostly local bands in smaller venues (i.e. crappy lighting) - flash is a bit of a no-no in this situation. I have absolutely no complaints with this lens, and I use it a lot (with a D70s). Ramping up the ISO setting (sensitivity of the sensor) can help in low light settings - I automatically set mine to 1600 at gigs because as I say the lighting is poor, and there is a lot of movement. This has the side effect of producing a lot of 'noise' on the image, but that's the trade off.

    As for a quality comparison between the two, I couldn't say. I think I remember this being discussed elsewhere on the forum before, however ...
     
  3. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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  4. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    Both are good lenses. If you shoot available light get the 1.4 as you will want all the light collecting ability possible.
     
  5. bencze

    bencze TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for both the info and the link.
    While I do not like to spend unnecessarily, before buying something (that costs considerably more than a beer) I am always worried about getting the cheaper alternative, what if I regret it later. :p
    So I guess I will go with some people's opinion (and the price), there IS a chance that the difference between the 1.4 and 1.8 is not only that little extra speed. I will go with a 1.4 one. Thanks for helping - I'm sure I will love it... many people seems to. :)
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    if you are on a tight budget, the 1.8 will serve you just fine. The 1.4 is constructed better, and has a slightly larger aperture, but the extra 150 dollars could go towards another lens or a flash to help you in poor lighting.

    That being said, I own a 50mm 1.4 pentax lens and LOVE it. But, it only cost 160 with rebate.
     
  7. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    is that so... ? :scratch:

    anyway, the lenses have different optic designs, so there should be some difference. 1.4 is a 7 elements, while 1.8 is 6... (fewer elements-less glass-more quality...?? not necessarily, but... ??)

    and there is another difference, that might be significant: yes, the 1.4 is slightly faster, but the 1.8 goes down to f22, while the 1.4 stops down only to 16.

    so, could we say that the 1.4 is above all a fast lens while the 1.8 is more versatile? if this were so, then the 1.8 would confirm as a better option for a prime 50mm... don't you agree...?
     
  8. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    at least thats how it is with canon's 1.4 and 1.8, the 1.8 feels cheap (though sharp as can be) while the 1.4 has a much more solid build. Also the build of my pentax 1.4 is very strong.

    As for versitle, if you are buying a 50 prime you are probably looking for quality and speed, so min aperture wont matter much if at all. But I agree, f/16 isn't all that small.

    For the price I'd take the 1.8, simply because for me it wouldnt be worth the extra money for so little extra. luckily my 1.4 was cheap.
     
  9. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    No, because the original post mentions an interest in shooting with available light and so any extra advantage with a larger aperture granted small, would make the 1.4 a better choice.
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Not really... if you're buying a fast prime it's presumably largely because of its low light abilities, so you'd want to be able to open up more rather than stop down more. Stopping all the way down and shooting at f/16 or f/22 you could do with a cheap kit zoom at 50mm instead and get decent results. The Pentax 50mm f/1.4 stops down to f/22 but I don't really consider it an advantage as I rarely even use it beyond f/8.
     
  11. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    yep... i just mixed up this threat with another one and forgot about what the lens was for :taped sh:
     
  12. bencze

    bencze TPF Noob!

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    Umm yeh... I was interested in a fast lens. I am still very new at all this but I like experimenting.
    I never had a 1.8 but I got this 1.4 now and I love it although it might be early to tell. It's so small, light, simple. And OMG - yes there is a difference from my kit 18-55mm as far as low light is concerned. While this is not a pro's advice, I'd say it's a nice lens and I don't regret getting it.
     

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