Nikon 50mm lens choice

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Chuck, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to decide between two Nikon lenses:

    Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S

    Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D

    It will be used primarily for indoor portrait/people photography - - formal and snapshots. Whenever possible, I really like shooting without flash.

    It will be on a D90 body.

    I've never had a lens as fast as f/1.4 - - so don't know if I'd really use this speed and how it would be managing its shallow DOF and getting the people in good focus (but would like the bokeh that results from using it).

    In some reviews I've read the 1.4 has been rated as slower focusing than the 1.8 (many of the user reviews on B&H state this) - - and might even have greater distortion (this point courtesy of our friend Ken Rockwell).

    I do have the budget for the 1.4, but was wondering if anyone here had practical experience with these lenses - - and could comment on IQ, focusing speed, and anything else of interest.

    In the future I would like to go full-frame, but that's not for a while. I am a serious amateur (but certainly not semi- or full- professional).

    thanks
     
  2. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    I don't have the 1.4, but there many apon many reviews that are nothing but positive...however I do own the 1.8 and it is another great lens. It is rare that I shoot at 1.8 anyways, tends to be a tad soft. The money saved you could put towards something needed.
     
  3. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    I have the 1.4 and its always on my camera! invest in the f/1.4 its the superior lens and remember you get what you pay for
     
  4. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    You may or may not be interested, but I have a new in box Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF D lens already mentioned on TPF "Buy and Sell" for $300.00 (shipped). Never been used, but to check it out on my camera body, and it works just fine.

    Could that be another option for you, as opposed to spending $440.00 + for an AF-S version of the same lens with the same aperture and focal length?

    BTW - I have two of these lenses, in sequential serial #'s. Both brand spanking new in terms of their condition and usage.

    The 50mm f/1.4 lenses I have were made somewhere around 2005, going by the Serial #'s and checking the website.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    That's to bad. Most times the best looking images are made with flash.

    I'd get the 1.4 just so I have the extra range in the middle apertures and for the build quality.
     
  6. Chuck

    Chuck TPF Noob!

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    I don't disagree with your point about flash at all. And I understand that "whenever possible" can be severely limited - - but it is still a preference.

    May I ask what you mean by "extra range in the middle apertures"?

    thanks
     
  7. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    I'm using the 1.8 and I like it (the performance, not the focal length, which I find limiting for what I shoot on APS-C). Optically, the performance (per Photozone tests) is in the same league once you stop down to reasonable apertures. The 1.8 actually has slightly lower barrel distortion and is slightly sharper in the center at reasonable apertures (f/2.8, f/4) though it cedes a little edge sharpness to the 1.4. The does 1.8 shows slightly more vignetting when stopped down, and has slightly more CAs to deal with. As I interpret this, the 1.8 keeps up in every area except max aperture, which is where you need to decide if the 3x price jump is worth the 2/3 stop gain. To be fair, no lens performs flawlessy wide open (both are soft and lack contrast), and I find I use my 1.8 mostly at f/2.8 or f/4. Is the speed worth the price? I think that's the question you need to ask yourself, since it's the big difference between these lenses.
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you can do it, Invest in the 1.4G I try to find excuses to use it on my D700. It's just amazing.
     

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