What a 50mm f/1.4 will do vs the f/1.8

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mav, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I sold my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D to a friend and picked up the f/1.4 version and already love it. This gives me enough extra speed that I can shoot via natural light in my house at night if I want to instead of having to screw around with a flash. This is EV3 to EV4 light levels, so pretty dim.

    These were all taken with my D80. I post-processed with DxO software pretty much set just for the noise reduction straight from the Large/Normal JPEGs, although the native noise was already completely acceptable for the most part. I had it do its auto-sharpening as well. I also tried some at 3200 (not posted here). The noise on that started to look bad, but it cleaned up nicely enough in DxO (I had my wife judge it :)). I still wouldn't shoot at iso3200 though not because of the noise, but rather because of the poor dynamic range - all of the photos were very dull and flat looking, but it's still usable.

    The 1.4 was giving me 1/60 to 1/100s shutter speeds at iso1600 vs my 1.8 which would only give in the 1/30 to 1/60s range. That barely covers the "1/(shutter speed)" rule of thumb for hand holding where I'd need a 1/50s shutter speed minimum for a 50mm lens which was half of my problem with the 1.8 before. The other half of the problem was that babies don't know to hold still, and mine is starting to move faster and faster, so I need a quicker shutter speed to freeze her and get a sharp shot. So I'm very pleased with my new toy so far. :)

    The tradeoff? Depth of field at f/1.4 is so ridiculously narrow that precise focus becomes even more difficult than with the f/1.8, which is already pretty hard. You just have to shoot a ton and hopefully you'll get a few really nice ones. Must also use the single AF sensor mode, select the specific sensor and park it on an eyeball or something. Even then my toss rate was probably greater than 50% shooting like this, but I love the ones that turned out nice. Since you're not waiting for a flash to recycle, shooting continuously is not an issue, so I can get a lot of shots off when my daughter is doing something cute.


    Anyhow, here's the photos. Enjoy! :D

    1/60s, f/1.4, iso1000
    [​IMG]


    1/100s, f/1.4, iso1600
    [​IMG]


    1/100s, f/1.4, iso1600
    [​IMG]


    1/40s, f/2.0, iso1600
    [​IMG]


    1/50s, f/2.0, iso1600
    [​IMG]


    1/80s, f/1.4, iso1600
    [​IMG]


    1/100s, f/1.4, iso1600
    [​IMG]


    1/80s, f/1.4, iso1600

    [​IMG]


    My 1.8 never would have gotten most of these photos because either the shutter speed would have been too slow for hand-holding and I would have lost it due to hand shake blur, or because my daughter moves too quick and would have lost it due to motion blur. 2/3rds of a stop makes a big difference in this situation.

    Another way to attack this issue is with a body that has better and cleaner high ISO performance than my D80, which would have let me keep using my cheap $100 f/1.8 lens, and also make focusing easier since you wouldn't have such a tight depth of field. But a $300 lens is cheap, and DSLR bodies that look great at iso3200 to 6400 aren't, so the lens it is! lol After selling my f/1.8 version along with my 85mm f/1.8D that I'm not really using, the 50/1.4 won't end up costing me anything (not spending any additional money, just consolidating), so ya can't beat free! :mrgreen:
     
  2. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    So, you scammed your friend and sold him an inadequate lens (knowing it was inadequate) for you to get a better one :roll

    just kidding, Great shots though, i was wondering the same thing when i picked up my 50mm f/1.8. When you sell your 85mm f/1.8 how much are you expecting to gain from it (hint = i may be interested)
     
  3. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    nice lens and nice kid. I think though, that there is some WB problem or color cast because the skintone is too yellow?
     
  4. logan9967

    logan9967 TPF Noob!

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    yeah they do look a little yellow but its a warm yellow i like it
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Warm light from incandescent and eco bulbs + wood flooring + gold/tan painted walls = WB hell, lol. It's easier to get more neutral looking photos when I'm using the flash since it cools things off a lot, but I still like the warmer looks anyways.
     
  6. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    You're right about the narrow DOF; I can clearly see where you focused. I don't think anyone will hold it against you though :) I'm more impressed by your ability to capture a baby at 1/60 with no camera shake! Cute baby; I really love the one where he/she (it's soooo hard to tell which with babies!) is licking the gate. LOL.
     
  7. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    Good work with this lens man, it does the work by the look at it.
    Cute girl she is really, I have a feeling this is your first one am I right?.

    I had this warm colour effect before just by shooting inside the house. Than I changed it from the menu: from vivid colour to normal, and few other thing that I can't remember, I think the RGBs or something. Than with windows open or doors as the natural lightings to illuminate the object without flooding it, I have a perfect natural colours now. Infact I just try it a minute ago, although the shutter speed is abysimal, I had 1/5 on f5.6. Than I increase the EV by 2 clicks that give me 1/20. Yap it is natural colour alright.

    I think your d80 has more advance menus than mine, just don't get lost in there, considering that entering the d40 menus is like entering the pyramid.:lol:
     
  8. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for a really informative post. Nice shots of the kid too.
     
  9. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

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    Congradulations on such a beautifull child!! I'm guessing 10 months? I have a newborn as well (the reason for finally buying a DSLR :)).

    Your photos are good, but your WB is way off. You don't really need a flash to correct it, just to adjust the white balance on your camera.

    But I would highly recomend a bounce speedlight with a diffuser to get that great light so you can lower your ISO and capture the moment, and not have a loud flash to blow out the background. Trust me, I speak from experience trying to capture a 10 month old in low light... they just never never stop

    Here is an example of what a cheap speedlight will get you with a bounce and diffuser in extremely low light....there was NO post production done to this picture.....
    [​IMG]


    If you don't wanna get a speedlight, you can adjust your levels post production. I adjusted your first photo WB and levels slightly to get a much better photo.

    The first is yours, the second is adjusted

    [​IMG]



    WB corrected

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    wow, that WB adjustment really made a difference, I thought it was too yellow.
     
  11. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    It's just the lighting in my house. The actual scene looks far closer to the original than your corrected one. These are all test shots though just playing with a new lens, so I wasn't really paying attention to WB much. When I get around to batch processing all of my January photos I'll do another pass on these with some WB adjustments, although not quite as aggressive. :wink:


    You can't do that. These were only low-resolution photos, and only JPEGs. Everybody says you have to shoot in RAW to adjust WB and other crap. Obviously that's false and this proves it - another RAW myth busted. :lol: I make adjustments like that all the time too, straight from JPEGs, hehe.

    Anyways I've got an SB-600.

    This one was from my 50/1.8 @ f/2.8, iso800, and 1/200s. I bounced the SB-600 towards the upper left so that it'd add to light coming in from the window, which retained an almost complete natural light look.

    [​IMG]


    A month or two ago - no teeth yet. :mrgreen:
     

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