Why Nikon 50mm 1.8

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by snoword, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. snoword

    snoword TPF Noob!

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    I hear much talk about the 50mm 1.8 Nikon and being a noob and looking for something new, why do I want a prime?

    Is this a must have for some reason?
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some people will tell you it is the greatest lens for the money... I am not one of those people.

    Prime lenses are good because they have outstanding optics. The optics are outstanding because the lens maker doesn't have to make comprimises that come along with zoom lenses. Zooms will never be quite as sharp as top quality prime lenses.

    Having said that, the Nikkor f/1.8 is not a top quality prime lens. It is sharp, but not amazingly sharp... it has nice specs, but in the end it is only an "OK" lens.

    It is not NEARLY as good of a value as the Canon f/1.8 "Nifty Fifty" which is actually a superior lens to the Nikon in every way except for build quality, and is cheaper.

    I own a Nikkor f/1.8 and I never use it... if I am going to be shooting fixed lens, I go with my 60mm macro which is VASTLY superior in image quality.

    The Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (both the AF-S and the older non-AF-S) are also vastly superior in every way to the f/1.8.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There are several advantages to primes. Just to name a few.... usually a lower price because of simpler manufactoring process...... usually better optics..... light weight and smaller profile (until you start in the telephoto end of focal length)..... faster (larger max aperture)........

    The "nifty fifty" is revered because of it's premo optics compared to its price. For ~$100-125 USD, it's hard to find a better competitor. It is a fine lens, but a bit plastic on build...... I much prefer the 35mm f/2, but the 50mm is a standard.

    Primes will also help you in composition because you have to concentrate on framing. The "zoom factor" is in your feet.
     
  4. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Because alot of times doing it the old fashioned way gives you better results. It will make you think about your shot alot more. Also it will work for doing portraits as a good starter. Granted the 35mm is much better though on a digital.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't think the 50mm F/1.8 plastic-fantastic is that bad a lens. I really enjoy it even more now with the D700. Focuses faster, is really good in lower light and is more than acceptable in terms of IQ and sharpness.

    Is the F/1.4 really worth the extra 400US bucks? Not sure.
     
  6. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I don't know why build quality keeps coming up. Plastic is very strong, and who treats their $1000 camera rough enough to break a lens? If you break a lens, you were obviously being very irresponsible or foolish. I treat mine like they're made of tissue paper because I don't want to have to buy them again, and I don't even want to have to clean them for fear of smudging or scratching them.. A plastic lens is fine. You could make it out of black iron, and it would never break, but neither will my plastic 50 1.8.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  7. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well some of us do bump our equipment around a bit. I know I do but, I have yet to break my 50.
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Me neither brother!
     
  9. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    I understand that accidents will happen and what-not, but most people are extraordinarily careful when they are handling their camera gear. Hell, my 1.8 gets both end caps applied when I take it off, gets put into its own vinyl pouch and it lives in a padded bag made to store delicate equipment.. I don't know why plastic build would ever come into play.. I thought we learned from the big junky American cars that couldn't go over 100,000 miles without rusting out that got trounced by the lighter, longer lasting Japanese cars, that heavier isn't better. There's only been one post I've seen on here since I've been here where someone broke a lens, and it had nothing to do with build quality-they dropped a CPU lens..

    I know I'm pissing into the wind, but it irks me with people say a lens is superior or inferior because it's plasticky.. Hey, so are most camera bodies...
     
  10. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    I have the 50mm 1.8 and love it. I don't know of a better lens for the money. Great lens. It's also great to have to think a little more about your composition.
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The main issue I have with the 1.8's build-quality is the lens mount. Your camera's mounting ring is metal, the lens' is plastic. Moh's scale. Need I say more?

    That aside, a lot depends on your use. I'm very careful with my gear, but there are times when you have to take a chance to get 'the' shot. If that means running with a crowd of people, or crawling along a cliff, or... Is the 1.4 worth the extra money? To me it is. No question.
     
  12. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    snoword, here's a little bit of advice.. If you're new to photography, buy yourself a manual 50. I got mine on eBay for $40 used.. What that will do for you is force you to learn your camera..

    Here's a little comparison, since I have both. The manual (series E) 50 is on the left, and the Nikkor AF 50 is on the right.. The manual one is smaller and heavier, and the AF model is a bit longer and, as noted above, plasticky.. Both are great lenses and take great pictures. The AF version was $112 new.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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