50mm lens still valuable on DSLRs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hotchkisstrio, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs? Concerns being crop
    factors (1.5X or 1.6X) and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.
    I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is aomewhat
    less important than on a 35mm SLR. It seems to me these lenses are still a
    great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE steps
    back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get f1.8
    for that cheap!

    I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    opinions.
    hotchkisstrio, Mar 9, 2005
    #1
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  2. hotchkisstrio

    Fitpix Guest

    "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o13l$csi$...
    > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs? Concerns being
    > crop
    > factors (1.5X or 1.6X) and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.
    > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is aomewhat
    > less important than on a 35mm SLR. It seems to me these lenses are still
    > a
    > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE
    > steps
    > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get f1.8
    > for that cheap!
    >
    > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > opinions.
    >
    >


    Absolutley love mine for the Canon....I would HIGHLY recommend them!
    Fitpix, Mar 10, 2005
    #2
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  3. "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote:
    > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs?


    IMHO, yes.

    > Concerns being crop factors (1.5X or 1.6X)


    The 50mm becomes a short telephoto, a length I am quite fond of for both
    landscape work and portraits.

    > and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.


    Yes. The Tamron 28-75/2.8 is fast enough for a lot of available light work,
    and at f/5.6 and below indistinguishable from the 50mm lenses in sharpness.

    Unfortunately, it is somewhat of an exception: most consumer zooms are dogs.
    The new Stigma 24-70/2.8 may be in the same class as the Tamron: if it is,
    it's only the second consumer lens in that class.

    > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is aomewhat
    > less important than on a 35mm SLR.


    I disagree with that. With the fairly clean ISO 1600, a fast lens becomes
    more important, since it leverages that advantage, making it possible to do
    things that were previously impossible.

    > It seems to me these lenses are still a
    > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE

    steps
    > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get f1.8
    > for that cheap!
    >
    > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > opinions.


    Canon's an easier call (for those of us who want an excuse to justify the
    expense of the faster lens): the more expensive lens is faster and sharper
    and has better bokeh. Nikon's harder (for us, and easier for folks who want
    to justify saving money) in that the 50/1.8 is said to be the sharper lens.

    Since the 50mm lenses at f/8 produces the sharpest images you will ever see
    on your sensor, it's useful to have just so that you know what a sharp image
    looks like.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Mar 10, 2005
    #3
  4. > Since the 50mm lenses at f/8 produces the sharpest images you will ever
    see
    > on your sensor, it's useful to have just so that you know what a sharp

    image
    > looks like.


    AHA! Even more reasons to get one, I need it as a reference to judge the
    performance of my other lenses ;-)

    > I disagree with that. With the fairly clean ISO 1600, a fast lens becomes
    > more important, since it leverages that advantage, making it possible to

    do
    > things that were previously impossible.


    I'm in your camp on this one.

    Thanks,
    Paul H.

    "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o4h0$ui4$...
    >
    > "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote:
    > > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    > > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    > > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs?

    >
    > IMHO, yes.
    >
    > > Concerns being crop factors (1.5X or 1.6X)

    >
    > The 50mm becomes a short telephoto, a length I am quite fond of for both
    > landscape work and portraits.
    >
    > > and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.

    >
    > Yes. The Tamron 28-75/2.8 is fast enough for a lot of available light

    work,
    > and at f/5.6 and below indistinguishable from the 50mm lenses in

    sharpness.
    >
    > Unfortunately, it is somewhat of an exception: most consumer zooms are

    dogs.
    > The new Stigma 24-70/2.8 may be in the same class as the Tamron: if it is,
    > it's only the second consumer lens in that class.
    >
    > > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    > > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is

    aomewhat
    > > less important than on a 35mm SLR.

    >
    > I disagree with that. With the fairly clean ISO 1600, a fast lens becomes
    > more important, since it leverages that advantage, making it possible to

    do
    > things that were previously impossible.
    >
    > > It seems to me these lenses are still a
    > > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE

    > steps
    > > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get

    f1.8
    > > for that cheap!
    > >
    > > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > > opinions.

    >
    > Canon's an easier call (for those of us who want an excuse to justify the
    > expense of the faster lens): the more expensive lens is faster and sharper
    > and has better bokeh. Nikon's harder (for us, and easier for folks who

    want
    > to justify saving money) in that the 50/1.8 is said to be the sharper

    lens.
    >
    > Since the 50mm lenses at f/8 produces the sharpest images you will ever

    see
    > on your sensor, it's useful to have just so that you know what a sharp

    image
    > looks like.
    >
    > David J. Littleboy
    > Tokyo, Japan
    >
    >
    >
    >
    hotchkisstrio, Mar 10, 2005
    #4
  5. hotchkisstrio

    Guest

    In message <d0o4h0$ui4$>,
    "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:

    >Since the 50mm lenses at f/8 produces the sharpest images you will ever see
    >on your sensor, it's useful to have just so that you know what a sharp image
    >looks like.


    Where does this myth come from? The 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 lenses are
    noever as sharp as ~100mm macros, or the better telephotos. Better than
    average, yes, but not the top of the heap.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
    , Mar 10, 2005
    #5
  6. > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > opinions.



    I have got this lens with D70. Beautyfull and very usefull. My other lens is
    24/2.8 and that is all. I dont need anything else foe general photography.

    Regards,

    K.Polak
    Krystian Polak, Mar 10, 2005
    #6
  7. hotchkisstrio

    Jim Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Where does this myth come from? The 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 lenses are
    > noever as sharp as ~100mm macros, or the better telephotos. Better than
    > average, yes, but not the top of the heap.
    > --

    In my case, this statement came from the tests that Modern Photography ran
    years ago. It was not at all unusual for 50mm lenses to show resolutions in
    the 60 to 70 lines per mm range. It was very unusual for telephoto lenses
    to get that high (although they are still quite good.) And, while macro
    lenses excell in their intended purpose, they are not necessarily better at
    normal distances. I can tell you that my 105 f2.8 macro is no sharper than
    my 105 f2.5 for normal photographs.
    Jim
    Jim, Mar 10, 2005
    #7
  8. hotchkisstrio

    Jim Guest

    "Krystian Polak" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o7hs$o78$...
    > > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > > opinions.

    >
    >
    > I have got this lens with D70. Beautyfull and very usefull. My other lens

    is
    > 24/2.8 and that is all. I dont need anything else foe general photography.
    >

    That 24mm lens is a real jewel.. My daughter borrowed mine...
    Jim
    Jim, Mar 10, 2005
    #8
  9. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In message <d0o4h0$ui4$>,
    > "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Since the 50mm lenses at f/8 produces the sharpest images you will ever

    see
    > >on your sensor, it's useful to have just so that you know what a sharp

    image
    > >looks like.

    >
    > Where does this myth come from? The 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4 lenses are
    > noever as sharp as ~100mm macros, or the better telephotos. Better than
    > average, yes, but not the top of the heap.


    If you look at photodo, the 50s are very close to the top of the heap. (You
    are right that there are better lenses, especially the better telephotos.)
    The Canon 50/1.4 is only edged out by three lenses of all the Canon lenses
    tested at photodo, the Nikkon 50/1.8 is the best Nikkor they tested. The
    Contax G 45/2.0 is the best Contax lens, the Leica 50/2.0 the best Leica,
    the Pentax 50/1.4 is tied for first.

    (Yes, I understand that lots of people rant at photodo, that they only
    tested one sample, that their MTF averaging may not be the right thing, etc.
    etc. But it sure beats averaging user ratings.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Mar 10, 2005
    #9
  10. hotchkisstrio

    larrylook Guest

    "Krystian Polak" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o7hs$o78$...
    > > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > > opinions.

    >
    >
    > I have got this lens with D70. Beautyfull and very usefull. My other lens

    is
    > 24/2.8 and that is all. I dont need anything else foe general photography.


    Does anyone know why these lens sell on Ebay for $182, when you can get them
    new for under $100 easily? Am I missing something?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3877798703&ssPageName=ADME:B:WN:US:1
    larrylook, Mar 10, 2005
    #10
  11. hotchkisstrio

    Roger Guest

    Wonders never cease.... and in US dollars also.

    My timing is really bad or I'm sitting on a gold mine of 50s.

    Regards,
    Roger

    On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 21:51:49 -0500, "larrylook" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Krystian Polak" <> wrote in message
    >news:d0o7hs$o78$...
    >> > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    >> > opinions.

    >>
    >>
    >> I have got this lens with D70. Beautyfull and very usefull. My other lens

    >is
    >> 24/2.8 and that is all. I dont need anything else foe general photography.

    >
    >Does anyone know why these lens sell on Ebay for $182, when you can get them
    >new for under $100 easily? Am I missing something?
    >http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3877798703&ssPageName=ADME:B:WN:US:1
    >
    Roger, Mar 10, 2005
    #11
  12. hotchkisstrio

    Sheldon Guest

    "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o13l$csi$...
    > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs? Concerns being
    > crop
    > factors (1.5X or 1.6X) and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.
    > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is aomewhat
    > less important than on a 35mm SLR. It seems to me these lenses are still
    > a
    > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE
    > steps
    > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get f1.8
    > for that cheap!
    >
    > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > opinions.
    >

    Funny, when I first got my old Nikon F I sold my 50 1.4 to get an 85 1.8.
    Now that I'm working with a dslr that crops the image, I'd love to have that
    50 back. It's just nice to have a lens with a very wide aperture, and a
    "75mm" lens (even though it's just cropped to 75) makes a great normal lens.
    I got a lot of use out of my 85 and still do. Very nice portrait lens. I
    also have an older 55mm macro which is outstanding. Just doesn't have a
    very wide aperture, but in macro photography you usually want more depth of
    field.
    Sheldon, Mar 10, 2005
    #12
  13. hotchkisstrio

    GTO Guest

    If you have a Nikon, I can only recommend you to purchase the 50mm f1.8-D.
    It's one of Nikon's best lenses with regard to resolution (lpi). For US$99,
    it's a steal!

    Gregor

    "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o13l$csi$...
    > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs? Concerns being
    > crop
    > factors (1.5X or 1.6X) and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.
    > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is aomewhat
    > less important than on a 35mm SLR. It seems to me these lenses are still
    > a
    > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE
    > steps
    > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get f1.8
    > for that cheap!
    >
    > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > opinions.
    >
    >
    GTO, Mar 10, 2005
    #13
  14. "larrylook" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Krystian Polak" <> wrote in message
    > news:d0o7hs$o78$...
    > > > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for

    you
    > > > opinions.

    > >
    > >
    > > I have got this lens with D70. Beautyfull and very usefull. My other

    lens
    > is
    > > 24/2.8 and that is all. I dont need anything else foe general

    photography.
    >
    > Does anyone know why these lens sell on Ebay for $182, when you can get

    them
    > new for under $100 easily? Am I missing something?
    >

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3877798703&ssPageName=ADME:B:WN:US:1
    >

    No idea. I was recently looking for an 80-200 on EBay, and they were
    consistently selling for $700 or more for 5 year old lenses. You can get one
    brand new for $799 (with rebate). I gave up and bought a new one.

    My opinion on the 50MM 1.8 nikon is same as the others, GREAT lens. I use it
    whenever I can.
    Steve Gavette, Mar 10, 2005
    #14
  15. hotchkisstrio

    Musty Guest

    "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote in message
    news:d0o13l$csi$...
    > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its Canon or
    > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually f1.8) are
    > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs? Concerns being

    crop
    > factors (1.5X or 1.6X) and also the convenience and advancement of zooms.
    > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that since
    > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is aomewhat
    > less important than on a 35mm SLR. It seems to me these lenses are still

    a
    > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few MORE

    steps
    > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can get f1.8
    > for that cheap!
    >
    > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for you
    > opinions.
    >
    >


    Just wait a little while. Sigma announced a 30mm f1.4 prime. This will have
    the same view as the 50mm versions on a 35mm SLR. This will be the one to
    get:

    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3300&navigator=6
    Musty, Mar 10, 2005
    #15
  16. hotchkisstrio

    cal Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:33:15 +0900, "David J. Littleboy"
    <> wrote:

    >Canon's an easier call (for those of us who want an excuse to justify the
    >expense of the faster lens): the more expensive lens is faster and sharper
    >and has better bokeh.


    Where might I fond the definiton of "bokeh"?
    I am not familiar with the term.

    cal
    cal, Mar 10, 2005
    #16
  17. "cal" <> wrote:
    > "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Canon's an easier call (for those of us who want an excuse to justify the
    > >expense of the faster lens): the more expensive lens is faster and

    sharper
    > >and has better bokeh.

    >
    > Where might I fond the definiton of "bokeh"?
    > I am not familiar with the term.


    Well, if you have an internet connection, the first thing to try is
    www.google.com

    (I hope that doesn't sound too grumpy: there's a lot of good stuff out there
    on bokeh.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Mar 10, 2005
    #17
  18. On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 07:53:36 -0500, cal <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:33:15 +0900, "David J. Littleboy"
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>Canon's an easier call (for those of us who want an excuse to justify the
    >>expense of the faster lens): the more expensive lens is faster and sharper
    >>and has better bokeh.

    >
    >Where might I fond the definiton of "bokeh"?
    >I am not familiar with the term.


    Good explanation here:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/bokeh.shtml


    *****************************************************

    "Vietnam is what we had instead of happy childhoods."

    Tim Page in
    "Dispatches"
    by Michael Herr
    John A. Stovall, Mar 10, 2005
    #18
  19. hotchkisstrio

    Roger Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 06:08:54 GMT, "Musty" <> wrote:

    >Just wait a little while. Sigma announced a 30mm f1.4 prime. This will have
    >the same view as the 50mm versions on a 35mm SLR. This will be the one to
    >get:
    >
    >http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3300&navigator=6


    Sigma's website doesn't explicitly mention if these lenses in Nikon
    mounts are compatible with the 3D matrix and color-matrix metering
    functions in the newer Nikon AF cameras (film and digital). It does
    state that they are metering compatible, but not specific if that
    covers all metering modes.

    Is there a way to determine this compatibility?

    Regards,
    Roger
    Roger, Mar 10, 2005
    #19
  20. hotchkisstrio

    larrylook Guest

    Musty wrote:
    > "hotchkisstrio" <> wrote in message
    > news:d0o13l$csi$...
    > > Just inquiring for thoughts and opinions on this. Whether its

    Canon or
    > > Nikon or whatever seems 50mm lense with great f-stops (usually

    f1.8) are
    > > cheap and sharp. But are they still valuable on DSLRs? Concerns

    being
    > crop
    > > factors (1.5X or 1.6X) and also the convenience and advancement of

    zooms.
    > > I've also heard it said (although I don't necessarily agree) that

    since
    > > DSLRs perform fairly well at ISO 1600 the f-stop of your lens is

    aomewhat
    > > less important than on a 35mm SLR. It seems to me these lenses are

    still
    > a
    > > great value and very usable, although I might need to take a few

    MORE
    > steps
    > > back to get a wide shot. But there's no other lens where you can

    get f1.8
    > > for that cheap!
    > >
    > > I'm thinking of picking up a nikon 50mm f1.8 ($99 new). Thanks for

    you
    > > opinions.
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Just wait a little while. Sigma announced a 30mm f1.4 prime. This

    will have
    > the same view as the 50mm versions on a 35mm SLR. This will be the

    one to
    > get:
    >
    >

    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_all_details.asp?id=3300&navigator=6


    Any special reason to believe this will be a great lens? Any idea on
    price or when it will be available? Have you seen any reviews? I just
    bought nikon 50mm 1.8 which arrived yesterday, but maybe I'll get this
    too? Will focal length be too short for portraits?
    larrylook, Mar 10, 2005
    #20
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