About expensive lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by M-M, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. M-M

    M-M Guest

    A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.

    Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?

    Am I missing something?

    --
    m-m
    M-M, Jan 30, 2007
    #1
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  2. M-M wrote:
    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?
    >

    Thats a half stop
    EJ in NJ
    Ernie Willson, Jan 30, 2007
    #2
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  3. M-M wrote:
    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?


    Sometimes I'm already shooting at my top ISO, so I *can't* up it. (And
    I'm already at shutter speeds low enough that more than 1/2 the photos
    are lost to subject motion.)

    Sometimes the noise from a higher ISO isn't acceptable.

    Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.

    However, I currently have the f/1.8 of that lens, not the f/1.4 :); not
    having had the spare $700 to hand at the time.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 30, 2007
    #3
  4. M-M

    Mark² Guest

    M-M wrote:
    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?


    You're usually gaining a lot more than the mere half-stop.
    You tend to also "gain" superior lens elements...better build
    quality...higher quality lens coatings...faster auto-focus...often better
    bokeh (smoother quality of out-of-focus elements)...more rounded aperture
    blades (related to bokeh, too).

    Each of these aren't ALWAYS the case, but they usually go hand in hand with
    both Nikon and Canon lenses.

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
    Mark², Jan 30, 2007
    #4
  5. M-M

    C J Campbell Guest

    On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 11:38:18 -0800, M-M wrote
    (in article <>):

    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?
    >
    >


    Upping the ISO *always* increases noise. If you want sharp, fine-grained
    photos in dim light, you want a faster lens.

    --
    Waddling Eagle
    World Famous Flight Instructor
    C J Campbell, Jan 30, 2007
    #5
  6. M-M

    C J Campbell Guest

    On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 11:38:18 -0800, M-M wrote
    (in article <>):

    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?
    >
    >


    One other thing you are missing is the rounded diaphragm of the f/1.4 lens;
    much more expensive to manufacture, but with much better bokeh..

    --
    Waddling Eagle
    World Famous Flight Instructor
    C J Campbell, Jan 30, 2007
    #6
  7. M-M wrote:
    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?


    I would suggest three things.

    The "quality" of the lenses may not be the same.

    Increasing ISO can have other problems like noise

    Sometimes you just want less DOF.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia 's Muire duit
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 30, 2007
    #7
  8. "M-M" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    > Am I missing something?


    This usually seems to be the case with lenses. You would have thought that
    an extra stop would only double the price if you think logically. It's not
    even a full stop either probably more like 0.75 stops (no doubt someone has
    the maths on this!). If you look at the lenses you will see that the 1.4
    seems to be constructed to a far higher quality, similar to the legendary
    28/1.4.

    cheers adrian www.boliston.co.uk
    Adrian Boliston, Jan 30, 2007
    #8
  9. M-M

    _nemo_ Guest

    On 30 Gen, 21:07, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    > Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.


    Be careful on this.
    Viewfinder of some new dslr such as my D200 are designed to show f2.8
    max, so no improvement on brightness.
    This affect only preview brightnes and DOF preview, of corse :)
    _nemo_, Jan 30, 2007
    #9
  10. M-M

    King Sardon Guest

    On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 14:38:18 -0500, M-M <> wrote:

    >A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    >Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    >the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >
    >Am I missing something?


    As others have pointed out, it's not a whole stop difference... it is
    2/3 stop.

    The 85 mm is often used as a portrait lens (on the old 35 mm cameras)
    and for portrait work, the extra half stop can reduce depth of field a
    bit. This way one eye can be in focus and the other out of focus...
    just what some people want.

    There could be quality of construction differences. Plus, the extra
    glass requires additional compromises in optical design, usually
    requiring extra elements. That increases the cost, and may (or may
    not!) improve performance at equivalent f stops.

    But in the end, it's only 2/3 stop. IMHO lots of people, especially
    some amateurs, buy them for bragging rights. Why spend $400 if you can
    spend $1100?

    KS
    King Sardon, Jan 30, 2007
    #10
  11. M-M

    Bill Guest

    On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 13:06:09 -0800, C J Campbell
    <> wrote:

    >On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 11:38:18 -0800, M-M wrote
    >(in article <>):
    >
    >> A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >>
    >> Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    >> the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >>
    >> Am I missing something?
    >>
    >>

    >
    >One other thing you are missing is the rounded diaphragm of the f/1.4 lens;
    >much more expensive to manufacture, but with much better bokeh..


    I am a newbie here.

    What is bokeh? I have seen it referred to in a couple of posts.

    Thanks.
    Bill, Jan 30, 2007
    #11
  12. M-M

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    _nemo_ <> wrote:

    > On 30 Gen, 21:07, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    > > Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.

    >
    > Be careful on this.
    > Viewfinder of some new dslr such as my D200 are designed to show f2.8 max,
    > so no improvement on brightness.
    > This affect only preview brightnes and DOF preview, of corse :)


    That doesn't make any sense. The viewfinder on a DSLR (or SLR) is either
    a bunch of mirros or a mirror and a pentaprism. They transmit a
    percentage of the light that comes through, no matter how much. So an
    f/1.4 lens will be brighter in the viewfinder than an f/2.8. And if it's
    not, then you're not really using an SLR.
    Paul Mitchum, Jan 30, 2007
    #12
  13. M-M

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    C J Campbell <> wrote:

    > On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 11:38:18 -0800, M-M wrote
    > (in article <>):
    >
    > > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    > >
    > > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    > >
    > > Am I missing something?

    >
    > Upping the ISO *always* increases noise. If you want sharp, fine-grained
    > photos in dim light, you want a faster lens.


    ....or longer exposure times.

    Or both. Or all three.
    Paul Mitchum, Jan 30, 2007
    #13
  14. M-M

    Mark² Guest

    Bill wrote:
    > On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 13:06:09 -0800, C J Campbell
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 11:38:18 -0800, M-M wrote
    >> (in article <>):
    >>
    >>> A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >>>
    >>> Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just
    >>> up the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?
    >>>
    >>> Am I missing something?
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >> One other thing you are missing is the rounded diaphragm of the
    >> f/1.4 lens; much more expensive to manufacture, but with much better
    >> bokeh..

    >
    > I am a newbie here.
    >
    > What is bokeh? I have seen it referred to in a couple of posts.
    >
    > Thanks.


    It's a term that refers to the quality and characteristics of background (or
    foreground) blur in an image with limited depth of field. When you
    intentionally blur the background of a close-up, for example, you usually
    want blurred elements to render smoothly, and without strangely shaped
    highlights--which can show up as oddly shaped blobs, or even rings (with
    mirror lenses).

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
    Mark², Jan 30, 2007
    #14
  15. M-M

    Mark² Guest

    _nemo_ wrote:
    > On 30 Gen, 21:07, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >> Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.

    >
    > Be careful on this.
    > Viewfinder of some new dslr such as my D200 are designed to show f2.8
    > max, so no improvement on brightness.
    > This affect only preview brightnes and DOF preview, of corse :)


    Huh??
    The viewfinder is entirely optical...so unless a camera stopped the lens
    down when mounted...which it most assuredly doesn't...your suggestion is
    impossible.

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
    Mark², Jan 30, 2007
    #15
  16. _nemo_ wrote:
    > On 30 Gen, 21:07, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >> Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.

    >
    > Be careful on this.
    > Viewfinder of some new dslr such as my D200 are designed to show f2.8
    > max, so no improvement on brightness.
    > This affect only preview brightnes and DOF preview, of corse :)


    Huh? You mean the lens is kept stopped down to f/2.8 when you're
    viewing? That doesn't happen on my D200; I can see the diaphragm stop
    down when I set f/2.8 and press the depth of field preview (it's an
    f/1.2 lens, so stopping down to f/2.8 is a very visible change in the
    diaphragm).

    Hmmm; but I see suspiciously little darkening of the viewing screen when
    that happens.

    Is this documented somewhere? And how the heck is it physically
    possible? Since it's not the lens diaphragm, some kind of electrically
    controllable neutral density filter on the viewing screen? and *why*????
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 30, 2007
    #16
  17. Paul Mitchum wrote:
    > _nemo_ <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 30 Gen, 21:07, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >>> Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.

    >> Be careful on this.
    >> Viewfinder of some new dslr such as my D200 are designed to show f2.8 max,
    >> so no improvement on brightness.
    >> This affect only preview brightnes and DOF preview, of corse :)

    >
    > That doesn't make any sense. The viewfinder on a DSLR (or SLR) is either
    > a bunch of mirros or a mirror and a pentaprism. They transmit a
    > percentage of the light that comes through, no matter how much. So an
    > f/1.4 lens will be brighter in the viewfinder than an f/2.8. And if it's
    > not, then you're not really using an SLR.


    Sense, however, is not always the best guide to the real world. As I
    just posted to Nemo, when I set my 58mm f/1.2 lens to f/2.8 on my D200,
    look through the viewfinder, and press the depth of field preview -- I
    see suspiciously little darkening of the screen. *Something* weird is
    going on. And I looked in the front of the lens, and it's definitely
    stopping down from wide open (quite a ways on this lens!) when I press
    the DOF preview.

    So, yeah, it makes no sense, and I don't know how it's accomplished (let
    alone why). But something at least very like it does actually seem to
    be taking place.

    Very strange! I'll be interested in seeing how this discussion develops.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 30, 2007
    #17
  18. Mark² wrote:
    > _nemo_ wrote:
    >> On 30 Gen, 21:07, David Dyer-Bennet <> wrote:
    >>> Sometimes the twice-as-bright viewfinder image is important.

    >> Be careful on this.
    >> Viewfinder of some new dslr such as my D200 are designed to show f2.8
    >> max, so no improvement on brightness.
    >> This affect only preview brightnes and DOF preview, of corse :)

    >
    > Huh??
    > The viewfinder is entirely optical...so unless a camera stopped the lens
    > down when mounted...which it most assuredly doesn't...your suggestion is
    > impossible.


    Theory is great. Got a D200 and a fast lens to actually play with?
    (See my other two posts on this matter).

    The D200 has on-demand grid lines, marks for the focus spots, and such,
    indicating that there's an LCD layer in the viewfinder path (not
    generating the actual image of the subject, but to provide the various
    overlay elements). Perhaps it's also being used to provide various
    levels of neutral density to set a maximum viewfinder brightness.

    Which leaves the much bigger question of *why*?
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 30, 2007
    #18
  19. M-M wrote:

    > A Nikon 85mm 1.8 is $400.; an 85mm 1.4 is $1100.
    >
    > Is the extra stop really worth all that extra expense? Why not just up
    > the ISO to compensate for those shots that really need the speed?


    Worth every penny!

    > Am I missing something?


    Much more pleasing images.







    Rita
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=, Jan 30, 2007
    #19
  20. Adrian Boliston wrote:

    > This usually seems to be the case with lenses. You would have
    > thought that an extra stop would only double the price if you think
    > logically. It's not even a full stop either probably more like 0.75
    > stops (no doubt someone has the maths on this!). If you look at the
    > lenses you will see that the 1.4 seems to be constructed to a far
    > higher quality, similar to the legendary 28/1.4.


    Another totally and utterly orgasmic lens!!!







    Rita
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=, Jan 30, 2007
    #20
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