Nikon 50mm lens: f/1.4 or f/1.8?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Unclaimed Mysteries, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. I recently shot a band in the usual dimly lit club setting with the d70
    18-70 kit lens and some images turned out quite well. I'd love to
    improve the ratio of the keepers to the deleted, and of course that
    means a faster lens.

    More than one contributor on a web forum said that the best results with
    either lens in this application come around f/2 something something. So
    is there a compelling reason to pay a couple hundred more for the
    fastest of these lenses?

    I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to
    weigh in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the
    f/1.8.

    --
    It Came From Corry Lee Smith's Unclaimed Mysteries.
    http://www.unclaimedmysteries.net

    "And now, They have even got a machine that can tell if you're thinking.
    It's called a TV. If it's off, you're guilty." - Rev. Ivan Stang
    Unclaimed Mysteries, Sep 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. "Unclaimed Mysteries" asks:
    >
    > I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to weigh
    > in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.8.


    The (Japanese) reviews at hand have it that the Nikon 50/1.8 is slightly
    better than both the Nikon 50/1.4 and the Canon 50/1.8. No need to spend the
    extra money, IMHO.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote in message
    news:eddusc$n5d$...
    > "Unclaimed Mysteries" asks:
    > >
    > > I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to

    weigh
    > > in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.8.

    >
    > The (Japanese) reviews at hand have it that the Nikon 50/1.8 is slightly
    > better than both the Nikon 50/1.4 and the Canon 50/1.8. No need to spend

    the
    > extra money, IMHO.
    >
    > David J. Littleboy
    > Tokyo, Japan


    I recently picked up a Nikon 50mm F1.8 on E-Bay for £18. Nearest F1.4's were
    in the £90-£120 range. Not worth it IMHO.

    Dennis.
    >
    >
    Dennis Pogson, Sep 3, 2006
    #3
  4. Unclaimed Mysteries

    Roy G Guest

    "Unclaimed Mysteries"
    <> wrote in message
    news:uJuKg.2368$v%...
    >I recently shot a band in the usual dimly lit club setting with the d70
    >18-70 kit lens and some images turned out quite well. I'd love to improve
    >the ratio of the keepers to the deleted, and of course that means a faster
    >lens.
    >
    > More than one contributor on a web forum said that the best results with
    > either lens in this application come around f/2 something something. So is
    > there a compelling reason to pay a couple hundred more for the fastest of
    > these lenses?
    >
    > I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to weigh
    > in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.8.
    >
    > --
    > It Came From Corry Lee Smith's Unclaimed Mysteries.
    > http://www.unclaimedmysteries.net
    >
    > "And now, They have even got a machine that can tell if you're thinking.
    > It's called a TV. If it's off, you're guilty." - Rev. Ivan Stang




    Hi.

    I have used both, and there is no doubt the 1.8 is the sharpest.

    The 1.4 is still a very good lens, but there also seems to be a problem with
    the focussing helix wearing. I know of 2 with exactly the same symptoms,
    lateral movement between the front and the back of the lens.

    I sent mine in for repair, and was told it would not be economic to fix it.
    It still seems to work Ok.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Sep 3, 2006
    #4
  5. Unclaimed Mysteries

    Jim Guest

    "Unclaimed Mysteries"
    <> wrote in message
    news:uJuKg.2368$v%...
    >I recently shot a band in the usual dimly lit club setting with the d70
    >18-70 kit lens and some images turned out quite well. I'd love to improve
    >the ratio of the keepers to the deleted, and of course that means a faster
    >lens.
    >
    > More than one contributor on a web forum said that the best results with
    > either lens in this application come around f/2 something something. So is
    > there a compelling reason to pay a couple hundred more for the fastest of
    > these lenses?
    >
    > I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to weigh
    > in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.8.
    >
    > --
    > It Came From Corry Lee Smith's Unclaimed Mysteries.
    > http://www.unclaimedmysteries.net
    >
    > "And now, They have even got a machine that can tell if you're thinking.
    > It's called a TV. If it's off, you're guilty." - Rev. Ivan Stang


    Only people who don't mind paying all that extra money for about 2/3 stop
    more light and who don't mind that the faster lens is not quite as sharp
    should buy the 50mm f1.4 lens.

    Jim
    Jim, Sep 3, 2006
    #5
  6. "Unclaimed Mysteries"
    <> wrote in message
    news:uJuKg.2368$v%...

    > I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to weigh
    > in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.8.


    For a digital SLR, I'd go for the 35mm f/2. The 50mm is a little on the
    long side for indoor use.
    Andrew Koenig, Sep 3, 2006
    #6
  7. Unclaimed Mysteries

    JohnR66 Guest

    "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote in message
    news:eddusc$n5d$...
    > "Unclaimed Mysteries" asks:
    >>
    >> I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to
    >> weigh in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the
    >> f/1.8.

    >
    > The (Japanese) reviews at hand have it that the Nikon 50/1.8 is slightly
    > better than both the Nikon 50/1.4 and the Canon 50/1.8. No need to spend
    > the extra money, IMHO.
    >
    > David J. Littleboy
    > Tokyo, Japan
    >
    >

    Photozone does detailed tests on the lenses
    http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html
    Stopped down, the Nikkor 50/1.8 pegs the top of the chart, but the edge
    performance is not nearly up to par. Similar for the 1.4.
    The Canon 1.8 does not peg the top of the chart, but is still in the
    excellent range with better edge performance.
    John
    JohnR66, Sep 3, 2006
    #7
  8. JohnR66 wrote:

    > Photozone does detailed tests on the lenses
    > http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html
    > Stopped down, the Nikkor 50/1.8 pegs the top of the chart, but the
    > edge performance is not nearly up to par. Similar for the 1.4.
    > The Canon 1.8 does not peg the top of the chart, but is still in the
    > excellent range with better edge performance.


    That's why you get the 85mm f/1.4D and 28mm f/1.4D to pick up the slack for
    the 50mm f/1.4D. The 50mm f/1.4 really isn't a bad lens and I like my
    sample.







    Rita
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=, Sep 3, 2006
    #8
  9. Unclaimed Mysteries

    Bill Guest

    JohnR66 wrote:

    >> The (Japanese) reviews at hand have it that the Nikon 50/1.8 is slightly
    >> better than both the Nikon 50/1.4 and the Canon 50/1.8. No need to spend
    >> the extra money, IMHO.
    >>

    >Photozone does detailed tests on the lenses
    >http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html


    No, Photozone does irregular tests with different people (no
    consistency), and they are often dissimilar and non-comparative. The
    tests should be done on the same basis for all similar lenses, and
    checked and confirmed by another party.

    How can you compare one 50mm lense to another in tests if charts and
    crucial information is missing from one test to the other?

    >Stopped down, the Nikkor 50/1.8 pegs the top of the chart, but the edge
    >performance is not nearly up to par. Similar for the 1.4.
    >The Canon 1.8 does not peg the top of the chart, but is still in the
    >excellent range with better edge performance.


    Where are the matching CA and vignetting information?

    The charts do not always match real world performance, so the source of
    the tests are suspect (I haven't used the Nikon 50 f/1.8, so I can't
    comment on its performance, but I'm sure it's quite good from what I've
    heard).

    I'm not saying Photozone is intentionally fudging the tests, but there
    is often bias that needs to be mitigated and checked from another party.
    Too many times I've read through Photozone tests that do not reflect
    actual usage.

    YMMV.
    Bill, Sep 3, 2006
    #9
  10. Unclaimed Mysteries

    bmoag Guest

    Nikon makes two lenses that are great price/performance values: the 50 f1.8
    and the 18-70 dSLR kit lens. It is an unwise Nikon dSLR user that does not
    take advantage of these stellar bargains.
    For low light shooting both the lens and the D70 are an issue.
    Although the f1.8 should let more light in when used with the D70 you are
    still looking through a dark, tiny image that is virtually impossible to
    manually focus in anything other than bright light and the autofocus system
    has issues at lower light levels as well depending on the subject.
    I may just pop for the D200 but if the D80 has the promised bigger and
    brighter viewfinder . . .
    bmoag, Sep 3, 2006
    #10
  11. Unclaimed Mysteries

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "bmoag" <> writes:
    > I may just pop for the D200 but if the D80 has the promised bigger and
    > brighter viewfinder . . .


    I got a 35/1.4 MF Nikkor on Ebay for around $150 a number of years
    ago. It will work and meter on the D200. The D80 needs AF lenses and
    the closest AF counterpart to the 35/1.4 is the 28/1.4 AF, which costs
    something like $1800--and you can get a whole D200 for that. There
    -is- a Sigma 30/1.4 AF DX in the $500 range, but its reviews haven't
    been that great. I donno why Nikon doesn't have something like this.
    Paul Rubin, Sep 4, 2006
    #11
  12. Unclaimed Mysteries

    jeremy Guest

    "Unclaimed Mysteries"
    <> wrote in message
    news:uJuKg.2368$v%...
    >I recently shot a band in the usual dimly lit club setting with the d70
    >18-70 kit lens and some images turned out quite well. I'd love to improve
    >the ratio of the keepers to the deleted, and of course that means a faster
    >lens.
    >
    > More than one contributor on a web forum said that the best results with
    > either lens in this application come around f/2 something something. So is
    > there a compelling reason to pay a couple hundred more for the fastest of
    > these lenses?
    >
    > I call upon the Multiple Nobel Prize Winners of rec.photo.digital to weigh
    > in on this matter of choosing either the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.8.
    >
    > --
    >



    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/50f18ai.htm

    I use Pentax, and the f/1.8 normal lens is sharper than the f/1.4.
    jeremy, Sep 4, 2006
    #12
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