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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    1,148

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 OR Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

    Ok,

    I went to the shop to pick up a 50mm or 60mm last week. The shop was still low on stock from the Christmas rush, and only had a 50mm f/1.8 in stock. I took it. They have a 10-day return policy. I am very happy with the lens, but wonder if I should still try for the f/1.4 that I was originally considering. After reading quite a few reviews, I am not so sure that it would be worth "upgrading" to the f/1.4.

    So - if you have experience with both or know of an online comparison review with CURRENT versions of these two lenses - please let me know what you think.

    I have found reviews that have either an older model of one or an older model of the other.... but haven't found the current of each compared.

    Thanks!

    - oh yeah, I know there is quite a difference in price. But I am not as worried about that, as I am that the f/1.4 seems to have more negative user reviews than the f/1.8 - I realize this could be due to higher expectations... but hey... I would have higher expectations of the lens that is 2 - 3 times the price too!
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D (If you don't have it you need it)
    Nikkor 18-200mm VR II
    SB-600
    Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods/Heads
    NAS (D300, Nikkor 80-200mm (or 70-200mm)f/2.8, Tamron 90mm Macro)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    245
    If you have the money go for the f/1.4, when you are hooked in photo equipment you have this little thing that makes you say "darn I should had bought that better one..." the DOF and bokeh of that lens is very nice, it compensates the fact that an APS-C produces a larger DOF than 35mm size (same focal length and aperture in both when compared to f/1.8) it is excellent for low light, superb when you want to mix ambient light and bounced flash light, as a portrait lens it excellent, it is more resistant to flare than my 50mm f/1.8 AF -non D version- .... besides it is easier to set f/1.8 in the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D, than setting f/1.4 in the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D

    As an advice if you do have the money, go for the best equipment you can, be it lenses, tripods etc, If not then wait -I know this word is horrible when one wants to buy photo equipment - until you have enough for the best alternative.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad CA
    Posts
    523
    i read a review from ken rockwell and he says go for the 1.8 the 1.4 he said really isnt no nbetter.
    sony A300
    tamron 17-50 2.8
    Sony SAL 11-18
    Sony 35 1.8

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,148
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    Shoey, I think I read that article, but I don't think he was comparing the most recent 1.4... I'm going to look it up again now... Looked it up... Appears it was the other way around - an older 1.8... But it is a good article - thanks for that reminder. This concurrs with the thought process I have been leaning toward - keeping the 1.8

    Eduardo, yes, I believe in quality, and I don't find the f/1.4 out of my range price-wise. I put this question out there, because sometimes you don't get what you pay for. We always must make choices. To me it seems that I have read more about people frustrated that they ditched a 1.8 for a 1.4 than the other way around.

    Hoping to hear from TNB soon... Not sure if you have used both of these, or if you decided on one versus the other, etc.

    --- added --
    In re-reading (scanning) that in-depth article mentioned, I noticed that the Nikkor 1.4 is a 7-blade (straight) diaphragm and the 1.8 is a 7-blade curved. Shouldn't the curved blades theoretically provide better bokeh?
    Last edited by tcadwall; 01-09-2007 at 09:12 AM.
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D (If you don't have it you need it)
    Nikkor 18-200mm VR II
    SB-600
    Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods/Heads
    NAS (D300, Nikkor 80-200mm (or 70-200mm)f/2.8, Tamron 90mm Macro)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    City of Lights, City of Casinos, City of Sin -- Must be Las Vegas!
    Posts
    1,512
    Quote Originally Posted by tcadwall View Post
    Hoping to hear from TNB soon... Not sure if you have used both of these, or if you decided on one versus the other, etc.
    I also checked out Ken Rockwell's website prior to my purchase and very much debated spending the extra money on the F/1.4. However, my main reason for purchasing the F/1.4 was because it had the lower F-stop and because I wanted to use it in ZIP lighting, i.e. stage productions, since I prefer to capture the natural colors without a flash. I don't seem to recall those types of reviews on Rockwell's website or perhaps, I missed them since I only recall "daytime" shots. Could I have gotten by with the F/1.8? Perhaps, most of the time, but I figured I'd never know when I might want a little extra since I've already went the spend less, purchase again route. As far as actual shooting, I only tried out the F/1.4 prior to purchasing it since someone I knew had it when we went out shooting one night. At least with these two lenses, if you or someone else goes the F/1.8 route first, it's basically only a $100 learning experience unless one really wanted that special photo.
    Canon G10 - Nikon D3 - Sony P&S - Flickr Account - Non-updated Website

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad CA
    Posts
    523
    let me ask you this.
    Do you like the lens?
    I have mine and abosoutely love it and for the price you cant beat it.The 1.4 isnt going to make your pictures a hundred times better. a better camera is. So i would stick with the lens until you buckle up and get a d200 or d2x before the difference really matters.
    ps-my 50 1.8 never comes off, i shoot lots of models with it and it just amazes me everyday.
    sony A300
    tamron 17-50 2.8
    Sony SAL 11-18
    Sony 35 1.8

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    City of Lights, City of Casinos, City of Sin -- Must be Las Vegas!
    Posts
    1,512
    Here's a review from B&H's website:

    Review: While my 18-70 DX Nikkor was being repaired by Nikon, I
    borrowed my neighbor's 50/1.8 AF lens to put on my D50. It
    worked just fine but sometimes the focus seemed a bit soft.
    At any rate, my neighbor needed his lens back, and as Nikon
    was still repairing my 18-70, I decided to purchase a 50/1.4
    AF for general photography.

    Wow...what a difference. This baby is sharp. I'm very
    impressed with it and the available light night photos are
    terrific. The amount of light this lens gathers is phenomenal.
    Handheld night photos are now the norm, whereas before I
    always needed some kind of camera support.
    The autofocus works great, the camera focuses immediately,
    no searching.

    I'm very satisfied with this lens and would recommend it over
    the standard 50/1.8. Sure it costs more money, but the
    results are well worth it.
    BHphotovideo Link
    Canon G10 - Nikon D3 - Sony P&S - Flickr Account - Non-updated Website

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,650
    I recently had a conversation with a friend and these two lenses came up. Basically he was amazed at the difference between the two. He was highly impressed with the clarity and sharpness of the 50mm 1.4; I've also learned that for the most part the tools are just an extension the photographer and their personal style and needs.

    Shoey a lens doesn't necessarily have to be a hundred times better to justify the cost. For instance shooting models is pretty much in a controlled shooting enviornment and a softer pic could very well be desirable; on the other hand shooting candid wedding photos at the chapel and reception where low light is an issue that extra stop and sharpness could mean the difference between a good or bad referal. In the case of the wedding photographer he can always soften up a sharp pic but it infinately harder the other way around. And he definately does not want to miss a good op. Now under these two scenario's the 50mm 1.4 will mean different things to either photographer and their ideology will also differ.
    Last edited by XaiLo; 01-09-2007 at 06:52 PM.
    I thought about who I am... and realized I was an
    unformed, unreconciled imagery, without "GOD"


    NikonD?
    and some other Nikon stuff

    0.0%

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,148
    Well,

    Since I purchased it for portrait reasons, and it performed quite brilliantly for that (@ f/7.1)...

    I also tested it out at a basketball game, and here is a shot from that... I was quite pleased with it there, considering the lighting is horrible. I might do better with the f/1.4, but for now I am pretty happy with this one. Like TNB said, it isn't expensive enough to have regrets. So I will likely keep it until I have a better reason not to.

    Thanks to all that posted... I appreciate the input!

    body: D70s
    Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
    Aperture: f/1.8
    Shutter: 1/100
    ISO: 200

    I liked this shutter speed because it is fast enough, but still allows acceptable motion blur. Nix that... I thought better of posting a pic that had someone else's kid in decent focus (especially since it had a jersey that had location information on it) Here is a different one... My kid this time.
    Last edited by tcadwall; 01-10-2007 at 12:22 PM. Reason: pic change
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D (If you don't have it you need it)
    Nikkor 18-200mm VR II
    SB-600
    Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods/Heads
    NAS (D300, Nikkor 80-200mm (or 70-200mm)f/2.8, Tamron 90mm Macro)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore
    Posts
    2,143
    I liked the 50 1.8 for my sons round ball too. Problem is I am now the coach and can not take pictures and coach. Come on up and play us. Lighting in your gym looks pretty good.
    - Rich

    Nikon: D50, 18-70mm, 50mm, 70-200vr
    Kenko: 12mm, 20mm, 36mm Ext Tubes
    Manfrotto: 486RC2
    Benro: A-327 tripod


    My Flickr Photos Here

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