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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    Quote Originally Posted by SUITEFREAK View Post
    Hi Rooz,
    Since you have the 85/1.8, do you have any take on how well the lens performs wide open? Some of the pictures I've seen online seem to indicate that the 1.4 takes more consistent wide open and in focus photos, whereas the 1.8 has to be stopped down in order for the photos to look sharp. For me, that would kind of defeat the purpose since the reason I would get it is for low light situations in which I am anticipating needing the 1.4-1.8 range.
    Thanks!
    since we are only talking sharpness here, have a look for yourself at the res charts.

    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...report?start=1
    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...report?start=1

    the 1.4 is NOT significantly sharper. even lower down. as i mentioned, my experience with it is that its colour and contrast is better which may give the appearance of being sharper but that is not resolution per se.

    with both the 50mm f1.8 and the 85 f1.8 the most common apertures i use are f2 and f4. both are a little soft at f2, (as i would expect...its basically wide open), but there is nothing wrong at all with the images. remember that there are very few lens' out there that give you very sharp images right out of the box at their widest aperture.

    in my opinion the most common mistake people have is a misfocus and or motion blur. the reason i say that is becasue firstly, f1.4 or f1.8 is a very shallow dof, so its hard to nail the focus point right on the money. people are misfocussing the point they want, (usually the eyes), and then say the lens is soft.

    secondly, shooting at f1.4/ f1.8 for alot of people is due to low light which means slower shutter speeds. whihc brings subject movement into play and also lens shake into play. especially for the 85mm. i find it quite difficult to shoot the 85 at anything less than 1/60s. imo, it has something to do with the balance of the lens on the camera and the fact that you cant get a good hold on it cos its so small cos i can shoot the sigma 150mm at 1/60s quite comfortabley without any visible shake.

    the last 2 points i will make on this are very subjective. #1: people pay a shitload for a 1.4 so they aren;t about to say a lens that costs a thirs of the price is anywhere near as good. for many people not as sharp means not as good. they fail to understand that sharpness is only 1 factor is a lens. how many people do you know that spend that much on a lens will say its crap ? not many. #2. this is a numbers game. there are far more 1.8's out there than 1.4's so i would suggest that there will proportiontly more people complaining about the lens cos there are just alot more of them out there.

    here are some samples for you using the 50 or the 85 at f2
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    116
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    since we are only talking sharpness here, have a look for yourself at the res charts.

    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...report?start=1
    http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Nikk...report?start=1

    the last 2 points i will make on this are very subjective. #1: people pay a shitload for a 1.4 so they aren;t about to say a lens that costs a thirs of the price is anywhere near as good. for many people not as sharp means not as good. they fail to understand that sharpness is only 1 factor is a lens. how many people do you know that spend that much on a lens will say its crap ? not many. #2. this is a numbers game. there are far more 1.8's out there than 1.4's so i would suggest that there will proportiontly more people complaining about the lens cos there are just alot more of them out there.
    Hi Rooz,
    Thanks for posting those samples. (Cute kid, btw!) You've brought up some very good points. I did notice the purple fringing on some of the 1.4 sample photos. I guess I have a lot of weighing out to do before I buy either one...
    Thanks again!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670
    Quote Originally Posted by SUITEFREAK View Post
    You're right of course, and I do want to learn those things, but I just haven't had the time to invest in learning to use the software.
    I know where you're coming from... there are so many things I want to do, but where is the time? But I do want to say this: it can be a lot easier than you think. It's daunting at first, but once you learn a few building blocks, the momentum builds quickly from there. Not to mention, don't underestimate how helpful and motivating it can be to be able to post a question on how to use a particular feature of your software and have several replies on how to do it and/or tips on how to do it better / more quickly within a matter of hours.

    Arrggg...Something else to chew on and ponder. I've been playing around w/ my 70-300VR the last few days and have been getting some decent shots. I know I can't afford the 70-200 f2.8 right now (and I can't find it in stock) along with the Nikon 17-55/2.8, so I think I'm going to have to be satisfied with the 85/1.8 for now and just move in closer.
    There is another option. I have also been searching for a telephoto zoom that is faster than my 70-300/VR that's not heavy and expensive (like the 70-200/VR). My conclusion was that there is no such lens in the Nikon world like there is for Canon -- the 70-200/4 L IS is the perfect option between the compact and slow consumer 70-300/4-5.6 and the heavy and fast pro 70-200/2.8.

    But what I did find was an intermediate solution: the Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AF (not AiS). About the same size and weight as the 70-300/VR and about a stop and a half faster at 180 mm. You can buy one used on eBay for something like $510 or a new AF-D edition at B&H for $750. You're still not getting the reach you want, but you're getting f/2.8 speed up to 180 mm, which is a lot better than you had before, you're not paying a small fortune to get it like you would have with the 70-200/VR, and it's a lot lighter than the 70-200 as well.

    Want more reach? Add a Kenko Pro 300DG 1.4x TC for something like $135 new from eBay and you have the equivalent of a 250/4 telephoto lens for $650, or not much more than you paid for the 70-300/VR. And definitely a lot cheaper and lighter than the 70-200/VR + Nikon 1.7x TC.

    http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/200...x-tc-test.html

    Or maybe I'll get the 85/1.4... I saw a really good comparison review of the 2 lenses last night, and boy the 1.4 just blew away the 1.8 in sharpness. That's probably why it's a 'legendary' type lens.
    I would agree with others in that it isn't much sharper than the 1.8. There are reasons why this is a legendary lens, but IMO, it's not for its sharpness. It's also not very good value for your money if you have other lens needs at the moment (like a faster telephoto lens). It's a luxury purchase, IMO.

    So now I'm thinking stick w/ the 70-300VR, and get either Sigma 18-50/2.8 HSM + 85/1.4 OR Nikon 17-55 2.8 + 85/1.8. I'm really leaning towards the Sigma and the 85/1.4. That lens looks awesome. Either of these 2 scenarios would be within a budget I could live with. I could get both Nikons, (2.8 + 1.4) but I don't want to go in debt to aquire my lenses.
    I would definitely NOT get the Nikon 17-55/2.8, as the Sigma or Tamron equivalents are 90% as good at less than half the price. I would also recommend the 85/1.8 over the 85/1.4. With the $1100 you save, get the 180/2.8 + Kenko 1.4x and some photo editing software.

    Nikon: D300, D700, Nikkor: 24-70, 70-200, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8G, 180/2.8,
    Sigma: 10-20, 50-150/2.8, 50/2.8, Tamron: 17-50/2.8, 28-75/2.8, Tokina: 12-24, Zeiss: 25/2.8
    Olympus: E-520, E-3, 7-14, 9-18, 11-22, 12-60, 14-35/2, 14-54, 35-100/2, 50-200, 25/2.8, 35/3.5, 50/2
    Panasonic: G1, Leica: 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    Sony: A700, A900, 24-85, 35-70, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/2.8, T 90 macro, Zeiss: 24-70/2.8, 135/1.8
    P&S: Canon S90, Panasonic: LX3


  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670
    I'll probably have to learn to deal with the Noise of high ISO [...] and maybe I should invest in Photoshop and Lightroom??? What do you use to convert your RAW/NEF images? [...] I have Capture NX but I have to pay to use it. [...] What do you think?
    I would not bother with Photoshop as a beginner, especially if you're going to pay full price for a legal copy. Lightroom is a good program for managing and viewing photos, as well as converting RAW images, but it is somewhat limited for photo editing once you progress beyond the basics. To edit photos "properly", you need to be able to do selecting/masking and local adjustments, which Lightroom isn't capable of.

    With that in mind, Capture NX is my absolute favourite all-in-one RAW developer / photo editing software. Its U-Point technology is revolutionary in that you can make local adjustments by clicking and adding a control point on whatever you want to adjust. It automatically determines what areas of the picture to include in the selection and you can move sliders that pop-up on the control point to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.

    You can also use the selection brush or gradient tool to apply sharpening, noise reduction, lightening, blur, contrast, colour balance, or any other adjustment locally. The gradient tool allows you to apply your own graduated ND filter for when the sky is way too bright and everything below is too dark, for example, or correcting for flash fall-off at the far end of the dinner table.

    Not a lot of people use Capture NX compared to Lightroom, but I think that's because they have usually learned how to use Lightroom and Photoshop first and are already used to the Adobe workflow. But if you give Capture NX a chance and are not already used to competing software, I think you'll like it. Check out videos of Capture NX in action here:

    http://nikonimaging.com/global/produ...xsp/movies.htm

    And for noise reduction, the stand-alone 16-bit (pro) versions of Noise Ninja or Neat Image can almost work wonders when it comes to reducing noise in your high ISO shots, and well worth the $50-80 IMO.

    But for ultimate bang for the buck, I recommend the almost-free (they suggest a $10-20 donation) Raw Therapee RAW converter. Their recently launched Version 2.3 is REALLY good. It does everything Lightroom does from a photo editing standpoint (which is to say global adjustments), but without the more sophisticated photo management and viewing capabilities.

    Version 2.3 even has a channel mixer function for rebuilding channels, which is something I used to have to use Photoshop for. This is especially useful for noisy, underexposed shots indoors, where the ambient light is clearly blue-deficient due to incandescent light, or has an odd colour cast like from mercury vapour or fluorescent lights. You can rebuild the very noisy and weak blue channel from the much stronger red channel in incandescent environments, or use the strong green channel from fluorescent lighting to help out both red and blue.

    http://www.rawtherapee.com

    Nikon: D300, D700, Nikkor: 24-70, 70-200, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8G, 180/2.8,
    Sigma: 10-20, 50-150/2.8, 50/2.8, Tamron: 17-50/2.8, 28-75/2.8, Tokina: 12-24, Zeiss: 25/2.8
    Olympus: E-520, E-3, 7-14, 9-18, 11-22, 12-60, 14-35/2, 14-54, 35-100/2, 50-200, 25/2.8, 35/3.5, 50/2
    Panasonic: G1, Leica: 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    Sony: A700, A900, 24-85, 35-70, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/2.8, T 90 macro, Zeiss: 24-70/2.8, 135/1.8
    P&S: Canon S90, Panasonic: LX3


  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    116
    Quote Originally Posted by e_dawg View Post
    I know where you're coming from... there are so many things I want to do, but where is the time? But I do want to say this: it can be a lot easier than you think. It's daunting at first, but once you learn a few building blocks, the momentum builds quickly from there. Not to mention, don't underestimate how helpful and motivating it can be to be able to post a question on how to use a particular feature of your software and have several replies on how to do it and/or tips on how to do it better / more quickly within a matter of hours.
    Thanks so much for the tips and extra push to learn the software side of things. And you're right, I have learned so much already from the awesome people on this board!


    But what I did find was an intermediate solution: the Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AF (not AiS).
    Want more reach? Add a Kenko Pro 300DG 1.4x TC for something like $135 new from eBay and you have the equivalent of a 250/4 telephoto lens for $650, or not much more than you paid for the 70-300/VR. And definitely a lot cheaper and lighter than the 70-200/VR + Nikon 1.7x TC.
    http://backingwinds.blogspot.com/200...x-tc-test.html
    Thank you so much for this info! I'm going to look into it right after this!

    I would agree with others in that it isn't much sharper than the 1.8. There are reasons why this is a legendary lens, but IMO, it's not for its sharpness. It's also not very good value for your money if you have other lens needs at the moment (like a faster telephoto lens). It's a luxury purchase, IMO.
    After much back and forth deliberation and research, and thanks to al the helpful people on these boards, I agree! I don't really see that much of a difference between the two. The 1.4 seems to be a great portait lens. It does have that little extra 'something' that you just can't quite put your finger on unless viewing the pictures side by side with a 1.8 I can see it. But it's not worth me paying almost 3 times the price for it.

    I would definitely NOT get the Nikon 17-55/2.8, as the Sigma or Tamron equivalents are 90% as good at less than half the price. I would also recommend the 85/1.8 over the 85/1.4. With the $1100 you save, get the 180/2.8 + Kenko 1.4x and some photo editing software.
    I agree with the above. I've been looking online at various photos shot with both Sigma and Tamron and at the reviews for both. I know it's not too popular on this forum, but I really like the Tamron. I found one at a reputable online dealer, now I'm wondering if I should just wait for the newer soon to be released version. I'm definitely going to buy the 85 1.8. And I'm gong to check out the 180 2.8.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by SUITEFREAK; 02-21-2008 at 05:07 AM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    116
    Thanks for all the software info and links. I'll check them out.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Posts
    110
    Quote Originally Posted by e_dawg View Post
    I would definitely NOT get the Nikon 17-55/2.8, as the Sigma or Tamron equivalents are 90% as good at less than half the price. I would also recommend the 85/1.8 over the 85/1.4. With the $1100 you save, get the 180/2.8 + Kenko 1.4x and some photo editing software.

    Sorry for dragging this back up but....... That 10% is the edge. Why do people say "I thought that shot would have come out better" when they should say "If I'd spent the money on the lense this would have been spot on"

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225
    It's the cost of learning. Some people never get it.
    Eric Lund
    Nikon D200
    Nikkors: 17-55mm f2.8, 18-200mm f3.5-f4.5 VR, 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8, 55mm f2.8 AI-S micro, 105mm f2.8 VR micro
    Other Lenses: Tokina 12-24 f4, Tamron 75-300mm f4-5.6 LD macro
    Stuff: Nikon SB800, Nikon MBD200, Gitzo 1327 Tripod w/RRS BH-55LR Ballhead, Sekonic L-358 meter

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    Reason to buy the Nikon is autofocus speed and accuracy. Overall a more efficient and reliable tool for those who can afford it.

    Otherwise the argument about IQ is valid, the Tamron is very sound.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

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