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View Full Version : Which of these 2 lenses is better?



SuperCharged
10-08-2008, 10:59 AM
i'm ready to buy my first lens but need to know the difference.
thanks guys

Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Autofocus Lens $299

Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Autofocus Lens $109

Actaeon
10-08-2008, 11:09 AM
One shoots at f/1.4, the other shoots at f/1.8 is the main difference...

The 1.8 is a better value, but the f/1.4 offers more flexibility.

Similar image quality at same apertures, but the f/1.8 can't go down to f/1.4. Some say the f/1.8 is sharper, others say the f/1.4 is sharper.

f/1.4 has better build quality, that is mutually agreed upon.

If you don't mind waiting and paying a bit more, you may want to consider the newer Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08092201nikkor_50mm_1_4glens.asp

Its supposed to have better bokeh, but its MSRP is $140 higher than the f/1.4D and $330 higher than the f/1.8D you quoted above. No one has reviewed it yet because it was just announced.

Jonathan

erichlund
10-08-2008, 11:25 AM
Are you aware that Nikon has just released a new version of the f/1.4 lens that is AF-S and has a 9 rounded blade diaphram (smoother backgrounds).

Of the two you listed, the price difference can be seen in the images, but it really depends on how you use the lenses whether the price difference is worth it to you. Neither lens is at its best wide open, but the 1.4 holds its ground a little better. The build of the 1.4 is a little better, evidenced by being nearly twice as heavy (but only 9 oz. total weight) You get a little bit better color, a little faster wide open.

The 1.8 does have a smaller aperture available (1.4 @ f16, 1.8 @ f22), but even the FX cameras begin to degrade with smaller than f16. Still, it is a slight advantage to the cheaper lens.

Bottom line, for your camera, if you just need a general use short telephoto (it's a normal lens on FX, short tele on DX), then the cheaper lens may serve. If you have a critical application where you want the better image quality, then the 1.4 is just a bit better. However, under that same criteria, you should also consider the new AF-S lens and, if you are eventually going FX, you may also want to consider the Sigma 50mm f1.4, since it has bigger elements (glass), meaning less tendency to vignette (light falloff in the corners). Even the new AF-S is still a 52mm filter lens, meaning it will vignette on FX. Some people like that.

On DX the new lenses are designed for good portrait work (hence the 9 blade diaphrams for good bokeh). If that's what you are looking for, these will be far superior to the older designs.

Actaeon
10-08-2008, 12:35 PM
Even the new AF-S is still a 52mm filter lens, meaning it will vignette on FX.


The Nikkor 50mm AF-S f/1.4G actually uses a 58mm filter thread.

erichlund
10-08-2008, 12:42 PM
The Nikkor 50mm AF-S f/1.4G actually uses a 58mm filter thread.

My bad. However, the Sigma takes 77mm. Which do you think is more likely to vignette?

Actaeon
10-08-2008, 01:03 PM
My bad. However, the Sigma takes 77mm. Which do you think is more likely to vignette?

I am not debating which one is more likely to vignette or not, just stating a minor correction within your post on filter thread size.

SuperCharged
10-08-2008, 01:51 PM
Are you aware that Nikon has just released a new version of the f/1.4 lens that is AF-S and has a 9 rounded blade diaphram (smoother backgrounds).

Of the two you listed, the price difference can be seen in the images, but it really depends on how you use the lenses whether the price difference is worth it to you. Neither lens is at its best wide open, but the 1.4 holds its ground a little better. The build of the 1.4 is a little better, evidenced by being nearly twice as heavy (but only 9 oz. total weight) You get a little bit better color, a little faster wide open.

The 1.8 does have a smaller aperture available (1.4 @ f16, 1.8 @ f22), but even the FX cameras begin to degrade with smaller than f16. Still, it is a slight advantage to the cheaper lens.

Bottom line, for your camera, if you just need a general use short telephoto (it's a normal lens on FX, short tele on DX), then the cheaper lens may serve. If you have a critical application where you want the better image quality, then the 1.4 is just a bit better. However, under that same criteria, you should also consider the new AF-S lens and, if you are eventually going FX, you may also want to consider the Sigma 50mm f1.4, since it has bigger elements (glass), meaning less tendency to vignette (light falloff in the corners). Even the new AF-S is still a 52mm filter lens, meaning it will vignette on FX. Some people like that.

On DX the new lenses are designed for good portrait work (hence the 9 blade diaphrams for good bokeh). If that's what you are looking for, these will be far superior to the older designs.


I was aware of the new 50mm but I had no idea it had a huge price tag. I want a good sturdy heavy lens which the F1.4 offers but I also heard that the 1.8 is a must have for the price.

K1W1
10-08-2008, 02:17 PM
I I also heard that the 1.8 is a must have for the price.

I hardly use mine. depending on what you want to photograph it may well turn out to be an expensive paperweight.

I personally would get a lot more use from Rooz's favourite the 35mm f2.

SuperCharged
10-08-2008, 02:30 PM
Is the 35mm a Nikon and how much is it? I want to shoot my family on the holidays

Actaeon
10-08-2008, 03:13 PM
35mm is a Nikkor and is around $325. Are you sure why you want this lens?

I would honestly take a look at your needs and base the lens decision off of that.

Take a look at everything from focal lengths, to aperture, to bokeh, build quality, and the subject, and find out what requirements you need in those categories. Once you've determined that, then find the best lens that meets those needs.

I would not just go off of "what is better" as that is very subjective.

Jonathan

K1W1
10-08-2008, 03:38 PM
I want to shoot my family on the holidays


The 18-135 lens that you already have have will do that job very well. As mentioned you really need to know why you want a lens before you go and buy it otherwise it will just become a paperweight.
Have a look at the photos you have taken and have a look at the exif and get a feel for what focal lengths and apertures you are using most often that will help you determine whether any particular lens is going to suit your style of shooting and subject.

fionndruinne
10-08-2008, 03:47 PM
Also might look at the (wider) 28mm f/2.8.

aparmley
10-08-2008, 05:25 PM
The 18-135 lens that you already have have will do that job very well. As mentioned you really need to know why you want a lens before you go and buy it ...

I agree with K1W1. Your 18-135 will do that very nicely, with a flash, bounced into the ceiling.

If shooting your family indoors is your big priority at this point in time, but you're kinda fed up with the image quality your D80 is giving indoors with the kit lens or that your shutter speeds are too slow indoors (thus giving you blurry images) then the best advice I can give you is to add more light. Pick up a SB-800 instead of a lens and use it to bounce into the ceiling, your images will be 10 times better instantaneously. You're going to want the versatility the 18-135 gives you shooting family indoors - especially if there are any little ones involved here.

My advice, get a flash. It doesn't sound as glamours as a sparkly new lens, but even a 50 1.4 won't give you the same versatility or IQ as your kit lens + SB-800 can give you if your shooting in a low light indoor setting.

K1W1
10-08-2008, 05:55 PM
I agree with K1W1. Your 18-135 will do that very nicely, with a flash, bounced into the ceiling.

Jeepers it a bit of a love fest around here at the moment. :D

I agree with your agreement. For indoor photos the flash will be a more useful tool than the lens.

erichlund
10-08-2008, 06:13 PM
I was aware of the new 50mm but I had no idea it had a huge price tag. I want a good sturdy heavy lens which the F1.4 offers but I also heard that the 1.8 is a must have for the price.

If you are going to buy one of the three 1.4s, then the 1.8 is a waste of just over $100. If you just want that focal length in your bag for when you really need to do better than your f3.5 kit lens will get you, then the 1.8 is a peach, but do you really anticipate being in that situation?

Jonathan mentioned something about you should choose it based on need. Let me expand on this. You should only buy any lens when you need it, not based on a simple desire to expand your kit. When you need to shoot something and none of your current lenses will really do the job, then the one you need to get will shake itself out fairly easily.

K1W1 figured out the hard way that he doesn't have a real need for a 50mm lens. On his camera, it's a short tele. He finds he needs a normal lens, which on DX, the 35mm is normal.

The 50mm on DX is basically a short end portrait length. Unfortunately, the older 50mm lenses are designed to be "normal" lenses, not portrait lenses, so they have become less useful. The new versions have added features that make them good for portrait work. At the same time, these same features make them better "normal" lenses on an FX mount, but 50mm normal will never be a portrait length on FX.

So, you have to ask yourself, do I even need a new lens? Why? When you answer those, then you can ask, what lens will help me do that? Then we can really start to talk...but, of course, then you will probably be able to figure it out, all by yourself.

SuperCharged
10-09-2008, 08:33 AM
Wow, you guys are extremely helpful and knocked some sense into me on picking up the SB800 instead of 50mm lens;)

Thank you all. Now its time to go flash hunting.:cool: