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  • Nikon D80 + Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.4D

    6 75.00%
  • Others - please state

    2 25.00%
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Lightbulb The ultimate low light combo needed!

    With great images quality and within budget!

    Budget is US$1500.

    In my mind, I have the Nikon D80 and the Nikkor AF 50mm F/1.4D; is this the ultimate low light combo within my budget in your opinion?

    P.S., I will make it a point to get my dSLR camera and lens based on this thread from now on; so please do make it a good one!

    (Low light actions included, though not really fast ones. )
    I would want to photograph candids indoors where the lightings are challenging without a flash effectively, and (or) photographing people walking indoors under the same set of challenging lightings as such...All without a flash. (Just imagine what would happen if I should fire a flash in such a candid situation. )

    All help would be appreciated.

    I would most likely be getting my new dSLR camera and lens by this week already, so I am serious here.
    __________________________________________________ ______________

    As an aside,

    I assume that the combo which can handle this challenging area of photography well (Low light + some actions), should also be able to handle other areas of photography well in terms of image quality right? (Maybe excluding certain types of professional sports where ultra long lenses are needed to frame the subjects tightly - though my "to be" combo "in physics theory" should still be able to handle night sports producing better than average photographs I.Q. and noise wise; just without the "ideal" reach for some. )

    I do not place "shooting sports" as my priority though...Countering Low light/available light photography with some actions is my priority. (I would want to get prepared for fast actions though! - I'll never know when they'll come!)
    Last edited by Benjamin_T; 04-30-2007 at 03:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    The ultimate... both the Canon EOS 400D/XTi and Canon EOS 30D just perform better at higher ISO settings than a Nikon D80.
    So if you want "ultimate", switch brands.

    The 50mm f1.4 lens of course is a nice lens, both the Nikon and Canon versions are quite good.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Wink But if you see properly, the CANON'S one is rubbish at F/1.4!!

    Quote Originally Posted by coldrain View Post
    The ultimate... both the Canon EOS 400D/XTi and Canon EOS 30D just perform better at higher ISO settings than a Nikon D80.
    So if you want "ultimate", switch brands.

    The 50mm f1.4 lens of course is a nice lens, both the Nikon and Canon versions are quite good.
    Sorry, but this one is fact as far as my limited sight can see!

    Even with that preparation though, we about fell out of our chairs when we first saw its blur plots. Yikes! - This is a prime? At f/1.4, this lens has the dubious distinction of having one of the worst blur characteristics among the 20 or so lenses we've tested at this point.


    But look at the Nikon one, it is completely usable wide open at F/1.4 and bitingly sharp from there onwards!!


    This one blew me off my chair!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    God's Country - Australia
    i agree that the 50mm f1.4 nikkor is ever so sightly nicer in IQ and does produces a slightly better image @ f1.4. i didn;t open your links cos i rarely pay too much attention to such lab reports without a considerable degree of caution. but i have used both and seen that for myself. keeping in mind that the lens is best stopped down a little higher for its best performance so it's a kinda moot point @ 1.4.

    however, coldy is correct and i have seen for myself that both canon's outperform the nikon in iso performance.

    there is no "ultimate" camera unless you go a 1D. each system has it's pros and cons. if it's the ultimate system to YOU then thats great and really all that matters.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Near St. Louis
    For straight low light, no flash, Canon appears best based solely on ISO performance. . . more on that later.

    I found Canon's 50 1.4 USM usuable at 1.4 - 2.0 and very acceptable from 1.8-2.2 and outstanding at 2.8 and higher. Compared to my Nikon 50 1.4, I find the Nikon very acceptable at 1.4 and outstanding 1.8 and higher. This isn't scientific, this is just based on my experience.

    Now, being able to shoot at ISO 3200 and get results that compare to nikons ISO 800 is a huge advantage for Canon. Thus Canon's high ISO performance (In most everyones book) will push the Canon system ahead in low light performance.

    But, for me, its the low light focus assist light built into the body of the Nikon D80 that trumps high ISO performance for me. This is just a personal opinion. Many will dispute this and just say Canon's superior high ISO performance trumps all other attributes thus making it king of low light OR by using the built in flash or hot shoe flash you can gain focus assist - They are not wrong. But, the point of it for me is to have it there, built in, ready to aid low light focusing at a moments notice. Thats more important for me. Whats more important for you?

    Canon's L primes and High ISO performance can't be shrugged off that easily though. Its outstanding, but it will cost you an arm and a leg. I've used both Canon 30D 50 1.4 + Nikon D80 50 1.4 and for my money the Nikon wins. It is a personal choice, no lab testing website can make the decision for you and certainly no one in the forum can either. We can help point out things worth considering though.
    Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20 HSM | DX 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR | DX 55-200 VR | 35 f/2.0 D | 50 f/1.4 D | 85mm F/1.8 D | SB-800 x 3 | SU-800
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Great White North
    Oh no. Not another Canon vs. Nikon thread. Benjamin T, stop reading before its too late LOL!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Thanks guys for your inputs, thanks aparmley for providing me with some hands on experience with both Canon & Nikon combos; that was "invaluable" to me.

    Keep more infos coming as I decide.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    If you're often shooting in low light, you'll want a decent viewfinder to be able to see what you're shooting at. So, the 20D/30D and D80 should probably be put at the top of the list.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Get a Canon because Nikon's smell. You'll be fine either way. Like nqjudo said stop reading before it gets ugly.
    5D MK III, 50D, ELAN 7E, 17-40mm 4, Sigma 10mm 2.8 fisheye, 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS, 30mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 580 EX, 430 EX speedlight, Pocket wizard flex and mini.
    Canon G10

    Pentax P30, 50mm 2.0

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hahah! Nikon's the smell of quality, it hurts the nostrils of a dark-sider.

    I'd agree about the AF-assist lamp. I much prefer it, because it is a nice neutral color. It looks like it could be a small flashlight, or even a reflection, and thus isn't a distraction or attention-grabber. Using the flash for focus assist is always a dead giveaway, because there's nothing that bright-white flash can be taken for but what it is. A camera! Run, we're being shot at!
    Nikon D40 + kit lens

    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D AF(...or not)

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