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Thread: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

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    New Member RickH's Avatar
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    50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Here's the dilemma, I want to purchase a 50mm lens to have as a "walk around" lens with my NikonD800. My thinking is a versatile lens, a fast one, and one that will work for portrait and food shots (the latter is my real passion). I've done some research and the 1.4 Nikor one seems a perfect match for the camera, but it costs wellover $500 here in Canada. Nikon has a 1.8 aperture 55mm that is MUCH more inexpensive, under 200. What do people think? is the 1.4 THAT much better? Is one paying for just the extra .4 aperture setting, or is the glass that much better?

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    If it were me, would go for the 1.8 and a flash

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    I went through the same thought process when I got my 50mm and ended up getting the f/1.8, but I got it for my full-frame (D800). I went for the f/1.8 35mm for the crop-frame D90. I find that a 50mm lens is not one I use a lot on a crop-frame camera, the focal length does not work for the type of shooting I do. It is too long for a walk-about lens and too short for a portrait lens.

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    You can compare the two analytically here:

    http://slrgear.com/reviews/showprodu...ct/1231/cat/12

    http://slrgear.com/reviews/showprodu...ct/1432/cat/12

    If you feel the need for serious sharpness, it's well reading their take on the f/1.8 . . .

    I have no personal experience of either lens.

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    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Well the f1.8 is probably the best bet for you for your requirements.

    I went the f1.4 instead of the f1.8, for 2 reasons:

    1 - I got a mint condition 2nd hand f1.4 for less than the price of a new f1.8
    2 - There are times when I need f1.4. 1/50th sec at ISO4000 is better than 1/50th sec at ISO6400. If you're shooting handheld a lot in low light then there's no substitute.

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    I have the f/1.4, which I use on a D700; and it is a beautiful lens. I was very happy with it from the day I bought it an started using it, because I immediately found myself taking advantage of its low light abilities on a D700.

    It is a good lens for just walking around with. Where I use it the most, though, is in low light situations such as concerts or in clubs, where the lighting is terrible and a fast lens does make a big difference.

    I actually use that lens quite a bit more than I do the kit zoom that I picked up with my D700.

    I just wish that it had VR!

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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Rich: I have two of the 50mm lens, the 1.4D which I purchased and the 1.8D that was given to me. I find with what I like to shoot, the 1.8D is the one of the two I perfer as it will stop down to f/22 as the others only stop down to f/16 giving me an increased depth of field, as you want to shoot food this would not be important to you I believe. Good luck with which ever one you choose both are excellent lens. Remember glass and camera can help but the big ticket item that makes the image is the shooter (you).

    Cheers<

    Allan

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    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    as it will stop down to f/22 as the others only stop down to f/16
    Good point, Allan!

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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Hello distinguished gentlemen,
    Sorry but I couldn't help joining your discussion when I saw the topic was on the 50mm lens.

    I have a Nikkor f/1.2, 50mm manual lens still in excellent condition which I purchased approx. 30 years ago for my Nikon F3 body and I wonder whether I could still make full use of this lens with my current D700 body.

    Appreciate all your advices please.

    Cheers,
    Stephen

  10. #10
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Hi Stephen

    If your lens is a 50mm f1.2 AI, then yes it will work.

    If it is Ai or younger, then it will work in Aperture or Manual modes

    Ai has 7 aperture blades and was produced from 78-81, whereas the Ai-s had 9 blades and was produced from 1981 onwards (and you can still get new examples in the shops).

    If you don't like the results, I'll pay for the courier charge to my house!!!

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    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Don't cheap out on lens if you can help it, they are the eyes of your camera

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Melkus View Post
    Don't cheap out on lens if you can help it, they are the eyes of your camera
    In this case cheaper is not necessarily a lens that gives you a lower quality image. The f/1.4 lens is faster for better low light performance, the f/1.8 is a sharper lens. You have to decide which is more important to your shooting requirements (and your wallet).

  13. #13
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm Nikon lens, 1.4 v 1.8

    If we are to believe DxOMark’s lab test results then the 50mm 1.8 edges out the 50mm 1.4 from what I just look at.

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