Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

  1. #1
    JimG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    162
    Real Name
    Jimmy

    nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Hello folks!

    I'm strongly considering getting myself a 50mm f/1.4 lens for portrait and to have a fast lens. The 2 options i have are below. I've looked around for reviews and information but the data i found was 3 year old, i'm not sure if the issues with both lenses were changed or not.

    From what i gathered so far, Sigma's a bit better at wide open aperture while Nikon's a bit sharper around f/5.6, pass that they are almost identical.

    I also read that sigma's are generally slower AF and sometime have problem on front/back focusing. And finaly, there's the 57mm vs 77mm Thread difference.

    Anyone had the chance to try them both before making their minds?

    thank you very much for the feedback!

    Sigma 50mm

    Nikkor 50mm

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,340
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Jimmy: save some money, instead of the 50mm f/1.4 for the Nikon, get the 50mm f/1.8 D. it will stop down to f/22 instead of only f/16 if you use it outside in bright light. The difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is 2/3's of a stop you will never notice the difference and it is about $100.00 cheaper. Most people do not shoot at f/1.4 as the depth of field is just to shallow to get the whole face in focus you get the nose sharp but the eyes are soft, the so call sweet spot of most lens is two stop down from wide open so that would be in the case of the f/1.4 would be f/2.8. If it was me I would look at an 85mm prime as you can get farther away from the person to make them fell relaxed and still be in close enough to get a tight head shot. Hope this might be of some help.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  3. #3
    JimG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    162
    Real Name
    Jimmy

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Thanks Allan, that was indeed quite helpful!

  4. #4
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,371
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    I personally would not go for either for your planned use. I find that a 50mm lens is a bit short for portraiture work (75mm equivalent). You will likely be shooting at for portraits, f/8 or f/11, so spending the money for faster glass is not necessarily something that is going to buy you anything. I find that I generally shoot portraits at 105mm and longer (full-frame sensor), and only use something wider on group shots. I agree with Alan's comments, if you decide to go with the 50. Just make sure you get the G, not the D version. The D serices requires the camera to have a built in focus motor, while the G has a built-in focusing motor..

    The other thing to look at is build quality. While Sigma does have reasonable optics, the mechanical elements are fairly weak. With our experience on the Sigma 150-500mm (having gone back to Sigma twice within 6 months of buying it due to component failures), I treat Sigma build quality with a high level of suspicion.

  5. #5
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    1,009
    Real Name
    Lex

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Your concerns about autofocus are probably justified. In my experience, this is one of the greatest weaknesses in off-brand lenses. I've used Sigma and Tokina ultra-wides, which were fairly slow despite ultrasonic focus motors. My Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 in particular tends to hunt much more than my nearest Canon lens, a 20mm USM prime, and the focus motor is quite loud. It's still a fine lens, it just doesn't work very well with continuous AF.

    I would second Allan's comment - f1.4 is almost impractically wide. I like my Canon 50mm f1.4 USM, but I rarely go below f2.0. I bought the lens more for the quicker, quieter AF motor (compared to the Canon 50mm f1.8 II's servo) than for the wide aperture. The gents recommending 70-100mm lenses are on the right track, I think. My favorite photos (not just portraits) come from my Canon 100mm f2.0 USM. I think Nikon's equivalent is the 105mm lens Manfred mentioned.

  6. #6
    JimG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    162
    Real Name
    Jimmy

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Thank you guys for all the feedback, super appreciated. I actually ordered the 50mm f/1.8 after reading Allan's post earlier. it was in fact 220$ cheaper then the 1.4 allowing me to pickup elements 11(FYI, 59.99$ on BH until may10th), a UV filter and take my wife out for dinner to sweeten my expense haha

    i really wanted a prime around 50mm since i wont use it only for portrait but for a general photography as well.

    Thanks all!
    Last edited by JimG; 9th May 2013 at 03:42 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    524
    Real Name
    Ken

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    "....take my wife out for dinner to sweeten my expanse." ( this a play on words, or should it be expense)

  8. #8
    JimG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    162
    Real Name
    Jimmy

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken MT View Post
    "....take my wife out for dinner to sweeten my expanse." ( this a play on words, or should it be expense)
    Should have been expense. My french kicked me in the knee and the auto correction thought it was funnier to let me fail

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,651
    Real Name
    Shane

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Jimmy I recently purchased the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and am really liking it for general photography. I am still getting used to zooming with my feet though...

  10. #10
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,850
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Jimmy I recently purchased the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and am really liking it for general photography. I am still getting used to zooming with my feet though...
    Oh-oh

    The phrase "zooming with feet" has come up again

    Everyone - DUCK!

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,371
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    I find the f/1.8 35mm much more useful with a DX sensor. I find that the 50mm setting on that size is a focal length that rarely works for me.

  12. #12
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,843
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    I realise you have already purchased, but I had written a response so I might as well post it –

    In answer to your question, I would buy the Nikkor Lens rather than the Sigma, but, I have used only the Nikkor.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by JimG View Post
    I'm strongly considering getting myself a 50mm f/1.4 lens for portrait [lens] and to have a fast lens.
    OK - BUT –
    • What lenses do you have now?
    • Why AREN’T they “Portrait lenses”?
    • What will you be shooting with and how will you use the 50mm as a "fast lens" other than for Portraits?

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Oh-oh. The phrase "zooming with feet" has come up again. Everyone - DUCK!
    That’s funny.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 9th May 2013 at 01:25 PM. Reason: corrected typo

  13. #13

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Hi Jimmy,

    You want to shoot portraits? I think you need to read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/portrait-lenses.htm
    He may not be a big favourite amongst members at CiC but I doubt any serious portrait pro will differ from him.

  14. #14
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,843
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Jimmy,
    You want to shoot portraits? I think you need to read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/portrait-lenses.htm
    It's a good idea to read all points of view.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    I doubt any serious portrait pro will differ from him.
    I have no idea how many Portrait Sittings, Ken is commissioned for each month - but I have two or three - and I don’t shoot each frame from 15 feet away and using very fast Prime lenses, as Ken suggests in one part of his commentary.

    BUT - ALSO – I don’t do what he suggests in another part of his commentary -

    “Use whatever you have and have fun, like the 18-55mm lens that came with your camera - just zoom to 55mm. The 70-300mm zooms also work fine.”


    So I guess that I do I differ from him – so therefore your doubt is incorrect – vive la difference!

    Ken is always an interesting read, nonetheless, thanks for putting us on to his commentary.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 9th May 2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: corrected spelling

  15. #15
    JimG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    162
    Real Name
    Jimmy

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    • What lenses do you have now?
    • Why AREN’T they “Portrait lenses”?
    • What will you be shooting with and how will you use the 50mm as a "fast lens" other than for Portraits?
    WW
    Hi Bill, let me answer your 3 points!

    1- I currently have a 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 and a macro 40mm 2.8

    2- I tried the 18-55mm @ 55mm setting and the background wasn’t satisfactory for what I intended to do. I also tried my 40mm f/2.8, while the bokeh was interesting, the painfully slow autofocus when set to infinity was obnoxious.

    3- I was looking for a prime other than my 40mm macro for general purpose as well as low light photography, after reading on the topic a lot of sources were suggesting a 50mm as an overall good lens. i also plan on using for portraiture as I need instead of the previously mentioned 40mm.

  16. #16
    JimG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Quebec City
    Posts
    162
    Real Name
    Jimmy

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Jimmy,

    You want to shoot portraits? I think you need to read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/portrait-lenses.htm
    He may not be a big favourite amongst members at CiC but I doubt any serious portrait pro will differ from him.
    Hi Andre! quite an interesting read and i might have considered something like it if i wanted to solely focus on portraits but i wanted something more well rounded. i realize that my initial post was rather confusing. nice link nonetheless!

  17. #17
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,843
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    Quote Originally Posted by JimG View Post
    1- I currently have a 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 and a macro 40mm 2.8
    2- I tried the 18-55mm @ 55mm setting and the background wasn’t satisfactory for what I intended to do. I also tried my 40mm f/2.8, while the bokeh was interesting, the painfully slow autofocus when set to infinity was obnoxious.
    3- I was looking for a prime other than my 40mm macro for general purpose as well as low light photography, after reading on the topic a lot of sources were suggesting a 50mm as an overall good lens. i also plan on using for portraiture as I need instead of the previously mentioned 40mm.
    Thanks for answering.

    I think you will find the 50/1.8 interesting for Portraiture – no doubt you’ll want to use it at very wide apertures: so I suggest that you think through and experiment and understand the differences between: Shallow Depth of Field; Background Blur and Bokeh.

    The Background Blur has a lot to do with the DISTANCE of the BACKGROUND from the SUBJECT.

    WW

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,371
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    I did an awful lot of my portraiture with the kit Nikkor 55-200 when I was just getting into serious digital photography on the D90; for example, this is a shot I took in early 2011 with the D90 and the 55-200mm.

    nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma


    I upgraded to better glass (and a higher end camera) over time. A zoom give you a lot more flexibility (I mostly shoot the Nikkor f/2.8 70-200) but I still shoot a lot of portraits with the Nikkor f/2 105 DC. I've never used the f/1.8 50mm Nikkor D for any portraiture.

    This is a recent portrait with the prime 105mm lens with the D800.

    nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 9th May 2013 at 02:38 PM.

  19. #19
    Rhoads238's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    505
    Real Name
    Jason

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    I'm sure this has been covered in enough detail but I'll add my two cents. I have a nikkor 50 1.4. Overall I like using the lens. Although the auto focus is a little slow and it is not as sharp as the 50 1.8 from comparison shots ive seen. From having used the lens for some time now I almost never use 1.4, it is just too soft. As for a portrait lens as other have said a longer lens will be better for this purpose. You will need to get very close to your subject for a headshot.

    For example

    nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma
    _DSC1041 by rhoads238, on Flickr

    This shot was taken with the 50 1.4 from about a little more than a foot. A little too close for comfort, as he stopped me to take his photo when I was out doing some street photos.

    I won't discourage you from a nifty fifty. They are fun to use and cheep to buy. my advice nikkor 1.8 g or d you cant go wrong

  20. #20
    dubaiphil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,850
    Real Name
    Phil Page

    Re: nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

    If you're getting very close for a headshot with the 50mm, it doesn't matter if you have the f1.4 or f1.8 - you'll need to dial in f8 if you want nose to ear sharpness, probably more.

    Having said that I don't mind and actually quite like the shallower DoF look from time to time, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.

    Here's an example at f2.2:

    nifty fifty- Nikon VS Sigma

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •