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Thread: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

  1. #1

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    Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    My Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens was so soft I gave it away. My Canon 50mm is so sharp I would not part with it at twice the price. Can we look forward to Nikon making a real 50mm f/1.4 lens? Or is it hopeless.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    I would hate to see this get into another My camera vs. Your camera brouhaha. However, there are some lenses from each manufacturer which might be better than the equivalent lens from the other manufacturers.

    There are also, to a lesser degree, differences between the various copies of the same lens from the start and these problems might be intensified if the lens has a mishap.

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Ed - I assume you are referring to the image with the lens wide open and that your Canon lens is also an f/1.4. I only have experience with Nikon lenses and yes all of the 50mm f/1.4 lenses are somewhat soft wide open. They have sacrificed speed for image quality. There are two elements to this softness. One is image resolution and one is contrast. I only use my lenses wide open when necessary because of lighting conditions and then bring back some of the image quality using clarity and sharpening.

    I'm glad to hear that Canon does a better job with their fast 50mm lenses.

    John

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    I tested my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens at all f stops and all were equally soft. I know this seems imposable but I don't abandon $500 worth of equipment lightly.

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Strange thread!

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Ed - My experience agrees with the formal test reviews that the IQ significantly improves as the lens is stopped down. I have both the "D" and "G" versions and the "G" is a little better. Hopefully, the images are "acceptable" to you. Again, low light capability is their real value.

    John
    Last edited by PhotomanJohn; 30th July 2013 at 06:26 PM.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Every so often a bad lens makes it through the quality control process or it could be damaged after it shipped. Perhaps you had one of these things happen.

    I know a number of pros that shoot that lens and I would hardly call it soft; although there is a touch of softeness when it is wide open. To the best of my knowledge, the Canon has remarkably similar performance characteristics at the wide apertures. If you want a sharp 50mm. then the f/1.8 lenses (which is what I have) tends to be a tiny bit sharper that the f/1.4 ones.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    I tested my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens at all f stops and all were equally soft. I know this seems imposable but I don't abandon $500 worth of equipment lightly.
    From a technical standpoint, this should not happen, as it should be quite sharp in the f/5.6 - f/8 range. Looks like you had either a bad or damaged lens.

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Ed,

    I would suggest you should have sent it off for repair because a quick bit of investigation on this lens would have told and shown you that it can achieve stunning results.

    Interesting that you are making comparisons of two different make lenses on two different make cameras ?

  10. #10
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Well there has been talk over the past couple of years from people wanting an update in the 50mm range for Nikon. Once the 24mm, 35mm and 85mm 1.4 G's surfaced, the 50 G was thought to be lacking. There was a popular call for an updated AF 50 f1.2 to up the ante.

    I don't find mine lacking although it is a little soft wide open. But if you need f1.4 then you have to make do.

    There are so many other options though, especially if you can put up with MF. Then the CZ 50 Planar is a better performer, and that is trumped by the CZ 50 MP. Voightlander have a great 55 and the Sigma's no slouch either. The 50G doesn't compare to the 50L though.

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    I have a Canon Mark II and a Nikon D7000. I love both cameras. I really like the Nikon 105mm macro and 17-55mm zoom. The Nikon 70-200 is also very sharp. I like the Canon 17-40mm which is very sharp stopped down. I like the original 24-70mm zoom which has been called soft but sharpens up very well in post-production. My next camera will be the D800 so I have no vendetta against any manufacturer. Quite the contrary. I love my Nikon DX for closeups (smaller sensors tend to help achieve greater depth of field).

    Perhaps the Nikon 50mm I received was an exception. I will probably try the f/1.8. There are also very good deals from both manufacturers in the f/4 range which I at one time regarded as too slow but do not anymore.
    Last edited by Abitconfused; 31st July 2013 at 05:03 PM.

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    DX0 mark scores Nikon 1.4 as 32 on both a D600 and D800. Scores Canon 1.2 as 29, 1.8 as 28 and 1.4 as 27 all on 5D Mk3. (the higher the better)
    Last edited by pnodrog; 31st July 2013 at 08:33 AM.

  13. #13

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Then it could be my lens did not receive proper scrutiny by quality control. Or does the customer fill that role in today's market?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    Then it could be my lens did not receive proper scrutiny by quality control. Or does the customer fill that role in today's market?
    Hard to say what the issue is without examining what is wrong with the lens. It is perfectly possible that the inspection did not pick up the defect (for instance, potentially defective mounting of a lens element) unitil the unit was subjected to rough handling during shipment. This could have dislodged the lens element and you got yourself a lemon...

    The fact that you had a softness problem with a full-frame lens mounted on a crop frame camera, where you are shooting in the "sweet spot", tends to confirm that you had a defective lens.

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    I never shoot my Nikon 1.8 wide open, and have great results with my d600 as well as the d60, I also think the 1.8 is better than the 1.4

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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    I've just found this comparison:

    Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4 vs Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Quote Originally Posted by carloshpvp View Post
    I've just found this comparison:

    Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4 vs Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
    Yes - there appears to be an element of camera, in those tests - the tests seem to NOT be testing the ONLY the lenses.

    Try this one, instead.

    WW

  18. #18
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    That being said; you should not see any difference in real world photography.

    These lab tests take place under ideal conditions. I very rarely shoot under those....

  19. #19
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    I agree.

  20. #20
    carloshpvp's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs. Nikon 50mm

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Yes - there appears to be an element of camera, in those tests - the tests seem to NOT be testing the ONLY the lenses.

    Try this one, instead.

    WW
    That's why I selected cameras from the same level and age for the comparison... whatever

    As it's been said, there are lot of differences between field and lab.

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