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Old Apr 14, 2010, 4:04 PM   #1
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Default 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 as a general purpose lens?

Well I've pretty much decided to buy a D90 again; selling it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life, one which I won't make again. However this time I'm tempted to forego the 18-105 kit lens and get something else to start me off, hence the question in the title.

I can get the kit lens if I go for the cheap f/1.8; the alternative is to forego the kit lens and get the f1.4G. Is it worth the money for the faster lens?

I've had this camera before but have never in my life owned or used a fast prime lens.

It is also probably worth mentioning that I am getting work in design/photography which has prompted this decision to go back to dSLR; the Panny FZ38, although a beautiful camera, is simply not good enough. The shallow DOF which I'll get from the fast prime lenses really appeals as these photographs are especially "usable" in the sort of work I'll be doing.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 4:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davi View Post
Well I've pretty much decided to buy a D90 again; selling it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life, one which I won't make again. However this time I'm tempted to forego the 18-105 kit lens and get something else to start me off, hence the question in the title.

I can get the kit lens if I go for the cheap f/1.8; the alternative is to forego the kit lens and get the f1.4G. Is it worth the money for the faster lens?

I've had this camera before but have never in my life owned or used a fast prime lens.

It is also probably worth mentioning that I am getting work in design/photography which has prompted this decision to go back to dSLR; the Panny FZ38, although a beautiful camera, is simply not good enough. The shallow DOF which I'll get from the fast prime lenses really appeals as these photographs are especially "usable" in the sort of work I'll be doing.
I'd get the kit and the f1.8. Yes the f1.4 is a better lens and has a low light advantage. However, I'd hate to be stuck with just a 50mm lens. By getting the kit and f1.8 you'll still have a very good low light lens and the added versatility of the 18-105 which is a great walk around lens. Personally, I don't find the 50mm f1.8 all that useful...I own it and can't remember the last time I used it.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 4:55 PM   #3
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If you were to go with one lens, the 35 1.8 be a better option then the 50 1.4 as it is eye view on a crop body. Back in the days of slr. They package 50mm with the film slr, which would be a good setup. But like RJ said, the 18-105 and the 50 1.8 is more versatile and useful then just the 50mm.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 5:45 PM   #4
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Cheers for the input guys. I might be able to get the kit lens and the f/1.4 if I sweet-talk my wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjseeney
Personally, I don't find the 50mm f1.8 all that useful
Now this I find surprising - why not? What do you use for low light/super-shallow DOF?
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 8:25 PM   #5
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The 50 1.4 is nice but you may want to serious consider the 35 1.8, if the wife is okay with it. Think you may get better uses out of it on the crop body.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 11:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davi View Post
Cheers for the input guys. I might be able to get the kit lens and the f/1.4 if I sweet-talk my wife



Now this I find surprising - why not? What do you use for low light/super-
shallow DOF?
For low light, I typically use flash or ISO 3200 or 6400. F1.8 yields such low DOF, I can't get all my subject in focus (i shoot a lot of sports) 50mm is also usually too long for indoors, and the lens is pretty soft wide open anyway. I have a couple f2.8 zooms that find more versatile and easier to use because of the flexibility.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 2:35 AM   #7
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Thanks again for the input guys, and thanks rsjeeney for clarifying.
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Old Apr 16, 2010, 7:52 AM   #8
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I tried the 1.8 and returned it in favor of the 1.4. I found the sharpness of the 1.4 to be superior wide open compared to the 1.8. The former costs more, but for me has been worth it.
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Old Apr 17, 2010, 5:24 AM   #9
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I've pretty much ruled out the f/1.4, not just because of the price but also because of the focal length; the 35mm f/1.8 seems especially popular on crop bodies and is virtually half the price - 170 vs 300.

However I'm now not even sure if I'll go the Nikon route again because having already owned the D90 I'm sorely tempted to make the Canon 50D my first forray into the dark side.
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Old Apr 17, 2010, 8:33 AM   #10
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Just ordered a D90 with 18-105 and also the 35mm f/1.8 - looking forward to it!
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