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Old Feb 14, 2011, 8:38 PM   #1
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Default Another 50mm f/1.4 vs f/1.8 question

I'm trying to decide between buying the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 or the f/1.4D. I have a D90. I already have the 35mm f/1.8. I am going to be shooting some concerts at a very small venue, and will have full access and will be able to shoot from 10-15 feet. The 35 is too wide for that (though I will take some full-band shots with it). I think I want as much light as possible, which is why I'm leaning to the 1.4. I think the 85mm 1.8 will be too long. The lighting is terrible and although I could use a flash for a few shots, there is a projected background and I want to be able to capture that, or at least an out-of-focus version of it.

Is it worth the extra $150 for the 1.4? Is the D "good enough" compared to the AF-S? (I've seen the 1.4D used for $250-ish.)

(I was saving to upgrade to the D7000, but I think I'm going to blow it on lenses and lighting instead.)

Thanks.
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Elliotm00, I don't have a Nikon, I have a Sony, but I went through the same decision process that you are going through. I actually bought the 1.8, brought it home and shot a dozen or so shots with it. I was blown away by the IQ of the lens. The more I studied it I realized it had a plastic mount, the build quality wasn't that good, and it was made specifically for a dx sensor, would either not work on full frame or with some issues. I took it back and got the 1.4. Better build quality. metal mount, and if I ever upgrade to FF, it will work just fine. And I have a Minolta Maxxum 2xi film camera I still use and all my Sony lenses will work, including the 50mm 1.4. Hope this helped in some small way!
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Old Feb 15, 2011, 1:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwild View Post
Elliotm00, I don't have a Nikon, I have a Sony, but I went through the same decision process that you are going through. I actually bought the 1.8, brought it home and shot a dozen or so shots with it. I was blown away by the IQ of the lens. The more I studied it I realized it had a plastic mount, the build quality wasn't that good, and it was made specifically for a dx sensor, would either not work on full frame or with some issues. I took it back and got the 1.4. Better build quality. metal mount, and if I ever upgrade to FF, it will work just fine. And I have a Minolta Maxxum 2xi film camera I still use and all my Sony lenses will work, including the 50mm 1.4. Hope this helped in some small way!
I don't have any experience with any of these either but here's the full
reviews from LensTip...

Nikon Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.4D
http://lenstip.com/index.html?test=o...wu&test_ob=279

Nikon Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D
http://lenstip.com/index.html?test=o...wu&test_ob=219

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.4G
http://lenstip.com/162.1-Lens_review...roduction.html

Opening those reviews side by side in separate windows and comparing
sharpness only I like the 1.4G best and the 1.4D second... The 1.8D has
the highest sharpness but not until f/5.6... Wide open it's pretty soft
(IMHO) and doesn't sharpen up until f/2.8 where as the other two sharpen
up pretty good by f/2... Also the 1.8D doesn't give as good edge performance
as the other two either...

Read over those reviews completely as there are also other important
things besides sharpness and speed to consider...

Hope that helps in some way...
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Old Feb 21, 2011, 12:16 AM   #4
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I bought the 1.8 and I am very happy with it. Every now and then I feel that slight tinge of I wonder what I could get . . . but, in the long run I have not run into many low light situations where I wish I could just bump the aperture down that low. I also read one review that was somewhat of a deciding factor for me. Basically they said that they would have occasions with the 1.8 where the focus plane was so shallow that the nose would be in focus but the eyes would not. And this would be something that would only get more pronounced on the 1.4, as I am not a professional photographer, I decided that the 1.8 would be plenty good for me and I could upgrade later if I ever felt the need. I can say that I have had pictures where I did need to up the aperture to a higher number in order to make sure that I kept the entire face in focus, so for me the 1.8 does everything I would need. I do know that many of the people I have known who have turned into more prof. photographers have upgraded to the 1.4 so, I think it depends on where you plan on going with your photography. For me, I was able to get the SB600 speed light with the 1.8 and I don't regret getting both items instead of the one lens.
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