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50mm f1.8 vs. 50mm f1.4

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  • 50mm f1.8 vs. 50mm f1.4

    Ok, so I've got a couple of friends who shoot pro. They both have liked what I've done enough to offer me jobs shooting some weddings coming up. I'll be walking around getting crowd shots (so to say). I would like to get a faster lens and am considering a 50mm as I will be able to get close enough/far enough away to get shots with it (I believe).

    My budget is, well, not much. I have read great things about the f1.8 Nikon lens and it's only around $100. The f1.4 is a couple of hundred bucks more and it would be rough scraping up enough cash right now.

    I'm wondering if the f1.4 is $200 better than the f1.8. I won't be shooting at f1.4 very often (hell, even 1.8) due to the DOF so I don't really think the extra stop will be terribly helpful. I'm sure the f1.4 is better glass but is the f1.8 good enough?

    I'm also thinking, I could get the f1.8 now and, if I earn more money--and it makes sense--I can always pick up the f1.4 later and sell the f1.8 and not really lose anything since I'll be earning with the f1.8 and it's not expensive to begin with.

    I can also use this lens for some indoor sports I'm shooting (wrestling/jiu jitsu) because I can get close enough/far enough away from the action to make the focal length useful. Just have to get my lazy butt moving more often.

    Thanks.
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  • #2
    Think you have answered the question yourself - go for the f/1.8 !
    Nikon D800e, D300, D5000, NIKON GLASS 85mm F/1.8 D, 105mm f/2.8 Micro AF-S VR, 70-200 AF-S VR f/2.8, 28-300 AF-S VRII,10.5mm Fisheye, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, TC-20E III AF-S, Sigma 12-24 HSM, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM, Sigma 150-500 OS, 2 SB-600 Speedlights, SB-900 speedlight, 4 YN-622N transceivers, Manfrotto 190MF3 tripod & 322RC2 ball grip head. - NJ, USA
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    Ok to edit and repost my shots on DPS forums

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kirbinster View Post
      Think you have answered the question yourself - go for the f/1.8 !
      Kinda have made up my mind on this one. Just wanted to know if there was a compelling reason to spend another $200 on the f1.4. From everything I've read, the f1.8 is a fine lens so I think I'm alright but I usually defer to those of you who know vastly more than me about this sort of thing.

      Thanks.
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      • #4
        I don't know whats with the Nikon lenses, but the Canon f/1.8 has a plastic mount. That could be the only thing that can bother you.

        I would go for the 1.4 personally, but thats just because it has a better bookeh, construction and its sharper. Well thats if the Nikonlenses are the same as canon.

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        • #5
          From what I can tell, the f1.4 is a more, "professional," lens but I can't determine (exactly) what is meant by that as I've never seen anyone compare them side by side. If money weren't tight, I'd just have gone for the f1.4. I'm just trying to determine if it's worth waiting (and saving) for the f1.4.

          The first wedding they want me to do is in early Feb so I have a little time but, if I wait and save, I won't really have enough time to get the lens and play with it to learn it. I can go buy the f1.8 right now and have it for (almost) a month to play with to learn. I also don't want to screw up anyone's wedding pictures--especially if they're paying for them!
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          • #6
            Originally posted by GadgetRick View Post
            From what I can tell, the f1.4 is a more, "professional," lens but I can't determine (exactly) what is meant by that as I've never seen anyone compare them side by side...
            Canon EF 50mm – F1.4 vs F1.8 MK II - photo.net
            my flickr photostream

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            • #7
              I have never held the 1.8 but I did purchase the Canon 1.4 and <3 LOVE <3 it! It has some weight to it and does amazing shots!!!!
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              Canon Rebel T1i with Canon 50mm f1.4 and Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS Kit Lens
              Any lens suggestions?

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              • #8
                I'm ready to buy a 50mm lens too. The f/1.8 gets great reviews. However, when I look at the customer images on Amazon, the f/1.4 images generally look sharper than the f/1.8 images. I don't know if this is due to the lenses or the photographers or some other factors.

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                • #9
                  Thanks but that's Canon. Would it be the same on the Nikon? I'm new enough not to know...
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                  • #10
                    I have a friend who recently purchased the F1.4 50mm for his nikon, he used to have the F1.8

                    When I asked him which he preferred, he said the f1.8 as it was sharper at f1.8 than the f1.4 was.
                    Ryan Neufeld's Flickr

                    Nikon D90, Tamron 70-300 F4-5.6, Nikkor 35mm 1.8G, NIkkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6, Sigma 10-20mm, SB600, and a bunch of other junk.

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                    • #11
                      thanks for posting this question... I'm in the same place you are ($$ wize) and really want to have an effective portrait lens.

                      I've rented the 1.4 and loved it, but it was also Nikon's "G" Glass so it was a nice lens...aaaaand even a litte more money, So I'm still wondering if it's worth the wait till I have the money.

                      good luck.
                      Nikon 40DX
                      18-55mm kit lens.
                      Also frequently rent primes.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PamEli View Post
                        thanks for posting this question... I'm in the same place you are ($$ wize) and really want to have an effective portrait lens.

                        I've rented the 1.4 and loved it, but it was also Nikon's "G" Glass so it was a nice lens...aaaaand even a litte more money, So I'm still wondering if it's worth the wait till I have the money.

                        good luck.
                        Exactly why I was asking.

                        I think I'm going to go ahead and order the f1.8. From everything I can tell it's certainly good enough. If I find it lacking in the future, I can always pick up the f1.4 (I won't be broke forever!) and sell the f1.8. I'll have gotten my money's worth out of the f1.8 since I know I have (at least) two weddings to shoot for my friends and they'll more than pay for it.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PamEli View Post
                          I've rented the 1.4 and loved it, but it was also Nikon's "G" Glass so it was a nice lens...
                          You know that the "G" designation only means the lens has no aperture ring, not any special glass/coating, right?

                          Hard to beat the Nikon f/1.8 for the price. Unless you need the extra 2/3 stop, the AF-S, or very slightly better image quality (really only applies to the f/1.4D), you can't go wrong.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PamEli View Post
                            I've rented the 1.4 and loved it, but it was also Nikon's "G" Glass so it was a nice lens
                            The G designation has absolutely NOTHING to do with glass or sharpness. It just designates a lack of aperture ring.
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                            • #15
                              Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's more inferior than the more costly one. If the resulting difference of the 1.8 against the 1.4 is worth the cost difference for you, go for the higher priced lens. If the difference is not worth it, the 1.8 is the better choice.
                              "The greatest camera in the world is the one you hold in your hands when sh*t happens." Raoul Isidro

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