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I am thinking of getting a Nikon 50mm and have been reading some reviews. Im note sure whether to go for the 1.8 or 1.4 and from my reading it would suggest that the 1.4 has overall edge on the 1.8 apart from distortion that is evidence on the 1.4 although easy to correct in PS. Im happy to pay the extra for the 1.4 but wonder if anyone has personal experience of both lenses and what your thoughts are. I would use the lens for low light, portrait and general. It will be used with a D200 and Im sure that at some point in the future I will probably move up to full frame.
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If you can afford it the extra shallow depth-of-field of the f/1.4 is really effective for close up portraits. The need for the extra stop speed is less necessary in digital than it was in film as the ISO quality, especially on the newer Nikons, means you can shoot at higher ISOs and gain speed that would not have been possible with film without unwanted grain.
Here's what our friend Ken has to say about it. Sounds like you've already read it though.
Get the 1.8 - and put the balance towards another lens as well.
You will not notice any difference - in fact, the 1.8 (overall) performs better.
I've got the 1.8, it's a bit soft fully open reduce it slightly and it's great, I use it 99% of the time.
I have the 1.4 and love it. Not used a 1.8 so can't really say anything about it. One of the things I like about the 1.4 is how well it works in low light.
Have the 50mm 1.8 great lens, not a complaint.....wish had bought 35mm 1.8 dx...........(D300s)
Thanks guys, looks like it will be a difficult decision. It seems the 1.8 will meet most of my needs but I can see times when I really could do with the 1.4. One of the uses I want to explore is night street photography and night portrait stuff.
I have the F1.8 and I think the DOF is more than sufficient with it for general use. If you're intending lots of low-light though, the F1.4 will allow faster shutter speeds and the very narrow DOF at 1.4 wouldn't be a problem as long as you're not too close to your subject.
I went with the 50mm 1.8 in the end having considered the 1.4 and 35mm as well. Came down to its cheap and therefore not a lot lost if it does not cut the mustard and it will be ok if I upgrade to fx at some point. Have run a few shots off and have to agree it's not great at 1.8 but from 2.8 it looks to be very good. However, my quick test was hand heald and close up.
Good choice, and you are spot on with the f-stop.
I'm considering upgrading my 1.8 to a 1.4 - I currently have the non-D version of the 1.8, which is no big deal, and it's a great lens. However as my camera isn't that great for high ISO, I reckon the 1.4 would come in useful. What I can't figure out is what benefit the new 'g' model offers me over the older 'd' version.
From what I've read, the 'd' is slightly sharper than the 'g' in the larger aperture range (which is where I use this lens most often) and is cheaper to buy. The 'g' looks nice, internally focuses, and has the M/MA button on the side, but otherwise I can't see why I'd buy it over the 'd'. Are both 'FX' capable? (thinking of the future here). I'm guessing the 'g' model has an AF motor and I wonder if this might be the reason to go with that one instead of the 'd' - depends if Nikon are going to start ripping the AF motor out of their higher-end cameras in the future, like they have with the budget bodies.
My reading suggested the 1.4 had the edge in all aspects other than distortion, however, the extra cost did not balance the minimum advantages. The 1.4 is also said to be sharp at f2. Its a g lens and for DX sensor and non drive bodies.
The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G definitely supports DX and FX (obviously DX will give 75mm, FX will be a true 50mm). It's just a lot more expensive than the AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4D but there is no suggestion that I can find that this won't support FX. It's the lack of motor that concerns me a bit - not for now, but in the future.
Partly I just want to equip myself with *some* good glass. Sadly I've worked out that there are four lenses out there that would make my photography-bag perfect and complete, but at the cost of about £3K+! And currently I can only afford the cheapest one for now!!
Sure I read somewhere that used on an FX the vignetting is very bad wide open as is contrast. If I had the beans the 85mm 1.4 would be on my list.
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