50mm f1.8 VS f1.4


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legoman

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Oct 12, 2005
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I've been using the 1.8 for three months. Since I like to take portrait, this lens rocks!!! nice bokeh, great DOF, no regrets to have this lens. In terms of length, I feel comfortable to get 50mm lens instead of 85 or 105mm.

If you happen to own or tried both lenses, Can you guys advice me whether it to get 1.4 as well? I know it's only 1 stop more than 1.8, but what can you achieve on the 1.4 lens? Is the lens still made in Japan or already made in China like the 1.8 lens? Thanks.
 

jnet6

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Apr 21, 2004
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not here often anymore
new batch of 50mm F1.4 are made in China...
F1.8-F1.4 is about half a stop, not 1 stop.

some ppl think F1.8 is gd enough, or no diff from the F1.4.
but personally, i like the F1.4 output. u got to see the pictures for the difference.
 

Witness

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Mar 18, 2004
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actually for the price of the 1.4... wat u are paying for is not juz the extra half stop of light...

if i am not mistaken, lens contrast is better on the 1.4 version... meaning.... if u know how to read mtf charts...its better able to distinguish between the line pairs/mm .....meaning u get a lens better able to tell between increasing close values of colour...

cheers..
 

legoman

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Thanks, Witness. Your explanations are very helpful to consider buying the 1.4. I'm sure this lens is 1 of nikon great lenses.
 

espn

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Dec 20, 2002
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Typical.. people read and see what they want... to the rest they just remain oblivious especially when they have to fish for themselves :bsmilie:
 

roti_prata

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Jul 31, 2005
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hmm...but for practical useage, i can hardly tell between the two. i've tried both at the shop and the small difference is only seen in 100% crops if u looked hard enough.

if ur not using it as a main lens, theres no need to pay the prenium for 1.4
 

wiz23

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I agree with roti_prata. I've tested both lenses too and unless u're a pixel peeper, u won't see the difference. If I can only find my test pics, i can email them to u if u want ...

Well, if u are really very particular, then go for the 1.4 ... Is it worth it at 2.5 times the price of a 1.8? It's really very subjective :dunno:
 

Zerstorer

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Jul 8, 2002
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Witness said:
actually for the price of the 1.4... wat u are paying for is not juz the extra half stop of light...

if i am not mistaken, lens contrast is better on the 1.4 version... meaning.... if u know how to read mtf charts...its better able to distinguish between the line pairs/mm .....meaning u get a lens better able to tell between increasing close values of colour...
Have a look again at the MTF charts and tell me what you see?
http://www.nikon-image.com/jpn/products/lens/af/singlefocal/normal/ai_af_50mmf18d.htm
http://www.nikon-image.com/jpn/products/lens/af/singlefocal/normal/ai_af_50mmf14d.htm

In my experience, the 50 f1.4 allows you to shoot at f1.4 and has slightly smoother bokeh. Apart from that the 50 f1.8 focuses faster and has better flat-field performance when closeup and is sharper when stepped down.
 

Witness

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Mar 18, 2004
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ok...it seems tt the 1.4 is more consistant throughout its range for 1 thing...coz the resamples are closer....

a straighter line on the 1.4 also shows better centre to corer consistancy....

and on the 1.4..both blue and red lines look almost simliar...more so than the 1.8 imho which means it prob more consistant throughtout its range

buten it seems tt the 1.8 may have a better lens contrast coz its top set of lines are closer to the top of the chart....

buten again...i read tt its not good to cross compare charts as they are not accurate this way...

this is just my personal accessment of the mtf charts here based on my limited knowledge of it.... if i go wrong anywhere...do feel free to point it out....

cheers...
witness
 

sykestang

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Jan 18, 2003
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I used to own both to protect my camera bodies, so that I get to be in ready mode the moment I took my camera out of the bag as I used to mount the bodies with the 50mm. However I seldom shoot with them as I prefer my other lenses and I normally get enough time to change to other lenses. :bsmilie:

Some Technical Facts... :)

50 f/1.8:
- Made in China
- Plastic feel, light weight
- Aperture from f/1.8 - f/22
- Price ~$175

Comments:
Normally shoot ard f/2 onwards for portraits, seldom/never use f/1.8 for portraits, cos ears will definitely defocus.


50 f/1.4:
- Made in China
- Plastic feel, but weight is slightly better handling than the f/1.8 version
- Aperture from f/1.4 - f/16
- Price ~$470

Comments:
Normally shoot ard f/2 onwards for portraits, seldom/never use f/1.4 for portraits, else at slanted angle, 1 eye focused, the other defocus! :bsmilie
Bokeh & contrast is slightly better than f/1.8 version. Colour wise, somewhat look similar.


Anymore? Everybody is welcome to add-on. :)
 

gernie

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Aug 20, 2004
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U get a bragging rights... my hole is bigger than your....
 

wiz23

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gernie said:
U get a bragging rights... my hole is bigger than your....
:dunno:

Anyway, my 50/1.4 seems to be made in Japan too. At least, that's what they printed on the plastic lens body lah :think:
 

Dennis

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Jan 24, 2002
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My 2 cents worth. If want to have nice bokeh go for 85mm f1.4. If want to use as lens cap and get better quality than both use 45mmP. If want to compare on paper than go for f1.4, for practical use go for f1.8. IMHO no diff between the f1.4 and f1.8 except the f stop and the money you pay for. :bsmilie:
 

Zerstorer

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Jul 8, 2002
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Witness said:
buten again...i read tt its not good to cross compare charts as they are not accurate this way...
This is my main point.

Both lenses are measured wide open, so the 50f1.4 is at f1.4 and the 50 f1.8 is at f1.8. From these MTF charts alone, one cannot infer anything of their performance when set at other apertures.

However, the general consensus from most who have owned both is that the 50f1.4 is only better up to about f4, after which the 50f1.8 takes over in resolution. i.e each has their strengths and it depends more on what you value more, wide apertures or stopped down performance.

I had both for a while and I won't disagree with that observation.
 

alechim

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Aug 8, 2004
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the number of blades inside the 1.4 are more than those of the 1.8 right? correct me if I am wrong..

But personally, looking off the LCD shows no difference. However, differences can be spotted on the monitor itself and I personally had compared both..1.4 is sweet

Not to be bias, I myself am using the 1.8 coz I find no reason to spend another close $200 for the 1.4..
 

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