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question about lens


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RxXxX

New Member
Sep 10, 2006
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#1
is there a lot of difference betweent a 50mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.4?
if so which would make a better lens
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
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East
#3
is there a lot of difference betweent a 50mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.4?
if so which would make a better lens
First of all... Price.
For the larger aperture and better build quality, and your choice to get it or not.
 

Snoweagle

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2005
14,002
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Pasir Ris, Singapore
#4
Difference is quite a bit.

f/1.4 version - metal mount, micro USM, distance gauge, 8 diaphragm blades, larger aperture, pricier, full time manual focus.

f/1.8 II version - plastic mount, 5 diaphragm blades, less solidly built as compared to f/1.4 one, no USM, noisy and slower micro motor.
 

satay16

Senior Member
Jan 14, 2006
3,067
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#5
get the 1.4, it is better, and more expensive.
 

Jun 14, 2007
409
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16
Lion city
#6
Recently went to a shop in FN to buy the prime 50mm, at first i asked for the f1.4 model, but he told f1.8 ones are sharper in focusing that the f1.4, after some further discussion with him, took his advice & bought the F1.8 model.

I don't know how true it it as i have never tried both models, but more importantly, i very pleased with the one i bought & had been attached on my camera since.

It is true that the 50mm f1.8 prime is very much sharper than my 18~200mmVR as i have compare alot of previously taken portrait pics of my family members.

The only setback is to get used to the fixed focal lens type of picture taking, alots of moving back and forth during shooting for composing in the viewfinder.

Those having the 50mm f1.4 pls share some comment on your lens.

Thanks
 

Goldenstars08

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2004
1,508
2
38
Singapore
#7
50 F/1.8 is S$100+
50 F/1.4 is S$600+

For me I will take 50 F/1.8 cheap & good.
I will not pay S$500+ more for a abit better lens...;)
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
4,618
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0
#10
Recently went to a shop in FN to buy the prime 50mm, at first i asked for the f1.4 model, but he told f1.8 ones are sharper in focusing that the f1.4, after some further discussion with him, took his advice & bought the F1.8 model.

I don't know how true it it as i have never tried both models, but more importantly, i very pleased with the one i bought & had been attached on my camera since.

It is true that the 50mm f1.8 prime is very much sharper than my 18~200mmVR as i have compare alot of previously taken portrait pics of my family members.

The only setback is to get used to the fixed focal lens type of picture taking, alots of moving back and forth during shooting for composing in the viewfinder.

Those having theuy 50mm f1.4 pls share some comment on your lens.

Thanks
Two cardinal sins you committed here. You were prepared to buy a 50 1.4 and got talked out and bought a 1.8 instead. Why? THis is rather intriging as the shop normally wants you to buy more expensive items. how much did you pay for it?

Then you compare the image quality of a prime against a zoom. The 18-200 zoom, at this kind of a range, is a product of compromises, and as a result, image quality is not that good. You are comparing apples and oranges here.

Zooming with your feet is a good thing. It makes you think about your shot. And it also makes youe exercise more.
 

Jun 14, 2007
409
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16
Lion city
#12
Two cardinal sins you committed here. You were prepared to buy a 50 1.4 and got talked out and bought a 1.8 instead. Why? THis is rather intriging as the shop normally wants you to buy more expensive items. how much did you pay for it?

Then you compare the image quality of a prime against a zoom. The 18-200 zoom, at this kind of a range, is a product of compromises, and as a result, image quality is not that good. You are comparing apples and oranges here.
Ok, fully agree with you, but the shop owner did highlight to me that as a new comer to this hobby, there are alot of other "committments" like the external flash unit, good tripod, etc...
So i got cheap and got the f1.8.

Bought it at $175 inclusive of GST.and also thanks for your input.

Regards
 

Deadpoet

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2004
4,618
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#13
Ok, fully agree with you, but the shop owner did highlight to me that as a new comer to this hobby, there are alot of other "committments" like the external flash unit, good tripod, etc...
So i got cheap and got the f1.8.

Bought it at $175 inclusive of GST.and also thanks for your input.

Regards
now this is a perfectly valid reason.
 

Jemapela

New Member
Feb 20, 2005
791
0
0
Melbourne
www.jemapela.com
#16
Factually speaking, the 50mm lens is the easiest lens to design and manufacture sharp. Any lens maker that cannot make a decent 50mm lens would be out of business.

Having said that, I know for a fact and by owner's experience that both lenses are sharp. I haven't tested them both side by side. Although I have them at my work place to do such a test, I don't see the need to because the images shot by them are good enough to convince me.

I once owned the 50mm f/1.8, and although I'm not a heavy and abusive user of it, the inner barrel began to wobble due to wear and tear. Their "expiry date" comes when you see the inner barrel wobble and droop to the pull of gravity. (Image quality becomes compromised and it's not worth servicing.) It's really not made to last, and I consider it to be a use-and-dispose lens.

A wobbling and drooping inner barrel was why I sold it off to buy a 50mm f/1.4. Apart from the advantage of USM (faster, quieter AF), it is obviously better built and more durable. Sharp it is, but it is also not perfect, just like its smaller brother.

If I remember correctly from my resolution test pattern at work, the f/1.8 lens exceeds 120lpmm but below 160lpmm in the center. (That's very good, and it matches or exceeds some popular L series zoom lenses I have seen.) However, like most lenses, it has resolution fall-off at the edges to roughly half of what is in the center. I won't be too anal about it because many consumer grade zoom lenses are still lesser performers than it. The chromatic aberration (CA) and flare at the edges are, on a lens test chart, very visible, and the f/1.4 lens isn't spared from this flaw too. Both lenses have them.

I know this topic isn't about 85mm f/1.8 but if I was to select and demonstrate an "excellent" lens that has very good resolution from center-to-edge, lesser CA, and lesser edge flare, the 85mm f/1.8 is the lens I would use. When I saw the resolution test pattern projected through this lens, it was obviously better. It makes the 50mm lenses look like sub-standard.

Generally, the principles of optics is such that the bigger the aperture, the more optical flaws to the lens, and greater effort is required to minimise or eliminate them. In all lens brochures, you seldom see words like "eliminate" because truthfully speaking, it is too difficult and too expensive to achieve perfection.

Having said all this, the real question to ask is whether or not we really need the larger aperture. How often do you shoot at f/1.4? Or f/1.2? Or if you can still find and buy the f/1.0? Also, keep in mind that the larger the aperture, the shallower depth of field is more difficult to work with. Wide open apertures tend to produce soft images partly due to flare and other optical flaws (which most manufacturers only minimise but not eliminate). The 50mm f/1.4 is soft and milky wide open but the smaller brother isn't (or isn't as bad). Truthfully, ask yourself if you're buying to show off?

I have the 50mm f/1.4 but I have not shot at wide open. I'm not inclined or motivated to shoot at f/1.4 because I know it's difficult and it's soft. (The 85mm f/1.8 isn't soft wide open.) There's no point stressing over images that are difficult and soft so I shoot at widest f/2.2 or f/2.5, and still very nice.
 

lsisaxon

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2004
11,942
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36
#17
I was considering getting one abt 2 weeks from now but i'm still skeptical cos i'm not sure if it's worth it.
My opinion is that you will rarely use f/1.2 because the DoF is so shallow.
 

vector1

New Member
Feb 3, 2007
550
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0
#19
But consider this, if you shoot indoors alot, like dinners, musuem, concerts, where flash is not allowed, what would you choose? 1.8? 1.4? or 1.2? :D
 

kgston

New Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,303
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East
#20
I'm personally not of the opinion that lenses should be compared using test charts and lpmm. I'm not saying that doing scientific experiments and getting data off lens is wrong, but coming from a photographer's point of view, doesa difference in 20lpmm really make the difference? Would it make the hair on your subject's face a tad sharper or blurer?

I use a 50mm f1.4 for only 2 simple reasons.
1. Faster focusing, espcially in low light conditions. The large aperture and USM helps me get more sharp shots fast.
2. Because I practice stopping down my lenses, a f1.4 lens allows me to reach optimum sharpness a 1/3 stop faster (if you use the 2 stops down rule) which equates to a faster shutter speed.

I think, if u can spare the cash, get the f1.4, else get the f1.8.
 

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