50mm f1.4 AF vs f1.8..anyone got examples?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by armando_roldan, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. I am looking for low light lens and the f1.4 and f1.8 50mm AF seems
    to to be best bang for the buck. Can anyone post a pic of the same
    image at f1.4 and another of the same iamge at f1.8? This will be
    mainly used in a wedding B&W type shot and/or nightclub band type
    shot. Considering the Nikon 50mm f1.8 is about 1/3 the cost of a F1.4
    AF Nikkor, is it worth another couple hundred bucks for an effect I
    have to see for myself to see if its worth it?
  2. It would help if you told us what body you are using, film or digital SLR? I don't have any photos taken with either lens to show you. I did own the 50 f1.8 and sold it on ebay and now wish I had held on to it. As a matter of fact, I am watching now to see how they are selling so I can get one again.

    I now have the 50 f1.4 and really I need to use it more than I do. For the money, the 50 f1.8 is a bargain and can give you great results. Prices lately have been running retail $99.95 to $129.95 US Dollars from what I have seen online. On Ebay, I have not seen one go for less than $65.00 US lately. Some have sold for higher than retail. This little lens is hot right now.

    My advice, get the 50 f1.8 now and use it. Then, later on, get the 50 f1.4 and HANG ON TO BOTH OF THEM.

    Yes, the 50 f1.4 is 3X the cost for on extra stop but it might be something you have to have for that one great shot of whatever it may be. However, one stop less on the 50 f1.8 really doesn't hurt if you can compensate using a mono or tripod, higher ISO setting on your DSLR or higher ISO Speed film in your SLR.

    No matter what, don't forget the L37c UV filter. A little extra protection doesn't hurt the image.

    My $0.02.
  3. I do own 50mm-1.8 AF *old version amoung other 50-s, and I do have full range of test shots, witch I put on 2cd and send it to Robert Lai in US. I try 50mm 1.4 from my friend and find it to litle wide open for me, so I go for 50 1.2 MF for witch is 1EV and 1/3 faster but not to much expensive then 50m1.4AFD and I'll do recomend that solution TO YOU.
  4. Thanks for the chart Ivan. I find the AF50/1.8 soft below f2.8, so from your chart my expectation is average MTF > 0.78. I consider the AF50/1.8 unusable from f2 and below. I was wondering if the AF50/1.4 would enable me to get AF50/1.8@f2.8 equivalent sharpness @f2, in which case it would have been worth the investment... Your chart tells me NO, and in fact, the AF50/1.4 would be a waste for me.

    I am assuming your "average" MTF meets my averaging requirements (center weighted average!)

    Now, of course, MTF isn't everything, but the AF50/1.4 doesn't outshine the AF50/1.8 in any other aspect, does it? Flare / ghosting / bokeh is important to me (and AF!)

    Charlie, with the HR2 rubber hood, the AF50/1.8 front lens is so far inside, I don't bother with a protective filter. A good filter costs too much compared to the lens, and can cause reflections of its own and ruin an image. I don't recommend it.
  5. I have both the 1.4 and the 1.8. I find little difference between them other than the 1.4 is obviously better for indoor use.

    I also have the 45mm f2.8 which is noticeably superior to both the 1.4 and 1.8 in terms of color and contrast but not suitable for low light use without a tripod. The 2.8 is also equal to or better than the 1.8 in terms of sharpness.

    Actually, with the 1.4 for low light use and the 2.8 for everything else I find little use for the 1.8.
  6. I have both, and I've done side-by-side test (posted somewhere here), and I always use the
    1.4 for digital and film.
  7. I'm about to list my 1.8 for $50 on eBay, since I wanted an old manual-focus 1.4 ? so you
    can definitely get the 1.8 for good prices!
  8. i really liked my 50/1.4 on a F100 but once I started using the D70 I was rather disappointed in the performance, it produces a nasty bokeh with double lines and some color problems. I know use a 50/1.8 which is a cannot-go-wrong-choice. Sure, it is a piece of plastic, but so is the 50/1.4, but you can't beat the value.

    I do wish Nikon took the time of producing a superlative 50/1.4 that measures up to professional specs (like a 85/1.4 AF but with AF-S as well) but I'm sure that won't happen.
  9. I'd like to see some new VR AFS fast primes. Maybe a new 35 and a 50. VR to squeeze another stop out of the shutter speed shooting available light. There's more to shooting than f2.8 big, heavy zooms. I love shooting primes with both film and digital.
  10. Not likely to get those fast VR primes in this focal length range. The VR system would probably double the size of the lens, if not more.

    The 1.4 is simply a poor performer wide open on my D70. I bought a 1.8D because of its generally higher performance in outdoor conditions, and haven't been disappointed. If I manual focus the two lenses, I get better results between 1.4 and 2.8 on the f/1.4D than the 1/1.8D, but stopped down more than f/4 the 1.8D wins. If I autofocus the two lenses on the D70, the 1.8D wins clearly at every aperture.
  11. This was shot with the 50mm 1.8 AF shot wide open manualy focused on an FM2n

    This was scanned from a luster surface print on a flat bed scanner. The 50mm 1.8 is certainly useable wide open and gets better as you stop it down.
  12. I should recommend you the 50/1.8AFD, no filter, no sunhood (front lens is way deep). The investment is so small you can't go wrong.
  13. Armando,

    Since you are dealing with interior low-light photography, the f1.4 lens might be the better solution for you. That extra stop should give you a bit more flexibility around a stage or during a wedding. Remember, one of the features of the f1.8 lens is the f22 stop, but that is not a benefit for low light work.

    In addition, the f1.4 lens is a professional-grade lens. Don't let anyone tell you differently. If you use it properly, you will get sharp images.
  14. Steven, that depends on what you mean by professional grade. It IMO isn't built to professional standards, and also the overall image quality on D70 is probably the second worst of my 13 Nikon lenses. On film it works fine but is not stellar. However, image quality is a subjective thing. If you carefully manual focus the 1.4, you will get good results for a lens of this type.
  15. Steven, stop kidding yourself that the 50/1.4D is professional grade. Nor does it film performance/advantage translate well into Nikon APS sensor size for some reason. (not that Nikon would ever admit/recognize that fact in public)
  16. question ... just jumping on this thread ....
    is it ok to assume that a Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 will fit and work on a d70? please correct me if i am wrong.. thanks in advance.
  17. For wedding work I find I use the 1.4 more than any other lens, even my 24-70 zoom. I keep running into low light situations where the half stop less on the 1.8 would have made shooting impossible. I'm even considering getting the 1.2 manual.
  18. Yeah, the 1.8 AF works great.
  19. You should check out this page, a side by side comparison between the 1.4 and 1.8 50mm
    lenses at all f/stops:

    The verdict seems to be very clear: the 1.4 lens is FAR superior up to about f4.5, from
    which onward both lenses are hard to distinguish. So there is, actually, a very significant
    difference between the two, of which the extra 2/3 stop is only an aspect.
  20. There is a space in your link where there shouldn't be. That's why it isn't working. Here's a clickable link to the actual page: 50/1.8 vs. 50/1.4.
  21. Oops, looks like it was already fixed.
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Yeah, I fixed the link by removing the extra space.
  23. Well, I have both lenses and my test results are quite different from those. I've used several other samples of the 1.8 and they've all been superior for general use than the 1.4 which I have. Most lens tests agree (e.g. Chasseur d'Images).

    I think the tester to which the above link refers to just screwed things up somehow. Lens testing isn't trivial.
  24. In that side by side comparison, it looks like the f1.4 was focused on the bars and the f1.8
    was focused on the wall behind it, so not a very good comparison.
  25. I own both and use both, but use 1.8 more. 1.8 gives better sharpness and no visible distortion. So as long as light allows, I prefer the 1.8. But when light goes down, then 1.4 kicks in. It is amazing. Another $200 expense is definitely worth. You can't just think "use a tripod". When tripod involves, why do you need to stop down below 2.8?
  26. A few years back, I tested all of my 50mm lenses (and my 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor) at full apertrue to see if the variations in f-stop would actually show up in photos as changes in DOF that could be seen. I can post two photos from that test of the f/1.8 and f/1.4 so that you can see the background softness and the rendering of the background elements. This is a full-frame test made on a film Nikon, so if you are going to use the lens on DX, mentally crop the image.
  27. ... and for what its worth,I use a 50mm f/1.8 AF on my D40 (manually focused), and find it to be a very good performer for the cost. Even though I have the f/1.4 (which won't meter on the D40), the f/1.8 is on my camera most often not only because it meters, but the results are what count, and this lens is very good.
  28. Wow, sorry. this came up under "new answers" and I didn't see that the OP was over two years old. I thought it was current.

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