Lens dilema

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mike_spirito, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. I have the 50mm 1.4g. The lens is awesome ( well when I got it) It has become soft at 1.4 I sent it to Nikon and they claimed to have fixed it and tuned it up. Its still a little soft. ( my soft and soft to someone else might be totally different) Either case its not sharp enough for me. So Im selling the lens and Im debating to get the old 50mm 1.4F or the 35mm 2.0 any thoughts?
  2. My 50mm f1.4G is sharper wide open than my old 50mm f1.4D so I would not exchange mine for the older lens.
    I have also owned the 35mm f2.0D and was never happy with it's IQ.
    My advise would be to try another 50mm f1.4G or if funds allow a 35mm f1.4G.
  3. Do you frequently use it wide open or nearly so? For that, I'd reach for Sigma's 50/1.4 HSM. It's all about the sort of
    use. But... What body are you using, and have you fine tuned for focus?
  4. When you take your test shots, what tripod are you using?
    Kent in SD
  5. Yes, one thought: How disingenious of you to divulge that you're selling a bad lens.
  6. Mike,
    Some Thoughts ... :
    What camera are you using it on ?
    Most 50 1.4 lenses are very sharp for subjects in the focal plane, but erything out of focus ( 5cm in front or behind the focus plane ) geets soft, so maybe you could show an example of a "soft" picture ?
    If you go manual -focus on a DSLR (older 50 / 35 lenses) using a 1.4 lens wide open, you might want to think again, because of the very narrow DOF at 1.4, and this combined with the fact that most DSLR viewfinders are not the best in the world for manual foccussing..
  7. @ Christopher - the OP says the lens is soft for him. He also sent the lens to Nikon who tuned it up. It doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with the lens.
    'Soft' pictures (barring mechanical issues) are generally a direct result of the photographer's technique and/or camera settings. Mike, have you tried adding a bit of extra sharpening? Another thought is to get your hands on another copy of the lens and do a side-by-side comparison. I like the lens and find it very sharp, but it could just be me!
  8. an example of what you're calling soft would help, too. The fact is, pretty much no lens I'm aware of is at its best wide open, and the plane of focus at f1.4 on a 50mm lens is razor razor thin. How much of the "softness" is merely that?
  9. "The lens is awesome ( well when I got it) It has become soft at 1.4... "​
    Several times I have had the same idea, my lenses were sharp when new and become soft after (months, years) of use... I actually don`t know if it is true or just my imagination. Maybe the "new" factor counts; usually new, updated gear means an improvement in image quality but, once we get accustomed to this IQ, it doesn`t surprise us anymore. Maybe it`s the camera, dust or whatever over the sensor (after several attempts, I had to give up cleaning some dirt).
    I have checked and rechecked the images looking for that "original" sharpness (>several times), but to be sincere, I cannot find a positive proof.
    Anyway, the degree of softness at f1.4 seem to me very difficult to measure... on all the f/1.4 lenses. Wide open this lenses are soft out of necessity.
    "Either case its not sharp enough for me."​
    This is what really counts. Don`t try any previous 50/1.4 version, in my experience are pretty close (the best is the AFS). Same for the 35/2.
    My sharpest 35 and 50mm lens is... the 24-70. The 35/1.4AFS is not still for sale here.
    Do you need AF?
  10. bms


    My 50 1.4 AF-D is soft wide open, period. Accoring to the dpreview test, the AF-S is better. It is probably as good as it gets IMHO - wait for someone to suggest the Leica Summilux, though you'd have to invest in a Leica camera too.... :)
  11. The Sigma 50mm f1.4 is said to be sharper wide open than the Nikon. This is the lens I would get.
    Kent in SD
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I think just about any f1.4 lens is going to be a bit "soft" wide open @ f1.4. I have informally tested the Nikon 50mm/f1.4 AF-S and the images I got @ f1.4 are not that sharp. Depth of field is so shallow such that anything slightly off focus will appear very soft.
  13. Make sure it is your lens that's soft, and not your camera. Have you tried the lens on other bodies?
  14. I don't get it... I thought it was real basic logic.
    All lenses that have an f-stop below 1.8 are soft wide open, not always because they are actually "soft" but because of the razor thin plane of focus. Unless you are photographing something completely flat that is totally in the plane of focus, you are going to experience this. Chances are that all of our 1.8, 1.4, 1.2 lenses are not actually soft when they look soft.
    And how many lenses are at their best/sharpest wide open? Pretty much none, right?
  15. but because of the razor thin plane of focus....​

    Still like to see an example... because it should be quite possible to get some "sharp" images, as this "Razor" still should be about 9 cm "thick" ( thats a "fat" razor... :) ) at a distance of 2 meters, and using a "crop sensor", or 13cm using full frama ( check "Dofmaster"....) .
  16. The Sigma 50mm f1.4 is said to be sharper wide open than the Nikon. This is the lens I would get.​
    that's what i got actually.just informal testing so far, but appears to be a very good lens, with creamy bokeh as advertised. certainly usable at 1.4, though it is sharper at 2.8, of course. i got a used copy, so i'm not sure i buy into the lenses lose sharpness over time argument. there must be dust or crud or or oil or failing eyesight or some other explanation, especially if you've already had nikon take a look at 'er.
    compared to the nikon 1.4 (which they knew they were going up against), the sigma was tweaked to be better wide open. the tradeoff for that is worse corner to corner at smaller apertures. i think it depends on your expectations for a 1.4 lens. nikon 1.4s arent known to be terribly sharp wide open--many say the 1.8 versions of the 50 and 85 are sharper wide open--but may give a more even, balanced performance throughout the aperture range.
  17. Hey Guys I use a d700. The camera is fine. My 60mm 2.8 is TACK sharp so the camera is not the problem
  18. Mike,
    Are you able, at all, to post a sample? I think seeing a sample of what you're finding unacceptably soft would help a LOT.

Share This Page