Nikon 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mauricio_orozco, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Have a D300 and I am wondering if somebody have used the Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 or
    Nikon 50 mm f/1.4 on the D300 so far ? How good are they ? Are they performing
    as expected on the D300 ? This camera is a low light camera in a sense that you
    can use high ISO to compensate ( something that you could not do with any other
    camera before ) ; personally I have shot with my 18-55 mm kit lens and even with
    my 70-300 VR using 1600 or more ISO and the pictures are acceptable, so I am
    thinking any of those two lenses will perfom great on the D300. Please advise !!
  2. The 50mm f1.8 is one of the best lens buys on the market. I believe it's hard to justify the f1.4 being worth so much more when it's not THAT much faster and the f1.8 is lighter and more compact.
  3. I ownthe D300 and have been using it with a 50mm f/1.4 the largest aperture, and down to about f/2.0, there is a fair bit of flare/contrast loss, but nothing that can't be taken care of in post processing. The thing to realize is that the f/1.8 is only 2/3 of a stop slower, and about 1/3 of the basically unless you want shallow depth of field, I'd choose the f/1.8 - 2/3 of a stop exposure correction won't make much of a difference to your image quality...
  4. "( something that you could not do with any other camera before ) ;"

    I heard that there is more than one camera manufacturer - wait I think one is called "Canon". They used to make the digital cameras Nikon was chasing for years :) Glad to know they finally reached the canon standard in low noise.

    To your question: If you only need the faster lens to get lower noise and do not usually shoot at f1.4 to f2.8 the f1.8 version will be all you need. That lens is a reference in the 50mm range for great value.
  5. Also note that Sigma's new 50mm f/1.4 (and reviews for it) will be available in a matter of days.
  6. Mauricio, Buy the 50mm/1.8 prime and the money you save put towards your next on list to better your photography. I have shot ISO 1600 with my D50/ 50mm/1.8 and the pictures are little minus of being OK. I have had goodt luck at ISO 800. I have the 70-300 VR and if possible post some of the pictures you have taken at ISO1600 with the D300/70-300VR.
  7. They are both great, but i would suggest the f1.8 simply because the 1/2 stop of light isn't usually worth the extra cash. Put the money towards other accessories... Have fun shooting.
  8. F1.4 looks better, balances better than the F1.8 on the big D300.
  9. bmm


    I'm not going to make a comparative comment as I haven't used the f/1.8, however I own the f/1.4

    I can tell you that it is a fantastic lens and that I regularly shoot wide open. Until I got my 85/1.4 it was my favourite lens.

    The dilemma of couse is the 1.8 is also purported to be a very good piece of glass, and particularly so for the amazingly low cost.
  10. I inherited the 50mm 1.4 from my wife's 30 year old lens collection. The only loss is the
    multi-zone matrix metering, but other than that, (which they never had in the good old
    days) it has stunning clarity and contrast. I say save the extra cash unless your shooting
    indoors, without flash, in a somewhat controlled environment.
  11. I would tend to agree with Bernard's comments. With the 50 f/1.4 and a D300 you do have quite a bit of light sensitivity at your disposal. In my experience, the only potential negative is that the images seemed a little soft with the lens wide open (it is no 85mm f/1.4...). However at f/2 it is pretty good and it just gets better. Can't comment on the f/1.8 although as this thread and many forums would suggest, it is very well thought of. If you haven't done so already, I would suggest that you read the reviews at Photozone as well as Bjorn's site (
  12. My copy of 50mm 1.4 also is soft at 1.4, reasonable at 2 and near perfect at 2.8 and above. My 85mm 1.4 is better than 50mm wide open. I used to have the 50mm 1.8 too. But can not recall its performance at 1.8.
  13. The 50 1.8 has perhaps the best performance/price ratio of any lens made by Nikon. Many claim that it has less distortion and other optical problems than the 50 1.4. The 50 1.4's only real advantage is its faster f/1.4 speed, which may or may not be useful to you.
  14. Someone recently reported huge coma distortion difference between 50/1.4 and 50/1.8 lenses, claiming optical superiority of the 1.4 version lens, and disappointment with 1.8 lens when compared the two.

    More on various forms of coma can be found:
  15. Just to give a little shot back at Walter Schroeder, Nikon has surpassed Canon in low
  16. F1.4 looks better

    Yup, appearance is everything, isn't it?
  17. I purchased a new 50mm f1.8 a couple of years ago. Its a great value but I sold it to purchase the f1.4 version used. Instead of measuring by value or price I suggest you really define your needs. Speed does cost extra. If you don't have it when you want or need it then you have a problem. I get the fastest lens I can afford when looking at glass and I could afford a used 50mm f1.4. I can not afford nor do I want to carry the 28mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4 or 85mm f1.4 although I have read many great posts about them. I only care about looking at the image ;^)
  18. I have a D300 and the 50mm f/1.4, and it's a fantastic combination. Open the lens wide open and set the D300 at ISO 1600, and you'll be amazed at the available-light shots you can capture. Flash? Pppht! Who needs flash! :) To be honest, I got it for the incredibly shallow depth of field it permits. Here's a shot I captured with the D300 + 50mm f/1.4 combination just last weekend, at Canada's Parliament Buildings. This was shot wide open, at f/1.4.
  19. I have the D300 and the 50 f/1.4. I guess with all things being equal it comes down to the build of the lense. the 1.4 is ruggedly built (dropped it once) and the 1.8 has a bit of plastic (why it is cheaper). Go for the 1.8 unless you shoot in rugged areas.
  20. It's not about 1.4 vs 1.8, the 1.4 gives you that bit more control and outperforms the
    1.8 but both are wonderful lenses. The 1.4 is not 'that' expensive. It's just the 1.8 is so
    bloody cheap.

    I use D300+50mm f1.4D and happy I spent the extra, I should have this lens for the
    rest of my life!
  21. My point about "looks and balance" is that the D300 is such a beautiful, (I guess looks DO
    count for me) robust, professional camera that hanging a cheap plastic lens on the front,
    no matter how good it is, just doesn't do it justice. BTW, I do have a 50mm F1.8 AF but with
    the D300's great ISO performance right up to ISO 800 and VR I'd rather use a much more
    versatile zoom.
  22. I purchased the f/1.4 mainly because of build quality, and consider that even though it is
    more expensive than the 1.8, it is likely that I will use the lens for years. The 50 mm normal
    lens performs as a short telephoto lens on small frame DX cameras, making it useful for
    portraits and travel photography. Recently I used the 1.4 lens wide open with the D300 set
    at ISO 3200 to shoot a high school drama production with satisfying results. Take a look at
    my porfolio to see the drama photos. Note, the low light photos were taken hand held.
  23. I have been very pleased with my 1.8f 50MM, first on the D200 and now the D300, only thing is the lens seems small compared to when I use it on the D70.

    Seems like a snub nose, but I think you can not beat it for the price.
  24. For me it came down to price. If I had extra money to spend at the time, I would have gotten the 50/1.4 AF-D. With that being said, I'm happy with the 50/1.8 AF-D, even though the build quality doesn't inspire confidence. It really is built like a hundred dollar lens, but it performs like a more expensive lens.
  25. I have a D80 and recently got the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor. The lens is much better in low light than my 18-70 zoom, however, it's not that sharp at f/1.8. It does very well @f/2.8, and by f/4 it's about as good as lenses get. I've read that the f/1.4 version is quite sharp by f/2, so if you need sharpness at wide apertures, you should probably get the f1.4. On the other hand, I've found that for most applications, I don't ave enough depth of field until f/2.8. If you're shooting portraits and want a shallow DOF (and fairly sharp), then the f/1.4 would be better. However, if you will mostly shoot at f/2.8, then there is no reason to get the f/1.4.

    I've found that @ISO 1600, the f/2.8 is good enough for most indoor lighting conditions. The D80 doesn't look that good @ISO 1600, but the D300 should be fine.
  26. "Flash? Pppht! Who needs flash! :)"

    Sometime ambient light is awful - direction and quality matters.

    I'm waiting for Nikon to bring back the 45mm f/2.8 tessar - with AF-S this time! I'd give up a stop or two for such a small and sharp lens. Well, I'd give it up when not shooting low light.
  27. if you even have to ask that question, you probably don't need f/1.4. get the 1.8 and be happy. the difference between 1.4 and 1.8 is not much, especially on a d300 which can do ISO 3200.
  28. The bokeh of the 1.4 is beautiful
  29. Yeah, 2/3 ahead is not one full stop ahead, but honestly, 1/3 stop ahead of f2,0 is even less... I was living with my 1,8/50 AIS for years, always treating it like a 2,0...There is a detend of the extra third, but it hardly ever impressed my lightmeter, nor my decisions on exposing ...It's that the 1,4 gives a FULL stop over 2,0, and this offers easy calculations.... It's a plain stop. Living now with a 50/1,4 AIS. And yes, it also looks better...
  30. Yeah, the last one is not critically sharp, no session, just a pic of a friend... here's more!
  31. ok, same pic display...
  32. I've been using Nikon D80 for a couple of months, and I have just bought Nikon 50mm f/1.8 for good performance at low light conditions. Also, I bought it for sharp portraits. Every detail on a portrait is important for me. But if you want more satisfying performance in low lights, go with f/1.4.
  33. I own a D300 and both 50mm lenses, the 1.8D and the 1.4D. I was curios also and did lots of tests and I can state that up to f3.5 the 1.4D beats hands down in just about everything: sharpness, colours, dynamic. From there on the 1.8D becomes as sharp (if not sharper) as 1.4D but never reaches it's dynamic and colour depth. It is something you just cannot put in words. Yes, there is a big price difference but I believe it is worthwhile. I also think the Nikon 50mm 1.4D is the best portrait lens for the APS-C sensor.

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