Nikon AF-S 50mm 1.4 & 1.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joseph_gledhill, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. What advantage is there in purchasing the AF-S 50mm 1.4 over the new AF-S 50mm 1.8? Do the 9 rounded aperture blades of the 1.4 make a difference? Many thanks.
     
  2. Yes, 9 round blades give a much better bokeh, other than of course 1.4 being ultra fast. I think the 1.4 has a better optical quality too, especially at wider apertures. Hence twice the cost.
    :)
     
  3. Joseph, it's like anything else. As one goes beyond the line if diminishing returns, the improvements become arithmetically less significant, while costs rise exponentially by comparison. This is the kind of thing that depends on you, what kind of things you photograph, in what light, and how big are the prints you are making.
     
  4. Besides the obvious 2/3 stop, it looks like a wash to me:
    F1.4G http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/441-nikkor_afs_50_14_ff
    F1.8G http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/631-nikkorafs5018ff
     
  5. The roundness of the iris is only part of what affects Bokeh. The thing that affects it most is the correction of spherical aberration and coma in the lens, and anyway all lenses have a round aperture when wide-open.
    Basically if bokeh is what worries you most, then don't include glaring specular highlights in your foreground or background!
     
  6. We really need a side by side comparison of these two lenses. I just received my AF-S 50 mm f/1.8G and I am quite impressed with it. The seven aperture blades are rounded as well, so this isn't your 1970's bokeh either. What I like about this lens especially is how light it is. It balances extremely well on my D700. Almost like it is not even there.
    Christoph
     
  7. "...9 round blades give a much better bokeh..."​
    Not necessarily. As RJ noted, there are other factors. Iris shape only influences the appearance of out of focus highlights and blobs of light. It has little or no effect on the appearance of out of focus foliage and other non-highlight areas.
    I've owned and used many lenses with nearly perfectly rounded irises. They varied significantly in the subjective quality we call bokeh.
     
  8. Both lenses are up on some of the review sites and they don't really look different enough to distinguish based on the
    usual review site tests - aside from the 1.4 appearing to be slightly sharper by the numbers and with slightly less
    vignette. I think you'd have to use them in the field to see whether one is really going to outdo the other.

    I have the 1.8 arriving tomorrow. I'll see if I can post some samples.
     
  9. Actually, the bokeh is what might tip me to getting an AF-S f/1.8. I'm not sure that the f/1.8 is any better than the f/1.4, but I'm reasonably happy that it's no worse, in terms of outlining and LoCA. The f/1.4 is less smooth than the Sigma (although sharper), and the bokeh of the f/1.8 AF-D is known for being a bit poor. The price of the f/1.4 AF-S has never felt worth it to me (with the understanding that my own priorities aren't the same as everyone else's), but I'm more willing to consider paying f/1.8 AF-S prices for a lens that's reasonably sharp wide open and has better bokeh than my current AF-D.
     
  10. When I got home the new lens was waiting. Didn't have too much daylight left, but enough to shoot some comparisons on my back porch. First impression: the 50/1.8G KILLS the 50/1.8D. Sharpness, bokeh, flares, fringing - this lens is fantastic. I dare say I like it as much as the lens on the camera in this photo. Here's a comparison at f/1.8.
    00YsvT-369049584.jpg
     
  11. Here's the new lens
    00YsvV-369049684.jpg
     
  12. Andy L, thank you for the excellent comparison. The bokeh at f/2 looks much improved.
     

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