Upgrade Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AF-D -> 50mm G?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by duncan_murray|1, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. I have a Nikon F5 and F6 with a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 D lens. It produces great results, but I have looked fondly at the 50mm f1.4 G lens for these reasons:
    1. The quick AF-M switch means no fumbling with the AF lever
    2. Most people report slightly better contrast wide-open
    3. It looks shiny and new
    But I've heard that it's slower to autofocus than the D lens, and this is, of course, worse for higher-end bodies as the motor-drives in these cameras are more powerful. Any thoughts?
    In other news I've stupidly agreed to shoot a wedding this month in wet Ireland in a church with no internal lighting. Using just film. My order for 10 rolls of ilford delta 3200, 4 rolls of kodak 160 portra (for outside) and 1 roll of velvia 100 has just arrived. I know this is madness!
  2. Simple. Don't go for the small upgrade and use the money you saved to rent a digital body with good low light capabilities to use at the wedding.
    Even a current DX (crop) digital body will be better in low light than film, but an FX body will be better, and will also let you use your current lenses exactly the same way as you now do with film bodies.
  3. I'm not a wedding photographer but I can't imagine AF speed being an issue there. Your reasons are all good ones to purchase the lens. I seriously doubt you'll be able to detect IQ differences on film however.
  4. I have both the 50 f/1.4 D and G and after some testing I went with the G lens for my son's basketball games last year and don't think I ever missed a picture because of focus speed. As far as I could tell one wasn't significantly than the other. I did find the G lens sharper at wide apertures, I used a D700 at ISO 3200 or faster. But with my F5 the D lens is definitely faster but so is every other screw drive lens with that body.
  5. If you want a AF lens with the handy switch that performs excellent at wide apertures, get a f/1.8G and save yourself half the money, and keep the 50 f/1.4D for when you really need f/1.4 or when you feel you will need the ultimate AF speed possible. But frankly, as an "upgrade" it will be miniscule advancements optically, and miniscule differences in AF speed. Use if for a good while, and it won't be shiny and new anymore also. So frankly: rubbish upgrade, waste of money.
  6. Thanks for the responses guys - I didn't make it clear that the lens would be for my personal use, only (hopefully) v occasionally for weddings.
    Hector - Tell me about it! Last wedding I hired a D4 ( prefer the D3, but they weren't available), and that was my preference this time.
    Al - Yes, I can't ask for better IQ than the 50/1.4D.
    Mark - That's really useful info. In truth, I don't need blazingly fast AF - the most trying conditions would be photographing my 1 year old son, and wedding photography. If the contrast is better wide-open, that might help with AF in low light.
    Wouter - Good point. An upgrade would cost about the same as buying a 50/1.8G. There's honestly not much between the 1.8 and 1.4, or D and G for that matter. It's just it's my most-used lens, and grating ergonomics matters more to me than tiny differences in IQ or AF.
    Thanks for all the replies - I will carry on pondering!
  7. If I WERE you I would check and see where the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D was made. If it's made in Japan I would keep it and not upgrade.
  8. Had a play with the 50/1.4G in calumet - disappointingly it is slower than the 50/1.4D on my F6.
    In other news I did the wedding. Waiting for the results to come back. It was pretty stressful, and film really doesn't lend itself to weddings. I used Velvia 100 for some scenic shots (it was so dark during the day that I had to shoot wide-open!), Delta 3200 for the church, Portra 160 for portraits. We ran out of light for the group portrait shots, so I'm not holding out much hope for them.
    I'll post some photos when I get them back, if I'm not mortified.
  9. Back before 1960 I got my underwear in a knot when I found out my beloved Rolleiflex may have the best Rollei lenses, or the second best. Rolleis came with one or the other sets of lenses at the time. An old time pro photog told me to chill out. If the camera took great photos (which it did) then I should not worry about it.
    Well I forgot about the whole business. Last year I blew some of my photos from the 1960s to a very large size and showed them at a photo gallery. So it takes fine photos, even though I still don't know if I had the best lens.
    My two bit opinion is you should go with what you have got and stop trying to learn how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. Sounds like your immediate problem is how to get more light where and when you need it.

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