Polarizer or 50mm 1.8?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jayb2000, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #1
    I have a Nikon D200 with the 18-200vr lens and like it a lot.
    But, I feel that some more speed would be nice.
    On the other hand, I like taking pictures of water, snow, cars and see that a polarizer would give me some nice results.

    I have $100 to spend at amazon from a gift and can spend a few extra dollars, so I was debating which would be more useful.

    Any experiences with polarizers? Like it, dislike it?

    Seems everyone likes the 50mm lens, whether it be Nikon, Canon, or whoever.
    I would like to hold out for the 50mm 1.4, but figure while I have a "freebie" I might try the 1.8 now and if I find I really use it, then try to sell it and get the 1.4.

    Thanks
     
  2. artalliance macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I heard the Canon 50'' 1.8 is a really nice lens, especially considering it's only around 85 bucks.
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #3
    It'll be hard to squeeze it into the Nikon mount, however. :)
     
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #4
    Because it's a 50 inch lens or because it's not a Nikon mount?:D
     
  5. artalliance macrumors 6502

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    #5
    That'll teach me responding after reading only the Title :eek:
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    I'll give my opinion but defer to those with more experience. :D

    50mm was the standard "first prime" for film SLRs. While a lot of people like the 50mm lens with their digital cameras, thanks to the 1.5-1.6 magnification factor it doesn't fill the same niche in digital photography as it did with film.

    Problem is, the 50mm primes tend to be inexpensive because of economies of scale; while 30-35mm primes cost quite a bit more (I paid about $300 for mine). So the 50mm is nice from the standpoint of "if you don't end up using it much, you're only out $100 instead of $300" if that makes sense.

    I would hazard a guess that, over the next couple of years, Nikon and Canon will start releasing primes that are more targeted at the dSLR market. Nikon at least seems to be focussing on making some pretty nice dSLR zooms right now, because that's what the customers are buying (and they seem to want to offer a new zoom with each new camera model). But enough is enough - I don't think we need any more 18mm->whatever zooms, Mr. Nikon sir! :D
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #7
    I have no experience with polarizers, but I do love using a 50mm f/1.8 because I like taking portraits without a flash. As an 80mm equivalent on my Canon, it's a really nice lens for that. Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 also has the advantage of being much better built than the cheap Canon 50mm f/1.8 (and, correspondinly, the Nikon is more expensive).

    On the other hand, if you want to hold out for the f/1.4, I'd say buy the polarizer and wait, but that's just me. I'd rather not deal with the hassle of selling something.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    I would have bought a D80 and both the lens and the polariser, but that's another thread altogether. :p

    If you're starting out, I think going with another lens isn't a bad idea. It's better to start off with lenses that'll show you some payoff right away rather than getting a polariser that you won't use as often. The difference between the 50 mm f/1.8 and the 18-200 mm at 50 mm is enormous, so you're going to be able to take photos that are a lot different using the f/1.8. You don't "need" the f/1.4. It's only +2/3 of a stop better than the f/1.8 model, and it's double the price. If you're going to get the f/1.4 later, you may as well wait for Nikon to release a SWM version of it first.

    And besides, wouldn't it be better to buy a polariser when you get a wider lens, or do you think the 18 mm is as wide as you're going to need?
     
  9. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #9
    Ouch. Talk about your tough choices! This one, from my point of view, really is a toss up. Yes, the 50mm f/1.8 from both Canon and Nikon are excellent lenses, and well worth the (very small) amount of money they cost. However, a polariser filter (make sure you get a circular polariser, not a linear polariser) is also very useful.

    From what you've said, I'd argue for the polariser. But that's just my opinion, and in all honesty, there's not much in it either way. If you're really struggling, I'd suggest tossing a coin. :D
     
  10. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #10
    Wow, tough choice! I can only show you what a polarizer has done for me (albeit on a P&S). It's really a wonderful tool! Although a 50mm for those low light portraits does dound pretty good...

    Here is an image without polarized and one with.
    Embalse La Mariposa
    All the green stuff you see is a water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. jayb2000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #11
    Wow, what a difference!

    Thanks everyone for the tips.

    I guess I was thinking about holding out for the Nikon 1.4 because of construction and bokeh characteristics.


    Abstract, as for the D80 vs. D200, I liked the construction of the D200 better, the weatherproofing and such. Plus B&H actually had the elusive 18-200 VR lens in a kit with the D200. That lens is very handy so I don't have to carry around much stuff. My wife likes it because its very flexible, going from shooting our daughter to a sunset to a bird in the distance, etc. Its a great carry lens.

    And yes, I do want to get something wider, which is where the polarizer would be most useful.

    Ahh, heck with it. I just ordered the 50mm 1.8. I need to practice some "sneaker zoom" and it will help me get more pictures of my kid. :D

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Which is where you start going "Oh bother! I need a 55mm circular polarizer, a 77mm circular polarizer and an 85mm circular polarizer!"

    Look at the filter ring sizes of anything you'd want to shoot landscapes/waterscapes/snowscapes with, it may adjust a purchase decision here and there, but to the benefit of not having to shell out for additional filters.
     
  13. jayb2000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #13
    Yeah, I think once I get comfortable with my existing stuff, I will figure out the odd sizes I have and see what I can do with some step-up rings.

    Delivery estimate is March 8th, so I hope to get some pictures up on the POD thread then!
     
  14. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    Montréal (Canada)
    #14
    I dont understand... Your description says that the pic on the top is supposed to be the one withOUT the filter yet the sky is darker... While the sky of the second one is overexposed and its supposed to be with the filter.:confused:
     
  15. BlueHorseshoe2 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 31, 2007
    #15
    The mountains are underexposed without the filter, and properly exposed with though.

    I'd say go for the filter...for $100, you can get a top of the line filter, but only a very cheap lens.

    Then hold out for the 1.4 when you are ready to spend more money
     
  16. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #16
    Because I was exposing for the water, not for the sky, in the second shot. This is what the sky looked with the polarized that day, compared to the normal whitish/pale blue without the polarizer :)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #17
    Question for the polarizer users out there: Do you leave the polarizer on the lens if you generally use it for landscape photography? I'm trying to determine how often I'd be taking the polarizer off and on (or whether it fits over an existing UV filter.)
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    You can stack filters, but since you really need to adjust a polarizer after focusing, it's a pain to keep it on unless you've got lots of sky or water in the picture.
     
  19. jayb2000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #19
    yeah! it just showed up. Jeez its tiny compared to the 18-200 VR! :eek:

    Looking forward to getting some pictures tonight and tomorrow.
     
  20. jayb2000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #20
    the UPS truck was cold

    So the first picture was foggy. But I think I like it!
    [​IMG]
     

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