f/1.4 or f/1.8

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hans3185, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. hans3185 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2008
    I'm looking to buy a new lens for my Nikon D40. The 50mm f/1.4 looks nice, but its almost 200 dollars more than the f/1.8. I was just wondering if you guys think the extra 200 is justifiable.
  2. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Currently only the 50mm f/1.4 will autofocus with the D40.

    f/1.4 is not such a big difference to justify the price, but it do is a difference after all. With the current AF lenses, reviews do point the f/1.4 is sharper and offers better bokeh.

    We'll have to wait for the new f/1.8 to see how it compares with the f/1.4.
  3. hans3185 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Wha? I didn't know that the f/1.4 could AF with the D40.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    The f/1.4 Nikon just announced has an AF-S motor in it - so it'll autofocus on the D40. That lens won't be available until December.

    Sigma also makes an f/1.4 that includes an in-lens motor. It's as expensive as the new Nikon - both are in the $400-500 range.
  5. Slovak macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2008
    Neither the 1.4 nor the 1.8 will autofocus on your D40. I had the same dilemma 2 months ago and went for the 1.8. Haven't tried the 1.4, but unless you have a VERY specific need for that extra 1/2 stop I'd say save $200 and go with the 1.8. As it is, at 1.8 the DOF is very narrow and without a tripod it is a challenge to focus properly (manually).

  6. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I'd go for the 1.8, perhaps with a view to upgrading to the AF-S 1.4 if you feel the need in the future. Depreciation isn't *so* bad on lenses.
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Either go for Sigma's 1.4/50 mm (which is rather large, but has very good IQ) or you wait for Nikon to release the all-new AF-S 1.4/50.
  8. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast

    The old 50/1.4 won't AF with the D40/40x/60, but the new one will. They just announce it about a week ago. That's what the posters above are referring to.

  9. JKitterman macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    I have the 1.8 version on my D40 and manually focusing isn't that bad. It just takes a little getting use to. For the price, it is a pretty nice bargain. I would say to get the 1.8 version and if you don't much care for it, it didn't set you back much. The wait for the AF-S 1.4 may be a bit. I have the kit lens and the AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED.
  10. Col127 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2003
    i'd go 1.4. the extra stop is nice to have. i have a 1.8 and wish i just went for the 1.4 first :p
  11. cpcarrot macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Have you considered the Sigma 30mm 1.4? It will autofocus and in my opinion is a better focal length on an FX body than 50mm. It's by far my most commonly used lens on my D40.
  12. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    You can find a f1.8 used for relatively cheap. I'd go with that.. At least that's what I did.
  13. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    For the price, go with the f/1.8, and if you find you need the extra stop, sell the f/1.8 to fund the f/1.4.

    Look on Craigslist... The 50mm f/1.8 can be had for under $80 used now-a-days.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You are in luck. Nikon has just released a new version of the f/1.4 50mm lens.


    This lens is better than the older f/1.4 and importantly to D40 owners is that it is a "G" model and has it's own built-in focus motor. It's expensive but now the new f/1.4 50mm G really is better than the f/1.8 because of both automatic focus ability and the improved optical design.
  15. jimothyGator macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2008
    Atlanta, GA

    For sake of accuracy, f/1.4 is 2/3 stops faster than 1.8, and a full stop faster than f/2.0.
  16. tonie macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2008
    I would invest in whatever you could afford because lenses doesn't depreciate that much.
  17. Regis27 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Unless you have a lot of experience manual focusing, the f1.4 will be much sharper than the f1.8, simply because the camera will hit the focus for you. My friend has the d40 with the f1.8, and he often mentions how difficult it is to hit the focus with the f1.8. This is because of both the ergonomics of the f1.8 lens (very narrow focus ring) and the smallness of the viewfinder. He's thinking of keeping the f1.8 but moving to the d80 for this very reason.
  18. pna macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    That's what I ended up doing. I had the d40 and was given the f1.8 as a gift, not realizing it wouldn't autofocus. I'd done a lot of manual focusing in the past on film bodies, but not since moving to a DSLR, and found it much more difficult. I ended up selling my d40 on craigslist for $350 or so, and picking up a d80 off of craigslist for $200. Funny to pay an extra $200 to be able to use a $100 lens, but I've been really happy with the upgrade.

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