Nikon 50mm 1.4 vs 1.8?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Freida, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Freida macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #1
    Hello guys,

    I keep hearing recommendation that the prime 50mm 1.8 is the best prime there but 2 years ago I bought 50mm 1.4 as I thought it was better lens so my question is: is the 1.8 really much better? Shall I sell my 1.4 and buy 1.8?
    If the 1.8 is better than why is 1.4 more expensive?

    I'm little bit confused about it as I thought that the 1.4 was much than 1.8 at the time of purchase.

    Could you please bring some light into it?

    Thank you very much :)
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    The 1.4 is more expensive because it lets more light in. The f/1.8 is slightly sharper, has less distortion and vignettes slightly less- that's the cost of that extra bit of light. In real-world images, you're unlikely to see a difference unless you print very large and look very closely side-by-side.

    If you're happy with your pictures, then don't worry about it.

    Paul
     
  3. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #3
    It depends what you mean by "better". f/1.4 lenses are always more expensive because they're harder to make and need bigger pieces of glass.

    You said you bought it 2 years ago, so I'll assume you're talking about the AF-S G lenses (rather than the older AF-D lenses). If so, you've got to bear in mind that the 1.8 lens is 3 years newer. I believe the 1.8 focusses slightly faster and it might be slightly sharper at f1.8 than the 1.4 lens is at f1.8. But by the time you stop down to f2.2 you honestly won't be able to tell the difference.

    If you're using it in low light then the 1.4 gives you 2/3 of a stop more light. However, if sharpness is your primary concern then you shouldn't be shooting wide open anyway. Shoot your 50mm at f2.8 and the image quality will blow the "holy trinity" out of the water.

    To answer your question - No, I would certainly not sell the f1.4G to fund the f1.8G. If you've got the 1.4D and are thinking about switching to the 1.8G, then that might be worthwhile because the 1.8G design is 25 years newer. However I've used the 1.4 Af-D myself for years and see no reason at all to upgrade to anything newer - it's still a fantastic lens.
     
  4. ChrisA, Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    I have an older version of the f/1.4 lens. Mine is the "D" type.

    The 1.4 is more expensive because it covers the FX size sensor. This means the f/1.4 lens covers a 36mm x 24mm size frame. the f/1.8 lens only covers the "DX" size farm which is (about) 24mm x 16mm.

    Also of course an f/1.4 lens will have to have larger diameter glass elements then an f/1.8 lens. In the simple case a 50mm f/1.4 needs to be 35.7mm diameter vs. 27.8mm diameter. Glass elements cost per square area, not by diameter, so... any f//1.4 lens will needs to have 1.6 times more glass in it than a same design f/1.8 lens. But in this case Nikon's f/1.8 lens is a different design that only covers the DX frame.


    Don't let them tell you the f/1.4 is less sharp because on a DX frame body you are only using the central part of the image circle.
     
  5. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #5
    I believe you are mistaken on this and might be thinking of the 35mm f/1.8 DX? There has never been a 50mm DX from Nikon.
     
  6. Freida thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #6
    ok, thank you guys.

    So I guess I'll keep it then and will try to spend more time with f2.8 setting :)))
    Thank you
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    Both the 50mm f/1.8G and 50mm f/1.4G are FX lenses.

    From NikonUSA.com:

    Specs for the f/1.8
    The f/1.4 lens:
    Paul
     

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