Nikon 50mm f/1.8 ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TimJim, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. TimJim macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2007
    #1
    Anybody have this lens? Seems like a good deal, using it for Night Photography and Portraits and stuff.

    Also, is there a big difference from the older f/1.8 to the newer f/1.4 50mm lens?
     
  2. iBallz macrumors 6502

    iBallz

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    #2
    I sure like mine! $100 lens. Fast sharp, & light!
    (I posted a few shots from mine of the bullfights in the P-O-T-D thread)
     
  3. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    #3
    One of the best values in a lens. Fast and sharp. Everyone shooting Nikon should have one.
     
  4. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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  5. PaulSorensen macrumors regular

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    Apr 30, 2008
    #5
    Yep - I've had one for about 12 months and it's great for low light conditions. Because it's a fairly simple lens, it's also one of the sharpest lenses that you can buy - sharper than much more expensive (and more complex) zoom lenses.

    Just remember that if you're using any digital camera (except for the full-frame Nikon D3) then it ends up being about a 75mm - which is actually a very useful length. I also have a Nikon 18-200 VR lens (it's the one on my camera 90% of the time) - even though it's a slower lens, the VR makes it equivalent to a faster lens.

    But, especially given it's price and sharpness, it's a great lens to have.
     
  6. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #6
    Nawwwwt true.
     
  7. koskilla macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #7
    Ya, I bought into that lie when I first started shooting too. Yes, VR helps several different things, but it does not make it equivalent to a faster lens. It helps sharpness and things, but it does not help shutter speed, which is usually more important. The difference between 5.6 and 2.8 at 200mm is not even comparable.

    About the 50 though - its a must have portrait lens.
     
  8. Adrien Baker macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2008
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    Bakersfield, Ca.
    #8
    Uhm, actually VR is for help with hand shake and it does allow you to shoot at a slower shutter speed at longer ranges and hopefully attain sharper results.

    The term "fast" refers to Aperture speeds, i.e. f/1.8. The lower the number, the "faster" the glass. Shutter speeds and apertures are completely different.

    Adrien
     
  9. koskilla macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #9
    right, but it doesn't help you get a faster shutter. if you have a smaller aperture (bigger number), you have to have a slower shutter. When shooting sports and things, this make a huge difference. You can also do things like shoot at lower ISOs if you have a wider aperture as well (to help with noise, etc on cheaper bodies)
     
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #10
    I have the f/1.4 version, but the Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 is the best bang for the buck prime lens Nikon makes. It's funny how you have to spend significantly more money for a lens just to get half a stop faster...
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    If you have a d40 or d60 you may not like the 50mm lens as it will not auto focus with those cameras. But the lens will work find with any other Nikon SLR, film oir digital.

    I don't know what you mean by "newer" aren't they both about the same age?

    I've always had a 50mm lens. I've got several now all of different vintages. The oldest is an antique from the early 1950s it is a Ziess lens in Exacta mount. I have a 60's vintage Nikon manual focus and an early Nikon AF (not AF-D) 50mm all of these are f/1.4 They are all as sharp. Lenses have not gotten sharper over the last 50 years but what has improved a lot is the optical coatings. The new lenses are less prone to flair and have better contrast but any Nikon lens build from about the mid 80s to present will have good coatings
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    If the 18-200 mm VR has a maximum aperture of around f/5 at 50 mm, while the 50 mm f/1.8 can shoot at f/1.8, how many more stops do you gain using the 50 mm f/1.8?? I count 3 stops. However, the VR on the 18-200 mm gives you around 3 stops as well. However, I think everyone would agree that whether it's stopping handshake or anything else, the 50 mm f/1.8 is better for most things. Sorry, I'd rather have a faster lens than VR. The only time that a faster lens isn't better is when you want to do a somewhat long exposure (eg; 1/3 second long), and you aren't using a tripod. That's when VR helps, but that's not often.
     
  13. techie4life macrumors 6502

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  14. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I disagree. That's Nikon's line, but it doesn't really work out that way, especially if you do any action photography. Not only it is slower, but with the smaller maximum aperture, autofocus performance and low-light capabilities take a hit too.

    I also had the 18-200 VR. Now I have the 70-200/2.8 VR. The two don't even compare. Night and day. The 18-200 is a really nice consumer lens, but it is what it is, and that includes being not fast.
     
  15. PaulSorensen macrumors regular

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    Apr 30, 2008
    #15
    Guys - I didn't say that VR can turn the 18-200 (which is f/4.5-f-5.6) into an f/1.8 - but don't tell me that it doesn't improve things. It depends on what you're shooting. It won't help for sports because the stuff that you're shooting is moving, but it certainly helps a lot in many situations.

    But agreed that I wasn't very specific :D
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    You're right. VR can reduce blur that is caused by camera shake but it can not reduce blur do to subject motion nor can it reduce the depth of field like a fast lens can.

    I think the best way to describe the effect of VR is that it allows you to get shoots hand held that would have, without VR required a tripod.

    There are also secondary effects of using a faster f/2.8 lens that VR does not address. these would be (1) The auto focus system in the body is much more sensitive and faster if a f/2.8 lens is used because it has more light and because the depth of field is reduced making out of focus much easier for the camera body to detect and (2) the image the user sees in the view finder is much brighter with a faster lens, so your eye sees a better picture. But these are secondary effects because they do not directly show up in the capured image.
     
  17. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #17
    C'mon, that's not a fair comparison and you know it. One's a consumer lens, and one's a pro lens - they're not meant to compete.

    But you know what? I bet the majority of people would prefer carrying around the 14 ounce, 4 inch 18-200 as their walk-around lens rather than the 3 pound, 8.5 inch 70-200. Except maybe in New York, where the 70-200 could double as a club for self-defense. :D Not that I'd turn one down if someone gave it to me...
     
  18. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    #18
    I realize that. I was only making a point to dispute the claim that a slower lens with VR is the same as a faster lens. I made my comparison just to illustrate it's not a valid claim.

    Don't knock carrying around the 70-200 until you try it. It is a wonderful lens. I gave up my 18-200 VR to get it. Honestly, I didn't care for the 18-200 all that much. Drove me nuts that it kept creeping out as I carried it around. :)
     
  19. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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  20. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Yup, this lens is great. Planning on purchasing some cheap extension tubes to try some macro work with it. A must buy for any Nikon shooter.
     
  21. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    Sep 29, 2006
    #21
    Yes, super lens as everyone says on this board.

    Is there a difference between the two lenses (1.8 v. 1.4) - only marginally I hear and remember if you set the lens to max. aperture (1.4 or 1.8) there is a real risk of spherical distortion. In other words, the lower stop may give you a little bit extra in low light but may also produce distorted images at the edges.


    Go with the cheaper model. Best bang for buck...
     
  22. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #22
    The performance of these prime lenses at very wide apertures isn't always the greatest. However it can be the difference between getting a less-than-optimal shot and not getting any shot at all.

    I tend to avoid using my 35mm prime below f/2.8 for most things for this very reason. I'm pretty sure I'm going to "replace" it with the 24-70 f/2.8 as soon as I can afford it. That zoom is unbelievably sharp, edge to edge, even at f/2.8.
     
  23. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #23
    I don't have the creep problem unless the lens is pointing straight up or straight down. Nikon will apparently fix it under warranty if it's really bugging you.

    The majority of my shooting is between 24-70, so if I do get a higher-quality long zoom it'll probably be the 80-400 rather than the 70-200 simply for flexibility's sake. But I am hoping to get the 24-70 when I can afford it. It won't be to replace the 18-200 though; more of a supplement.
     

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