Nikon releases new 50mm f/1.4G AF-S

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Westside guy, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #1
    Here's the news item from DPreview

    I'll be curious to see how this does on an FX sensor - it's still a fairly narrow filter thread (58mm). Also some people are going to hate losing the aperture ring, although that doesn't really affect any of us that are shooting digital.
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    Wow, I just pitched a tent, and I'm not even outdoors!
     
  3. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    #3
    I wonder if the price will be comparable to the one for Canon's Nifty.
     
  4. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    The 'nifty' is an f/1.8 lens.This is the 1.4. I suspect it will be most of the way to £300.
     
  5. thr33face macrumors 6502

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    #5
    according to the dpreview.com forums the nikon press release states list price as $439.95
     
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #6
    Ok, this is kind of a stupid move. I mean, the only cameras that don't already have access to autofocusing primes are the D40/x and D60. Nikon already makes a 50mm f/1.4 AF lens that all the other digitals can use. The only reason to make a new one is the AF-S system so it can autofocus on the D40/x/60. But, why make it the f/1.4 (which means $$$)? Why not the f/1.8? Seems like it would be much more likely that your D40/60 owners would buy the cheaper, but still very fast compared to anything else they have access to.

    If they had made a 50mm f/1.8, which is 1/3 the price of the f/1.4, however I could have seen nearly every D40/60 owner getting one (would have been in the $120-150 range for the AF-s, based on the pricing of the AF f/1.4 and the new AF-S f/1.4). Just seems like they are aiming the wrong direction with this...

    Of course, I'm really, really new to this so maybe I'm wrong, but I'm just looking at this as the type of person who I'm guessing is the target market for the D40, and assuming that this lens is really only aimed at those people since there's an exisiting, cheaper, product that works for every other camera body Nikon makes.
     
  7. thr33face macrumors 6502

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    #7
    It's not about being able to autofocus on Nikons entry bodies.

    I think this lens-update is simply about updating an old lens design.
    From my understanding the 7/6 design of the AF/D version has been around since the preAI version from 1976.
    Of course Nikon updated it over the years, with small tweaks that made it optically better (mainly wide open performance), but there were (again, from my understanding) no huge leaps in performance. And the jump from the AF to the AF/D version was simply the implementation of the D feature with no lens-design optimizations.

    According to the MTF charts this lens should perform better than the AF/D model.
    Not to forget that the new lens has 9 rounded diaphragm blades. This will help a lot for bokeh smoothness stopped down. No more 7 cornered shapes when stopped down.

    Another important thing is that Af-S allows to instantly override the autofocus by simply turning the Focus-ring.
    This is a wonderful thing as it allows for instant correction of focus errors. I use it all the time with my sigma 30/1.4.
    The Af-s system makes focussing more silent too.

    And lastly: Nikon is refreshing their lens-lineup. It can clearly be seen that they are moving away from aperture rings and in camera focus motors.

    plus: someday there will be a 50mm f/1.8G AF-S.
     
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #8
    If there's significant optical performace gains, then I retract my statement (and claim a "I'm new to this" defense!).
     
  9. macdaddy121 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Sure, a side effect is the ability to use it on the D40 and D60...however, lenses are constantly being updated and improved. Image Quality will be better too.

    ---probably not a side effect but regardless the original idea was probably to improve an already wonderful lens to compete with others.
     
  10. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    This comment is more about lenses in general than the 50mm specifically.

    AF-S has two advantages. 1) Lenses with in-lens motors focus faster than lenses that rely on in-camera motors. 2) AF-S allows full-time manual override of AF without throwing the camera or lens into manual mode.

    Note that #2 is NOT applicable to a couple of Nikon's lowest-end lenses - the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm. To save money, Nikon used a cheaper version of the AF-S motor that does not allow full-time manual override.
     
  11. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #11
    Well, hopefully they release a f/1.8 AF-S soon, too. I can't justify a $400-500 lens any time soon, but if I could get a fast prime for $150 and the 55-200mm VR (which is ~$200) it would really round out the lenses for the D40. The body and the kit 18-55mm lens is $400-450, and those two lenses for $350-400 would be quite a kit for well under $1000, including bag, tripod, remote, etc etc etc.

    Yes, I understand that the 1.4 is a significant jump in speed, but the price is certainly a huge jump.
     
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #12
    I was thinking the same thing. Something just didn't compute there for me.

    Yeah but the "G" series lenses are generally plastic, no? Does G = Nikon's budget line?
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #13
    No, G has nothing to do with the built quality of the lenses. G means that you don't have an aperture ring anymore. Almost all newer lenses are G lenses (there are a few exceptions such as the PC Nikkors), from the cheap 18-55 kit lens to the new 2.8/14-24 mm pro FF-UWA zoom.
     
  14. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    People buy the more expensive nikons to use the cheap 50mm etc. Bringing out a cheap 1.8 AF-S would remove an important differentiator between low and mid range. Additionally, it wouldn't look good for the more pro lens to lack features (As important as AF-S) that every jimminy has on his D40...
     
  15. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #15
    That doesn't make any sense. You're seeming to say that Nikon only wants people who buy their expensive bodies to have an inexpensive fast prime. What's more likely is that someone willing to drop $1000 on a body only is more likely than someone who spent $400 on a body and kit lens to spend the extra $250-300 on the faster 50mm prime (the 1.4 and 1.8 AF 50mm's are about $280 apart).

    I don't think that any "pro" cares a ton about AF-S. Their camera has the motor so it's sort of a moot point for them (yes, there are some advantages in speed and quick manual override as pointed out, but they don't seem to be generally deal breakers). Releasing a f/1.8 50mm with AF-S first would seem to be the more logical move, in terms of selling them to a market who is searching for just such a thing, than the f/1.4. Unless there is some really significant improvement in the optical quality of the lens, at least.

    Maybe the f/1.8 will come out really shortly after this and the 1.4 announcement just came first because it's more exiciting sounding... who knows. If/when they do release a 50mm f/1.8 AF-S I'll probably get one right away if it's reasonably prices ($150 or so, as would match the pricing of the exisiting lenses and the new 1.4 AF-S). But there's not much chance I'll drop over $400 for the 1.4, and I think I am fairly representative of the D40 owning demographic.
     
  16. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #16
    My opinion isn't any more important than yours - but I think you're wrong on this. At a minimum, certainly sports shooters care a great deal about focus speed. Probably nature photographers do as well.
     
  17. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #17
    First, I'll certainly agree that that's all just my opinion, and it's worth very little. Less informed than yours, I'd suspect. However, maybe I'm wrong here, but I don't think that sports or wildlife photogs are using 50mm primes, are they? Seems like those type go for the big, long lenses. So, there, focus speed is likely important, but in the 50mm fixed length lens, it seems like that's more a portrait or an indoor, low light lens. Maybe I'm misinformed on the lenses choices of the people in those niches, though. Also, anyone know what the average difference is in the AF vs AF-S speed? Are we talking a 5% increase or a 50%?
     
  18. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #18
    Oops, I was so totally trying to avoid sounding like "I'm right and you're wrong" that I may have unintentionally come across insultingly anyway. If so, I apologize.

    I've just noticed that lately some people (NOTE: NOT YOU) have been a bit touchy here, so I was trying to go out of my way to say "this is just my opinion, and it only matters as much or as little as any other person's opinion here". :D
     
  19. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

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    #19
    I hope this causes the 50 mm 1.4 AF D to fall in price. I may pick up a good used one.
     
  20. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #20
    Nope you didn't come off that way at all. I'm really new to this stuff, so I'm just looking at it as almost an outsider, so maybe my inititial impressions have been off.
     
  21. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    #21
    This is a good announcement IMO. Nikon has found their older lenses lacking when put onto their FF digi bodies, I think this is the first of a number of updated lenses we will see over the next year/18 months. It is about time they updated everything to AF-S and redesigned for digital (70-200 2.8, please Nikon, URGENT). I think most of the Canon lens line up is already redesigned for digi and is AF-S and the Nikon range is currently looking rather out of date in comparison. A lot of the primes are still around from the old film days, and as we know, FF digital is very critical of lens choice in comparison to film.

    The 1.4 was announced first as it is a headline lens (same with Leica the other day with their 0.95 50mm, it is one to sell magazines on newstands!). I'm sure the 1.8 will follow soon enough.

    PS I'm very relieved as I was about to buy a 1.4D, this announcement just came soon enough!
     
  22. 66217 Guest

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    #22
    The advantage of this lens is not only that it has AF-S, which by the way, is a great advantage. AF-S makes it faster to focus, and the manual override is excellent for portraits, even more with this kind of lenses were so little is in focus.

    Also, it seems it would have a nicer bokeh, wich again, is great for portraits, and the overall quality of the lens and image quality would be better.

    As for why release this one before the f/1.8, well, I guess people get more excited by this lens. But I think we'll shortly see the AF-S versions of many other prime lenses.
     
  23. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

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    #23
    This is pretty good news I guess. This was going to be one of the first lenses I bought when I get my D90 in a few weeks. At first I was a bit bummed because it means the price will go up a bit, but it will be a nicer lens. I'll still buy it.
     
  24. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #24
    I hope you guys are right. As I said before, as someone just getting into SLR photography I found the D40 to be a great value (pretty much one of the cameras that allowed me to dip my toes into dSLR without going so far out of my budget that it wasn't practical) and Nikon already has some good, inexpensive zoom lenses (the 18-55, 55-200 VR, 18-135, etc) but the fast primes, which should have been among the cheaper options for high quality glass, were simply not available. A f/1.8 50mm in AF-S will, I think, sell really well to the D40 crowd simply because it'd be the only thing out there with that kind of speed.

    Hopefully before Christmas, or next summer at the latest. Seems like that would be ideal for underwater shooting...
     
  25. Westside guy thread starter macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #25
    What I really want to see is if the performance improves significantly at the widest apertures. The previous lens (as well as the 50mm f/1.8) had some issues wide open - to really get pin sharp you had to stop it down a couple steps.

    The Sigma f/1.4 has reportedly raised the bar in this regard, so I'm hoping the Nikon matches it - the Sigma is a big hulking piece o' glass!
     

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