Which "Nifty" 50mm ?

Started Jul 21, 2011 | Discussions
devoh
Junior MemberPosts: 37
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Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
Jul 21, 2011

I have a D7000 and am looking for thoughts on the Nikon 50mm prime lenses...

I'd love to have a nice fast lens that could help me avoid using flash.. but that being said I like sharpness..

I’d like more low light function which the 1.4G should give.. but what about its sharpness wide open.. If the 1.4D or G @ 1.8 is not as sharp as the 1.8G at 1.8.. then well I would say the 1.8G is the one to get. The problem is I can’t find any comparisons out yet like that.

What do you guys think?

Thanks

Devoh

nfpotter
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

Get the 50mm f/1.8 D, since it's by far the cheapest, and save the rest of the money toward something else.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

The 1.8D is mushy wide open and doesn't get tack sharp until about f4, so go for the 1.4, which is sharp every which way:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=636&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=0&LensComp=638&CameraComp=614&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0

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devoh
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Jul 21, 2011

I had heard that the 1.4G was sharper and an improvement over the 1.4D.
Is that true?

-Devoh

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Thomas Comerford
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

devoh wrote:

I have a D7000 and am looking for thoughts on the Nikon 50mm prime lenses...

I'd love to have a nice fast lens that could help me avoid using flash.. but that being said I like sharpness..

I’d like more low light function which the 1.4G should give.. but what about its sharpness wide open.. If the 1.4D or G @ 1.8 is not as sharp as the 1.8G at 1.8.. then well I would say the 1.8G is the one to get. The problem is I can’t find any comparisons out yet like that.

What do you guys think?

Thanks

Devoh

The most important question here is: what focal length do you want?

If you have done so already, you should first use a zoom lens to try out different focal lengths and see which one you like the most. Many people find that 50mm is actually an awkward focal length on DX... it's too short for some things, and too long for others.

The difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 or the difference in sharpness between one prime and another pales into insignificance compared to the difference in field of view between 35mm, 50mm and 85mm primes.

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Cytokine
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

devoh wrote:

I had heard that the 1.4G was sharper and an improvement over the 1.4D.
Is that true?

-Devoh

I think it is slightly sharper wide open but slightly slower to AF, than the D version, I am not sure that it is worth the extra money. There are some used D versions around that are even better value. If you have a big budget buy it, if not put the difference towards another lens.

John

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devoh
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to Thomas Comerford, Jul 21, 2011

From a quick checking of prices for the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.. The only one I can afford is the 50mm. So while I might agree that one may be more natural to my shooting habits.. I will just have to learn to move around more or less.

So back to the questions about the 50mm's

-Devoh

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

If you want to shoot wide open and get max sharpness, you'll have to fork over for the 1.4, per the test charts I linked. I rarely shoot wide open, so the 1.8D works extremely well for me, especially for $119. By 2.8, it's good, at least in the center. It apparently has less distortion than the new 1.8G.

If I was enamored of the wafer-thin depth of field look which reduces the denizens of the Nikon lens forum to jelly, then yes, I would be first in line for the 1.4 :^)

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LensLineup
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

f/1.4 is really shallow depth of field ... by the time you get to f/2.0 or f/2.8 your images will sharpen up (assuming shutter speed is still okay)

Frankly, the new 50/1.8G is the one to get unless you really really need to use f/1.4

devoh wrote:

From a quick checking of prices for the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.. The only one I can afford is the 50mm. So while I might agree that one may be more natural to my shooting habits.. I will just have to learn to move around more or less.

So back to the questions about the 50mm's

-Devoh

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Patco
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Take your pick...
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

They are all OK, with the more expensive ones being better.
I have only an AF 50mm f/1.4 (not even a "D"), and it's good enough for me.
Nikon D80 1/320s f/8.0 50.0mm ISO400

devoh wrote:

I have a D7000 and am looking for thoughts on the Nikon 50mm prime lenses...

I'd love to have a nice fast lens that could help me avoid using flash.. but that being said I like sharpness..

I’d like more low light function which the 1.4G should give.. but what about its sharpness wide open.. If the 1.4D or G @ 1.8 is not as sharp as the 1.8G at 1.8.. then well I would say the 1.8G is the one to get. The problem is I can’t find any comparisons out yet like that.

What do you guys think?

Thanks

Devoh

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Patco
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Thomas Comerford
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 21, 2011

devoh wrote:

From a quick checking of prices for the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.. The only one I can afford is the 50mm.

Really.... what about the 35mm f/1.8? It's an excellent lens for the price. In fact, I'd expect it to be cheaper than a 50mm f/1.4.

So while I might agree that one may be more natural to my shooting habits.. I will just have to learn to move around more or less.

Unfortunately, you may find yourself backing into walls.

So back to the questions about the 50mm's

-Devoh

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Greg lamont
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to Thomas Comerford, Jul 22, 2011

I recently got the new DX 35 1.8 and just listed the 50mm 1.8D on ebay.

Reason is they are too close in mm length to carry both and I can always move in BUT it is not always possible to move back.

I am now looking at getting a 85 prime.
Hoping a new one will be issued soon.

Greg

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devoh
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to Thomas Comerford, Jul 22, 2011

You are right, sorry.. The 35mm 1.8G is a DX lens and $199 new. Sorry I was thinking the 35mm 1.4G FX which is $1600

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devoh
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Re: Take your pick...
In reply to Patco, Jul 22, 2011

Wow, beautiful picture. From what I have heard the 1.4G is not as sharp @ 1.8 as the 1.8G is @ 1.8. Naturally everything gets sharper as you stop it down. Take for example your beautiful pic, it's stopped down to f8. My thought is if you need to stop down a 1.4 to a f4 to get a really sharp image.. then what was the point of paying the extra for a 1.4

Getting a D lens doesn't bother me, except it seems the new trend is to make the G lens version slightly better optically. In fact many of the D lens are said to focus faster.. naturally that is body dependent.

I am one of those idiots looking for the perfect lens.. only a small part of me is willing to see that in lens design there are always trade-offs.

There is the interesting point that I could get a 35mm 1.8G AND a 50mm 1.8G for the same price as the 50mm1.4G

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devoh
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to Greg lamont, Jul 22, 2011

It's interesting to think that one can usually move in but that most times one can not backup. I think it is a valid point.

Looking at the reviews for the 35mm 1.8 it got dings on
Slightly soft and low in contrast wide open

Lateral chromatic aberration somewhat higher than traditional 50mm 'standard' primes

Prone to purple fringing and bokeh chromatic aberration, most visible at large apertures

I think the lateral chromatic aberrations are the ones that are easily fixed in camera.. but I could be wrong. The fringing is what make me nervous as I love to shoot nature and trees.. and that can be a real problem with trees in the winter against the sky.

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GlennW
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Re: Take your pick...
In reply to devoh, Jul 22, 2011

You can get the 35 1.8D for $199. The 50 1.8D for $219. Save up for the new 40 macro @ MSRP $279. Something else to look at is the filter size if you use any. The 40 & 35 use the same 52mm as the 18-55 kit lens. The 50 uses a larger 58mm.

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Patco
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Re: Take your pick...
In reply to devoh, Jul 22, 2011

devoh wrote:

Wow, beautiful picture. From what I have heard the 1.4G is not as sharp @ 1.8 as the 1.8G is @ 1.8. Naturally everything gets sharper as you stop it down. Take for example your beautiful pic, it's stopped down to f8. My thought is if you need to stop down a 1.4 to a f4 to get a really sharp image.. then what was the point of paying the extra for a 1.4

Thank you!

I don't know how the newly announced 50mm f/1.8G stacks up in comparison, but my experience with the AF 50mm f/1.4 (non-D) and the AF-D 50mm f/1.8 is in line with this:

http://www.smartpict.com/lenstest/Nikon_50_18_VS_50_14/US_test_Nikon_50mm_14_VS_18.php

However, if I was buying a 50mm lens right now, I would definitely want to compare the f/1.8 & the f/1.4 G versions.

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Patco
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devoh
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Jul 22, 2011

I am assuming you are referring to the 1.4G being superior.. I went to that link and the 1.4D has terrible fringing compared to the 1.4G. I wish they had the new 1.8G to compare with..

Thanks

-devoh

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nelsonal
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 22, 2011

You may want to consider used lenses, too. If you're considering anything besides the 50 f/1.8 D (and if not it's a very good bargain for the sharpness you get), the 35 G is probably a better single lens option (50mm isn't the best do everything lens on crop bodies), and if you're considering either 50 f/1.4 ($300-$450 used) the 85 f/1.8D can be had for similar prices, or if you don't mind manually focusing, the older 85 f/2 is cheap, of good quality, and will meter with your camera.

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spbStan
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Re: Which "Nifty" 50mm ?
In reply to devoh, Jul 22, 2011

What are you shooting? Sharpness on all them is very good stopped down. Sharpness in corners is not good on any of them wide open.

For general street photography the 35 1.8 AF-S is pretty darn good and is cheap. Wide open it is sharper with better color and contrast than the 50 1.8D.

I have those both plus a Sigma 50 1.4. It is big for street candids, but that is fine for me because my preferred street lens is a 70-200vr.

The 50 1.4G Nikkor is sharper wide open than the 1.8 but do you really want millimeter DOF?

If you are getting candid action, the little 1.8D is actually pretty fast focusing. The 50 1.4G and 1.8G are slow. My big Sigma is fast and the 35 1.8 is pretty quick.

Stopping down to 2.8 on the 50 1.8D starts getting pretty nice, at f/4 the 35 and 50 are about the same. Sharpness in that range is not an issue with any of the primes.
What you want to shoot would determine what is the best one for you.

If people shooting, any of the 50s requires getting back to get full length images, because on a DX they have the field of view of a 75mm short telephoto.

Let us know why you want a 50 in the first place, maybe another FL would be better for a crop sensor field of view for your subject.
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Stan
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