50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Questions
4eyesgood
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50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
Dec 10, 2013

A while back I had the 50mm 1.8 manual focus which I was using for shots of flowers. Had a few beauties but my middle aged eyes got the better of me, I couldn't trust my judgement of focus and so sold the lens.

Apart from Landscape (well equipped with wide angle and ND) this and close shots of professional craft ceramics are my two areas of interest. I've been reading threads here on the 40 micro and have been surprised by the enthusiasm for the qualities of image and bokeh.

Because of the eyes I obviously need to go AF-S. Prices for the 50 1.8 and the 40 micro are close  here. I recognise the problems of working distance with the 40 (but I wouldn't be shooting insects - it'd be flowers and close details of glaze surfaces) and I have the experience of real sharpness and good bokeh (good enough for me) of the manual 50, so does anyone have experience and advice over which way to go? Would be much appreciated.

Thanks Much,

Kevin

 4eyesgood's gear list:4eyesgood's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
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HSway
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Re: 50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
In reply to 4eyesgood, Dec 10, 2013

I have compared 50/1.8G directly to macro lens Tokina 35/2.8 and was surprised how well the Nikkor fared at the minimum focus distance (it was sharper than the macro lens @f5.6 and also a smidgen sharper @f2.8 (Tokina gave me f3 at that distance; I matched the field of view by backing up a little.)

I f you think you can be using an fx camera in the near future that would speak for the 50/1.8. I like the lens as such quite a bit more on the fx than I liked it on dx - especially at wider apertures.

Try to determine whether the wider FOV is better for the kind of shooting you mention. And what distance you will be shooting from typically (for further away f1.8 could prove useful whereas up-close the DOF gets progressively shallow. - Generally I consider 40mm an interesting FL on dx. plus my instinct would naturally point towards a dedicated macro lens for a close-up photography. Bokeh qualities seem very good, you should be pleased there.

I’d hope for better replies, this is a best from me,

Good luck

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VertigonA380
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Re: 50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
In reply to 4eyesgood, Dec 10, 2013

I think the 40mm is great value for money, I have the 105 but I have seen some great examples. Here is the flickr pool if your interested:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon40mm/pool/page2/

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4eyesgood
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Re: 50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
In reply to HSway, Dec 10, 2013

Thanks Hynek - that's a great reply! pretty informative. Much appreciated.

Kevin

 4eyesgood's gear list:4eyesgood's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
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4eyesgood
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Re: 50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
In reply to VertigonA380, Dec 10, 2013

Thanks also Vertigon. There's some good stuff on that link and shows that the macro's usable with
'staged' subjects (i.e. not moving insects). Back to my quandary!

All the Best,

Kevin

 4eyesgood's gear list:4eyesgood's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7800 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
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joejack951
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Re: 50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
In reply to 4eyesgood, Dec 10, 2013

What DX camera are you using? If it has an internal AF motor, you could also consider the still-available-new Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF-D lens for a bit more money (or find one even cheaper used). It would give you a bit more working distance and based on what I've read, you won't be disappointed with the sharpness at close distance.

Link to 60mm f/2.8 AF-D: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/66987-GREY/Nikon_1987_AF_Micro_Nikkor_60mm_f_2_8D.html

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Jon Ingram
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Re: 50mm 1.8 or 40 mm 2.8 Micro?
In reply to 4eyesgood, Dec 11, 2013

4eyesgood wrote:

A while back I had the 50mm 1.8 manual focus which I was using for shots of flowers. Had a few beauties but my middle aged eyes got the better of me, I couldn't trust my judgement of focus and so sold the lens.

Apart from Landscape (well equipped with wide angle and ND) this and close shots of professional craft ceramics are my two areas of interest. I've been reading threads here on the 40 micro and have been surprised by the enthusiasm for the qualities of image and bokeh.

Because of the eyes I obviously need to go AF-S. Prices for the 50 1.8 and the 40 micro are close here. I recognise the problems of working distance with the 40 (but I wouldn't be shooting insects - it'd be flowers and close details of glaze surfaces) and I have the experience of real sharpness and good bokeh (good enough for me) of the manual 50, so does anyone have experience and advice over which way to go? Would be much appreciated.

Thanks Much,

Kevin

If I had to choose it would be the 50. Why? Because it focuses close enough for what you want to do in terms of macro and it's more versatile (faster auto-focus, wider aperture). Just my two cents. The tamron 90mm 2.8 (non-vc) is an excellent budget macro alternative, but I suspect your looking for something wider.

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