Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series

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draculr
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Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
1 month ago

I ended up purchasing the Sigma 35mm and 50mm 1.4 Art lenses when I got my D800e. Image quality wise I can't complain at all but I am really tempted to sell them and go for a couple of Nikon 1.8g lenses instead (the 28mm 1.8g and 50mm 1.8g seem the best bet but the 50mm 1.4g does have a wider throw on the focus ring which is handy for video).

Why? The Sigma lenses are heavy and huge! I already have my heavy zooms so when I put primes on I feel like the camera should weigh significantly less. The size and weight difference between the 50mm lenses is absolutely huge.

I should note: I've since started filming on the A7S and the weight definitely is much more of a factor on that small camera which is adding to my temptation.

From what I can see the Nikon 1.8g lenses ain't bad, particularly the 28mm. It just seems like these days no one bothers with these primes and goes for the Sigma so I wouldn't mind some opinions

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Stacey_K
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28, 35 and 85
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

These are all good, especially when you take into consideration their weight and cost. I would skip the 50 1.8g, the nervous bokeh is a deal breaker for me at this focal length.

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Stacey

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draculr
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Stacey_K wrote:

These are all good, especially when you take into consideration their weight and cost. I would skip the 50 1.8g, the nervous bokeh is a deal breaker for me at this focal length.

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Stacey

How's the 50 1.4g? I was under the assumption that the 1.4g was more nervous which was why I was leaning toward the 1.8g!

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Stacey_K
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

draculr wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

These are all good, especially when you take into consideration their weight and cost. I would skip the 50 1.8g, the nervous bokeh is a deal breaker for me at this focal length.

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Stacey

How's the 50 1.4g? I was under the assumption that the 1.4g was more nervous which was why I was leaning toward the 1.8g!

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Neither have good bokeh unfortunately. The non-art 50 sigma seems pretty good but isn't a light lens either. The 58 is more of a specialty lens and I don't want to open up that can of worms comparing it to "nifty 50's" but it is fairly light and has really smooth bokeh. It is expensive though.

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draculr
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

Stacey_K wrote:

draculr wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

These are all good, especially when you take into consideration their weight and cost. I would skip the 50 1.8g, the nervous bokeh is a deal breaker for me at this focal length.

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Stacey

How's the 50 1.4g? I was under the assumption that the 1.4g was more nervous which was why I was leaning toward the 1.8g!

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Neither have good bokeh unfortunately. The non-art 50 sigma seems pretty good but isn't a light lens either. The 58 is more of a specialty lens and I don't want to open up that can of worms comparing it to "nifty 50's" but it is fairly light and has really smooth bokeh. It is expensive though.

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Stacey

That sucks. I might take the chance with the 50mm 1.8g anyway, 50mm is probably my least used focal length and it's a nice cheap lens.

I'm much more concerned if the 28mm 1.8g doesn't live up to expectations. I really would love for something to go well with my 85mm 1.8g which is such a sweet lens - hoping the 28mm 1.8g is just that!

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coudet
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

draculr wrote:

How's the 50 1.4g? I was under the assumption that the 1.4g was more nervous which was why I was leaning toward the 1.8g!

Stacey is right, neither is very good when it comes to bokeh. But, then, Sigma 50/1.4 Art isn't either. They're decent bang for the buck, small, cheap, but lower your expectations when it comes to bokeh.

P.S. On the A7s, you should be going with the Sony 55/1.8.

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SanMat
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

Based on your website (looks terrific), you're a much more experienced portrait photographer, so take my response for what it is.

I used to have the Sigma 85 f/1.4.  Big and heavy - yes.  A while ago I got a bit tired of the weight and wanted the 85mm length for more street/walkaround photography, so I sold that lens and swapped it for the new Nikon 85 f/1.8.  I do like the Nikon, and the weight difference is significant.  However, if I could go back in time I would, and I'd keep the Sigma (and then perhaps save some more $$ and later purchase the Nikon).  I won't attempt to give a scientific analysis, but from my experience the Sigma is noticeably sharper (with terrific bokeh), and does produce great images at f/1.4, so the extra stop is definitely very usable.

I don't think I'll sell my Nikon f/1.8 - it is very good, and in studio conditions especially it's a gem, but that Sigma is definitely a step up all around.  I've heard rumors of a new 85 f/1.4 "Art" series lens on the horizon.  No idea if that is true - I just think the current Sigma 85 f/1.4 is outstanding.  (I've actually thought of picking up a Pentax k-3 to use with that Sigma lens (and other non-stabilized lenses) since the Pentax has the in-body stabilization).

My two cents.

Pete

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draculr
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to SanMat, 1 month ago

SanMat wrote:

Based on your website (looks terrific), you're a much more experienced portrait photographer, so take my response for what it is.

I used to have the Sigma 85 f/1.4. Big and heavy - yes. A while ago I got a bit tired of the weight and wanted the 85mm length for more street/walkaround photography, so I sold that lens and swapped it for the new Nikon 85 f/1.8. I do like the Nikon, and the weight difference is significant. However, if I could go back in time I would, and I'd keep the Sigma (and then perhaps save some more $$ and later purchase the Nikon). I won't attempt to give a scientific analysis, but from my experience the Sigma is noticeably sharper (with terrific bokeh), and does produce great images at f/1.4, so the extra stop is definitely very usable.

I don't think I'll sell my Nikon f/1.8 - it is very good, and in studio conditions especially it's a gem, but that Sigma is definitely a step up all around. I've heard rumors of a new 85 f/1.4 "Art" series lens on the horizon. No idea if that is true - I just think the current Sigma 85 f/1.4 is outstanding. (I've actually thought of picking up a Pentax k-3 to use with that Sigma lens (and other non-stabilized lenses) since the Pentax has the in-body stabilization).

My two cents.

Pete

Thanks!

I did try the Sigma 85 at one stage but just didn't gel with it - I just didn't find the way it rendered the scene all that appealing compared to lenses like to Canon 85LII or the Nikon 85 g's.

Ever since I switched to Nikon and grabbed the 70-200 I tend to use that much more often for portrait shoots since the bokeh is very much to my liking. When I do use the 85 it'd be mostly due to me wanting to carry something less obtrusive which is why I have the 1.8g.

If the 28 is the wide equivalent to the 85 I think it's a lens I will get along with quite well! But it seems to be a lens people skip over in favor of the Sigma hence I wanted some opinions

I am pretty sure I did a major impulse buy on the Sigma 50mm (new lens everyone was raving about just happened to be in stock when I was at the store) and now feel a bit guilty about it as I rarely find a use for it

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Stujomo
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

draculr wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

draculr wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

These are all good, especially when you take into consideration their weight and cost. I would skip the 50 1.8g, the nervous bokeh is a deal breaker for me at this focal length.

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Stacey

How's the 50 1.4g? I was under the assumption that the 1.4g was more nervous which was why I was leaning toward the 1.8g!

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Neither have good bokeh unfortunately. The non-art 50 sigma seems pretty good but isn't a light lens either. The 58 is more of a specialty lens and I don't want to open up that can of worms comparing it to "nifty 50's" but it is fairly light and has really smooth bokeh. It is expensive though.

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Stacey

That sucks. I might take the chance with the 50mm 1.8g anyway, 50mm is probably my least used focal length and it's a nice cheap lens.

I'm much more concerned if the 28mm 1.8g doesn't live up to expectations. I really would love for something to go well with my 85mm 1.8g which is such a sweet lens - hoping the 28mm 1.8g is just that!

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The 50 f1.8 g is a lot better if you stop it down to 2.8 instead of shooting it wide open. I don't use mine wide open very often. Most of the time I stop down to around f4 to F8 for more DOF.

I was checking out the 35mm and 50mm art lenses but they seem to be a bit big to be honest. I'm not too sure what I would gain from one and I like the results from the 50mm 1.8 g most of the time.

I shot these today with the 50mm 1.8g

Nice light lens even on a D800. I still wouldn't mind trying the 50mm f1.4g just to see how it does as it is still rather light.

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9ck
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In case you've overlooked this thread...
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3711181

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thelenspainter
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

The 28 1.8G is one if Nikon's best lenses. It is very sharp across the entire frame even at f1.8 (actually sharper than the amazing 24 1.4G). It has very nice bokeh and pleasant OOF transition at closer focus distances and is amazing at landscape distances. You can't really go wrong with it!

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anotherMike
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

I own the 28/1.8G and the two Sigma arts (35,50) and recently sold the 35/1.8G FX and 50/1.8G lenses. I also own the Nikon 85/1.8G

Like many things, it comes down to what your highest priority is. Personally, since image quality trumps all and I don't consider either Sigma art a "heavy" lens (I can shot a 4 hour studio session with one as easily as I can type on this keyboard and it doesn't even register - a heavy lens to me is the 200/2 for example), the 28/1.8G is the only one that stayed of those three for image quality reasons. But, at the same time, while many people in forums, including myself at times, get caught up in a binary view of "awesome" or "garbage", the reality of course is that image quality has vastly more gradients between those two opposite poles. The 35/1.8G FX is definitely a lens to consider if you're wanting to keep it lighter. It is pretty sharp, incredibly flare resistant (although I think the 28/1.8G is every bit as flare resistant), and is a very nice lens. Yes, after extensive, involved testing I preferred the Sigma art, but it's not by miles and miles either. If I needed to carry a light/small kit it would absolutely be a contender. The 50/1.8G is nothing more than a fairly sharp, but very clinical and kind of subjectively 'dull' 50mm lens with average bokeh at best. It's cheap, it's sharp, but there is not a shred of that proverbial "magic" with it. The Sigma 50 art here is quite a bit more superior in image quality than the Sigma art 35 is over the Nikon 35/1.8G FX if that helps - different amounts of magnitude of difference for sure.

The 28 is a tweener focal length for me - I do find myself reaching for the 24 or the 35 more often, but it's a very nice lens. It's *almost* a great lens - but not quite - mostly due to heavy and at times funky field curvature that can trip you up. However, once dialed in, it's sharp, flare resistant, nice colors, decent microcontrast. It's a better lens IMO than any of Nikons 35mm offerings (I've owned both) for sure, so it's an easy recommendation although it's a touch heavier than the 35/1.8G (but not as heavy as the Sigma 35 or 50 art).

I think in your case the 28 might be seriously worth the look. I might advise to keep the Sigma 50 art around as a tool that you might need even if rarely, and if weight is an issue, change out the 35 art for the little 35/1.8G FX if feel that the weight is the priority for you. I'd skip the 50G's (any of them) honestly, but that's just me.

-m

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thelenspainter
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to anotherMike, 1 month ago

And here I am again A note to Mike's comments about the field curvature on the 28 1.8G: I'm guessing it becomes evident on the 36mp D800. On 24mp I have never, ever noticed any unusual field curvature at any distance or aperture setting in 2 years of using this lens.

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draculr
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to anotherMike, 1 month ago

anotherMike wrote:

I own the 28/1.8G and the two Sigma arts (35,50) and recently sold the 35/1.8G FX and 50/1.8G lenses. I also own the Nikon 85/1.8G

Like many things, it comes down to what your highest priority is. Personally, since image quality trumps all and I don't consider either Sigma art a "heavy" lens (I can shot a 4 hour studio session with one as easily as I can type on this keyboard and it doesn't even register - a heavy lens to me is the 200/2 for example), the 28/1.8G is the only one that stayed of those three for image quality reasons. But, at the same time, while many people in forums, including myself at times, get caught up in a binary view of "awesome" or "garbage", the reality of course is that image quality has vastly more gradients between those two opposite poles. The 35/1.8G FX is definitely a lens to consider if you're wanting to keep it lighter. It is pretty sharp, incredibly flare resistant (although I think the 28/1.8G is every bit as flare resistant), and is a very nice lens. Yes, after extensive, involved testing I preferred the Sigma art, but it's not by miles and miles either. If I needed to carry a light/small kit it would absolutely be a contender. The 50/1.8G is nothing more than a fairly sharp, but very clinical and kind of subjectively 'dull' 50mm lens with average bokeh at best. It's cheap, it's sharp, but there is not a shred of that proverbial "magic" with it. The Sigma 50 art here is quite a bit more superior in image quality than the Sigma art 35 is over the Nikon 35/1.8G FX if that helps - different amounts of magnitude of difference for sure.

The 28 is a tweener focal length for me - I do find myself reaching for the 24 or the 35 more often, but it's a very nice lens. It's *almost* a great lens - but not quite - mostly due to heavy and at times funky field curvature that can trip you up. However, once dialed in, it's sharp, flare resistant, nice colors, decent microcontrast. It's a better lens IMO than any of Nikons 35mm offerings (I've owned both) for sure, so it's an easy recommendation although it's a touch heavier than the 35/1.8G (but not as heavy as the Sigma 35 or 50 art).

I think in your case the 28 might be seriously worth the look. I might advise to keep the Sigma 50 art around as a tool that you might need even if rarely, and if weight is an issue, change out the 35 art for the little 35/1.8G FX if feel that the weight is the priority for you. I'd skip the 50G's (any of them) honestly, but that's just me.

-m

Thanks for the write up Mike and that's an interesting suggestion. It seems the Nikon 28 1.8g over the Sigma 35 will be a fairly easy choice at the very least. Funnily enough. this thread is making me rethink my need for a 50mm at all. 28/85 sounds like a combo that can handle just about anything with lightness and great image quality to boot.

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draculr
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Re: 28, 35 and 85
In reply to thelenspainter, 1 month ago

thelenspainter wrote:

The 28 1.8G is one if Nikon's best lenses. It is very sharp across the entire frame even at f1.8 (actually sharper than the amazing 24 1.4G). It has very nice bokeh and pleasant OOF transition at closer focus distances and is amazing at landscape distances. You can't really go wrong with it!

That's what I want to hear

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9ck
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

draculr wrote:

anotherMike wrote:

I own the 28/1.8G and the two Sigma arts (35,50) and recently sold the 35/1.8G FX and 50/1.8G lenses. I also own the Nikon 85/1.8G

Like many things, it comes down to what your highest priority is. Personally, since image quality trumps all and I don't consider either Sigma art a "heavy" lens (I can shot a 4 hour studio session with one as easily as I can type on this keyboard and it doesn't even register - a heavy lens to me is the 200/2 for example), the 28/1.8G is the only one that stayed of those three for image quality reasons. But, at the same time, while many people in forums, including myself at times, get caught up in a binary view of "awesome" or "garbage", the reality of course is that image quality has vastly more gradients between those two opposite poles. The 35/1.8G FX is definitely a lens to consider if you're wanting to keep it lighter. It is pretty sharp, incredibly flare resistant (although I think the 28/1.8G is every bit as flare resistant), and is a very nice lens. Yes, after extensive, involved testing I preferred the Sigma art, but it's not by miles and miles either. If I needed to carry a light/small kit it would absolutely be a contender. The 50/1.8G is nothing more than a fairly sharp, but very clinical and kind of subjectively 'dull' 50mm lens with average bokeh at best. It's cheap, it's sharp, but there is not a shred of that proverbial "magic" with it. The Sigma 50 art here is quite a bit more superior in image quality than the Sigma art 35 is over the Nikon 35/1.8G FX if that helps - different amounts of magnitude of difference for sure.

The 28 is a tweener focal length for me - I do find myself reaching for the 24 or the 35 more often, but it's a very nice lens. It's *almost* a great lens - but not quite - mostly due to heavy and at times funky field curvature that can trip you up. However, once dialed in, it's sharp, flare resistant, nice colors, decent microcontrast. It's a better lens IMO than any of Nikons 35mm offerings (I've owned both) for sure, so it's an easy recommendation although it's a touch heavier than the 35/1.8G (but not as heavy as the Sigma 35 or 50 art).

I think in your case the 28 might be seriously worth the look. I might advise to keep the Sigma 50 art around as a tool that you might need even if rarely, and if weight is an issue, change out the 35 art for the little 35/1.8G FX if feel that the weight is the priority for you. I'd skip the 50G's (any of them) honestly, but that's just me.

-m

Thanks for the write up Mike and that's an interesting suggestion. It seems the Nikon 28 1.8g over the Sigma 35 will be a fairly easy choice at the very least. Funnily enough. this thread is making me rethink my need for a 50mm at all. 28/85 sounds like a combo that can handle just about anything with lightness and great image quality to boot.

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I have the 28, 50 and 85mm f/1.8 combo. I use the 50 the least of the 3, but since it a very cheap little lens I can't get myself to sell it. It's very small and light. For me the size, weight and price of the 50 f/1.8 (and it's not a bad lens) is it's force.

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SanMat
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to draculr, 1 month ago

draculr wrote:

SanMat wrote:

Based on your website (looks terrific), you're a much more experienced portrait photographer, so take my response for what it is.

I used to have the Sigma 85 f/1.4. Big and heavy - yes. A while ago I got a bit tired of the weight and wanted the 85mm length for more street/walkaround photography, so I sold that lens and swapped it for the new Nikon 85 f/1.8. I do like the Nikon, and the weight difference is significant. However, if I could go back in time I would, and I'd keep the Sigma (and then perhaps save some more $$ and later purchase the Nikon). I won't attempt to give a scientific analysis, but from my experience the Sigma is noticeably sharper (with terrific bokeh), and does produce great images at f/1.4, so the extra stop is definitely very usable.

I don't think I'll sell my Nikon f/1.8 - it is very good, and in studio conditions especially it's a gem, but that Sigma is definitely a step up all around. I've heard rumors of a new 85 f/1.4 "Art" series lens on the horizon. No idea if that is true - I just think the current Sigma 85 f/1.4 is outstanding. (I've actually thought of picking up a Pentax k-3 to use with that Sigma lens (and other non-stabilized lenses) since the Pentax has the in-body stabilization).

My two cents.

Pete

Thanks!

I did try the Sigma 85 at one stage but just didn't gel with it - I just didn't find the way it rendered the scene all that appealing compared to lenses like to Canon 85LII or the Nikon 85 g's.

Ever since I switched to Nikon and grabbed the 70-200 I tend to use that much more often for portrait shoots since the bokeh is very much to my liking. When I do use the 85 it'd be mostly due to me wanting to carry something less obtrusive which is why I have the 1.8g.

If the 28 is the wide equivalent to the 85 I think it's a lens I will get along with quite well! But it seems to be a lens people skip over in favor of the Sigma hence I wanted some opinions

I am pretty sure I did a major impulse buy on the Sigma 50mm (new lens everyone was raving about just happened to be in stock when I was at the store) and now feel a bit guilty about it as I rarely find a use for it

Understandable.  I also have used the 70-200 VR II, and that's such a good lens that it can take the place of many primes.  Aside from the weight, the one quirk I had with the Sigma 85 f/1.4 was a bit of a squeak when focusing, and it didn't focus super fast, though I rarely needed it to.  Regardless, sounds like you've got more than enough options.

Pete

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digital ed
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Am I the only one who feels this way?
In reply to Stacey_K, 1 month ago

First, this is my opinion and is not meant to denigrate anyone who feels differently.

I have never looked at one of my images and felt "if only the OOF part was better formed the image would be better." Neither has anyone (mostly non photography types) looked at any of my prints and said "that would look much nicer if the blurry stuff was better shaped." Nor have I looked at another person's image and thought that would be better if the bokeh was better. I realize that some would say the poor OOF stuff subconsciously influences the viewer even though they do not know what is bokeh.

I just do not care about bokeh and have never thought about purchasing a lens based upon that criteria. I guess I am looking for different stuff in my images. Or, I am just not that good evaluating the quality of a image or print and need to be better educated.

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thelenspainter
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Re: Am I the only one who feels this way?
In reply to digital ed, 1 month ago

It's certainly a fair point. Possibly you could view it like this: it is without a doubt possible to take great photographs with a lens with average bokeh. The same photograph taken with a great bokeh lens looks even better. As you say the differences are subtle and many people would not consciously notice it, but I feel it can affect the way the viewer's eye moves in viewing the image.

Add to that, many people you will meet on the forum here are as much photo geeks as photographers, and with that comes a certain degree of obsessive searching for perfection (looking at you, anotherMike!).

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Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G +2 more
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MattiD80
Regular MemberPosts: 262
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Re: Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series
In reply to SanMat, 1 month ago

I'm 26 years old, own the Sigma 35mm art, and to be honest, it's light weight for me. I carried the 1kg 14-24mm for 6 hours today and even that felt 'light'. I guess perceptions vary. After having handled quite a bit of lenses now, the shape, build quality, handling, image quality of the Sigma 35mm art is my all time favorite. I know for sure i would regret selling it for the 35mm Nikkor FX. But that's me, and you gotta make your own priorities.

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