Is the 50mm f/1.8 worth it??

Started Sep 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
california_sunset Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: Is the 50mm f/1.8 worth it??

xxbluejay21 wrote:

I have a Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 and am deciding whether I should get a 50mm f/1.8 lens. The thing is, I want to shoot pictures in lower light, but the reason I'm hesitant on getting a new lens is because:

1. I have a SLR-201 camera holster bag from Sigma. Only holds one camera/lens. I'd have to get a new bag

Well, eventually you will want more "stuff" no matter what... lenses, flashes, etc... you can find generic bags very cheap, or just put the 50 in your pocket for now and only bring it when you will need it. Don't let a few dollars for a bag hold back your photography.

2. I'd have to get brand new filters for this lens as the 67mm ones on my sigma would not fit.

No, you can get a step up ring under 10 bucks such as this one:

3. I'd have to buy sensor cleaning materials and worry about dust (No lens switching= no dust)

Dust and sensor cleaning is just way overblown as a problem... you can be careful when and how you change lenses and you will eventually need to clean your sensor anyway. A very major point of even owning a dslr is the ability to change lenses... so don't let the fear of dust hold you back. Sensor cleaning is as simple as wiping a little pane of glass with a swab... once you do it you'll realize it isn't a big deal at all.

One thing to note is that people say that this lens is a lot sharper. I don't mind this at all. I'm not going to print my pictures and I'm not a professional photographer, so I don't think I need to worry out a tiny difference in sharpness.

At some point you will want to make a print... perhaps as a gift to someone. Don't assume your application now will be the same forever.

The thing I am interested in (the reason I'm considering this lens in the first place) is the f/1.8 aperture. How much brighter is a f/1.8 aperture from a f/2.8? Does anyone have some picture/video comparisons they can find or upload real fast? If I'm taking videos, could I just bump the iso up 200 and get the same results? Is it worth the 300 dollars (Lens: 100, filters: 120, sensor cleaning: 40, bag: 35) for a little more light?

from 2.8 to 1.8 is actually over a stop... the full stop being at 2.0... so you are letting in more than twice the light wide open... it is a very big difference. Of course the DOF will be more shallow at 1.8... so it isn't exactly the same. For some applications it is "better" and some it is "worse" depending how much DOF you want, how limited to a certain ISO you are, and many other factors. But having a fast prime is a great option... one not to be without IMO.

I would redo your math... find a used copy or on sale for 80 bucks or less, 10 bucks for a step up ring instead of filters, worry about sensor cleaning when it becomes a problem and there are almost free DIY solutions that work fine, and the bag is an option but not a requirement to take a picture. You can be up and running for 100 bucks, not 300.

The nifty fifty represents the best IQ for the dollar value on the market... buy one and don't look back.


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Dan Scheele
Hermosa Beach, California, USA

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