Nikon 1.8g's vs Sigma 1.4 Art Series

Started Aug 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
mbecke Contributing Member • Posts: 972
Re: Your both right

Gareth Bourne wrote:

mbecke wrote:

From my perspective, each lens has its own distinct "personality" or "style". It is a way of rendering a photo that another lens may not provide. It is not really something that can be, or even should be, messed around with in post-processing. For example, my Nikon 135 f2 dc provides what can best be described as a reasonably sharp, but "dreamy" rendering. I used this lens to photograph my yellow labrador retriever when he was a young pup and still absolutely adore the rendering of these photographs. They are truly magical. I certainly would not want to obviate that effect in Photoshop, et al. The Nikon 70 - 200 f2.8G VRII, and to a slightly lesser extent, the 24-70 f2.8G lens, provide sharp, nicely contrasted rendering. To me, these two lenses are a cross between the old Nikon style and the terrific modern technical advancements in lens design. The Nikon 24 - 120 f4 provides a slightly less sharp, but a more contrasty, richly colored rendering. Whereas, the Nikon 50mm lenses, both 1.4G and 1.8G, are comparatively sharp, but are sterile and ordinary. From what I have thus far viewed from the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art lens, the photos are ever so slightly sharper (barely noticeable, if at all) compared to the Nikon 35mm 1.8G (fx) lens. However, the Sigma is noticeably less contrasty and has slightly less rich colors than does the Nikon 35mm 1.8G (fx) lens. Overall, to my eye, the Sigma 35 1.4 Art lens is generally a little duller than is the Nikon 35, and the Nikon 35 1.8G (fx) is not all that dynamic itself. Yes, that particular issue can be resolved in Photoshop, but it still doesn't make the lens magical -- because it is not a magical lens. Neither 35 is. So the way an individual lens renders is very important to me. Sometimes a lens can render to my liking simply because it is so sharp and technically proficient (i.e., 14-24 2.8G, 60 f2.8G, and even the 105 2.8G). There is definitely a place for that level of technical expertise. And sometimes a lens works for me not because it is necessary tack sharp, but because it has the old style Nikon rendering (i.e., 35 f2, 180 2.8D). So the style and personality of a lens is indeed important. At least it is to me, to get the type of photo that I seek at a particular point in time. And generally, this is not a Photoshop issue.

Firstly, you're talking about completely different lenses, and types of lenses, and they are at completely different focal lengths.

Secondly, it's all entirely subjective, and completely dependant on the photographer, the scene, the composition, the light, the timing, the camera settings, the post-processing, etc. etc. The actual difference between, say, one 50mm lens and another (f1.4 vs f1.8 vs Sigma vs whatever) is going to be completely irrelevant in the context of everything else that goes in to taking the photo. It's not about technical expertise at all. It's just subjective interpretation.

Thirdly, as if to prove my point, you had / have a wonderful lens like the 135mm f2, and you use it to take pictures of your dog. I'm sure your dog is lovely, but maybe you could find a better subject?

Just my opinion.

Too funny!    Can't one take portrait shots of their dog?    Indeed, my 135 f2 dc (and the 85 1.4G for that matter) produced wonderful photographs of my (then) little puppy.    Just have to wait a moment or two (or ten) until they stop moving.    Now, I use the 24 - 120 F4 and the 70 - 200 f2.8G VRII lenses (especially outdoors) to photograph the big fellow.    I still believe in a particular lens for a specific purpose (or two or three).   It just works better that way.

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