Is there a need for F1.4 lenses....

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,748
Re: Clear Need...

lawny13 wrote:

Though the article talked a lot about IQ, bokeh and such it didn't touch on AF performance at all.

A f1.2 lens will simply focus better than a f2.8 lens in dim lighting. If you find yourself in low light situations that your system struggles in terms of AF, then a faster lens will really make that difference.

Both may well fail under low light, and you may not be able to avoid blur. But I agree that a very fast lens will get you one more stop (f1.2 vs 1.8). But that's not much either; while at the same time, it is a case that f1.2 will win here. And it will.

Additionally he said it himself. More light in dim lighting is where the need arises. I find myself shooting at ISO 12800 way more than i would like to even with a f1.8 lens mounted. And that is because I shoot people a lot. So stabilization is not the solution.
An f1.2 lens will give you one stop gain on ISO, and that definitely makes a difference in the higher ISO reason.


So IMHO... the same practical advice should be given to all. What are you shooting, what is your lighting situation like, do you make money with your photography, or does your photography and IQ have certain value to you? Evaluate those and then make a decision.

Well, at f1.2 you need to decide what part of the left side of the right eye's eyebrows is more important to have in focus. Unless you tell me you are using an ultra a wide angle, or that the background is too close to the subject and you have no other choice, I think the f1.2 portraits always look a tad disgusting to me...generally, a good photographer will nee to instruct the model to use a completely flat angle in the face, so that you won't have a blurry nose and eyebrows.

For example, and event shooter, shooting a lot at night, dim lighting etc, can most definitely justify and benefit from having a f1.2 prime in his kit if it means shooting at 3200 instead of 6400 while maintaining an acceptable shutter speed, even if he had stabilization and could shoot at lower shutter speeds, it still helps a lot in the AF department .

I agree. Speed is the primary reason while it may be best choice, since very quickly noise creeps in and 1 stop may matter.

A hobbiest shooting mostly in good light or not shooting often in dim lighting obviously has way less justification for such an option.

I am all for anyone having an f1.2 or f1. I wish they were free. If they were free, people would come to the same general conclusion than the OP. The problem with the OP is that nobody usually wants to have less options, and usually, after spending a lot of money, would tend to defend the decision, and then silently sell it for a good recoup of the enormous amount spent.

So YES... we need fast glass. But its need is not as big as it used to be. Additionally, the difference between f1.4 and f1.8 might not be that big in terms of bokeh, but it is for f1.2 vs f1.8. Shoot a subject against a busy background with a f1.8 and f1.2 lens and tell me which you prefer, cause I am sure it will be the latter. Whether that justified $2k+ is the major question, but if you make money from your photography it may very well be completely justified.

I generally would prefer the f1.8 or even f2.8. A smaller mount of bokeh creates a much stronger 3-dimensionality, and I never, never, ever experience naturally that  subject's left eye right part of the tip of the eyelashes are very blurry. It's totally relative and a matter of taste. I find those photos distasteful and generally super tacky. But I also have seen many many great photographer use f1 and f1.2 lenses in situations where I remove my hat and bow to them. But for the vast majority of cases, I LOL since most often you'd see the poster trying to explain where the focus actually was when the picture was made. Like, you really need to be Sherlock Holmes in many cases, to know wth was the subject and what actually is the point.

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