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

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,744
Re: Is there a need for F1.4 lenses....

SilvanBromide wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

"Need" in the context of four to five figure camera kits for hobbyists is a very dubious concept.

First, there's no basis to assume that this discussion applies only (or even primarily) to hobbyists. This is an open forum.

Second, there is a fallacy in talking about need as an absolute - and this is a prime example of it. It is actually a pretty standard (but weak) rhetorical maneuver.

Clearly, one doesn't "need" most things in any absolute sense, so your proposition *sounds* like a truism - except that nobody was arguing that in the first place, so you've knocked down a straw man.

It's pretty obvious that "need" in a discussion of this sort is relative-to-object. Fine, you don't need an ƒ1.4 lens (or any lens) in an absolute sense. But you might need it in order to take certain photos in certain conditions, or to achieve focus in low light or to get the bokeh look you prefer, etc.

That said, for me it's very focal length dependent. Right now, the only FLs I'm interested in for primes are 14mm (or wider, but rectilinear), 35-40mm, and 135mm. For 35-40mm, I want the lens as fast as possible as that's my low light/indoor lens. Sure, "modern sensors let you push ISOs higher"... which only expands my operating envelope more. For the rest, F/2.8 is fine. UWA subjects don't move and shutter speeds are forgiving. And I don't shoot action, and am fine with F/2.8 level of separation with tele lenses. A light, sharp, cheap 135/2.8 would be great.

Yes - I think we all accept different trade-offs for different shots and purposes. Goes with the territory.

It's good to have options and choose accordingly. Including (sometimes) fast glass! : )

A good guess is the OP is trying to say f1.4 is overrated. And that would happen if 45% sample of the population would answer they need them , and you asked them to produce 10 samples, some experts could look at them, and then privately discuss, they'd find out a vast majority of those shots did not need and did not benefit from f1.4 but actually did a disservice to the photos.

One is SURE. Camera lens market is so saturated and mature, the only think you can easily sell is an f1 lens at $200 that is semi decent. Hordes will buy it. Why? Because nobody that is a hobbyist needs anything but the vast majority don't enjoy the fact they are lacking some tools. If I could produce a decent (not state of the art) 180MP camera at $3100, and an 28mm f0.9 that is decent at $290 , I would guaranteed to sell hordes of them, maybe even including me.

What is the ideal dream of a photographer? The good old days where having the best equipment was a rarity and expensive enough, so that you could produce photos that were new, and be admired in some way. Today, photography is so brutally UNREWARDING to many people. Nobody wants to look at ever more pictures than they already do, and if you don't share your awesome pic of the Aurora Borealis, nobody will even care one damn bit because we have 180,000 amazing photos of it, or any other subject. So we create these clubs many, the vast majority, pretend to care about others photos, calling it " Like", but in reality, they don't, and it's a currency and art how to get likes, usually very little having to do with quality or interesting photos, or those other kind of networks were many engage in quid pro quo liking of their photos, to feel a bit better, rank higher, and usually this ties back with popularity and a change to " make it to the top"  or be a "so-called"  guru, etc.

What I post above may or may no be regarded as 100% of cases, but I think it represents a vast majority if cases. And with the influx of great mobile camera phones, photography has shifted were the only WOWs now come from those frontiers of imaging, like the image of our galactic core computed 4 months ago, or a new breathtaking photo of Neptune, things we have never seen, or have never seen in such beautiful detail. A good picture is as novel as wearing a good white shirt for work. Expected, nothing to even think about, only the moment it's not ironed, people will notice and point it out, just like in a picture that is underexposed, badly focused, etc.

That's why f1.2 lenses are important, because your 9 other friends that take photos and mingle with you, or those that take phone pics, will have never seen a pic of themselves in such a razon thin DOF, and it will be novel. But make these lenses very cheap, or make the TOF sensors in cameras 3 generations ahead, and it may be possible to compute highly accurate 3D maps and we'll see fake f1 lenses be so utterly normal and abused, that ...I am wondering what dedicated camera users like would have to argue now, other than really learning to take more interesting, better composed, lit and thought photos.

But in reality, I agree with the OP, and I won't be selling ANY of my f1.4 lenses, but unless in very low light, I know and see with my very own eyes, usually the best choice is something else entirely, maybe 99% of cases (except the low light case of course).

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