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

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
lawny13 Senior Member • Posts: 2,031
Re: Is there a need for more than a phone?

havoc315 wrote:

lawny13 wrote:

havoc315 wrote:

lawny13 wrote:

The article that is referred to poses a logic that is in fact a slippery slop as it can be applied to everything.

Why draw the line at needing F1.8? You can easily use the same argument to say that f2.8 is good enough.

Fair point. And arguments like that are made all the time... FF is only 1 stop better than aps-c. A 2.8 lens is only 1 stop better than an F4 lens.

Of course, you add up all those stops...... And it becomes a major difference.

That said, we can start to look at diminishing returns, and price/weight trade offs.

A 1.8 primes offers a pretty significant advantage over a 2.8 zoom, typically at much lower weight and price than the 2.8 zoom.

While a 1.4 prime offers a narrower advantage over the 1.8... at greatly increased price and weight.

So... yes, a 1.4 lens on a full frame body offers many many stops of advantage over an F3.5-6.3 kit lens on aps-c body. And it would be pretty arbitrary to say which link in the chain is unnecessary.

But we can look at a 1.4 versus a 1.8.... and evaluate the amount being gained, at what cost in weight and dollars. And why stop at F1.4? Should be all be abandoning Sony because they don't offer 1.2 primes?

Should be all be shooting with the 0.95 Nikon Noct?

We are ALL drawing the line at some point. And the line between 1.4 and 1.8 becomes a massive price/weight differentiator.

But I think you get what I mean. F1.8 is arbitrary. I can just as easily argue... “no not F1.8, f2 is a better middle of the road”. In a few years when ISO performance gets better then that argument would shift once again, and again and again.

Yes, 1.8 is somewhat arbitrary, but it's the somewhat arbitrary line across the industry to define "consumer primes" in the 24mm to 85mm focal length. (of course, a 200mm 1/1.8 lens would be a $10,000 luxury item).

Just as 2.8 is the somewhat arbitrary point by which the industry has defined fast zooms. They could have done 2.6 or 3.0.

So we aren't have the discussion about F2 because that's not where the line has been set. There are only a handful of F2 primes in that 24mm to 85mm ballpark.

Most prime lenses between 24mm and 85mm are 1.4 or 1.8, with a handful of alternatives.. a handful of 1.2... F2... Sony a-mount even has an 85/2.8.

So considering that's where the line has already been set.... (even if arbitrary, that line exists in the real world, long before this discussion)... I think it's reasonable to look at the gains versus costs of the difference between 1.8 and 1.4. But the understanding that nothing in this discussion should be looked at as an "absolute." The Sony 24/1.4 GM is 1.4, without adding a whole lot of extra weight -- only adding 100 grams to the Batis 25/2. The Sony 85/1.4 GM is a big heavy 1.4 lens, but the Rokinon/Samyang 85/1.4 comes in 170 grams less.. and only 170 grams more than the Nikon Z 85/1.8.

Meanwhile, the IQ difference between, for example, the Sony 55/1.8 and 50/1.4 may be small, but in many other cases, it's big: The Sony 24GM is vastly superior to the 28/2.. the 50/1.4 is vastly superior to the 50/1.8.

So we shouldn't speak in absolutes.

Merely, as a general proposition -- the difference between a 1.4 and a 1.8 lens is typically a lot of money, a lot of weight, for a fairly small gain. And as a general statement, that's basically true. As I noted elsewhere in this thread, the most appreciable gain is bokeh differences.

My main point was that end of the day it is all a moving scale. It is all an addition of various parts and circumstances that brings value to a piece of equipment. I kinda hate how sony influenced the industry with its marketing approach. It used to be very much about the glass. Then the conversation shifted to focus on the bodies... bodies which had 2 year update cycles. 
But the truth it is that it is about the system as a whole, with (IMO) the lenses being first, then the body in terms of greatest impact on IQ. 
If one really started talking about the NEED of certain equipment. We can all step back and have a sensible look at the systems as a whole. 
In general I believe that an APS-C camera (with BSI-sensor and IBIS) and f1.8 prime lenses covers this. You can easily shoot them up to 6400 ISO with acceptable results. They are small, light, and considerably cheaper than FF (body and lenses). This is of course assuming manufacturers were to make APS-C lenses to the same quality as FF glass. 
As such the only real need for FF would be for those needing a wide FOV.

After all... tech has developed to the point where APS-C IQ is on par now as it was for FF 2-5 years ago.

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