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

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
OP Philnw2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,659
Victory - a well reasoned reply - others

havoc315 wrote:

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.

I can agree with that. There were a lot of thoughtful replies, but there was an ironical one from Magnar, https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63177517, who noted that customers were sometimes more pleased with more moderate blur. Isn't that the truth I didn't try to sell photos (and now welded "art objects") until i retired, but i found that the best of my items sometimes sold nicely, but others were difficult to give away. An artist's life can be "difficult". But the chase is almost always fun!!! Thanks for all the participation. I've attached 3 humble photos of my own, taken at f1.8 I think - don't have yet a 1.4 but eventually will buy one - probably in the wider spectrum 35mm or below. Have a great day!!!

85mm f4  Past a bronze casting in a gallery window towards a busy sidewalk,

FE 55

FE 55 - How much blur is enough - too little, too much - very subjective

Thanks to all for participating!!!

-- hide signature --

Phil B

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Is there a need for F1.4 lenses....

waldoh wrote:

It’s pretty simple to void the majority of these arguments, just take price out of the equation.

If two lenses were the exact same price, one f1.4, one f1.8 with the f1.4 being optically superior, larger and heavier, which would you buy?

If you can honestly answer you would still take the f1.8 for weight/size savings with a trade off of IQ, then you should buy the f1.8. If not, stop lying to yourself and trying to get internet opinions “validating” your decision.

In my experience that's no the best way to test it, because most would think f1.4 also include f1.8 and I can carry a little more weigth. The best one is to give them both for a year, and have an app register how many times each lens is used and at what apertures.

In my case, I have many fast lenses, not f0.95 but f1.4 version from 28 to 85 and f2 to 135. And the ones that get 95% of the use are the (high quality, premium) slower versions, usually f2 to f2.8.

Luis Gabriel Photography
Luis Gabriel Photography Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
4

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

So from a professional point of view, the answer is: How much very low light handheld photography are you doing, where the lens brightness comes as a rescue?

Depends on what that "professional" is doing..there are all sorts of professional work styles.

These bright aperture settings is mostly for photographers who want to impress other photographers, from a technical aspect, since most are not much aware of what a photographic representation is and how we communicate with photographs.

This is just simply absurd and shows a lack of knowledge about what other photographer's needs may be. YOUR needs are not the needs of everyone else nor is your style the only one valid.

Just because for YOU, fast glass is not needed or desired does not mean that people that buy fast lenses do so just to impress other photographers. Such a statement is not only silly but rather insulting to other professionals.

 Luis Gabriel Photography's gear list:Luis Gabriel Photography's gear list
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XeroJay Senior Member • Posts: 2,339
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
1

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

So from a professional point of view, the answer is: How much very low light handheld photography are you doing, where the lens brightness comes as a rescue?

Depends on what that "professional" is doing..there are all sorts of professional work styles.

These bright aperture settings is mostly for photographers who want to impress other photographers, from a technical aspect, since most are not much aware of what a photographic representation is and how we communicate with photographs.

This is just simply absurd and shows a lack of knowledge about what other photographer's needs may be. YOUR needs are not the needs of everyone else nor is your style the only one valid.

Just because for YOU, fast glass is not needed or desired does not mean that people that buy fast lenses do so just to impress other photographers. Such a statement is not only silly but rather insulting to other professionals.

Well said. I understand why some folks prioritize cost and weight, but I prioritize ultimate image quality wide open.

 XeroJay's gear list:XeroJay's gear list
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Luis Gabriel Photography
Luis Gabriel Photography Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
2

XeroJay wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

So from a professional point of view, the answer is: How much very low light handheld photography are you doing, where the lens brightness comes as a rescue?

Depends on what that "professional" is doing..there are all sorts of professional work styles.

These bright aperture settings is mostly for photographers who want to impress other photographers, from a technical aspect, since most are not much aware of what a photographic representation is and how we communicate with photographs.

This is just simply absurd and shows a lack of knowledge about what other photographer's needs may be. YOUR needs are not the needs of everyone else nor is your style the only one valid.

Just because for YOU, fast glass is not needed or desired does not mean that people that buy fast lenses do so just to impress other photographers. Such a statement is not only silly but rather insulting to other professionals.

Well said. I understand why some folks prioritize cost and weight, but I prioritize ultimate image quality wide open.

Indeed, we all have different needs and requirements and there is nothing wrong with that. We should respect and understand that our needs are not necessarily the same for others.

 Luis Gabriel Photography's gear list:Luis Gabriel Photography's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Sony a9 Sony a7R IV Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN +5 more
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
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.

Yes.

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.

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Clear Need...

lawny13 wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

lawny13 wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

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.

That's actually not true for DSLRs, which have AF systems that are usually limited to 2.8.

Really? You telling me that the 5DIV for example will focus at f2.8 instead of f1.8 with a f1.8 prime?

In PDAF, yes. That's correct. With dual pixel live view though, it will use The 1.8.

Generally my comment on more light better AF stems from my experience with sony cameras. The difference between shooting focusing at f4 vs f2.8 is noticable. Same from f2.8 to f1.8. So I am sure it is also noticeable between f1.8 and f1.2. It can mean the difference between not bothering to take out the camera since you know it will be a battle, or taking it out for the shot.

Some people twist a little ring instead of depress a button, to accomplish the same, and they get to see in slow motion the effect of different focal planes being selected. It's a miracle, and some tell me it works in low light conditions as well as in bright ones. But not all lenses have this new "Focus Ring" technology, which requires all kind of muscles in the subject to be trained, and to some, well, it's a lot of effort and very error prone process.

sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,189
Re: Clear Need...
1

Manual focus combined with the thin DoF of FF F/1.4 glass is not a winning combo.

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Sometimes I take pictures with my gear- https://www.flickr.com/photos/41601371@N00/

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Is there a need for F1.4 lenses....
3

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).

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
2

XeroJay wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

What are you talking about, Willis? A group shot at f1.2 or f1.4 is a trainwreck!!! This is the PERFECT book example of the worst possible scenario to use an f1.2 lens. Always. Having to tell people to temporarily join the Cirque Du Soleil crew and try all to lay in a razor thin focal plane, or have some people that from very far all look good then get a bot closer and half the people are totally OOF.

Depends on what that "professional" is doing..there are all sorts of professional work styles.

These bright aperture settings is mostly for photographers who want to impress other photographers, from a technical aspect, since most are not much aware of what a photographic representation is and how we communicate with photographs.

This is just simply absurd and shows a lack of knowledge about what other photographer's needs may be. YOUR needs are not the needs of everyone else nor is your style the only one valid.

Just because for YOU, fast glass is not needed or desired does not mean that people that buy fast lenses do so just to impress other photographers. Such a statement is not only silly but rather insulting to other professionals.

Well said. I understand why some folks prioritize cost and weight, but I prioritize ultimate image quality wide open.

Ultimate image quality wide open makes no sense whatsoever as a concept. An f1.2 lens may be amazing at f1.8 and people may use it there, while another f1.8 max lens may be a tad worst being wide open at the aperture, and your comment would mean that one should get the latter, where as you are trying to say something else, but it's not clear why you feel like others should be bulked into the Lazy & Cheap Category so ever casually.

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Victory - a well reasoned reply - others
1

Philnw2 wrote:

havoc315 wrote:

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.

I can agree with that. There were a lot of thoughtful replies, but there was an ironical one from Magnar, https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63177517, who noted that customers were sometimes more pleased with more moderate blur. Isn't that the truth I didn't try to sell photos (and now welded "art objects") until i retired, but i found that the best of my items sometimes sold nicely, but others were difficult to give away. An artist's life can be "difficult". But the chase is almost always fun!!! Thanks for all the participation. I've attached 3 humble photos of my own, taken at f1.8 I think - don't have yet a 1.4 but eventually will buy one - probably in the wider spectrum 35mm or below. Have a great day!!!

85mm f4 Past a bronze casting in a gallery window towards a busy sidewalk,

FE 55

FE 55 - How much blur is enough - too little, too much - very subjective

Thanks to all for participating!!!

Beautiful photos. All f1.8. Did you notice that you are the only one that produced examples?

XeroJay Senior Member • Posts: 2,339
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
2

fferreres wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

What are you talking about, Willis? A group shot at f1.2 or f1.4 is a trainwreck!!! This is the PERFECT book example of the worst possible scenario to use an f1.2 lens. Always. Having to tell people to temporarily join the Cirque Du Soleil crew and try all to lay in a razor thin focal plane, or have some people that from very far all look good then get a bot closer and half the people are totally OOF.

I find it ironic that you opened your argument with "what are you taking about Willis?" Before spouting a bunch of nonsensical verbiage about Cirque Du Soleil and having to tell people things...I guess you just don't get it. That's fine.

BTW, it's "what you talkin 'bout Willis?".

Depends on what that "professional" is doing..there are all sorts of professional work styles.

These bright aperture settings is mostly for photographers who want to impress other photographers, from a technical aspect, since most are not much aware of what a photographic representation is and how we communicate with photographs.

This is just simply absurd and shows a lack of knowledge about what other photographer's needs may be. YOUR needs are not the needs of everyone else nor is your style the only one valid.

Just because for YOU, fast glass is not needed or desired does not mean that people that buy fast lenses do so just to impress other photographers. Such a statement is not only silly but rather insulting to other professionals.

Well said. I understand why some folks prioritize cost and weight, but I prioritize ultimate image quality wide open.

Ultimate image quality wide open makes no sense whatsoever as a concept. An f1.2 lens may be amazing at f1.8 and people may use it there, while another f1.8 max lens may be a tad worst being wide open at the aperture, and your comment would mean that one should get the latter, where as you are trying to say something else, but it's not clear why you feel like others should be bulked into the Lazy & Cheap Category so ever casually.

I never said that at all. Read my comment. Cheap and lazy is all your words.

 XeroJay's gear list:XeroJay's gear list
Canon EOS M6 Sony a9 Sony a7 III Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM +7 more
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
1

XeroJay wrote:

fferreres wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

What are you talking about, Willis? A group shot at f1.2 or f1.4 is a trainwreck!!! This is the PERFECT book example of the worst possible scenario to use an f1.2 lens. Always. Having to tell people to temporarily join the Cirque Du Soleil crew and try all to lay in a razor thin focal plane, or have some people that from very far all look good then get a bot closer and half the people are totally OOF.

I find it ironic that you opened your argument with "what are you taking about Willis?" Before spouting a bunch of nonsensical verbiage about Cirque Du Soleil and having to tell people things...I guess you just don't get it. That's fine.

BTW, it's "what you talkin 'bout Willis?".

Well, I listened to it in TWO different languages, none of them English, and translated into what would would it have probably be correctly written in English. I never, even once, hear it in English, and I find your correction beyond hilarious. I basically translated from memory, from other languages, something I heard maybe 30 years ago 7 times, and you make a correction about how to write slang in English - note also, I never heard the original pronunciation. I delights me to read your correction.

I will be less subtle. You are calling other people less professional indirectly, pretending to be ahead of them, while at the same time, you are proposing using a very wide opening for group portrait photography. Good that that works for you. Congratulations to your models.

XeroJay Senior Member • Posts: 2,339
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?

fferreres wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

fferreres wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

What are you talking about, Willis? A group shot at f1.2 or f1.4 is a trainwreck!!! This is the PERFECT book example of the worst possible scenario to use an f1.2 lens. Always. Having to tell people to temporarily join the Cirque Du Soleil crew and try all to lay in a razor thin focal plane, or have some people that from very far all look good then get a bot closer and half the people are totally OOF.

I find it ironic that you opened your argument with "what are you taking about Willis?" Before spouting a bunch of nonsensical verbiage about Cirque Du Soleil and having to tell people things...I guess you just don't get it. That's fine.

BTW, it's "what you talkin 'bout Willis?".

Well, I listened to it in TWO different languages, none of them English, and translated into what would would it have probably be correctly written in English. I never, even once, hear it in English, and I find your correction beyond hilarious. I basically translated from memory, from other languages, something I heard maybe 30 years ago 7 times, and you make a correction about how to write slang in English - note also, I never heard the original pronunciation. I delights me to read your correction.

Odd that you choose that 30-something year old obscured quote then.

I will be less subtle. You are calling other people less professional indirectly, pretending to be head of them, while at the same time, you are proposing using a very wide opening for group portrait photography. I don't need to add anything else than say, everyone's free to to what works best for them...

Never once called others less professional; again you're making that up. I never proposed others attempt my style of photography and/or my techniques. In fact, I said that's what I do, but I also said that I understand why others may have differing priorities. I never once even hinted that I'm, as you claim, ahead of them.

It's actually you who called my technique a "train wreck", so is that you claiming to be ahead of me?

At this point, you're twisting everything I say, so good day to you.

 XeroJay's gear list:XeroJay's gear list
Canon EOS M6 Sony a9 Sony a7 III Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM +7 more
joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 5,872
there a need for lenses wide open for me

fferreres wrote:

waldoh wrote:

It’s pretty simple to void the majority of these arguments, just take price out of the equation.

If two lenses were the exact same price, one f1.4, one f1.8 with the f1.4 being optically superior, larger and heavier, which would you buy?

If you can honestly answer you would still take the f1.8 for weight/size savings with a trade off of IQ, then you should buy the f1.8. If not, stop lying to yourself and trying to get internet opinions “validating” your decision.

In my experience that's no the best way to test it, because most would think f1.4 also include f1.8 and I can carry a little more weigth. The best one is to give them both for a year, and have an app register how many times each lens is used and at what apertures.

In my case, I have many fast lenses, not f0.95 but f1.4 version from 28 to 85 and f2 to 135. And the ones that get 95% of the use are the (high quality, premium) slower versions, usually f2 to f2.8.

It depends on the photographer - or course!

  • ZA 50 f/1.4 => 26 % wide open - 69 % f/1.6 .. f/5.6 and the rest above f/5.6
  • GM 85 f/1.4 => 53 % wide open - 37 % f/1.6 .. f/5.6 and the rest above f/5.6
  • GM 135 f/1.8 => 30 % wide open - 17 % f/2.0 .. f/5.6 and the rest above f/5.6

I use the 50 mm prime most of the time at f/1.6 because the bokeh is smoothest at this setting f/1.4 and f/1.6 are of my images with the ZA 50

The GM 24 is next on my list and it will probably be used 50 % of the time wide open - for f/8 I will continue to use my G 12 .. 24 - which is super sharp at this setting.

Horses for courses!!

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 joger's gear list:joger's gear list
Sony a7R III Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +11 more
OP Philnw2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,659
Re: Victory - a well reasoned reply - others

fferreres wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

havoc315 wrote:

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.

I can agree with that. There were a lot of thoughtful replies, but there was an ironical one from Magnar, https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63177517, who noted that customers were sometimes more pleased with more moderate blur. Isn't that the truth I didn't try to sell photos (and now welded "art objects") until i retired, but i found that the best of my items sometimes sold nicely, but others were difficult to give away. An artist's life can be "difficult". But the chase is almost always fun!!! Thanks for all the participation. I've attached 3 humble photos of my own, taken at f1.8 I think - don't have yet a 1.4 but eventually will buy one - probably in the wider spectrum 35mm or below. Have a great day!!!

85mm f4 Past a bronze casting in a gallery window towards a busy sidewalk,

FE 55

FE 55 - How much blur is enough - too little, too much - very subjective

Thanks to all for participating!!!

Beautiful photos. All f1.8. Did you notice that you are the only one that produced examples?

Thank you for your comment!  I think we all ought to be celebrating this wonderful hobby/vocation we have in common.  Yes, lets have more photos of all kinds and less barbs

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Phil B

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: DOF for the photographer or the client?
2

XeroJay wrote:

fferreres wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

fferreres wrote:

XeroJay wrote:

Luis Gabriel Photography wrote:

Magnar W wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

There is an interesting figure in the article showing bokeh from an f1.8 lens to an f1.4 lens, and the f1.4 lens is superior

One interesting moment that is not mentioned, is that customers rarely want these extreme shallow dof portraits, with one eye sharp, the other a bit blurry, and the nose tip out of focus.

I don't understand why is it that so many people the first thing they think about when talking about fast lenses is having one eye in focus look...while many of my clients like that very "dramatic" look of just the eyes in focus, for me the most useful part of fast glass is when doing half or full body shots while allowing me to make the subject pop out of the background when desired.

Totally agree. I often do group shots of 10 or more people wide open, as is provides a pop that separates the group from the background, and you can't get that with slower lenses.

What are you talking about, Willis? A group shot at f1.2 or f1.4 is a trainwreck!!! This is the PERFECT book example of the worst possible scenario to use an f1.2 lens. Always. Having to tell people to temporarily join the Cirque Du Soleil crew and try all to lay in a razor thin focal plane, or have some people that from very far all look good then get a bot closer and half the people are totally OOF.

I find it ironic that you opened your argument with "what are you taking about Willis?" Before spouting a bunch of nonsensical verbiage about Cirque Du Soleil and having to tell people things...I guess you just don't get it. That's fine.

BTW, it's "what you talkin 'bout Willis?".

Well, I listened to it in TWO different languages, none of them English, and translated into what would would it have probably be correctly written in English. I never, even once, hear it in English, and I find your correction beyond hilarious. I basically translated from memory, from other languages, something I heard maybe 30 years ago 7 times, and you make a correction about how to write slang in English - note also, I never heard the original pronunciation. I delights me to read your correction.

Odd that you choose that 30-something year old obscured quote then.

I will be less subtle. You are calling other people less professional indirectly, pretending to be head of them, while at the same time, you are proposing using a very wide opening for group portrait photography. I don't need to add anything else than say, everyone's free to to what works best for them...

Never once called others less professional; again you're making that up. I never proposed others attempt my style of photography and/or my techniques. In fact, I said that's what I do, but I also said that I understand why others may have differing priorities. I never once even hinted that I'm, as you claim, ahead of them.

I don't think we need to make a big deal. When you list what Others priorities you acknowledge are 1) sacrificing quality for lower weight, or 2) sacrificing quality to save a buck, you are putting your work ahead of all others. I was reacting to this comment:

Well said. I understand why some folks prioritize cost and weight, but I prioritize ultimate image quality wide open.

But they don't need to sacrifice anything, neither money, nor weight, to have the quality. If you had said some may not need the speed, or may require a larger DOF, then that would be true, and not diminishing.

Then again, even if you intended to say what you said, it's all still fine. But I also think people in a forum can reply and say they don't agree with your characterization. It's a forum, and we reply to posts. Otherwise, we could voice our opinions on wordpress or some other platform where replies are not expected.

It's actually you who called my technique a "train wreck", so is that you claiming to be ahead of me?

I don't claim your technique anything. I don't even know your technique. You make a literal quote "train wreck" ...but I never said that. I think that group portraits / photos and ultra fast apertures are IMHO the worst possible scenario to use such wide opening.

How you do this work may work for you, or maybe you like the result. That's all fine. However, in my experience, this is the perfect scenario where I would not use it, unless I had control of each person in the portrait and knew they'd like heavily modified poses so they all lie in the same plane for the exact features I want to have in focus. I can't think of an example that is more problematic that group photos for razor thin DOF.

At this point, you're twisting everything I say, so good day to you.

Look at it this way. There are other reasons that don't have to do with cost and weight, but with quality, and the task at hand. And you don't evne need to argue that the best corrected fastest lens, regardless of cost and weight, is the best tool for your work. Both are compatible.

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Is there a need for more than a phone?

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.

The one's that are most fascinating, and those owners that have such Noct lens, and also many others, and in general, when they comment, they do so from a very UNBIASED point of view. But we don't hear much from them, because in general for them the point is moot.

Who here owns a Noct 0.95 and would like to chime in?

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Is there a need for more than a phone?

havoc315 wrote:

And as a general statement, that's basically true. As I noted elsewhere in this thread, the most appreciable gain is bokeh differences.

You forget the second most important one, at least for amateur photographers trying to impress other photographer, which is being able to mention the lens in question. EXIF probably is also responsible for billions of dollars in sales every year. Also note, if aa company makes a file lens, may sell X number of units if priced at $100, but if they license some brand, it may now sell the same number of units at $379. Brands are powerful entities.

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Clear Need...

sportyaccordy wrote:

Manual focus combined with the thin DoF of FF F/1.4 glass is not a winning combo.

Believe me, the situations where I used this often, render AF unusable, and an f2.8 option would only make the situation worst. Also, I can use any manual 50mm lens with full PDAF, from 1932 lenses (or earlier) to manual lenses about to be released next week, with things like TechArt Pro. But again, I get a lot less keepers than MF in these low light cases. However, for sports or fast moving subjects, in light conditions where AF still works, it's often the only sane choice. Also think about f1.4 for a second...if you use a lens often, focusing starts to happen with your body motion backwards/forward, not your hand. If you use a lens often, your own body knows what to do and it's like you became your own " low light" AF algorithm. If the subject moves very fast, then this doesn't work. In low light, very fast moving objects, the only thing I've seen works (if the movement is unpredictable (but not continuous), is the fishing equivalent. Just pick the best plane and hope for the best, and be trigger happy. If the movement is continuous and you need to pan, in very low light, your only hope is maybe 7 stop IBIS/OIS, high speed burst allowed for that situation, and a lot of prayers to your favorite photo god.

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