Friday, May 8

decisions, decisions

Earlier this week I received the most recent B&H Photo catalog in the mail. This thing is a brick. It's full of just about anything one might imagine they need for photography from printers to cameras to lenses to filters and all kinds of accessories. Looking through it makes me feel like a kid in the middle of Toy R Us, wanting nearly everything upon which I lay my eyes. Well that turned into researching Nikon's Nikkor 50mm f1.4 vs 50mm f/1.8 lenses. Let me just tell you that the debate via the various forums is quite hot and heated. I spent a good hour last night reading comment after comment and walked away just as confused as ever. (sigh.) Obviously more research needs done - forums here I come. But if anyone out there reading this has an opinion, I'd love to hear it.


That's the f/1.8


And that's the f/1.4

The kicker is the f/1.8 is about half the cost of the f/1.4, which is what makes the decision so frustratingly difficult. Some argue that for the price the f/1.8 is just as good, but others say that the f/1.4 (wide open) can't be beat with it's great bokeh and speed.

FYI.. when I say "wide open" it refers to using the lens at the point where the aperture is as open as it can get.

Quick lesson on f-stops: The higher the number, the smaller the aperture, which means the less light you let into the camera, basically. AND... the smaller the lens aperture opening is, the greater the depth of field. Think of it this way: when you squint, less light goes in, allowing you to see farther, essentially "clearing up" what was previously blurry. Same thing happens with a camera. So... the smaller your f-stop number(ex: f/1.4 vs f/22) the smaller range of focus you have. (Gosh I hope I got that right or I'll be really embarrassed. If you notice an error in that explanation please correct me!)


Alright, enough photography lessons for you (and me!) today. I'm off to conquer my Friday afternoon!

4 comments:

Hoffer Photography said...

Trust me when I say this. Get the Sigma 50 1.4. It's better than both of those!.. or switch to Canon :)

lindsay michele said...

Siiiigh. And so you suggest one even more expensive than those two!

Dang it. Maybe if I start saving I could get it by Christmas.

Kevin Visel said...

I vote for the 1.4. Kelsey and I actually just purchased the Canon version of this lens - it hasn't arrived yet, but it'll be on it's way soon! If you get the 1.4, I'm sure you'll be glad you did once you get it... then again, if you don't have a need for shooting in dark locations or getting a really shallow depth of field, then I'm sure you'll be happy with the 1.8 and with the savings. But I still vote for the 1.4 :)

Anonymous said...

the 1.4D will give you plenty of color fringes wide open, esp. on a gen 1 nikon body (D200/70/2x), and like many primes it's way soft at it's fastest stop anyway so if you want sharpness you may as well save some cash. On a gen 2 you'll have a much higher ISO to play with as well, lessening the need. Even paying more for the newer AFS 1.4 won't make you better - I say buy the cheaper lens and show your friends its not about the gear. Check out kenrockwell.com- these are all reviewed by a guy who doesn't care what lens you shoot with.