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 Post subject: f1.4 vs. f1.8
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:17 pm 
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Location: USA
Hello,

Can anyone tell me from experience how they feel about f1.4 vs. f1.8 in low light situations?

I'm considering purchasing a 50mm prime and would love some feedback about the real life difference between f1.4 and f1.8.

I want something that can give me a nice sharp picture in low/available light without the need for a flash. I would like to be able to freeze action while keeping my ISO as low as possible. Keeping the ISO at 800 or lower would be grand!

I noticed the 50mm f1.8 from Nikon (or Canon) is very affordable as compared to the f1.4.

Will the f1.4 really be so dramatically better in low light that it is worth the cost?

As the Nikon lenses won't autofocus on my D40, I'm considering buying a Canon XT (body only) and slapping a f1.4 or f1.8 onto it for good.

Bad idea? That option is much cheaper than buying a D80, body only.

I'd rather have two cameras then deal with switching lenses all the time.

All thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your time and feedback.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Location: Malmö, Sweden
Check this link out

F/1.8 vs f/1.4

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Remember it's also not just about focal ratio - the Canon 50mm f1.4 also has quicker and quieter USM focusing than the f1.8 model.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:00 pm 
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I just think its a RIDICULOUS price difference, to pay for those .4 fstops that you get "extra" so to speak

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Apparently the bokeh on the f1.4 is slightly nicer and it's also a better (metal?) constructed lens as opposed to the f1.8 being plastic. But for the money? The f1.8 is an absolute steal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:19 am 
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Location: "Atlantic View" Bracknell, SE Berkshire, UK. 51° 25'10.42"N 0°45'41.15"W
On the Canon 50's the difference is this....

f/1.4, f/1.8
Lens Construction 7/6, 6/5
Diaphram Blades 8, 5
AF Motor Micro USM, Micro Motor
Filter Size 58, 52
Dimensions 73.8x50.5, 68.2x41
Weight 290, 130

Plus the Lens is Metal Construction on the f/1.4, whereas the f/1.8 is Plastic, but at the end of the day it is what you are prepared to pay for a Lens.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:55 am 
the 1.8 fantastic plastic has got to be one of the sharpest lens in my kit..... and great value for the money


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 Post subject: f1.4 vs. f1.8
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:12 pm
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Location: USA
Thank you all for your comments and feedback!

For the price, the 1.8 sure is tempting!

Does the 1.8 do well in low light?

Has anyone tried one of these primes on something like the Canon XT? Buying an XT and a 1.8 seems like a relatively low cost option that would also avoid swapping lenses.

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 Post subject: Re: f1.4 vs. f1.8
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Location: Copenhagen - Denmark
ironbob3 wrote:
Thank you all for your comments and feedback!

For the price, the 1.8 sure is tempting!

Does the 1.8 do well in low light?

Has anyone tried one of these primes on something like the Canon XT? Buying an XT and a 1.8 seems like a relatively low cost option that would also avoid swapping lenses.


Yes, being f/1.8 means ultra good low-light performance.

The Canon equavalent is not as well built (plastic mount among others) but you would of course have the convienience of not having to swap lenses, and you'd have AF.

But, I don't think it's a good idea to start buying different brands - it could be quite costly quite quickly!

I have tried the 50mm 1.8 on an XTi (not XT) and it's really much more fun than a zoom.. And way sharper as well..

You'll be much better at composing alternative shots and such.. My advice? Go for it.. I don't think MF on the D40 would be that bad - the D40 tells you when your image is in focus anyways!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Alex, as I said, you're also paying for better build, faster, quieter focusing etc. I think it's worth the extra.


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 Post subject: f1.4 vs. f1.8
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:40 pm 
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I agree - staying with Nikon is what I'd prefer to do.

However, I'd rather have the option for autofocus if I want it.

If I bought an XT, it would just be to pop a 1.4 or 1.8 lens on there and "set it and forget it."

I think that would make for a decent prime lens solution while still enabling me to use the D40 at the same time for zooms.

I agree with Gordon's point too. I imagine the 1.4 could focus better/quicker in low light with its more advanced system...tough call.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:38 am 
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Canons 1.4 is USM (Ultra Sonic Motor). Unfortunately Nikon's 1.4 isn't SWM (Silent Wave Motor). So yes, Canon's 1.4 focusses better!

Out of interest, as I'm thinking about the Nikkor 1.4 then if say we had a scene that at f/1.8 required an exposure of 1/125 then how much faster of a shutter speed could you have at f/1.4?

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 Post subject: f1.4 vs. f1.8
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:02 pm 
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I believe 1.4 is only 2/3 of stop more than 1.8, so the shutter speed would be a little less than doubled.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:44 pm 
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Location: Martinez, CA
I have the 1.8 and it is pretty much disposable. Example: the manual focus ring really tight, and didn't turn smoothly when I bought it and now it is loose, really loose. The glass is really sharp, and does produce some stunning results, plus it is REALLY light. The bokeh is bad, and AF is noisy, and slow. I wish I would have plunked down a little extra for the 1.4, even if just to have a metal mount.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm almost sure that Nikon had plans for an AF-S 50 mm f/1.8 lens at some point, and maybe about a 'DX prime' (with a focal length of 50/1.5, hmm... 33 mm maybe?) -- though the latter could just be 'wishful thinking'.

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