50mm 1.8 vs. 50mm 1.4

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ButtonsMama's picture
Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 283
50mm 1.8 vs. 50mm 1.4

Hey all! I hope to be actively participating more very soon. If all goes well tonight (we're selling our "extra" car), DH will be ordering me my very first DSLR tonight - a D90!! He wants to just order the body and purchase a lens separately.

Since my main goal is portraiture (my kids, mainly), I've gathered that the 50mm lens is a good one. Is that correct? I've also seen that people like the 30mm, but I'm leaning more toward the 50mm.

I see a huge difference in price between the 50mm 1.4 and the 50mm 1.8. Is the extra $400 I'll spend on the 1.4 worth it? Not knowing much about photography yet, it seems like such a huge difference in price for not a lot of difference in equipment.

Thanks for your opinions!

mlark1128's picture
Joined: 05/09/07
Posts: 742

I haven't really posted here in ages but I wanted to chime in!

In short, yes, the extra $400 is worth it. You are not only paying for the extra stop, but nicer glass, a faster AF-S system, and a 9-bladed aperture (creates nicer, smoother, more pleasing bokeh). I've had both lenses and there is no comparison between the two.

That said, the 1.8 IS a nice, sharp, versatile prime lens. You won't be disappointed in it at all--I have taken some of my favorite images with it. So it ultimately comes down to your budget and your needs. For me the 1.4 was worth it from a business perspective.

HTH!! Good luck! I have the D90 and I love it. Smile

ETA--both of the pics in my siggy were taken with the 1.4.

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3424

I have the 50mm1.4 lens. I got it because the 1.8 was out of stock when I was ordering and I didn't want to wait. I have never once regretted the extra $$ spent on this lens. It is ONE SWEET LENS! It's bokeh is so smooth. I hate using my other lens b/c the bokeh just doesn't compare and it's much slower to auto-focus.

I hear the 1.8 is a great starter lens. But if $$ is not stopping you, go for that 1.4!

Best,
GiGi

ChubbieOwl's picture
Joined: 02/04/09
Posts: 191

"mlark1128" wrote:

In short, yes, the extra $400 is worth it. You are not only paying for the extra stop, but nicer glass, a faster AF-S system, and a 9-bladed aperture (creates nicer, smoother, more pleasing bokeh).

If you have the money to spend, go for the 1.4! (though I will add that I LOVE my 30mm1.8)

And congrats on the D90! I want to upgrade to the D90 so bad I can't stand it!!

Joined: 03/18/06
Posts: 391

Congrats on your D90! I love mine!
I started with the 50 1.8 but just upgraded to the 1.4G. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this lens. If you have the money, get it, but if not, the 1.8 is great too.

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

I have the 1.8 and it stays on my camera about 85% of the time. Love it! But, if you have the budget to spend, I'd get the 1.4. But, another option is to get the 1.8 and use the remaining 400 for another lens. Did you think about any other options? A zoom maybe?

ButtonsMama's picture
Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 283

Thanks so much for all your replies, guys. They were very helpful. I'm SO new to all of this - it's a bit overwhelming at the moment! Smile

As it turns out, DH ordered the D90 last night (YAY YAY YAY!!) and the standard kit lens and a zoom lens (18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 and 70-300mm f/4-5.6). So, the 50mm is going to go on my Christmas list. These will be ok to start learning, right?

I'm so lucky to have all of you! I'm a member at ILP, but there's no way on earth I'm going to post there yet. It's so scary!

La123's picture
Joined: 04/11/08
Posts: 815

Congrats on the new camera! I agree that the 1.4 is so worth it. I saved up for the 1.4 because I knew I would want to upgrade if I got the 1.8. Kit lens' should be fine for learning the basics, but I would recommend getting a better lens when you can afford it. Smile Can't wait to see some pics from you!