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50mm 1.4 vs 50mm 1.8

Kenny Cho , Feb 23, 2007; 05:56 p.m.

Newbie looking to build my first set of lenses. Is the 1.4 worth the extra money? I may not be able to tell the difference now but will I regret not going for the 1.4 now in the future?

Thanks in advance.


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Bruce Rubenstein - NYC , Feb 23, 2007; 06:00 p.m.

You will regret not buying the 1.4 until you do, and see that it's no better then the 1.8.

Leslie Cheung , Feb 23, 2007; 06:11 p.m.

Will you need the 1/2 stop? It's a simple question really.

Jim E. , Feb 23, 2007; 06:19 p.m.

This is surely a simple fact. If you ever need 1.4, your definitely not going to get it with the 1.8. So your only possible regret will be if you get the 1.8 and wish you got the 1.4. They are so similar in performance that if you get the 1.4 you won't possibly be able to regret it because it will go to 1.8.

BW Combs , Feb 23, 2007; 06:26 p.m.

If you shoot primarily with a "normal" lens, then the 1.4 would be a obvious choice.

But if you wish to shoot wide, long and everywhere in between, then the 50mm f/1.8 would be the choice, and would give you more $$ to spend for those other lenses in between.

Are you shooting film, digital or both?

Benny Spinoza , Feb 23, 2007; 06:31 p.m.

I recently bought the 1.8. It is a great lens. And when you consider the price, it is about the best value that there exists. Only buy the 1.4 if you truly think you need the extra speed.

Aaron Gauger , Feb 23, 2007; 06:44 p.m.

Check this link out for a detailed comparison.
I bought the 1.8 a few months back and wish I had bought the 1.4. I like my 1.8 a lot but there are several differences as you'll see in the link.

Luis Arg├╝elles , Feb 23, 2007; 06:49 p.m.

I think both are excellent lenses. Here is a sample with the f/1.4 AIS at close distance under ugly light conditions (tungsten lamps, low light intensity):


Now a picture taken with the f/1.8 AIS under excellent lighting conditions:


Due to the light conditions, the second picture seems better, but the optics from the f/1.4 are really excellent.

For me (aside the small difference in luminosity between lenses) there is an important factor: ergonomy. Both pictures were taken with a F2A. For this camera, the f/1.8 is too short, and my fingers are more comfortable handling the f/.4

Finally, there is the 45mm f/2.8P, too:


I would go for the f/1.4, but you can't go wrong with any of these lenses.

bernard korites , Feb 23, 2007; 07:24 p.m.

That's a great pic of Ana taken with the $100 50/1.8. You should post it on the Leica forum.

I have both the 50/1.8 and the 50/1.4. I use the 1.4 mostly because I can take indoor shot with available light, no flash. Other than that, there isn't much difference. The 45/2.8, which I also have, gives better color and contrast plus I like the view angle of the 45 better than the 50.

If I was limited to two lenses, I would take the 50/1.4 for indoor use, the 45/2.8 for outdoor.

Yury Stefanov , Feb 23, 2007; 07:36 p.m.

I've used both on film and 50mm f1.4D AF wins hands down up to f2.8

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