Should I keep my new 50mm 1.4 g even if it tests iffy?



  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    ALSO, aside from the lenses...should I think about sending my camera in? I guess I will need to pay attention to how it goes in the next few months.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    No, as suggested several times above, your first step should be to (take a deep breath and then) see if AF Fine Tune solves the issue.
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member


    Are samples where I'd don't do what I wanted, however I am not sure if these were fair tests considering how these might be construed as "tough" for AF, anyway.

    It's not to say I can't get good results with my new 50, I got for instance just using af-a. Apologize these are just screen shots, I am away from my computer this weekend I will get actual photos up on Flickr next week. Truthfully using manual focus and af-s single point I got some pretty sweet shots similar to this. Most of my testing has been around the house like this and I can't attribute shots that are out of focus to backfocusing because I have been working with such shallow depth of field so it isn't fair. I plan on shooting outdoors today, some ice-y trees. I guess I cant say 100 percent that I would have noticed something wrong if I hadn't gone looking, but at the same time, something drove me to test and I think it was just an overall gut feeling like things weren't overall as sharp as I imagined they would be. And maybe part of this was because prior to this I had shot in bright sun, shots such as

    But I have tried to make the stakes more even by doing the formal tests. And I still am frustrated by the choices that autofocus makes if af-a 39 point mode. It is hard to discern what is normal AF behavior from what is a AF issue. But the test results don't lie so I guess that is answer enough for the issue at hand.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    I went back and looked what was in focus compared to focus point and I did find instances where it was sharper behind the focus point. Grr. I will look into fine tuning.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    This is a great contribution Charmdesign. This post is a good case study on focusing issues.

    We are charmed!
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 385Member
    Pursuing focus issues is like herding cats. It can drive you crazy, and you need to be extremely methodical to prove anything. For instance, you may see backfocusing under the indicated focus point, but is it possible you were in AF-S, prefocused and shifted a tiny bit before releasing the shutter?

    I missed which camera you have, but if it's a D7xxx you have options, and some D7000's had some backfocus issues. Most are correctable.

    I have your lenses - the 18-105VR and the 50mm 1.4G. The former's slow max aperture makes for few focus misses because the DoF is so deep. The latter's is super shallow at f/1.4 so it'll reveal any AF issues, it's not especially sharp there (which is great for portraits!), but at f/5 or 5.6 it is tack sharp and again, the perspective, color, dimensionality, contrast are all great for people shots. I use it more than my 35mm f/1.8 DX.

    So if you have the time, take the time to learn all the focus modes. Be methodical in testing. Use the tripod. Work with AF fine-tuning. Compare your results with focusing via live-view. If you don't have the time, send both the camera and questionable lenses to Nikon.

    Also, shallow DoF lenses w/o VR really reveal handling issues too. Then it gets even harder with Full Frame (so I've read ;-). Best of luck.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    The informal shots I took I was hand holding so yeah, hard to say the camera didn't move. But I did review the focus point after in NX which is how I noticed some errors. For my formal tests I used a tripod and timer. I do have the d7000 so looks like I am in that camp. I used live view to focus during the formal test and played around with it manually focusing in some shots around the house. Are there any downsides to this besides battery drain? If not I feel it may be easier to use live view when manually focusing due to the lack of split prism of yesteryear.

    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited December 2013
    @Charmdesign, I said this over on another thread before I saw this one, but I think it's worth repeating. I second TTJs recommendation for the 35mm DX lens. I too struggled with a 50mm on my DX body, and I wanted it to be just like my 40+ year old FTn Nikon film camera with my "nifty fifty"... But it ain't ;-) Spring for the $200 lens, you will not be disappointed. Also, don't worry about messing around with the focus fine tune. You can always set it back to zero, it's just a setting in a computer, and Nikon put it in there for a reason...

    And here is some additional "rationalizations" for buying a DX lens:
    1) You can always use it on your future FX body in DX auto crop mode (the camera senses the DX lens and automatically switches to DX for you.

    2) You can use the DX lens on your DX body which will become your backup body when you get your FX one

    3) You can use the DX lens on an FX body in FX mode and produce some really neat vignetting effects (admittedly this is a stretch but have I convinced you yet?)
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    Well you are doing a good job. You are right the 50 isn't as nifty on a crop lol. nice results, but very tight indoors. I love numbered lists too lol. Ya know, maybe I shouldn't fight my body. I could always just get the 50 when I do upgrade. Ya know, you are right I should have this as a backup later so t can't hurt. I am stalking the d610 board to see if those models are better than before.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,823Member
    You should see the beautiful vignet on a FX body with the 10mm DX lens. I believe it's 10mm but could have been 12mm. At the last camera expo the Nikon representative said here try this and he dropped it on a D800. Really cool vignette.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited December 2013
    As an aside, here is the 10.5mm on FX, but requires a modification as seen here:
    Fisheye Mods-Final
    And, the results:
    NAIAS 2013

    For more info see this from the old forum:

    When contemplating any new lens,i.e., a 50mm or whatever, think about the final use and the images you want to obtain. The modification of the 10.5 was from this line of thinking.

    The 50mm f/1.4, if one thinks there is any softness, will eventually find its way to the bottom of the camera bag. I would not purchase anything unless I really wanted to have it and use it.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    edited December 2013
    Interesting! So I checked out the serial number link and im wondering if I have interpreted the site correctly. Mine says No.573739. Cant search for the number as on my iPad right now, but I do spy a range that it falls it and when I click it it shows

    So this is my lens stats? I noticed it looked like it was part of a kit

    I don't recall seeing this body in his bag so I will have to do some sleuthing perhaps he got rid of it. There is a couple other bodies, I will have to post back with more details when I get back in town but, I want to say n2000 and n2020?

    Find it fascinating to learn about the old equipment!
    Post edited by Charmdesign on
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    PS agree if i think it is soft it won't get used. I did a newborn shoot for a friend today and used the new 50. I will post back with results but off hand my notions were reinforced. Thankfully I did get some good photos in spite of the focusing issues. Well thanks to the holidays I plum ran out of time to mess with fine tune. Got my RMA today I have 10 days to return it now. If I can, I will mess with fine tune this week and just see if I can tweak it out. I will read up on softness more too I noticed a thread devoted to it.

    ps. I used quiet shutter mode today with the sleeping baby. It was cool...any downsides to it? ALSO, I figured out how to change to continuous focus but where on the d7000 can I set the shutter release mode to "on focus"? Couldn't find that in the manual PDF perhaps not sure what search term to use. What circumstances wouldn't you want that mode activated?

    Today I used af-s, single point and just moved the focus point around with the dials. Is it me or do you find yourself sometimes moving your composition to get the focus point where you want it instead of moving the focus point? There were moments when in the heat of it, that was faster. Like let's say newborn moved its head and smiled or something. You didn't have time fiddle with moving the point. Or would continuous focus be good for newborns as well as toddlers? Interested to see how accurate it is when I shoot my toddler soon. I should note that I have not used the focus lock yet ( for shame!). I read the manual page on it but somehow find myself confused a but about this focus and recompose concept and how exactly to operate the camera to do so. Struggling with understanding the manual:

    1. Focus.
    Position the subject in the selected focus point and press the shutter-release button halfway to initiate focus. Check that the in-focus indicator (I) appears in the viewfinder.
    2. Lockfocus.
    AF-A and AF-C focus modes: With the shutter-release button pressed halfway (q), press the AE-L/AF-L button (w) to lock both focus and exposure (an AE-L icon will be displayed in the viewfinder). Focus will remain locked while the AE-L/AF-L button is pressed, even if you later remove your finger from the shutter-release button.
    AF-S focus mode: Focus will lock automatically when the in-focus indicator appears, and remain locked until you remove your finger from the shutter-release button. Focus can also be locked by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button (see above).

    Can some say this layman's terms? I get where the AE-L/AF-L button is but not what I have to hold down/ push and when I can release. For instance say you are in AF-S. You focus and keep the shutter release half way pressed after achieving focus. So long as your half way pressed you have focus locked? Or do you have to have to lock button pressed after focus is achieved, and held down until you take the picture? Gah sure I am overthinking something simple here. Sorry.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
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