5 Reasons you Need a 50mm Prime

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  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Sometimes I wonder if wides are really so difficult an engineering and manufacturing challenge, or if Nikon is complacent because Canon is even worse. Is the critique fair or not? I don't know.
    It's not that it is difficult, it is that they haven't been refreshed for 20 years. Reason? There has been more important lenses to refresh then those and the 14-24 covers the whole range and does better than each.

    Back to 50s though since the thread is "5 Reasons you Need a 50mm Prime"
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014

    If you standing on the edge of precipice, zooming with your feet, is not really an option
    How often is that really the case in most normal shooting conditions?


    Keep in mind I say this as someone who often defies said precipices with a rope. I like to imagine what I want to shoot with a specific lens in mind and then adapt the shooting set up to accommodate the creative intent rather than simply getting what I can get from a certain vantage with whatever focal length "works
    ".
    I think we may work in different environments. No I don't often work on the edge of a cliff , but I do work in situations were my shooting position is constrained by physical barriers and my subjects are moving in a random and unpredictable way in a rapidly changing environment. I could use two cameras one say with a 24mm f 1.4 the other with the Nikkor 85mm f 1.4 but when it comes to bangs for my bucks, I will stick to one D800 and my 24 -120 f 4



    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    This thread is forcing me to purchase one more lens….. LOL. My results from the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens is so stunning I suspect in a few days I will have to grab this new 50mm f/1.4…..

    PitchBlack points out an important point…. there is one correct/best focal length for certain shots. And, if it is 50mm, and needs to be shot wide open, well, my 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor D is junk (which I actually did not realize until recently). I like to work at the limits or even outside them. Having a sharp 50mm is worthwhile, and in fact if I were to have one lens, it may be this length.

    "Super, super picky" Three cheers…. maybe we all need to be this way in the images we want to produce at a "professional" level. (I say professional because I produce tons of snapshots simply for recording purposes).

    Great thread...

    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    my 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor D is junk (which I actually did not realize until recently). I
    May be this belongs on another thread, but has any one else, suddenly decided, a lens they were perfectly happy with, is in fact junk ??

    answerers here ?

    http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/2514/do-nikon-currenty-make-any-bad-lenses/p1

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    when I was at the hospital with my newborn. I took two primes the trusty 35mm and the 85mm. It wasn't until then that I missed the 50mm or the 24-70mm.

    The reason for this 35 for the newborn was a bit too much in the hospital basket that they provide. The 85mm I need to be farther away and I had to step on stool because well im a short in height and the basket was probably 4 feet + tall.

    I have the 50mm 1.8G as a backup and I am not dissapointed with it. I don't use it much but when I do I have no complaints.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,363Member
    +1 Vipmediastar When you need it you need it now.
    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 |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    To me the 50mm prime has been the glaring hole in an otherwise excellent availability of lenses for both Nikon and Canon. To date there has not been an *excellent* ~50mm lens that can be used at or near wide open that I can feel truly good about....I know I'm super, super, super picky about these things, but I just don't want to settle for "it's pretty good."
    I totally agree with you PichBlack. Hence, never "settle" for anything, when you know a better option is available. I must admit, my current 50 1.4G disappoints me when I shoot it wide open @ 1.4. Specially, when compared to the Sigma 35 1.4 and Nikon 24 1.4G. I just don't like it. (Sidebar: makes me want to go and join the topic mention by sevencrossing.)

    I'm keeping my finger crossed that the new Sigma will fill the gap and allow us all to say: Hallelujah!
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    edited April 2014
    .. my current 50 1.4G disappoints me when I shoot it wide open @ 1.4. Specially, when compared to the Sigma 35 1.4 and Nikon 24 1.4G...
    I think these two lenses, and the 85 1.4 Nikkor, have raised the bar on our expectations for f/1.4 lenses. Nikon recognized they had a gap and tried to fill it with the 58 1.4, but didn't really make a smashing success with that lens. Zeiss is not really a practical option for us lesser mortals who have to explain our purchases to people who write the checks, so we'll see how Sigma does. I'm happy it came in at a price that can be expensed rather than capitalized.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,287Member
    there are no good reasons to buy a 50mm prime other than to give nikon profit ...an 18-200 or 28 to 300 is all you need for DX /FX
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,363Member
    there are no good reasons to buy a 50mm prime other than to give nikon profit ...an 18-200 or 28 to 300 is all you need for DX /FX
    You are kidding...Right?
    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 |
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    there are no good reasons to buy a 50mm prime other than to give nikon profit ...an 18-200 or 28 to 300 is all you need for DX /FX
    No, he makes a good point. All we need is a pancake 14-600 f/1.4 IF zoom with macro in FX format.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    there are no good reasons to buy a 50mm prime other than to give nikon profit ...an 18-200 or 28 to 300 is all you need for DX /FX
    No, he makes a good point. All we need is a pancake 14-600 f/1.4 IF zoom with macro in FX format.
    Will that work with teleconverters??
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    there are no good reasons to buy a 50mm prime other than to give nikon profit ...an 18-200 or 28 to 300 is all you need for DX /FX
    Having a 50mm is, IMHO, a lens that offers a photographer a great amount of flexibility to be creative in a way that very few prime lenses can offer. Not to mention at a price that, for the most part, is easy obtainable. Hence, price..ie 50 1.8.

    You should mount one on your D800 and see for yourself.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    1 for Golf. I could not agree more.

    I like the 50mm lenses so much I take turns mounting the two in my signature on my D800.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,287Member
    edited April 2014
    I am a pro with 30 years experience . I beleive in 1 lens per camera ,I dont have time to change lenses (in the rain) and its no joke a 50mm at f1.8 the quality is pants and the depth of field very small . you are all going to use it at f/5.6or f8 so why bother. The framing is never right and you walk back into a wall or river ( ha ha ) There are many people who just like to carry a big bag of lenses and play with them . BUT if that makes you happy I am happy for you and your bad back and I have no personal problem with you or your beleifs ..I just dont agree a 50mm is any use (TO ME )
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 975Member
    edited April 2014
    @Pistnbroke: If you have one lense per camera, is it not better to have different lenses? Can you tell us what you bring with you on your typical sessions?

    I kind of have one lense per camera, but for different purposes.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    This thread, like nearly all on the subject of lenses, explains why Nikon make 78 different F mount lenses
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I am a pro with 30 years experience ....
    Interesting. I'd like to see your portfolio.
    I would love to see his portfolio too. Perhaps he is a landscape shooter and does not do portraits outside of a studio, or something like that that makes sense. When I shoot portraits, I shoot 1.4 - 2.8. When I shoot landscapes, I shoot F8 or F5.6 on my 28mm.
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    I am a pro with 30 years experience . I beleive in 1 lens per camera ,I dont have time to change lenses (in the rain) and its no joke a 50mm at f1.8 the quality is pants and the depth of field very small . you are all going to use it at f/5.6or f8 so why bother. The framing is never right and you walk back into a wall or river ( ha ha ) There are many people who just like to carry a big bag of lenses and play with them . BUT if that makes you happy I am happy for you and your bad back and I have no personal problem with you or your beleifs ..I just dont agree a 50mm is any use (TO ME )
    Nice try at trolling, I give it 3 out of 5.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,387Member
    Oh, I think his comment about f5.6 or f8 was not that all lenses look the same at those apertures. I think his point was that "you all" are going to shoot any 50mm lens at f5.6 or f8 to get sharpness and DOF so you just as well could set your 24 to 70mm zoom to 50mm and shoot that at f5.6 to f8. In other words, the only reason for a prime 50mm would be if you are going to shoot it at f1.4 or f1.8 and few of us will do that so why bother with the prime and not just use the 50mm setting on your zoom when you want 50mm.
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    "the only reason for a prime 50mm would be if you are going to shoot it at f1.4 or f1.8..."

    I buy a 1.4 lens not because I expect to do a lot of shooting at 1.4. Although it is nice to have that option in case I need it. I buy a 1.4 lens because I do expect to do a lot of shooting at 2.8/4. As a general rule (very general in some cases) lenses are sharper stopped down about 2 stops from max.

    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    So how big is the difference between the 50mm f1.4 stopped down to f2.8 and the 24 -70 f2.8 @ 50mm wide open

    I know when it comes to the 24mm f 1.4 stopped down to f 4 it is noticeably shaper than ether the 16-35 f 4 or the 24 -120mm f4 @24mm wide open
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,387Member
    ThomasHorton: I fully agree. I love my f1.4 and f.18 primes but so often I do stop them down two stops to insure I have good DOF and didn't miss focus due to subject movement. Someday I do want to try a lot of shooting wide open but haven't had the time to do that yet. I sort of think wide open shooting at f1.4 and f1.8 is a specialty not so often used.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited May 2014
    I know one thing for sure....regardless of f-stop, my focus on the image above, is Wide-open.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,287Member
    I sling a D7100 with the 18-140 on one shoulder and a D800 with a 17-35 on the other . The wife has another D7100 and the D3200 sits in the car as a spare.
    Yes I could refer you to my website with about 30,000 pics all of which are sold but then the Google search would bring my customers here and they would not understand the arguments put forward. ie pros and cons.
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