Nikon 50mm 1.4E ???

tdavis950tdavis950 Posts: 1Member
So Nikon is FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR behind in the 50mm 1.4 race... the 1.4D is super old and meh at 1.4... the 1.4G is 9 years old now...

Sigma is creaming Nikon in the 50mm department... when should we expect a 1.4E to bring Nikon back into the race?
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Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    If Nikon came out with an 1.4E with 105 1.4E performance, I would be all over that.
  • AmericanLoonieAmericanLoonie Posts: 99Member
    I am in the market for a 1.4D, however I would prefer an E version with a quality build. I'm way over the cheap feeling and performing Chinese lenses at prices above lenses with quality builds, even if the optical performance is fantastic.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,703Member
    What about the new-ish Sigma 50mm Art? Sure it's a pretty heavy lens, but maybe that's what you guys are looking for?
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member

    If Nikon came out with an 1.4E with 105 1.4E performance, I would be all over that.

    According to Dx0 The Nikon 105 isn't as good as the Sigma 50 Art, so you'd be paying more for less... which is pretty much par for the course with Nikon lenses these days. Remember: it is generally the case that the longer the focal length, the easier it is to make a lens with all the desirable characteristics, so the Sigma is a much better designed lens than the Nikon.

    I have a long sheet of publications shot with the Sigma. Your aversion to Sigma Art lenses baffles me.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    It is complicated. But one thing that comes to mind. I have 30 year old Nikon lenses that are worth something. The 58 1.2 AIS that my grandma gave me (may she rest in peace, her F4 has a special place in my collection) paid for my D800 and I regret that trade.

    What is the most valuable 30 year old Sigma on the used market?
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    And what is performance without heart and soul. We are artists. This should resonate with some. When I hold a Sigma in my hand, I think of one of my computers which will be on the scrap heap in five years. I don't know how to describe it. But that is how I feel. I aspire to art, not technical perfection. I get that in my day job.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 626Member
    edited January 8
    The Sigma ART 50/1.4 is extremely good, great build quality and almost perfect image quality. The only reasons not to buy it is if you must have weather sealing or you want a small lens or it is too expensive. For most Nikon photographers, buying a 50/1.4 should be a very easy choice I think.

    @WestEndFoto: I've been holding my Nikon E and my Sigma ART lenses in my hands this morning, but I feel nothing but two well built lenses. Which one will last longer I do not know though.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member
    edited January 8
    My soul, I suppose is as black as the slick matte finish on my artless Art lenses and my photos are bromidic and dull. Performance without heart and soul leaves something unimportant: performance. I'm afraid that heart & soul is something that exists entirely in the mind and not in the camera or in the quality of the photos. And lets be practical, a used Art lens holds its value MUCH more than a 58/1.4g. Why? Because heart and soul don't prevent the 58 from being a badly-designed lens. I have a Leica-using friend (link available upon request) who waxes eloquently about artisanship and the art of photography, but honestly, his pictures suck, and yet he looks down at me. Silly.

    When a company designs and sells inferior products and charges up to 100% more, that to me is the opposite of heart and soul—it's cynical and cash-grabbing. It seems to me that Sigma is the company that is trying hard to produce the best products possible and offer them at a good price. The former is a sign of a company that has lost its way, and it's the latter that shows real heart and real soul.
    Post edited by PeachBlack on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    edited January 8
    Snakebunk, thanks. "Last longer" and "hold value" longer are different. I am sure that there are lots of 30 year old Sigma lenses that have lasted but are worth little on the used market.

    Pitchblack, this is a very personal thing. I would never have brought it up on the forum but you asked. I am certainly not trying to persuade others to think the same way. I have other biases. For example, Sony. I was an audiophile in my teens and 20s. Japanese audio equipment was junk (the Nakamichi Dragon I owned being a notable exception) and Sony was one of the worst so it is permanently off limits for anything they produce, except movies. Cars, after the crap Hyundai tried to pawn off on us in the 80s and 90s, I will never touch that brand no matter how good anybody says it is. Mercedes, given an experience I had with a salesman that didn't think I was good enough for a Mercedes - he asked my which car I currently drive and I responded that I have never owned a car. This is still true but unfortunately will have to change in April or May - I have decided that being an owner of a Mercedes, despite the fact that I can afford it, suggests something about me that I don't want to be suggested of me (I think that luxury goods are more often about making a statement than a true appreciation of the quality).

    Another thing about Nikon, I have "partnered" with Nikon - meaning that Nikon's success is my success and visa versa. If Nikon goes out of business I lose my investment. It bothers me that a company can use Nikon's intellectual property, the F-Mount, over Nikon's obvious objections. The only time that I have been able to overcome this objection is the Voigtlander 40mm Ultron. Something like a Zeiss or Schneider might be able to convince me as well, but only as one off larks. I try not to buy third party anything if at all possible.

    That said, I think that your points are valid. They do charge a lot for there expensive gear and sometimes I question whether they have truly delivered. But I am not asking for a price reduction. I am asking for a quality improvement. I don't mind the price if I get the quality.

    There are lots of reasons that people make buying decisions. Many of them are emotional or sentimental and I am inclined that way.



    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member
    edited January 8

    It bothers me that a company can use Nikon's intellectual property, the F-Mount, over Nikon's obvious objections.

    This also bothers me about Nikon and also shows that the company has lost its way. Rather than trying to actually compete, they attempt to coerce. Rather than trying to provide an excellent product at a good price, they whine about others using their mount.

    Keep in mind that there is absolutely nothing illegal about this, just as there's nothing illegal about third parties making video games for a particular gaming system or a company making accessories for computers, phones, or anything else. It's just whining.

    Nikon should keep in mind that it is in their interest for other companies to make quality products for their cameras rather than jealously trying to control its perceived intellectual property. Lenses are more important than bodies, and if forced to choose between lenses and bodies, I'd choose lenses. And it's not just me. If Nikon sabotaged third party lenses, a large proportion of the sabotaged would leave Nikon.

    If I were forced to use a Nikon lens in my favorite focal length (~50mm), I would run screaming. EVERY prime that Nikon makes in this focal length is absolutely not professional grade. I would rather shoot Sony. Heck, I would rather go back to Canon.

    How does this keep Nikon in business? It doesn't. No, the way Nikon stays in business is to make excellent products that photographers love at a fair price. Goodwill and affection for a name only go so far.
    Post edited by PeachBlack on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,343Member
    edited January 9
    Not to mention that the point about the F-mount is irreverent, since the patent for the F-mount is expired. What Nikon holds is patents to the firmware for using auto focus and lens to camera communication. This is why Ziess and a few other German lens makers do not make auto focus lenses for F-mount Nikon or Canon FE, because legally they cannot. Least we forget that Canon, Fuji, Sony and Pentax are no better. Only Olympus and Panasonic share mounts, and some aspects of the firmware for lens to camera communication.

    While I do use some third party lenses, I do not see a reason for Nikon to make it any easier for third parties. Sigma is a competitor, as are the other third parties. That would be like asking the bakery down the street to give up the family recipe to all their competitors, because it's better for everyone, well except the family bakery that is. Now, what I do think is that it would be in Nikon's best interest to license the some of the tech the third parties, and thus collect the royalties, since they are loosing the sales anyway.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 626Member
    Do Nikon really complain about third parties? It worries me too if they do. I would most certainly change camera brand if Sigma stopped supporting the F mount.

    I think there are two main goals for Nikon:
    1. That their mounts are as widely used as possible.
    2. That Nikon themselves has as big part in that market as possible.

    One way to achieve goal #1 is to license the mount to third parties (like PB_PM says). For maybe 5-10% of lense sales, Sigma and Tamron would get all technical details, and customers would be assured that Nikon is a good camera brand to use with third party lenses.

    Goal #2 can only be achieved through high quality, low cost and innovation. I think the 300/4 PF is a good example, but I would like to see more exciting lenses.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    If I was Nikon I would be chocked about Sigma etc. Nikon spends a fortune maintaining its ecosystem. Sigma can cherry pick and benefit from the ecosystem.
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member

    If I was Nikon I would be chocked about Sigma etc. Nikon spends a fortune maintaining its ecosystem. Sigma can cherry pick and benefit from the ecosystem.

    There is no logic here. Nikon spends to maintain its ecosystem, but that would only be a concern if its cameras were a loss leader, and they used lenses to make back the profits. This is not the case. Nikon makes money on cameras AND lenses, thus cherry-picking is not an issue. Nikon could still choose to sell high quality lenses and a good price, but it does not.

    I am not at all concerned about Nikon attempting to short-circuit Sigma lenses. First, it would anger a huge segment of Nikon users. Secondly, bad press would rain down upon Nikon's petty action. And third, Sigma created their dock to allow for easy firmware updates.

    But yeah, if Nikon did sabotage Sigma lenses, I'd just send my lenses to Sigma, have them change the mount to Sony, and start shooting with the A7RII and barely miss a beat.

    Would Nikon prefer that you buy their overpriced mediocre lenses to go along with their bodies? Sure, but this isn't an option anymore because Sigma, and to a lesser extent Tamron, are providing more for less. This is a fact that Nikon knows it has to deal with. Nikon wants you to BELIEVE that there is a danger in buying Sigma, because scared buyers will buy Nikon, but logically, it would be stupid of Nikon to engage in any real sabotage.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,703Member
    snakebunk said:

    Do Nikon really complain about third parties? It worries me too if they do. I would most certainly change camera brand if Sigma stopped supporting the F mount.

    I think there are two main goals for Nikon:
    1. That their mounts are as widely used as possible.
    2. That Nikon themselves has as big part in that market as possible.

    One way to achieve goal #1 is to license the mount to third parties (like PB_PM says). For maybe 5-10% of lense sales, Sigma and Tamron would get all technical details, and customers would be assured that Nikon is a good camera brand to use with third party lenses.

    Goal #2 can only be achieved through high quality, low cost and innovation. I think the 300/4 PF is a good example, but I would like to see more exciting lenses.

    If I was Nikon I would be chocked about Sigma etc. Nikon spends a fortune maintaining its ecosystem. Sigma can cherry pick and benefit from the ecosystem.

    I can't remember which Sigma lens it was, but Nikon was making it hard for Sigma AF or IS (Vibration Reduction) to work on newer Nikon bodies. It was smart for Sigma to make the lens dock to change firmware. Nikon won't make fast wide DX primes, but guess what? Sigma stepped up and made the 18-35mm 1.8. If I had money, that would be the next lens for me to get.

    Nikon doesn't overtly deny 3rd party lens makers, but they sure don't make it easy.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 626Member
    @WestEndFoto:

    Sigma have their own cameras and their own mount and it is in their own interest to have a complete lineup of lenses. I think they do a pretty good job given the size of the company. I wouldn't call Sigma cherry picking unless in the context of making products that the customers want.

    Personally I welcome competition and options. I am still farily new to photography and I don't understand why you should be loyal to a certain brand. Canon users sometimes make jokes about Nikon cameras and it is just strange to me. But in the end it is good that we are different and I try to understand all views even though I don't share them :).
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member
    snakebunk said:

    @WestEndFoto:
    I don't understand why you should be loyal to a certain brand.

    Fanboyism baffles me as well, but I'm a professional. A camera or a lens is a tool and I use the tools that are best suited for the job. If someone else makes a better tool and if the benefits outweigh the costs, I'm there.

    I suppose the psychology of fanboyism is similar to that of supporting particular sports teams—I guess. Xbox vs Playstation, Apple vs Windows, Nikon vs Canon, River vs Boca, Yankees vs Red Sox. Honestly, who cares. Nikon is a corporation that wants you to spend money on its products. They don't love you. They don't care about you. You are a source of money not the part of any team, nothing more.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    I don't think it is fair to equate brand loyalty with fanboyism. I am likely a very happy Canon user in a different universe.
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member

    I don't think it is fair to equate brand loyalty with fanboyism. I am likely a very happy Canon user in a different universe.

    I'm not so sure. Brand loyalty implies that the choice is somehow rational while Fanboyism implies that the choices are irrational. Also, I guess that brand loyalty implies a passive choice while Fanboyism implies a desire to evangelize for a product.

    Still, they are two sides of the same coin and imply that the choice is not purely rational and the distinction depends upon your point of view. I'm not so sure that being willing to pay more (and in many cases MUCH more) for products that by any objective measure are inferior is rational. Call it what you will, it's still an irrational choice.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    I don't deny that I pay more. But brand loyalty also means that you overlook weaknesses - and Nikon has many - as long as the brand overall delivers which I think it does with only one serious COMPREHENSIVE competitor, being Canon.

    Here is selection of my current gear that comes to mind. I would be curious if you see anything in this list that you think I both paid more and received an inferior product:

    Primes
    15 3.5 AIS
    20 2.8 AIS
    24 2.8 AIS
    24 3.5 PCE
    28 2.8 AIS
    40 2.0 Ultron
    50 1.2 AIS
    50 1.4 G
    60 2.8 Macro
    85 1.4 G
    100 2.8 Series E
    135 2.0 DC
    200 4.0 Macro
    400 5.6 AIS
    800 8.0 AIS
    1000 11.0 Reflex

    Zooms
    14-24 2.8
    24-70 2.8E

    DX
    D5500
    35 1.8G DX
    Coolpix A

    Cameras
    D800

    Flash
    SB-910 * 5
    Full set of pocketwizards and zone controllers

    Tripods
    Top of the line RRS fully kitted. Eg. BH-55 Ball head
    Top of the line Gitzco with RRS BH-55 Ballhead
    RRS Travel Tripod with RRS BH-40
    Top of the line Gitzco with Wemberly Mark II

    4 Billingham Camera Bags in four sizes (I like shoulder bags and hate black)

    Next purchases:
    D820
    DF2 – assuming it is an updated DF
    400 2.8E
    200 2.0E (When it comes out)
    105 1.4E
    A fast high quality fifty – hopefully Nikon – say a 50 1.2E
    19 4.0 PC-E
  • PeachBlackPeachBlack Posts: 141Member
    I don't understand why "comprehensive competitor" should make any kind of difference. How could this possibly be important to anyone? A competitor is a competitor; that is, another option. Also, many of the things you have don't have any direct competitors, so it's hard to critique your purchases.

    Also, it's hard to critique your purchases because I don't know when you got them. At the time, maybe they were the best option. For instance, the the 85/1.4g is much more expensive than the 85/1.4 Art, isn't as sharp, and has worse chromatic aberration. Of course, owning both, and having used both extensively, these are just my observations. I can't give you any direct empirical evidence.

    The 24-70/2.8E wouldn't be my first choice. I actually like the Tamrom at half the price. I've owned and sold three 24-70 lenses and none have been good enough for the work I like to do.

    The 50/1.4g is junk. It's not worth the rocks it would take to sink it.

    I've owned both the SB 910s and the Phottix Mitros+ flashes, and I think the Phottix flashes are better and I've since sold my Nikons and purchased three Mitros+ flashes. The Pocketwizards are not TTL, so I'd never bother with them. I want to be able to shoot in bright sunlight at ƒ1.4.

    I wouldn't even consider buying a 200/2.0e. Never. The older version of the 200/2.0 is incredible and I can't imagine that paying thousands more could possibly be worth any marginal improvement. Additionally, even though the photos it gives me are amazing, it's not a very usable lens, and I'm thinking about selling it. Of course if I were to switch to Sony, I'd definitely sell it and probably wouldn't really miss it much.

    The 105/1.4e to me is a waste of money. I think the lenses you already have are more than good enough. But hey, it's your money, and it doesn't seem to be a huge consideration to you.

    Your next ~50mm lens should be a Sigma/1.4 Art. I think you're afraid that you will like it too much, and this would make you realize that you had wasted money on previous purchases.

    You asked.

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,161Member
    Yes, I certainly did ask. And I appreciate your candor.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    In my (not so) humble opinion, lens designs are aways tradeoffs. Usually against cost. Zeiss may be one option where the designers were told to ignore cost, just make the best possible lens (albeit without AF). For Sigma, complexity (number of elements), and therefore size and weight, were the tradeoff. Nikon tries to hit the sweet spot, not too heavy, not too expensive, not too complex of an optical formula, the goldilocks, if you will, of lenses.

    This is why all of my lenses, with a few exceptions, are Nikon. I have rented, tried, shot to death, the Sigma 50mm Art. I hated it. The optics are good, if a bit sterile, and the colors are a bit cooler than Nikon. Handling is also good, well-built, solid lens. It hunted a bit more on my cameras in lower light than the Nikkors, but none of this is why I hated it. I hated it because I might have well been carrying a zoom. It was heavy, complex, and after a few hours I was wishing my rental period was up sooner so I could go back to my "nifty fifty". The old double-gauss may be well, er, old, but it still does a credible job across the range of uses I have for it, one of which is candid/street/pj type work.

    The Art just literally weighs me down. Could I drag it around and make it work for what I want to do? Absolutely. But the point is I don't have to. This is why it's great that there are so many choices out there, none of them "wrong" or "bad" (well, there are a few really crappy ones). I also like my 50mm LensBaby sweet 50 optic. Two elements, and super light. It has a sharp zone in the middle of the lens, and everywhere else is softy-soft.
    From their marketing materials:

    There are 20 different 50mm F-mount lenses to choose from from B&H that range from $84 to $1500. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing a 50mm is like choosing your favorite pair of boots. Do what feels right to you.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 626Member
    @Ironheart: How are sterile optics?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,015Moderator
    The third definition of sterile: "lacking in imagination, creativity, or excitement; uninspiring or unproductive."

    The LensBaby is the exact opposite: "fruitful, creative, original" or perhaps just "dirty".

    What I'm saying is the 50mm Art is a very clean, faithful reproduction of the subject. Almost no flaws, and is sharp as a tack.

    This may be what some folks want/need but I like a little "personality" in my lenses, say what you want about them, but the LensBaby's have lots of personality and flavor.

    I for one would welcome Nikon's 50mm f/1.4E if they upped the ante and, made a $600-$700 lens that would work well with 50mp sensors, but wasn't a 13 element 2lb. beastie like the Art.
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