Hello all, I'm in the market for a prime 50mm lens and have been researching the reviews. I'm currently deciding between the Sigma 50mm 1.4 ex hsm and the Nikon 1.4g. Almost all of the reviews point toward the Sigma as being a superb lens. What experience and advice do you have? Thanks much.
I continue to use my AF 50mm f/1.4D and have not had a need to upgrade. If I were to add another 50mm to my kit it would be the Sigma. The Sigma is better in the corners than the Nikkor. Focuses faster, and has 77mm filter threads. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Thanks Marty. I did find a thread from a year ago that asked the same question i am. Reading through that answered a lot of the questions i have. They also pointed to the Sigma.... which is what i think i'll get.
There was a little feature in Adorama's second to last mini catalogue where they compared the 50 1.8 from Nikon and Canon to their faster 1.4 counterparts (all modern AF lenses, even though I think the Nikon AF-G was not included). Interestingly, the lab results found that the old 1.8 design was slightly superior in terms of resolution and distortion. I believe it! That article was featured online, too. I can't give you the link, though. If you feel you must have the 1.4, then buy it. I have the old AF 1.8 (without D) (still Japanese made, must be from the late 80s or early 90s), and this little crappy plastic thing is.... increcible! I have lenses ten or more times the price that don't come close to this old 1.8. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that you get slightly more out of the Chinese-made Nikon AF-D 50 1.8 by giving up a little in speed. And you save yourself some bucks, too.
With that in mind - were I in the market for a 50, I'd be waiting a few weeks for the verdict/reviews on the new Nikon f1.8 G AF-S, the price is right and if the performance picks up where the 1.8 D left off then it could be a swell lens.
Second that. I ordered the new f/1.8 sight unseen. It's hard to believe Nikon would field a crappy 50. The old 1.8 ranks up with the 35 f/1.8 DX and the 85 f/1.8 as the best bargains in Nikon Land. I'd wait for the verdict on the new 1.8G.
I've had a 50mm f/1.4 AFD it seems like forever. While it was my primary lens on film, I'm still using it on my D700 as well as D70s and D2Hs plus D200 before that. It seems to be equally at home on DX as well as FX.
It's always been good enough to not need replacing. Those who have "upgraded" to the more recent 50's are often selling theirs in the process. I've seen several that represent great "bargains".
The 50mm lens (especially on FX) is often a like/dislike lens depending on the individual. I especially am comfortable with the subject to camera working distance with a 50 - I've probably had close to a dozen 50's up till now. A used 50mm f/1.4 AFD might be a reasonable way to start till you find which side of that like/dislike line you are on.
I have owned many 50mm Nikkor lense, including the original 50mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.4 AI, the 50mm 1.4 AIS, the 50mm 1.4 AF (not the D) and the 50mm 1.8 AF-D. I recently purchased the 50mm 1.4G, and I can tell you that it is the nicest, creamiest, 50mm lens that I have ever owned. Frankly, I had never really liked any of the others, not that they were bad lenses, but they just were not outstanding, this one is.
That being said, I have often wondered if I would like the Sigma a little bit better. I have never owned a non Nikkor lens, (for a Nikon camera) but from what I have read here, I would not be adverse to trying that lens.
Thanks for all the information (this is why I love Nikonians !). I think I'm going to rent a Sigma to see if it delivers like the reviews say it does. I do have the Nikon 85mm 1.8 and absolutely love that lens. Thanks again. I'll post my experiences with the Sigma.
I've used my 50 f1.4 D since my film days and always found it an admirable performer. Consider the fact that with film cameras 50mm is "standard" and it is this standard by which a camera maker lives when it comes to reputation. Nikon is *never* going to make a 50mm lens which isn't top of the line.
That said the Sigma is an excellent lens but is big and bulky and uses the expensive 77mm filters.
I currently have four 50mm lenses (if you include my 55mm f3.3 micro) and all have been great performers for their time. Nikon is not going to ignore this focal length and any 50mm lens is going to be an excellent performer.
I generated one of these "which 50mm prime should I buy" threads about a year ago and the results were the same. General concensus was that the Nikon 50mm f1.4G was better than the 50mm f1.4D... and that the Sigma 50mm f1.4 was better than either. So which one did I buy? A pristine, used 50mm f1.4D at a very good price. The only thing missing from making it new was the box and all the paperwork. I am a nit-picker and very satisfied with the lens. It was the lowest price and performs very well. This whole issue seems at times to be a revisit of the old queston about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. There's no final, undebatable answer to that question or the 50mm f1.4 line of questioning -- buy one and enjoy it. They are all good. BTW, so's my old 50mm f1.2 AI.