October 02, 2014, 05:21:09 AM

Author Topic: 1.4 lenses kwestion  (Read 1656 times)

twdi

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1.4 lenses kwestion
« on: March 11, 2014, 05:56:53 AM »
I also wander, most 1.4 lenses are not very sharp at 1.4 and need to stop down to get sharp.

Why should I then consider such an expensive 1.4 lens, when a 2.8 variant (like the 24-70 2.8) has the same IQ at 2.8?

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1.4 lenses kwestion
« on: March 11, 2014, 05:56:53 AM »

J.R.

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 06:05:16 AM »
No, you are confusing sharpness with IQ which don't necessarily mean the same thing.

To most prime users, the other attributes of the lens, bokeh and low light performance are more important than wide open sharpness.

Sharpness isn't everything, neither is bokeh. The decision hinges entirely on how you intend to use the gear.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 07:27:01 AM »
You should consider an f/1.4 lens when you need the thinner DoF or extra two stops of light that you can't get with an f/2.8 lens.
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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2014, 05:13:46 AM »
The sigma or canon  L 35 or 85mm are all plenty sharp at 1.4 stopped down they are amazing and leave 2.8 zooms for dead
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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2014, 07:05:19 AM »
My sigma 35 1.4 giggled. 85L opened the gun locker. There are wide crisp lenses.

twdi

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 07:50:01 AM »
Interesting, I will check out the sigma but don't have primes yet.
I also have to check my current pictures fro the 24-105 and see which focal length I use most for landscapes. Don't have any idea if 35mm would work for me but it looks nice.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 09:04:11 AM »
The sigma or canon  L 35 or 85mm are all plenty sharp at 1.4 stopped down they are amazing and leave 2.8 zooms for dead

I disagree.

The 24-70/2.8L II and 70-200/2.8L IS II are as good as the 35/85 Canon L or Sigma lenses at equivalent apertures (there are slight differences across the frame, but overall they're pretty similar). Comparing them all wide open, the zooms deliver much better IQ than the primes.

A few years ago, better IQ was a valid reason to get a prime lens.  Today, thinner DoF and more light remain valid reasons (as does cost, in some cases), but IQ isn't really a differentiator any more with the high quality zooms.
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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 09:04:11 AM »

alexturton

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 09:44:12 AM »
The sigma or canon  L 35 or 85mm are all plenty sharp at 1.4 stopped down they are amazing and leave 2.8 zooms for dead

+1

my 50 1.2, 85 1.2, sigma 35 1.4 are all mega sharp wide open.

@ 2.8 they all leave my 24-70ii in the dust
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sdsr

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 10:19:00 AM »
Interesting, I will check out the sigma but don't have primes yet.
I also have to check my current pictures fro the 24-105 and see which focal length I use most for landscapes. Don't have any idea if 35mm would work for me but it looks nice.

How often do you want to use an aperture as wide/fast as 1.4 when taking landscape photos?

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 10:40:42 AM »
If you want or need beautiful blurred backgrounds, F1.4 (or F1.2) lenses are the best choice. On the other hand, if you simply want the best possible sharpness, using the maximum aperture of the lens, then current zooms F2.8 do the job very well. But the new primes 24mm F2.8, 28mm F2.8, 35mm F2 Image Stabilizer has sharper image than the L models, at the maximum aperture of each lens model.

BLFPhoto

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2014, 11:30:21 AM »
Among the reasons to use f/1.4 lenses over 2.8 zooms or primes:

1.  Need for shallow depth of field
2.  Balance ambient with flash, particularly in dark environments.  The f/1.4 lens will allow for lower ISO and/or lower flash power to balance the ambient with flash.
3.  Similar to #2, desire/need to keep ISO lower, particularly in low-light situations.
4.  The need to manual focus.  An f/1.4 lens will be brighter and allow a clearer distinction for focus plane in most instances.  There are challenges to this in many newer cameras due to standard focus screen designs, but many can be replaced with brighter or split circle designs for manual focus.  Manual focus with f/2.8 lenses is an absolute chore on average DSLRs unless you have the time to use live view. 

Images are always a trade-off with respect to technical capabilites of your equipment based on the situation and type of image desired.  If you shoot often in situations which call for the above needs, you simply can't do with 2.8 lenses. 

On the other hand, many, if not most landscape or general shooting situations call for lower than 2.8 aperture and therefore the reasons for using a faster lens are significantly diminished.  Still, you may decide you just like the way a particular lens performs.  Maybe you just really like the way the Zeiss 35 1.4 draws better than, say the 24-70 f/2.8 L II zoom.  (You probably wouldn't really know this unless you own or have extended access to a particular lens). 

In short, sharpness is just one of many factors in choosing equipment to accomplish your photographs.  Only you can really answer the question of whether you need it or not, based on the types of images you are trying to make.

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2014, 11:35:07 AM »
I also wander, most 1.4 lenses are not very sharp at 1.4 and need to stop down to get sharp.

Why should I then consider such an expensive 1.4 lens, when a 2.8 variant (like the 24-70 2.8) has the same IQ at 2.8?

I'm guessing English isn't the Op's first language. I think he is referring to the common planar 1.4 50mm designs, and saying if the lens isn't acceptable until stopped down to close to the 2.8 of a modern zoom, what's the point ?

In the days when those lens designs came from 1.4 makes manual focusing much easier and when stopped down to 2.8 they would be far superior to any zoom design of the same era - because there virtually weren't any zooms because we're talking the '50s and '60s here.

Zooms such as the EF 24-70 2.8 II have out developed these old designs. Apply the same era to the '1.4' lenses and you have the Otus and probably Sigma 50 mil lenses and they are really good at 1.4

I have to say I never use my EF 50 1.4 @ 1.4. Maybe mine's not so good but I find it unacceptable in resolution, contrast, colour - everything at that aperture.

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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 04:45:14 PM »
If you own a prime lens that doesn't look good until you stop it down to f2.8, then you should get rid of it.  All of the newer primes (those with max apertures lower than 2.8) are quite sharp with high IQ below below 2.8.  Even if the quality at the widest aperture is lacking, stopping down 1-2 clicks will generally give peak results and should still be below 2.8. 

If you're talking about some of the older primes like the older version of the Sigma 50 f1.4, then yes...total garbage wide open.  All of the more recent L primes are quite sharp at the widest settings.  Sigma seems to be knocking it out of the park lately too with their new lenses and I already have 2 of them (the 35 and the 120-300).
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Re: 1.4 lenses kwestion
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 04:45:14 PM »