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Archive 2013 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice
  
 
jamberryblue
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p.1 #1 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


So, I used to shoot with Canon 5Dmkii and the 5D before that. Am now shooting with a Nikon D700 I got for a steal. Yeah, I know, they are not exactly comparable, but I have fallen in love with Nikon and until I can afford the D800 or D4, the D700 it is!

I've owned many Canon lenses, including the 85L, but my go to lens for portraits has always been the 50 1.4.

My D700 came with the 24-85 2.8-4 D, which is the only lens I have (still selling Canon gear to start building up with new Nikon gear). My daughter is receiving her First Communion on Saturday and, given that I'm usually a prime shooter, I need advice on which Nikon lens to get for the occasion.

Do I go with the Nikon 50 1.4G or 1.8G? Or is there a better suggestion? Bear in mind, I have to be able to have it in my hands before Saturday.

I have so much to learn about Nikon lenses! I know all the Canon ones by heart. lol Thanks for your help/advice!



Apr 16, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Avi B
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p.1 #2 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


1.8G. Cheap and good.



Apr 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM
jamberryblue
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p.1 #3 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


Thanks Avi. That's the one I'm leaning towards. There is so much to be read on them and I'm stressed since I have to make a decision so quickly. I didn't realize I'd sell my 5Dmkii so quickly, so I want to make sure I can get some sharp images with the Nikon on Saturday.


Apr 16, 2013 at 06:29 PM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #4 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


1.8g is better than the 1.4 unless you HAVE to have the extra 2/3 stop. I shoot mine around f2.2 for portraits with very pleasing results.

The 85 1.8g is also very good with that body… excellent standard portrait lens.

Edited on Apr 16, 2013 at 06:59 PM · View previous versions



Apr 16, 2013 at 06:57 PM
krickett
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p.1 #5 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


The only other consideration would be the Sigma 50 1.4. I love this lens, but it's not for everyone. It's reasonably sharp wide open, across the frame, and for me at least, the AF is very dependable. However,

1. It's enormous compared to all over 50mm lenses, it takes 77mm filters for example
2. It's Sigma (some people care about that)
3. It might not be so easy to get a hold of before Sat... unless you use Amazon prime or pay for faster shipping.
4. Some people complain about it's AF. There is supposedly spotty QC at Sigma. Also, Sigma's tend not to work with Live View with newer Nikon bodies until the firmware is updated.

In your shoes, I'd probably go with the 1.8G.



Apr 16, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Jason_Brook
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p.1 #6 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


I've owned both. The 1.4G offers almost nothing over the 1.8G other than the obvious. IQ wise they are both excellent, but they lack character. The Sigma 50mm does render things a bit more pleasing IMO, but AF is all over the place and that's after owning 3 copies. Personally. the 85 1.4D is my "always on the camera" lens. Tons of character and great IQ, but 85mm might be too long for some as a walk around lens. The 85 1.8G falls in the same category to me as the 50's, no character; they do everything well, but nothings makes them special.

If you're stuck on a 50mm, go 1.8G.

EDIT: samples

Nikon 50mm 1.4G


Sigma 50mm 1.4


Nikon 85mm 1.4D



Apr 16, 2013 at 07:03 PM
jamberryblue
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p.1 #7 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


Thanks so much for the input, David, krickett, and Jason...

I don't need the extra 2/3 stop, so it's nice to hear the IQ between the 1.4 and 1.8 is comparable. 85mm is unfortunately a bit too long for me in this case.

I do plan on researching some Sigmas, including the 35 1.4, but, based on your responses, for Saturday, I will go for the 1.8. Hopefully I can give it a little extra character in photoshop?

Beautiful pictures, Jason. Can you share one with the 1.8?



Apr 16, 2013 at 07:24 PM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #8 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


Here's a quick grab at 1.8







Apr 16, 2013 at 08:08 PM
DavidWEGS
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p.1 #9 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


btw, I too agree that the 50/1.8 lacks a little character, and I don't know how much you can give it in post, but worth a bash I suppose.

I don't know that I agree as much about the 85/1.8 having no character. I think it has its own flavor and kept it over the 1.4D that I had.

YMMV.



Apr 16, 2013 at 08:10 PM
jamberryblue
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p.1 #10 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


David - cute little girl!

Very sharp - thanks for taking the time to post. So, for a wider than 85mm prime for portraits and general, what would you all choose besides the 50? Thanks for having patience with me. I didn't realize I would have such a learning curve making the switch. lol



Apr 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM
 

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Jason_Brook
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p.1 #11 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


DavidWEGS wrote:
btw, I too agree that the 50/1.8 lacks a little character, and I don't know how much you can give it in post, but worth a bash I suppose.

I don't know that I agree as much about the 85/1.8 having no character. I think it has its own flavor and kept it over the 1.4D that I had.

YMMV.


The 85 1.8G felt just like the 50 1.8G just longer. I was jaded against my copy instantly since it came brand new cram-packed with more dust than my beat to hell 70-200. The color temp was really on the cool side as well. I returned it, got the 1.4D and never looked back. The way the 1.4D handles highlights and skin tones is just amazing.

OP, I didn't use my 50 1.8G much at all, it was more a test drive lens, so I don't have any pics readily available.



Apr 16, 2013 at 11:00 PM
okafoja
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p.1 #12 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


jamberryblue wrote:
David - cute little girl!

Very sharp - thanks for taking the time to post. So, for a wider than 85mm prime for portraits and general, what would you all choose besides the 50? Thanks for having patience with me. I didn't realize I would have such a learning curve making the switch. lol


I just move from Canon myself. Well I still have my 5DIII but If like Canon 50/1.4 then I will recommend you start with Nikon 50/1.8g. It is cheap but it focuses faster than Canon and as sharp as Canon 50/1.4 Another good one is the 85/1.8 or 105VRII.

I also think that Sigma 35/1.4 is a must have. As for zoom I will get 24-120f/4. I rocked that lens with my D700 before selling it for D600 which was a mistake.



Apr 16, 2013 at 11:03 PM
jurgvonschmurg
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p.1 #13 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


I was just shooting with the 50mm 1.4G on my D700 this weekend and I can't say I'm a fan. I've never used the 50mm 1.8G, but I can say that I'd be hard pressed to use the 1.4G wider than f2 -- it's just not sharp enough -- so I don't really know if it being 2/3 of a stop faster really gets you anything in practice.

Another thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the unit focus -- I'd prefer a fixed front element -- but maybe that's not a thing for you. I think the 1.8G might be unit focus too, so I don't know if that would help in a decision of one over the other.

I played with it along side my 16-35 f4, and was surprised to find that I could fill the frame better with the 16-35 @ 35 on account of its 28cm minimum focus distance vs the 45cm of the 50mm 1.4g. I haven't gotten a chance to play with one, but the Sigma 35mm 1.4 all accounts say it's super sharp wide open, and also has a 30cm minimum focus distance. I tend to prefer wide to tele with my primes, as I'm usually using them in situations where I can get a few steps closer if necessary. If you're more on the tele side then maybe check out the 85mm 1.8G, which is also much sharper than the 50mm offerings.

I'd say if you want a 50mm, go with the 1.8G it's not bad; certainly not bad for the money. If you're not stuck on 50mm, there are better options both wider and longer.



Apr 16, 2013 at 11:52 PM
CGrindahl
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p.1 #14 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


Many of us made the switch from Canon to Nikon. I chose not to go with the 5D MarkII when I learned it had the same focusing system as the 5D. I loved the 5D but wanted more. At the time I had a very nice kit of lenses including eight or nine L lenses, including the "Holy Trinity." A friend strongly recommended I try the D700 and I was impressed from day one. I bought a few AF lenses, then sold my least used Canon lenses. Then I noticed the MF Nikkor that appeared in so many signature lines, which at the time were displayed with every post. I figured I'd buy a 105 f/2.5 AI-s and find out what the fuss was all about. I paid $197 for an EX+ copy and began my manual focus adventure.

I have subsequently sold my entire Canon kit and have re-invested liberated funds in Nikon MF glass. I still shoot with the D700 which I love, but now I have 34 or 35 manual focus Nikkor lenses. The cheapest cost me $46 while the most expensive was $625. I'm having more fun with photography than ever before in my life. I even started a conversation on this forum which I expected would last a few weeks but has been going strong for 33 months. In fact, it is the most active thread on Fred Miranda, attracting participants from around the world. We even shared a lens offered by a fellow in Sydney, Australia, an 85 f/1.8 H.C. AI'd lens that after eleven months AND a trip around the world, is on its way back to its owner. Twenty photographers used the lens and shared their work on a blog created for this purpose. You might want to check out the thread. We're fast approaching 56,000 posts. Manual Focus Nikon Glass

And here is a shot I took with a manual focus lens this weekend, a forty year old lens I bought for $90, the 105 f/2.5 P AI'd, which is four versions before the first 105 I bought. These lenses still perform beautifully and for portraiture they can't really be beaten.


There is nothing wrong with AF, but Nikon has produced great lenses for decades, most of which can be mounted on your D700. Canon changed their lens mount in 1989 so their old classic lenses may no longer be mounted. But Nikon took a different path and we get to play with some amazing lenses that can be bought for a relative song. You might want to check them out. And welcome to Nikon.



Apr 17, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #15 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


jamberryblue wrote:
So, I used to shoot with Canon 5Dmkii and the 5D before that. Am now shooting with a Nikon D700 I got for a steal. Yeah, I know, they are not exactly comparable, but I have fallen in love with Nikon and until I can afford the D800 or D4, the D700 it is!



I actually think the DR of the D700 is better than the 5D2 actually. Only thing I like the 5D2 over the D700 is more MP, but otherwise, the D700 smokes the 5D2. I was thinking of selling the D700 to get a D600 (for DR), but might wait a bit. I am in NO HURRY



Apr 17, 2013 at 03:12 AM
okafoja
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p.1 #16 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


CGrindahl wrote:

Many of us made the switch from Canon to Nikon. I chose not to go with the 5D MarkII when I learned it had the same focusing system as the 5D. I loved the 5D but wanted more. At the time I had a very nice kit of lenses including eight or nine L lenses, including the "Holy Trinity." A friend strongly recommended I try the D700 and I was impressed from day one. I bought a few AF lenses, then sold my least used Canon lenses. Then I noticed the MF Nikkor that appeared in so many signature lines,
...Show more



Apr 17, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Chris Court
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p.1 #17 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


jamberryblue wrote:
… So, for a wider than 85mm prime for portraits and general, what would you all choose besides the 50?


My 60mm AF-S micro gets way more use than the 50 1.8. Moonlights as a great walk around/portrait lens as well as being a killer macro.

C



Apr 17, 2013 at 04:06 AM
CGrindahl
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p.1 #18 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


okafoja wrote:
This is very nice shot. I like it a lot. I have old 50/f2.0 and 28/f2.8 but I struggle with manual lenses. I just don't know when am in focus. The camera does not beep to confirm focus.


First you need a camera with a non-CPU register so you can tell the camera the aperture you're shooting at. Prosumer grade DX and FX cameras will have that feature, including the D700 the OP mentions. For folks using these lenses it is important to know your camera can handle them so it will meter accurately. Secondly, FX cameras have a brighter viewfinder which makes using these lenses easier. They also have focus confirmation lights at the lower left corner of the viewfinder. They perform beautifully and for most shooting I rely on them.

Folks are enjoying these lenses with a variety of Nikon cameras. They even have fans who mount them on Canon cameras with the help of adaptors.

I shot this today with an MF lens... the 300 f/4.5 AI-s, ED-IF. I used an extension tube as well.




Apr 17, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #19 · Former Canon shooter - need lens advice


I have both the Sigma 50/1.4 and the Nikon 85/1.8G. The Nikon is a lovely portrait lens but I use the Sigma far more. Incredibly sharp, even at f1.4 (and overall even more so than the very sharp Nikon 85), fast AF (the Nikon is relatively slow and, as I found out at a boxing event last weekend, terrible to focus fast in very low light). If funds permit I'd go for the Sigma but truth be told you have some very nice options in the 35-85 range between Sigma (35/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.4 - also the smoking, much reviewed and much loved, and much cheaper US$300 MF Vivitar, Opteka, Bower, Rokinon, Polar (same lens) 85/1.4) and Nikon.


Apr 17, 2013 at 07:15 AM





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