Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.4 versus f1.8
Would I get a maior improvement in brightness in my viewfinder with the f1.4 lens ? Or not worth the investement. Would it be optically performing better ?
When it comes to image quality, talk to anyone other than devotees of Olympus, who will not hear a word spoken against their cameras, and many will tell you that a lot more depends on their quality control (which was at one time notoriously wobbly) than on the lens design.
Originally Posted by BBonte
Certainly, when I had both f/2 and f/1.2 Nikkors -- a stop and a half, not just the 2/3 stop difference you are talking about -- I didn't find that the extra brightness made a great difference, though the shallower depth of field it did make focusing easier.
To get a good idea of how much difference it would make to brightness, stop your f/1.8 down a little beyond f/2 and use the preview button.
Personally I wouldn't bother -- though a 50/1.4 would probably be so cheap nowadays that it wouldn't cost much to find out.
If you want bright viewing, consider a rangefinder -- or even a 50mm finder in the accessory shoe of a reflex.
No noticeable difference in brightness and as for quality, there usually is no gain by getting the 1.4 except for that little extra in low light. I don't know obout Olympus but with Canon the 1.4 is built to a better standard than the 1.8.
If the 1.4 is not too much more, I would go for it...... they definately look better!
I do find the extra bit of brightness a help in low light, although I agree that it is minor. I don't see much of a quality difference, but then that in itself is quite something as it is harder to make faster lenses. At the time, there was a huge price difference, but not any more on the used market and I have been slowly replacing my OM lenses with the faster versions. I recently got the f2 35mm which is a lovely lens.
Thank you. I suppose that the difference will be less than moving from f3.5 to f2.0 as I did with buying a 80mm as a replacement of my 135mm f3.5. I hardly use this lens anymore. The f1.4 look more professional. They are still fairly valuable on ebay, the f1.2 even more.
Originally Posted by Woolliscroft
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How often do you shoot at f/1.8?
How often would you shoot at f/1.4?
The difference of viewfinder brightness, unless you are shooting in extreme darkness, is probably not worth the extra expense if you already own the f/1.8 lens.
As far as optical performance, if most of your images are shot in "normal" daylight, with the lens stopped down, I doublt if you'll see improved image quality in the final print or transparency. If you are shooting at the edge of extreme lighting conditions wide open, perhaps the f/1.4 will improve image quality slightly when shooting wide-open. You'll see the slight improvement in extreme enlargements.
Personally, save your money to buy other lenses.
It's said that early 1.4/50 are inferior to the 1.8/50 but this might only be hearsay. Seems to be that the same lens designs were used over more than two decades with varying quality standards and different kinds of coatings. The 1.8/50 inscribed "made in japan" on the frontring have an excellent reputation though. I have both, an older 1.4/50 and a mij and can't tell the difference.
I've got both the 50/1.4 and the 50/1.8, and there's really not a great deal of difference in viewfinder brightness. I can't really comment on quality difference because my 1.4 is an early single coated silvernose and my 1.8 is a much later multicoated one, and I expect that accounts for most of any differences.
The Zuikoholics (of which I am a member) will tell you that the best 50/1.8 is the last version (says "Made in Japan" along the front of the lens) and the best 50/1.4 is those with a serial number higher than 1.1 million (I've never seen anything saying exactly when the last edition came out).
Personally, when my 50/1.8 started to go (sticky aperture blades) and wasn't worth being fixed I picked up a 50/1.4 and noticed it was much sharper. I don't know what the serial number of the 50/1.8 was but the 1.4 is in the low 1 millions so I suspect that it's the last version or at least the 2nd last version while my 50/1.8 was probably an earlier version.
I had a chance to compare a 50/1.8 and 1.4 in a camera shop several years earlier and I remember not noticing much difference in the brightness in the finder. But, with the difference in the lenses that I had I did find the 1.4 was easier to focus but I suspect this was due to it being a better lens (it's really sharp).
I think with most brands the f/1.8 or f/1.7 is a better buy as they are usually significantly less expensive (new) and performance wise about the same as the f/1.4. However, if the price difference is small (as in case of used) I like to have the f/1.4 just because f/1.4 is an even stop (not in between stop).