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Getting Back Into Photography #2990327 05/20/19 08:18 AM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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Back in the 1980's, I worked as a photographer and sales rep for a commercial photography studio. It was great experience... studio and location work for corporations and advertising agencies.

I had also done wedding and portrait work before that. (Horrors!) Working with the public, especially weddings, can be extremely tedious. I admire the patience of anyone who does that for a living.

Anyway, over the last 5 years I've been taking pictures here and there with my smartphone and have been happy with the results, but really missed using an SLR with changeable lenses and all the goodies that go along with that experience. So yesterday I went out and bought a Nikon DSLR since I can use my legacy Nikkor lenses with it, although without the fancy auto-focus features and whatnot.

The new camera is great--lots of features that will take awhile to figure out--however, I came across some tutorials on YouTube that were extremely helpful.

Then this morning I dug out my old Nikon F2. OMG! I had forgotten how heavy it is. Such amazing build quality, but the weight is unbelievable now. And I used to walk around with that hanging from my neck! The new DSLR's are so much lighter and compact.

Hopefully I'll upload some pictures to the forum after I figure all this out. laugh




When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990333 05/20/19 08:48 AM
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Cool. We have a thread for that. clonk here.

IIRC, you're not a part of the evil FB world, but if I'm wrong about that, we also have a group for ourselves made up of mostly the same people. danger! evil FB!!!


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Joe Muscara] #2990340 05/20/19 09:23 AM
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Good memory there, Joe. It's true... no FB here. Just didn't work for me.


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Joe Muscara] #2990355 05/20/19 11:09 AM
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Joe, that link just leads to generic links to Facebook Groups, even when I transfer it to the browser that I keep logged in to FB.
Closed group, perhaps? Maybe need some info on how to join the group?


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: MoodyBluesKeys] #2990368 05/20/19 12:18 PM
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Which Nikon did you get? What old lenses do you have?
Welcome back to an addiction that is as bad as synthesizers.

The FB group is marked "Secret". We'll get you in.

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mike Martin] #2990391 05/20/19 03:05 PM
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I got out of photography when my entire lifetime's supply of gear was stolen by a huge gang of 20 people at the bus station in Quito Ecuador in 2009. I specialize in macrophotography, so I made sure that I got an advanced point and shoot that can go 1:1 and is sharp for that kind of work. But I miss bokeh control for portraiture, and of course landscape photography is kind of a waste on such a camera. So I do hope to rebuild a pro camera kit before I go to Nepal, Ethiopia, Rwanda/Congo/Uganda, or any other once-in-a-lifetime trips.

Nikon had a great user group, and there was a general pro photography forum as well, but it may have run out of funds and shut down. I eventually stopped visiting and giving money, a few years after the camera theft. And though I am now "free" to start over with Canon, I have always found the Nikon interfaces to be more intuitive, even though I did not start on Nikon. There are some very high quality lenses that aren't Nikon, which is good as it saves money. Some even have better bokeh for portraiture, in the macro range.

I was also semi-pro at one point, and almost went full-time pro as a photojournalist. It was super-high stress though. I've had a number of photos published, including nature photos in books, but for me it was more about documenting climate change and scientific oddities and contributing to the science community. I even dropped most of my Ecuador itinerary after the theft, as I had planned to go into some very remote areas to record what was happening. I'm going to let that be other people's burden now. :-)

One of the neat things about digital photography is that it makes black and white work, and experimental work, so much easier. But otherwise, I find that going digital (I was late; in November 2006 or 2007, after Kodachrome finally got cancelled), has pretty much shot me out of doing presentations and carefully organizing and culling my pictures. So much easier with slides on a light table! And no ambiguity about whether you're seeing what's there or are being fooled by the software or your computer monitor.


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mike Martin] #2990399 05/20/19 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mike Martin
Which Nikon did you get? What old lenses do you have?


My budget only allowed me to purchase the D5600. I can't believe the prices of flagship models... so much more than anything we bought back in the 70's and 80's.

Legacy lenses I still have are 35mm, 50mm, and 43-86mm Nikkor, plus two Vivitar Series 1 zoom lenses: 35-85mm and the 80-210mm. I doubt that I'll use the 80-210 as it's extremely heavy and would probably fall off the camera after extended use. roll



When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990400 05/20/19 04:18 PM
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That does not appear to be a full-frame model, so be aware of the DX "multiplier" for "effective focal length".

For bird photography, this is great news, but not so much for landscapes. Your 35mm "sort of" becomes a 50mm; the 50mm is close to an effective 70mm, and so forth (the multiplier is often 1.4x but does vary between models and brands).

Given the quality and sharpness of those old Nikkor lenses, I would personally say you're in good standing, as those are excellent focal lengths for accurate and sharp true-to-life photos of most things. But you might want to find a used 18mm lens or 24mm lens if you want to regain your wide-angle coverage.


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2990410 05/20/19 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
you might want to find a used 18mm lens or 24mm lens if you want to regain your wide-angle coverage.


The camera came with an 18-55mm zoom lens. It's rather basic but will due until I can afford something better.

I used to have an auxiliary fisheye lens that screwed onto the front of my Nikkor 50mm, but I can't find it. Not something I'd use often, but it produced some fascinating results. I did locate my old Bogen tripod and some interesting filters. smile


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990414 05/20/19 05:15 PM
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If you need to get back into fisheye, via dedicated lens or screw-on adapter, don't forget that there are two types: circular, and rectangular. They both have their uses, and of course have different parallax issues.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 05/20/19 11:34 PM.

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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mike Martin] #2990418 05/20/19 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted By: MoodyBluesKeys
Joe, that link just leads to generic links to Facebook Groups, even when I transfer it to the browser that I keep logged in to FB.
Closed group, perhaps? Maybe need some info on how to join the group?
Originally Posted By: Mike Martin
The FB group is marked "Secret". We'll get you in.
Oops. blush Sorry about that. I forgot. If you're a KC photographer on FB, yeah, contact Mike and he'll decide if you're worthy. wink


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Joe Muscara] #2990463 05/20/19 11:46 PM
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May I offer my envious congratulations on the D5600. I have two consumer-grade APS-C Nikon DSLRs, but I have been GASsing for years for D5000 series so I can do macro photography without getting my face wet. smile

Having gotten into film photography in high school -- back when ASA 400 was Fast film and Mastodons were still in North America -- I have a great / grateful appreciation for the current technology.

Now DSLRs are on the way out in favor of the streamlined mirrorless cameras. But we have to wait a few years until early adopters have paid the initial premium price for 'em.


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Tom Williams] #2990476 05/21/19 02:14 AM
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In my youth I guess you might have called me an "advanced amateur" as I had an SLR (Mamiya Sekor 1000DTL - yes that's how long ago this was!) and a few lenses, and did my own darkroom work. These days I have an older M4/3 camera (Panny Lumix G3) with the stock zoom lens but I found my old Takumar 35mm I used with the 1000DTL, so I bought an adapter and use it occasionally (it becomes a 70mm equiv f3.5 on the Panny). I see some very talented folk here, maybe someday I'll have a picture or two I feel worthy enough to post!

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Tom Williams] #2990491 05/21/19 07:43 AM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
Having gotten into film photography in high school -- back when ASA 400 was Fast film and Mastodons were still in North America -- I have a great / grateful appreciation for the current technology.


I remember photographing the Mastodons back then... with Kodak Tri-X film. laugh


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990647 05/22/19 08:33 AM
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Question for photographers here, has anyone tried out Darktable (Adobe Lightroom alternative) ?

Pros, cons, advice? I'm disgusted with Adobe, especially with the recent lawsuit thing. mad



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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990695 05/22/19 03:21 PM
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I haven't heard about the "recent lawsuit thing". Any links?

Also not familiar with Darktable, but it sure has been difficult to get the final updates to pre-subscription versions of any Adobe products, and to get things authorized on a new computer. Luckily I have a friend who is less patient than I am, so he usually susses it out and gives me hints on the new way they hide things each time.


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2990704 05/22/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
I haven't heard about the "recent lawsuit thing". Any links?


https://www.dpreview.com/news/7744137117...m-third-parties


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990707 05/22/19 04:08 PM
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I'm thinking about getting a 50mm lens. Any thoughts on this?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/457680-USA/Canon_1257B002AA_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_2L.html

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990709 05/22/19 04:11 PM
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I'll have to read that in more depth later, as my initial reading indicates that this is about the Creative Cloud subscriptions only, and those of us who stayed on the final versions involving persistent licenses, should be OK. If that is not the case, then this seems likely to be an illegal move, if it goes to court (which it likely would).

I refuse to do the subscription plan because I only use their apps about twice a year. I have written to them several times, and in surveys, but never hear back. If every vendor is the center of our daily existence, most of us would have to make a million dollars a year just to keep our data access and licenses active. That is completely unrealistic.

I'm not even sure I should have signed up for Slate's subscription, even though I actually trust him (and have had no reason to lose that trust), as I haven't used his products in over 18 months now since I haven't been doing production work in that long (I've been focusing on wrapping up arrangements, compositions, tracking, refinements, etc.).

But Slate's price is right for what he offers (unlike Roland's cloud subscription, which presumes that the importance of the products in that suite are super-high and daily use, which is only true for a small percentage of people interested in such products).

The data lock-out is my biggest gripe about Creative Cloud, as I can't predict my usage needs even though on average I only use the stuff twice a year. Otherwise, I suppose the pricing is fair.

UPDATE: I have clarified that perpetual licenses of "bought" products are not affected by this threat.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 05/22/19 04:16 PM.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Sam CA] #2990714 05/22/19 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sam CA
I'm thinking about getting a 50mm lens. Any thoughts on this?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/457680-USA/Canon_1257B002AA_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_2L.html


Can't help with Canon gear but... I'd recommend a simple web search for reviews, including YouTube.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2990715 05/22/19 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
UPDATE: I have clarified that perpetual licenses of "bought" products are not affected by this threat.


That's what I thought. Still... seems quite a few photographers are ditching Adobe.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Sam CA] #2990716 05/22/19 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sam CA
I'm thinking about getting a 50mm lens. Any thoughts on this?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/457680-USA/Canon_1257B002AA_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_2L.html


I've used one.
Stunning lens. Focus a little slow. Do you really need f1/2? I'd suggest that you highly consider the Sigma 50mm ART.


I've found this to be a great resource to make purchase decisions. Sample photos from just about every camera / lens combination you can imagine

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=107

Last edited by Mike Martin; 05/22/19 04:23 PM.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mike Martin] #2990753 05/22/19 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mike Martin

I've used one.
Stunning lens. Focus a little slow. Do you really need f1/2? I'd suggest that you highly consider the Sigma 50mm ART. ...


Thanks a lot for the link!

I'm pretty sure the Sigma 50mm that you posted is going to be plenty for my 'basic' needs. The main reason I wanted to get the Canon was the size/weight. It looks pretty small in comparison.

I have 2 DSLR cameras but one lens:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/843008-USA/Canon_5175B002_EF_24_70mm_f_2_8L_II.html

I'm really happy with it. For shots over the keyboard is too heavy, so for that angle I use a GoPro. Fast-forward to about 0:38



GoPro shots don't come out well because of the lighting. I would much rather use my 2nd DSLR and for that position a lighter lens would probably be easier to work with.

What do you think?

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Sam CA] #2990756 05/22/19 08:42 PM
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Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron, are all brands that have some very specific lenses that are high quality at lower prices than Canon or Nikon, and a few are even considered better -- or at least more practical in terms of features that regular photographers use.

It's been too many years for me to remember what I had specifically, but I seem to recall it was the 30mm Sigma (equivalent to full-frame 45mm) that was quite good, and either Tamron or Tokina for a 90mm macro lens (equivalent to 135mm full frame) that had the best bokeh (Japanese term for how out-of-focus background elements look; it affects whether they are distracting as in mirror lenses, or soft and pleasing) -- better than Nikon's own macro lenses (at least, ten years ago).

For reviews, there are three good sites I know of, but only one that I can reiterate from memory without consulting printed notes at home, and that is Ken Rockwell's site. Some people take issue with him, and I understand why, but I do find his reviews quite useful, and also easy to parse for bias.

You will find reviews of the lenses I mention above on his site, which will quickly disambiguate any faulty memory on my part.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 05/23/19 01:49 AM.

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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2990791 05/23/19 12:09 AM
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The big thinh with digital cams, even at this point in time, is that you need some way to handle the range of light that is sensed and put into bits. Using a High Dynamic Range program to process your camera's HDR images is imperative in most cases to escape the standard web snapshot jpeg atmosphere and color distortion, even if your photos are to end up that way after all.

There are useful Open Source image processing programs like Krita that will let have a more (IMO pleasant) analog cam feel by doing processing in more than 8 bits per color component.

T

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Sam CA] #2990793 05/23/19 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: Sam CA
Originally Posted By: Mike Martin

I've used one.
Stunning lens. Focus a little slow. Do you really need f1/2? I'd suggest that you highly consider the Sigma 50mm ART. ...


Thanks a lot for the link!

I'm pretty sure the Sigma 50mm that you posted is going to be plenty for my 'basic' needs. The main reason I wanted to get the Canon was the size/weight. It looks pretty small in comparison.

I have 2 DSLR cameras but one lens:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/843008-USA/Canon_5175B002_EF_24_70mm_f_2_8L_II.html

I'm really happy with it. For shots over the keyboard is too heavy, so for that angle I use a GoPro. Fast-forward to about 0:38



GoPro shots don't come out well because of the lighting. I would much rather use my 2nd DSLR and for that position a lighter lens would probably be easier to work with.

What do you think?


Unless you're doing some serious portraiture why not just get a 50mm f/1.8 and save a lot of money. Solves the weight issues and for video purposes gives you a bit more light than your f/2.8 lens.

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2990814 05/23/19 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mark Schmieder
the best bokeh


We didn't have that word when I was stuyding photography back in the 70's.



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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990836 05/23/19 10:38 AM
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Hello everyone. Interesting thread - always great to discuss photography. smile It is so cool how many keyboard players love photography..... There seems to be some strange connection between the two activities... (and of course the potential for GAS is prettly well limitless for photographers grin )

Here are a couple of thoughts on what is being discussed: For anyone looking for a lightweight, small but excellent quality camera, consider considering the Fuji Xt mirrorless cameras. I love mine (and have our own Ken to thank for recommending that I get it).

I also am appalled by Adobe. I refuse point blank to jump on the subscription bandwagon. My way of coping is to have purchased Lightroom 6 (which is still available). I use that for cataloguing and much of my processing. If I need to do anything else, I use Affinity photo which is a delight to use. Not as heavy duty as photoshop, but much easier to understand and user friendly. Plenty good enough for my needs. If adobe never come to their senses and start allowing people to buy upgrades again I shall simply switch to another cataloguing program when necessary at some point in the distant future. Several are being developed and on the day when I get a computer too advacned for LR 6 (which I suspect is a very very long way off...I shall completely jump ship.)


"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" wink Bluzeyone
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: xKnuckles] #2990888 05/23/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: xKnuckles
Hello everyone. Interesting thread - always great to discuss photography. smile It is so cool how many keyboard players love photography.....


Glad you could join us. This is definitely a great place for pictures and keys.

And by the way... Tom was supposed to bring the beverages to this party.

cheers


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2990889 05/23/19 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Question for photographers here, has anyone tried out Darktable (Adobe Lightroom alternative) ?

I just got this email from Photoshelter in my inbox - Alternatives to Adobe Lightroom 2019

I personally haven't used any of them as I'm currently unbothered by whatever Adobe is doing (though I suppose that could change at some point?) Maybe it's a generational thing, but I'm fine subscription software models and potential price increases. I run my photography business as an LLC part time, so all my software purchases are tax writeoffs anyways.

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mike Martin] #2990906 05/23/19 03:05 PM
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Thank you everybody for your input.


Originally Posted By: Mike Martin

Unless you're doing some serious portraiture why not just get a 50mm f/1.8 and save a lot of money. Solves the weight issues and for video purposes gives you a bit more light than your f/2.8 lens.


Reviews tell me that most heavier lenses go out of focus under their own weight. This is going to be my last lens so I don't mind getting a good one. Also, I might want to use it for other applications later on, so a general purpose lens would be more suitable. I just want to avoid buying a 3rd lens.


Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Sam CA] #2990928 05/23/19 05:09 PM
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The Sigma lenses are lighter. Even some of the Nikon ones are as well. If you can find a good used price, the difference between an f1.8 and an f1.4 can be bigger than you'd expect, in terms of working in low natural light and also regarding lens sharpness.


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Sam CA] #2996349 06/28/19 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam CA
Thank you everybody for your input.


Originally Posted by Mike Martin

Unless you're doing some serious portraiture why not just get a 50mm f/1.8 and save a lot of money. Solves the weight issues and for video purposes gives you a bit more light than your f/2.8 lens.


Reviews tell me that most heavier lenses go out of focus under their own weight. This is going to be my last lens so I don't mind getting a good one. Also, I might want to use it for other applications later on, so a general purpose lens would be more suitable. I just want to avoid buying a 3rd lens.



I purchased a 50mm f/1.4, and feel like I don't need depth of field that shallow. I probably should have saved some coin and purchased the f/1.8, which is still a very wide aperture!

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Mark Schmieder] #2996402 06/28/19 10:35 AM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mark Schmieder
If you can find a good used price, the difference between an f1.8 and an f1.4 can be bigger than you'd expect.


Price gouging... again. mad


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Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2996627 06/29/19 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Synthoid
Originally Posted by Mark Schmieder
If you can find a good used price, the difference between an f1.8 and an f1.4 can be bigger than you'd expect.


Price gouging... again. mad


I wouldn't call it price gouging. There is a huge difference in the quality of components used in making an f/1.8 vs f/1.4 lens. The 50 mm f/1.8 lens is known as a "nifty fifty", Canon and Nikon both make one. It's designed as an entry level lens to introduce you to prime lenses and large apertures. The image quality is good but it also designed for mass production: mostly or all plastic construction, a minimal number of lens elements and aperture blades, and no weather sealing.

Optically an f/1.4 lens is a more complicated design and will be physically larger. They are also more geared towards professionals, so they have features that professionals look for. Weather sealing, more aperture blades for smoother bokeh, advanced lens coatings and more elements for reduced flare and increased sharpness, and a higher quality of construction with more metal parts for robustness. Take a look at the LensRentals blog and check out an f/1.4 lens teardown. These modern lens are incredibly complicated marvels of engineering and the prices are fairly justified (IMO).

Re: Getting Back Into Photography [Re: Synthoid] #2996677 06/30/19 02:42 AM
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I would agree. I would not characterize that as price gouging either.

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