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Difference Between Nikon 50mm 1.4 and 1.8

Nikon 50mm 1.4 vs 1.8

Choosing between lenses affects your photo as much as choosing the correct camera and the correct lighting. With the 50mm prime lens, two options you can have are the 1.4 and 1.8 f stops. The main difference between the Nikon 50mm 1.4 and 1.8 f stops is their level on the scale. The f1.4 and f1.8 are not a full stop apart but just two thirds. This means that they are not very different and ordinary people would probably be hard pressed to get significantly different results with both lenses.

Because f1.4 can have a larger aperture, it can let more light it and achieve the appropriate exposure in a shorter time period. It can thus capture photos faster than the f1.8 lens. This should reduce the occurrence of blurring in case the subject moves quite quickly as well as shoot more photos within a given time frame. The f1.4 is also able to take sharper images than the f1.8 but only at f2 or lower. Once you go higher, you will lose any advantage of the sharpness that the lens may provide.

Another advantage of using the f1.4 over the f1.8 is the ability to achieve a much shallower depth of field. The shallower the depth of field, the more in focus your subject would be. Objects further than or closer than the subject would be out of focus. This gives the effect of blurring out much of the background while leaving your subject very sharp.

The major downside to the f1.4 is the cost of the lens. At about three times the cost of an f1.8 lens, the price is way too much for those who are not capable of maximizing the full effect of the lens. For majority of photographers, whether amateur or professional, the Nikon 50mm f1.8 lens would serve the purpose pretty well. The Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens is suited for those who have found the f1.8 lens wanting or those that just want to expand their lens collection.


  1. The f1.4 is two thirds of a stop down from the f1.8
  2. The f1.4 can shoot faster than the f1.8
  3. The f1.4 can take sharper pictures than the f1.8
  4. The f1.4 can provide a shallower depth of field than the f1.8
  5. The f1.4 costs significantly more than the f1.8

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