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Do I need a f1.4 lens?
Old 11-12-2016   #1
kshapero
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Question Do I need a f1.4 lens?

Been getting by with a Zeiss 50mm f2 for years. Would I really gain having that extra stop and going to an f1.4 lens?
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Old 11-12-2016   #2
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How often would 1.4 make the difference between getting and not getting the shot? The Planar is hard to beat.
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Old 11-12-2016   #3
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If you like how a 50mm f 1.4 or f1.5 lens draws at full aperture then yes, but if you don't, save your money or get another focal length instead.

I personally am very fond of photos taken with that the 50mm Sonnar lens types at full bore for instance, so for me the new J-3+ or the modern CV made Zeiss Sonnar lens 50mm f1.5 would be what I would buy, but your preference might be different than mine.
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Old 11-12-2016   #4
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I thought I absolutely needed one... only to find that I take extremely few photographs wide open. In truth, it may be good to have it if you ever need the extra stop, but it's not indispensable when you are already fitted out with an f2.
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Old 11-12-2016   #5
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It is nice to have one.
"Need" is more complicated subject. At f1.4 it is not going to give all on group portraits in focus. I have to stop it down to 5.6-8 and use flash. But if I want my FED-2 out on the street after daylight is out, I need my J-3 on it.
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Old 11-12-2016   #6
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No harm in giving it a try:
Indoors with film or CCD, especially at this time of year, it's a must have for me.
It's also fun to use full open with a ND filter outside.

Shooting at f/2 with a ND is also rewarding - give that a go for a day.
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Old 11-12-2016   #7
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Looking at your avatar you are sixty seven Akiva. Just do it!
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Old 11-12-2016   #8
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YES!

But to be actually helpful
It's one stop. Do you feel you need one stop more light or less depth of field? Then yes, otherwise, No.

My main lens is the summilux pre-asph 1.4/35. I shoot maybe 1/100th or less of the time at 1.4, but it's nice to have when I use it. However, the lens is still tiny, I wouldn't get one of the newer 'big' 1.4/35s, I don't shoot at 1.4 enough to carry the extra size and weight burden.
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Old 11-12-2016   #9
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No

I don't like f/1.4 lenses because of the huge front element. I get by with an f/2 and push film when I need the speed.
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Old 11-12-2016   #10
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My 50 1.4 ASPH is best I own. 50 2.8 last version is what I use most.
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Old 11-12-2016   #11
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Have been wondering the same thing myself. I have the current version of the 50 Summicron and have been looking at something faster. However, I also own the 35f1.2 Nokton and seldom use it wide open.

Can get a 50f1.1 used for $750 but it is large, like the 35f1.2. I don't think Leica lenses are worth the price so thinking about the 50f1.5 ASPH from Voightlander and the 50f1.5 Zeiss. But I need another M mount lens like I need an extra hole in my head.
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Old 11-13-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Looking at your avatar you are sixty seven Akiva. Just do it!
Best post yet!!
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Old 11-13-2016   #13
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Keith and xayraa33 are right. And get the Zeiss C Sonnar. It's a revelation. It's not about the extra stop necessarily, it's the depth of field at f2 and f2.8 as well f1.5 and the character generally down to an aperture of f5.6 and it's lighter and more compact than all the 50 Summiluxes.
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Old 11-13-2016   #14
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It depends on performance overall to me. Does the f/1.4 lens have a better overall look than the f/2 lens? Not on a clinical level but on an aesthetic level. Some lenses are great while others are magical.

When I became interested in photography, most photographers relied on maximum aperture only for emergencies. Wide open, most lenses did not perform very well so stopping down one or two stops was the norm. Lenses are better today and I don't hesitate to use my lenses at maximum aperture if it's called for. But only a few are really magical.
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Old 11-13-2016   #15
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I have several very nice 1.4 - 1.8 lenses, yet I very rarely shoot these wide open.
Getting excellent results at f1.4 takes lots of experience and a very fine, critical eye. It's not the average photographer who can get it to work well.
F2.0 is my personal bottom line, and depends much on what's being photographed.
I tend to use light, more than DOF, to draw attention to a subject.
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Old 11-13-2016   #16
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Enjoy viewing the world around you wide open. Use the lowest ISO setting on your camera for improved colors and better looking images.
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Old 11-13-2016   #17
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You definitely do need a f1.4 lens. A f0,95 lens would be too much.
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Old 11-13-2016   #18
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So, between the Zeiss and Voightlander 50 f1.5's, which one would you choose and why?
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Old 11-13-2016   #19
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Depends on the lens. Not all 1.4 lenses are created equal. Usually what you get is smoother bokeh, not necessarily better sharpness or IQ. If you're shooting B&W film, you'll get the shot w/ the f2 lens in nearly all instances. I assume that for two years you have been anyway.

Being 67 is not necessarily a motivator. We could all leave the universe at any given moment regardless of age. Tomorrow is not a given even if you're 20, and the next instant is even a question mark.
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Old 11-13-2016   #20
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I don't know as I needed one, but when it was time to replace my f2 Nikkor that came on an S2 (with element separation), I decided to upgrade to the f1.4 just in case I'd ever need that much of an opening. TomA's experience with it is what sealed the deal for me.

I remember my first SLR f1.4 lens, a Sears branded M42 mount of dubious manufacture, and how it used to fog when shot wide open. Back then I didn't much care for that, though now days some consider it artful. When I got my first Nikkormat I again went with an f1.4 (Nikkor), and had no issues with it.

Whether or not you shoot wide open very much, Akiva, sooner or later you'll need it, and be glad you have it. You might even grow to like it a lot.

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Old 11-13-2016   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
So, between the Zeiss and Voightlander 50 f1.5's, which one would you choose and why?
Looking at a sweet Leica Summilux 50/1.4 Version 2
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Old 11-13-2016   #22
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Go for it, Akiva. I regret not having bought a 50mm Summilux. I got instead a 35/1.4 Summilux and a 75/1.4 Summilux.
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Old 11-13-2016   #23
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I have some fast lenses: Canon 50 1.4 in LTM, the Zeiss C-Sonnar 50 1.5 in M mount, Jupiter 3+ 50mm 1.5 LTM, and Nikkor SC 50mm 1.4 in LTM.

Of them all, the Canon fails to inspire me. It seems to behave just as an SLR lens would behave, due to its double Gauss design. It's a little less sharp wide open, and sharpens up as you stop down.

The C-Sonnar, Jupiter 3+, and Nikkor are far more interesting as they are all Sonnar designs. The aperture controls image quality, as the degree of "dreaminess" is controlled by the aperture. The differences in spherical aberration causing the bokeh changes and veiling flare disappearance as you stop down contribute to this dreaminess. This creates a much greater difference to the image than the small increase in depth of field as you go from f/1.4 to f/2. The C-Sonnar has almost no "dreaminess" at all wide open, and a lot of contrast and resolution in the center. It can be used as a universal lens, and I do use it frequently for that reason.
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Old 11-13-2016   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post

Do I need a f1.4 lens?

Been getting by with a Zeiss 50mm f2 for years. Would I really gain having that extra stop and going to an f1.4 lens?
I cannot answer the question for you. However, I can answer the question for me.

Many years ago when I purchased my first 35mm SLR, my first lens was a 50mm f/2. Too many times, when I found myself shooting handheld under low-light conditions, I wished I had one more f/stop to use. When it was time for me to replaced my first 35mm SLR system, I used the change as an opportunity to get faster lenses. I now use three f/1.4 lenses (35mm, 50mm, and 85mm focal lengths) and three f/2 lenses (24, 28, and 135). These fast lenses meet my need for speed.


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Old 11-13-2016   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Go for it, Akiva. I regret not having bought a 50mm Summilux. I got instead a 35/1.4 Summilux and a 75/1.4 Summilux.
You are giving me the final push.
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Old 11-13-2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Looking at a sweet Leica Summilux 50/1.4 Version 2
I've had two 50/1.4s a v2 and the last version. Disliked them because when wide open the corners were way too soft. Not just sorta soft like the 35/1.4 pre-ASPH, but completely out of focus. Just didn't work for me.
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Old 11-13-2016   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
You are giving me the final push.
Look for a good deal from a RFF member here. If needed, send the lens to DAG or Sherry Krauter for an optimal CLA. I have way too many amazingly good 50mm lenses, so to now buy a Summilux 50mm lens is too late for me.
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Old 11-13-2016   #28
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Back when I started, I wish I had an f1.4 just for the low light capability -admit the guilty pleasure and fad of bokeh too-. Spent 2009 shooting a bit of Kodachrome and that was quite an exercise at ISO64.
Time went on but I decided to move up to MF RF instead of dropping $ on a 135 format f1.4.

Then digital, as humble as is an old m43, took care of lower light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post

Being 67 is not necessarily a motivator. We could all leave the universe at any given moment regardless of age. Tomorrow is not a given even if you're 20, and the next instant is even a question mark.
I am 22 and last year was a blast. Mostly because I had quite some pressure in one way or another and I'd leave my hometown a few months, closing up periods and chapters. Having a sort of ticking time sensation does give a good push.

And anyways, 30 is the new 20... 70 is the new 60 and so on. Age becomes less of an issue and a 50 year old is much younger now than 50 years ago.
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Old 11-13-2016   #29
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I have several f1.4 lens on slrs because they provide better viewing and some the lenses have better optics but I almost never use f1.4. Now consider this on an slr below 1/60 the mirror slap affects the image. With a rangefinder it is okay to photograph at 1/30 or even 1/15. Also, todays film has greater latitude so sometimes I will photograph even if the meter is slightly negative. Now, to give to you my opinion. Unless you have plentiful cash I would stay with the f2.0 Zeiss.
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Old 11-13-2016   #30
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Why not the Zeiss Sonnar 1.5/50 instead? It's small, short and does not block the finder.
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Old 11-13-2016   #31
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I bought a Canon 50/1.4 & shot it at a function indoors. I shot it wide open & with my bad eyesight, when I got the film back I missed some of the shots because the crazy shallow depth of field the lens has. So IMO bad vision + shallow DOF=missed shots. Just shoot at a higher ISO & embrace the grain.
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Old 11-13-2016   #32
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I'm very pleased I upgraded my Pentax-M 50mm 1.7 to a 1.4. I use the wider aperture a LOT, and I even shot a whole roll (of 50 ASA B+W) entirely on 1.4. Excellent results!
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Old 11-13-2016   #33
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f2? For me it depends on the type of camera. A SLR with a prism is better to focus with a high open lens, a rangefinder doesn't need this.
My shooting style for streets is mainly close distance head shots with a minimum of DOF. An aperture of f2 helps to get one eye sharp and to nail the reflex of light on the open eye.
At the age of nearly 69 the less weight of the slower lens is really helpful for me...

Oh - another benefit of the f2 lens is the recessed front lens - you don't need a sun shade (Nikkor 50mm f2) -
much faster when changing lenses in the field.
For me the Nikkor H 50mm f2 is the best buy and the bokeh is similar to the 35mm Summi V4 from Leica. http://flickrhivemind.net/[email protected]/169520168
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Old 11-13-2016   #34
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All you Need is Love. But an f1.4 is nice.

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Old 11-13-2016   #35
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I had a version 2 Summilux. Stolen. That hurt, especially as it was on an M4. But it led me to the v4 Summicron in black: so much lighter. I really began to want a Summilux ASPH several years ago but then saw the results with the C Sonnar. Having no Summilux is one of the most useful cards I've been dealt in my gear owning journey. Unlikely ever to want a 50 Summilux again now.
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Old 11-13-2016   #36
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If you don't mind the barrel distortion my vote goes to the Lux pre asph v2

I found it a great lens for portraiture.

I also just start using a nikkor 5cm 1.4 sc on my M2 via an amedeo adapter, I like it but I found it really interesting only at 1.4

I had a Sonnar 1.5 ZM but I never liked the 1/3 click stop.

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Old 11-13-2016   #37
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GAS says yes
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Old 11-13-2016   #38
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How about doing an analysis of the last 1000 photos you have taken.
'Exposureplot' is quite useful for this.
The analysis will tell you far more than what the usual aperture is that you use.
If you still decide 'yes' make sure you have the opportunity to see how the chosen lens feels on your chosen camera - does it heft OK etc.
If the answer is still 'yes' have a cooling off period for a couple of weeks and then decide if it is still your highest priority.
I'm sounding very negative but am trying to help!
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Old 11-13-2016   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
Why not the Zeiss Sonnar 1.5/50 instead? It's small, short and does not block the finder.
The Ver 2 Lux is tiny (uses 43mm fiters). Got a good deal from a RFF classified.
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Old 11-13-2016   #40
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Maybe, but I'm not sure.
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