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09/03/2006 10:14:04 PM · #1
I am torn- I currently have for sale/trade on the forum a rare 20mm f/4, worth about $250. I will sell it eventually for at least $200, and with the money either:

A) Buy a 50mm f/1.4D and crap my pants.

B)Buy a 50mm f/1.8D and an MB-D200 vertical grip... Then crap my pants.

Which should I go for? I've heard good things about the vertical grip, and I've even heard that the f/1.8 is equal to and/or trumps the f/1.4. I shoot low-light sometimes- is the extra 2/5ths of a stop worth it?
09/03/2006 10:34:47 PM · #2
I have the 50mm f/1.8 and think it is great. I am not sure that the extra 0.4 f-stop is worth and extra $150 unless you have a real need to shoot wide open at f/1.8. I would go with the f/1.8 and the vertical grip, but that's just me.
09/03/2006 10:43:43 PM · #3
ditto. first i'd get the d200 though.

:/
09/03/2006 10:44:45 PM · #4
I have the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, and I shoot it wide open at 1.4 all the time. Not just for shutter speed, but also for shallow DOF. My vote is for the 1.4.
09/03/2006 10:46:37 PM · #5
Originally posted by Vapor63:

... and crap my pants.
... Then crap my pants.


Why are you crapping your pants?

Oh, and yeah. Get the Sigma 30mm f/1.4
09/03/2006 11:04:41 PM · #6
Originally posted by wimbello:

Originally posted by Vapor63:

... and crap my pants.
... Then crap my pants.


Why are you crapping your pants?

Oh, and yeah. Get the Sigma 30mm f/1.4


Great suggestion guys! I'll consider that a pant-crapping alternative along with A and B. The Sigma 30mm is for sale at a super secret new price of $398 on Amazon. This would mean no vertical grip though. :-(

Keep em comin' folks.
09/03/2006 11:18:42 PM · #7
I bought the vertical grip & have used it once ..
skip the grip & get the 30mm f/1.4
09/04/2006 06:48:02 PM · #8
THIRTY MILLIMETRE! THIRTY MILLIMETRE! THIRTY MILLIMETRE! THIRTY MILLIMETRE!

EFONEPOINTFOUR! EFONEPOINTFOUR! EFONEPOINTFOUR! EFONEPOINTFOUR!
09/04/2006 06:56:27 PM · #9
So 30mm f/1.4... The thing is that sometimes I like the reach of fifty. 30 sounds intriguing though. Any owners want to share comments?
09/04/2006 07:04:15 PM · #10
Not a Nikon dSLR user, but I have a vertical grip for my 300D and I NEVER use it. It sits in one of my dresser drawers collecting dust.

Go with the better glass. :-) Oh, and go change your pants. :-P

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 19:04:39.
09/04/2006 07:12:54 PM · #11
What about skip the grip and get the 30mm 1.4 AND the 50mm 1.8?
09/04/2006 07:18:37 PM · #12
Originally posted by bfox2:

What about skip the grip and get the 30mm 1.4 AND the 50mm 1.8?


The 30mm f/1.4 will take all of the money I can gain from selling my 20mm f/4 and my MF 50mm- and then some. I most definitely cannot afford both, but thanks for the suggestion. So you guys honestly see no benefit in the VG? I've read some people saying that they 'love the better balance' blah blah... I dunno. I would love to hear from owners of 30mm (especially the Sigma) on an APS-C sensor.
09/04/2006 07:25:39 PM · #13
my friend (' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' shorterthanjesus) has a D100 (which I use all the time) with a vertical grip. While he only has one battery, the grip never leaves that camera. If you do any amount of shooting in portrait mode, I would consider it a must have. It can be a little bulky at times, but is much better if you are using the camera handheld in portrait mode for any lenghth of time. Much more natural way of holding a camera.

I love the 50 1.8, and havn't heard heard anything that says the 1.4 is worth anywhere close to the extra money.

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 19:26:25.
09/04/2006 07:34:26 PM · #14
Battery grips are great. It makes it so much easier to hold the camera, and the extra grip for portrait mode is really nice. Plus the extra battery life can be good, and you can get a hand strap instead of a shoulder strap if you want (I'm planning to get one when I buy stuff from B&H next)

edit - 50mm is a good focal length on full frame, and 30mm is pretty close to that for digital. On the other hand, 50mm on digital is closer to the traditional portrait length, and if that's what you'll be using it for, it'll probably be better for tight shots.

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 19:36:56.
09/04/2006 07:40:21 PM · #15
On my 10D the Sigma 30mm it is a 48mm. So really it's a 50mm f/1.4, that is particularly sharp. It's not a 'slight' lens, but certainly not fat and overly heavy. "Balanced".

As for using a vertical grip, If you find yourself in situations where you are moving *fairly* quickly and shooting in portrait and landscape, then i would say that you would appreciate it. The only reason is that apart from being more comfortable, your wrist might not get sore from holding a camera at a funny angle.

Not really helpful to you, am i? Seeing as I own both...

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 19:41:10.
09/04/2006 07:46:11 PM · #16
From what I have read, on film SLRs the 50 mm lens is most like what the eye sees and feels the most natural when looking at a scene. This is why it is used alot for street photography. The 30 mm lens with the crop factor 30*1.5=45 mm is very close to that range. I am actually surprised more people don't have it(but then I look at the price). Thats the advantage I see to the 30. However I have the 50 1.8 and it works great and I have some of my highest rated shots with that lens. They come out really sharp, the one thing that can be alittle troublesome is trying to get the focus to lock as it jumps around abit. But my guess is that is because I shoot with the cheapest DSLR around and shouldn't be an issue with the D200. You can looks at the highest rated photo of the Sigma 30 mm here on this site to see some examples.
09/04/2006 08:47:29 PM · #17
I have the 50 1.8; it's super sharp. I guess it depends how often you'd be shooting wide open, but I haven't heard any justification for the extra cash to get the 1.4. Spend the extra dough on some new pants.

09/04/2006 09:02:58 PM · #18
i have a D200 with the battery grip permanently mounted. the battery life on the D200 is pretty iffy with the big lcd and sensor, so i always have it on. the vert grip is great for those of us who shoot in portrait mode frequently, though it takes some getting used to. now that i use it regularly, I'd be a little lost without it.

the 50mm 1.4 is as sharp as the F1.8, and the AF is almost as fast. However, the extra third of light will rarely make the difference between getting a usable shot and missing it, and shooting wide open at F1.4 is REALLY shallow, which is likely to offset any benefit to having a little more light.

if it were me, I'd get the F1.8 and the grip. Oh wait...i already did that. I guess that answers your question.

I shot with Azrifel's 30mm in Germany a few months ago, and I REALLY liked it for shooting landscape/cityscape shots, but found it a little wide for portraits. as you can see in this pic it's insanely sharp, but you can also see how close he had to get by the reflection in the pimp glasses. (it was the sigma 30mm F1.4 if I'm not mistaken)

if that's all the $$ you have to spend at the mo, get the grip and the 50mm F1.8. that's the most bang for your buck in my opinion.

P

09/04/2006 09:27:32 PM · #19
Originally posted by Pedro:

as you can see in this pic it's insanely sharp, but you can also see how close he had to get by the reflection in the pimp glasses. (it was the sigma 30mm F1.4 if I'm not mistaken)


Can we get a 100% crop of the reflection in those sunglasses?
09/04/2006 09:36:47 PM · #20
I have not shot the 1.8 but I do have to 1.4 and the MB-D200. In my opinion, the grip is nice but not a must have. The battery life of the D200 is quite good if you're not always chimping or digging around in the menus. As for comfort, I actually find the MB-D200 to be not as ergonomic as the built in grip of my old F5 and a little bulky and sqarish, though if you have larger hands that may not be an issue. Certainly it can be gotten used to. As for the 50mm 1.4, if I had to choose between it and the MB-D200 I'd take the lens in a heartbeat. With the 1.5x crop of the D200 it makes a great portrait lens as a 75mm equivalent with it's ultra shallow DOF. Think of it as a poor man's 85mm f/1.4 for digital and you won't be far off.
09/04/2006 09:52:03 PM · #21
I agree with Pedro about the grip being very useful, and not just for portrait work. I've been waiting for over 5 weeks for an extra battery for the D200 - and I'm GLAD it hasn't come in! Instead, I've chosen to use the Energizer 2500 mAh rechargeables with the AA adapter that comes with the MB-D200. These batteries are great (at least as long as the EN-EL3e battery - but it only takes 15 minutes to charge them. Yes, you have to spend ~$30 at Wally World to get the rapid charger AND buy the high capacity batteries seperately. However, once you have made the initial investment you will not regret it! I shot my step-brothers (very rural) wedding this past Saturday, and would NOT have been able to finish it with just the nikon batteries - they take too long to recharge!

I also have the F1.4 50mm - beautiful, crisp images, fast focusing, and incredible light gathering ability <<BUT>> if your budget allows for the F1.8 AND the battery grip, I would definitely do that.

(Note - I was going to offer a trial of my battery grip & lens, but your profile doesn't list where you are - if you'd rather not say so publicly, you can PM me)
09/04/2006 09:52:46 PM · #22
I've done a lot of thinking, and it comes down to a few things:

First- I have a portrait lens, the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, which does awsome portraits whenever I have control over my lighting (like having my Sigma EF-500 flash) or on sunny days etc... So the portrait aspect isn't a huge benefit.

The main reason I desire a vertical grip is for handling. I have two batteries for my D200, and I always carry the spare in my pocket. It takes a grand total of eight seconds to switch batteries, so the grip is more of a handling thing than anything else for me.

It sounds to me like the 30mm will give me very sharp walk-a-round-ability. The 50mm also works as a good walkaround too. So at this point, thanks to a lot of your guys' advice, torn between either a 50mm f/1.8 and vertical grip or a Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Both would, as thoroughly mentioned, force me to crap my pants. Both would also prove very cool.

Vertical grip and a sharp 50mm, or a gain of 20mm and 2/5ths of a stop? Who wants to help me narrow it to a final decision?

EDIT** Thanks for the trial offer ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' rossbilly- I live in several locations (between schools and houses) between Virginia and Maryland, aka the "DC Area". Perhaps I'll reconsider the humor in my current location as it seems to be causing problems. In any case, this is quite far away from Tennessee, but thanks a lot for the offer! I'll be keeping an eye out for people in my area who might be able to lend me an MB-D200.

Message edited by author 2006-09-04 21:55:45.
09/04/2006 09:57:53 PM · #23
Originally posted by EricMGB1974:

The battery life of the D200 is quite good if you're not always chimping or digging around in the menus.


I don't chimp (much), and a single battery lasts about half as long as my D70 battery does. Or at least did before Joey L fried it. with a 67% larger sensor and 40% larger lcd it's only natural it would eat through batteries faster. A typical wedding shoot for me is between 1000 and 1500 shots in an afternoon, so battery life is significantly important to me. it's not a real complaint about the camera, just an observation.

Originally posted by EricMGB1974:



As for comfort, I actually find the MB-D200 to be not as ergonomic as the built in grip of my old F5 and a little bulky and sqarish, though if you have larger hands that may not be an issue. Certainly it can be gotten used to.


I'd agree with this. Having struggled with NO available grip on the D70 for the first year it was in production, the one for the D200 is a welcome addition, even if it's not as great as my previous *gulp* Canon grip.

P
09/04/2006 10:07:25 PM · #24
Originally posted by Vapor63:


First- I have a portrait lens, the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, which does awsome portraits whenever I have control over my lighting (like having my Sigma EF-500 flash) or on sunny days etc... So the portrait aspect isn't a huge benefit.


that's interesting...do you use the macro feature a lot? I have this lens also, and almost never use it for anything but macros, because I find the AF painfully slow compared to the 50mm, and it's kind of noisy. you could prolly get $300ish for that lens, then you could have all the toys you want :)
09/04/2006 10:14:10 PM · #25
Originally posted by Pedro:

Originally posted by Vapor63:


First- I have a portrait lens, the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, which does awsome portraits whenever I have control over my lighting (like having my Sigma EF-500 flash) or on sunny days etc... So the portrait aspect isn't a huge benefit.


that's interesting...do you use the macro feature a lot? I have this lens also, and almost never use it for anything but macros, because I find the AF painfully slow compared to the 50mm, and it's kind of noisy. you could prolly get $300ish for that lens, then you could have all the toys you want :)


I considered that very course of action! The 60mm and the 18-70 kit lens are the only ones I really have, so I use them quite a lot. The 60mm AF is very fast outside of two or three feet, mainly because the ring has to move in some instances less than a millimeter to focus far away. Up close, it can be slow, but I haven't missed any shots because of it. It is by no means an 'action' lens.

Here are a few more reasons why I have trouble selling my 60mm:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/526/thumb/364792.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/526/thumb/364792.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/390005.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/390005.jpg', '/') + 1) . '' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/389491.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/389491.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

and whenever I feel it's not a sharp lens I look at ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/389487.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/389487.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' and ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/390007.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/59754/thumb/390007.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

:-)

My question is: would a 30mm or 50mm f/1.4-f/1.8 and vertical grip combo be worth losing the 60mm?
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