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  1. #1
    So I go to fair amount of small shows in NYC, and I've been taking my camera more and more often. I have the Nikon 35mm 1.8, and it's great! But I often want to get tighter without getting moshed on. To that end I'm looking at picking up either the 50mm 1.8D or the 50mm 1.4D. (For the record I'm using a D7000, so it will work with both lenses and has a crop sensor.) I can pick up the 1.4 for around $250 or so used, and the 1.8 new for closer to $130. Will it really be worth it to jump up to the 1.4? Will my depth of field be too thin to be useful when I'm 20-30 feet from the stage? I'm hoping to hear from other folks who've had experience with these lenses or at least some experience shooting in similar conditions.

  2. #2

    Help me buy: Nikon 50 1.8 vs 50 1.4 for concert photography

    (Metal shows, punk shows, synth bands...I don't want to use a flash as i don't have a press pass and a lot of musicians hate it popping in their face when they're performing.)

  3. #3
    50 1.8G is easily as good or better than both the 1.8 and 1.4 Ds with similar optics, rounded aperture blades and faster focus. The 1.4 is a minimal uptick in light gathering, but the slow focus makes it harder to nail a clean shot wide open. Also, consider a used 24D or 28D for cheap, slightly wider option if you want a 35mm equivalent.

  4. #4
    I shoot full frame and if I have one lens, it is a 35 or a 50. Two lenses, 28 and 85. Three, 20, 35 and 85. Big stage, 20 and a 35 or 50 and a second body with 70-200. Heh.
    My site – majority of shots are with primes other than the festivals when I run two bodies.

  5. #5
    Thanks! I’m going to fool around with both and see which one feels better, or if I can even find a difference for how I end up using it.
    These are small clubs, so I’m—at worst—40 feet from the stage. I can also end up in the front if I throw some elbows. My hope is to bring a 50 and my 17-35mm 2.8. That should cover just about the entire range for me. I have a slower (f4) 70-210, but even when the light is good it’s weird to shoot an indoor show with it. I’d love to end up with quality 28mm & 85mm lenses, but I think one of the 50s is more practical for me right now. Thanks for the inspirational shots on the web page, too!

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