David vs Goliath Nikon 50mm 1.8G vs Zeiss Milvus 1.4 on a D5

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This past week, my photography world took a somewhat unexpected turn.  As you all know, I have been shooting Sony for a while now with native and adapted lenses. Needless to say, results from the Sony are outstanding.  However, Back in January, when the Nikon D5 was announced, I hastily submitted an NPS order for one thinking I would buy, play and sell. Well, last weekend, I received the call that my NPS priority order was ready for pickup. At that point I had forgotten about the order and was surprised when I received the call. I said to my self, Sh**, now I need to fork out some $’s for something I don’t really want. I felt obligated and committed to the purchase.  I immediately put the camera for sale before even opening it up. I might as well attempt to recover my  financial loss as soon as possible.

As the evening progressed and the box sat on the floor in my office, I kept looking at it and turning away. However, I kept hearing this little voice saying open me up.  As you can imagin, a few hours later, the camera was opened and I had my Zeiss glass on it snapping a few pictures. Everything was still in original wrappings and the strap was still sealed in plastic. I wanted to make sure it stayed pristine so I could sell it. By the next morning, the strap was out of the bag and on the camera. The classified add for the camera was removed and I was downtown Portland shooting with the 50 Milvus. I took the bait, hook, line and sinker! I have to say it. The camera felt perfect in my hands. All that bitching and whining I did in the past seems to have just disappeared with the unveiling of this camera in my office. What a hypocrite I was! Man, this thing was meant to be a camera and I couldn’t deny it. I would be foolish and in denial if I told you otherwise.

Well, Houston we have a problem! All my Nikon mount glass with the exception of a 300mm lens is manual focus. And guess what, without the beautiful Sony EVF, focusing is a bitch when your eyes are crappy like mine. As far as I am concerned, the $1200.00 Milvus 50mm 1.4 renders the most beautiful bokeh you can expect. It is simply out of this world. But, at the same time focusing on moving subjects or situations where things change can be difficult and challenging. I would say I had a 30% hit ratio of good focused images with the Milvus.  That put me in a predicament. I want the camera but need to focus. I love the Milvus but it’s hard to focus. So, I started looking at my options. I once owned the Nikon 50mm 1.4G  and thought it was just flat out horrible. It lacked everything I wanted from a lens. Sharpness, contrast, color .. you name it, the 1.4G could not deliver for me.  What about the Sigma ART? Well, I considered that lens. Although it meets my requirements for optical quality, it is a tad bit heavy. Then I read about the $199.00 Nikon 50mm 1.8G lens made in China. From all accounts, people seem to love this little 50 1.8.  So, what the heck, 199.00 isn’t going to break the bank and worse case scenario, I could take it back.

Well, let me just say wow!  I won’t bore you with the details about this and that. Lets just say it focuses fast, renders beautifully, is sharp and has a lovely bokeh. Below are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. The first set of pictures are an unscientific comparison against the Milvus. The others, are snapshots from today. Overall, 199.00 well spent :)

 

Don’t forget to maximize your browser and click on the images to see them in large format.

 

Nikon 50mm 1.8 G at F1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8 G at F1.8

 

Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 at F1.8
Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 at F1.8

 

Nikon 50mm 1.8 G at F2.0
Nikon 50mm 1.8 G at F2.0

 

Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 at F2.0
Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 at F2.0

 

Nikon 50mm 1.8 G at F2.8
Nikon 50mm 1.8 G at F2.8

 

Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 at F2.8
Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 at F2.8

 

And here are some from the streets of Portland

 

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4 Comments on David vs Goliath Nikon 50mm 1.8G vs Zeiss Milvus 1.4 on a D5

  1. Looking at the 1st set of portraits, the white balance seems off, making the young lady look as if she is a swimmer dipped in chlorine (green tint). The outdoor shots seem a little magenta strong, were you using auto awb?

  2. I’m reading that the D5 is a step backwards from 1600 and under (Thom Hogan).
    Care to comment?

    I guess it’s no better than a Canon 1Dx/5D MK3 in this regard?

    • I have not directly compared it to a D4 or another camera. But I have noticed some noise in areas I wasn’t expecting to see it like a blue sky in mid afternoon at ISO 100. That did surprise me a little. Further use will tell me more.

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