Many photographers own or are mapping out a path to own the largest aperture lenses available in their system's catalog, skipping past the more utilitarian, lower priced options. Perhaps defaulting to the f/1.4 versus the f/1.8 option deserves this moment's pause.
Light-guzzling lenses that open all the way to f/1.4 to an extent live up to the mantra that you get what you pay for. There are certainly clear and impressive advantages to them. Technically speaking, gaining two-thirds of a stop could be well worth spending more than double the price of the lesser option. But unless you have clear and definable reasoning behind the high-end purchase, who out there will honestly notice the real-world difference more than double the price spent makes on the quality of the images you produce?
In the video above, sunny southwest Florida Photographer Darren Miles puts together a nice compilation, showcasing five reasons why depending on the situation, you should consider the many viable f/1.8 lens options that exist today. When hitting the lens market, assess your photography needs appropriately. Do you need the higher level of build quality and refinement? Is weathersealing a primary concern in the environment you take your equipment to? Looking back at your image catalog, how often do you opt to shoot your primes wide open versus f/2.0 and above? These are just a few questions to ask yourself prior to defaulting to the undeniable lure of a f/1.4 prime lens.