The point I was trying to make is that sharpness should not be the be-all-end-all of a photo. I’m assuming you “know [I’m] a casual” because I quoted Henri Cartier-Bresson, so whatever, I’m gonna double down on that and quote Adams: There’s nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept. If you think that sharpness is more important than things like emotion, subject, composition, etc, then you’re failing as a photographer. And if you’re so hung up on matters of technical perfection that you don’t allow yourself to *get the shot*, then you’re also failing as a photographer.
Which isn’t to say that there’s no benefit from *also* trying to strive for technical perfection, which is why I’ve almost never shot at f/1.4. But saying “[f/1.4] won’t be as sharp as 2.8” is (a) stupid obvious and (b) completely missing the point, which is that sometimes those two stops are the difference between getting the shot or not getting the shot.
And all that being said, looking at my Lightroom database, I’ve shot f/1.4 about 1% of the times that I’ve shot between f/2.8 and f/4. My 50/1.4 broke a couple of years back and I replaced it with a 50/1.8STM because of how rarely I actually shot at 1.4, and I’ve yet to regret that decision. And hell, when I’m doing serious work I mostly use a 24-105 f/4 these days. All I was trying to say was that calling primes “dumb” because most people using them don’t shoot them wide open is, itself, dumb.