So, I have a quick question about camera aperture. And this is probably more due to ignorance more than anything, but what's the big deal about wide apertures? It seems that people rant and rave about them. Yes, I understand that they're better for low light. You can open up the aperture while still maintaining a decent shutter speed without having to bump up the ISO too high (therefore invoking noise into your shots). I also appreciate creamy, buttery bokeh in portrait shots.
The thing for me, though, is that with my 50mm 1.4, I never shoot at 1.4, because it's too soft, so it's usually stopped down to at least F1.8. If I'm correct, even if I'm 10-15 feet away from a group of people, at an aperture of F1.8 and a FL of 50mm, I've only got about 2-3 feet of objects in focus, correct? Let's say I'm shooting a large group of (60+) people in a low-light situation. There are two rows of people, standing on bleachers, with the sun going down. No flash, nothing. At F1.8, only the first row is going to be in focus, with the back row OOF.
With such a razor thin depth of field, why are people all the rage about lenses with such small apertures? I almost feel that it would almost be better to find a camera with great low light capability, and just use an F4.0 lens at say...6400 or even 12800 ISO.