Should I get a 50mm f/1.4?

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Sam, Jan 25, 2009.

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  1. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    A few weeks back I posted about possibly replacing my 17-85mm Canon lens, but I've decided to keep it after all.

    I've really been looking closely at the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, which seems to have very positive reviews. Anyone have first-hand experiences or comments about this lens?

    It is about $399 where I get it here in Vancouver, Canada!
     
  2. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    I have a similar Nikon (the cheaper f/1.8). I can tell you that I love using that lens because its small, has good optics, and is fantastic for low light. That said, what do you want to do with it? The aperture opens some new options in creativity, but can be tricky at first (its amazing how little depth of field you will have).
     
  3. Photobug4741

    Photobug4741 Active Member

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    For low light a 1.4 or 1.2 works wonders. The 1.4 would be my pick.:)
     
  4. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the opinions, guys! I definitely can't afford the f/1.2mm lens, but that be awesome :D.

    I mainly want a good walk-around lens that has a lot of depth of field control (and with f/1.4 that is definitely possible), especially for candid photos!
     
  5. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    That will be a great lens. If you plan to walk around in a park it will work, but won't be ideal. But, for indoors its a fantastic choice.
     
  6. David Rasnake

    David Rasnake News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    I don't know, Caleb: I find my 50mm to be alright in terms of versatility outdoors as well. I'd agree that the reach is a little long on a body like the 50D, but assuming you want to take detail shots instead of sweeping views, it can be a fun setup for outdoor walk-around shooting as well. Different, but fun.

    Of course, you could throw a 24mm f/2.8 (also fairly inexpensive) into your kit as well and have a whole lot of versatility in two primes.

    dr
     
  7. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    I guess we have different ideas of outdoor "candids". I think of candids more as people, usually somewhat close up. Then the 50mm wouldn't be the most ideal. Thats all I was thinking.
     
  8. fazz33

    fazz33 New Member

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    Umm, 50mm F1.4 eh? I have the F1.8 so it should be similar. Anyways the lens should be absolutely great for portrait style photos or situations where you want a nice blur on anything your not focused on. Anyways just like everyone else says, if you want low depth of view, this is a true winner. Anyways I assume if you aren't strapped for cash, but if you are the F1.8 version isn't a bad lens either actually its the opposite great lens for the price.
     
  9. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe News/Review Writer News/Review Writer

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    Both the 50/1.8 and the 50/1.4 are a little soft wide open. Stop then down, say f4 or so and you will see improvement. For the price, the 50/1.8 is hard to beat. I like the 50/1.4 better myself. I tend to like what would be the 85-135mm range in 35mm full frame camera terms, so the 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 fill that quite well. Rounded out with a 28/1.8 and it makes a nice set of prime lenses, all with 58mm filter sizes.
     
  10. roadkill401

    roadkill401 Member

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    I had a 50mmf1.8 for my 50D, and it lasted for about 1 day before it was quickly returned and replaced with the 50mmf1.4

    Why you ask.

    1. In a studio with pretty good light, it would not properly focus on a 18% grey card. Even if I stoped it down to say F5.6, the unit would just focus from one extreem to the other then give up. Maybe I had a dud.. but I couldn't take the chance.

    2. The build of the unit is.. well, you get what you paid for it. In manual focus, the unit felt clumsy at best.


    The f1.4 is night and day better in both build quality and function. As far as it being soft full open.. I have yet to find that. I have done some very sharp photo's at f1.4 without any issues. This was a test shot that I did before getting my lens. At 100% pixle level, it is pretty sharp.

    I would say this is a fantastic lens if you work at 50mm. I love it for portrate shots. If I need a head and shoulder shot, I just move in a bit. For 3/4 body it's just fine for me.

    Matt.
     

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