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Archive 2012 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm
  
 
69charger
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


I am looking to by my first prime lens and I am undecided whether to go with a 50mm or 85mm. I am unsure which would be more versitile. The question others would ask first is "What do I want to do with it?" I don't know. Any suggestions or preferences?
Darren



Jan 26, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Jonathan Huynh
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


What camera are you shooing with ?
If this is 1.6 crop body 50mm is best.



Jan 26, 2012 at 04:12 AM
thedutt
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


Which camera body are you using it on? If on 1.6x sensor, you should consider the 30mm f1.4 sigma or 35f2 canon.

If shooting on full frame, as much as I love the 85 f1.8, I think for the first lens 50mm would be a better choice for a "general purpose" prime. 85 would be superb for indoor sports & portraits on either 1.6x sensor or FF.



Jan 26, 2012 at 04:12 AM
leftymgp
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


You kind of have to have an idea what you're going to do with the lens when getting a prime. For instance if you like shooting landscapes I would not recommend an 85mm.


Jan 26, 2012 at 04:21 AM
69charger
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


The body is a Canon XS/1000, so it has the smaller image sensor. First digital purchased 1 1/2 years ago. Not a pro camera but it performs quite well.


Jan 26, 2012 at 04:27 AM
anandnvi
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


It comes down to when you plan to upgrade to FF (if at all). If that's less than a year, do that first and then get the prime lens. If not, get the 50mm 1.4 lens now.


Jan 26, 2012 at 04:30 AM
69charger
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


Thanks for the insight. It seems like a 50mm is the way the start. your help is appreciated.
Darren.



Jan 26, 2012 at 04:36 AM
mspencer1
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


+1 on the 50


Jan 26, 2012 at 02:32 PM
mfreardon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


Darren,

Like you, I'm an amateur. I own the 50 f/1.4 and the 85 f/1.8 (both Canon). I agree with the others that the 50 is more versatile, especially indoors, but I find that I use the 85 much more often. If I could only keep one, there would be no hesitation, I'd keep the 85. YMMV

Mike



Jan 26, 2012 at 02:56 PM
svassh
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


Can't go wrong with a nifty fifty for < $100 used. I would start there and make sure you like primes. Some people hate not being able to zoom. The nifty fifty was my first prime when I had my XS and is a great combination.


Jan 26, 2012 at 03:12 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



gdanmitchell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


69charger wrote:
I am looking to by my first prime lens and I am undecided whether to go with a 50mm or 85mm. I am unsure which would be more versitile. The question others would ask first is "What do I want to do with it?" I don't know. Any suggestions or preferences?
Darren


Get a zoom first. Shoot a lot with it. You'll figure which FL is most appropriate for your photography in this way.

There is no generic "best focal length" for a first prime, even aside from not knowing whether you shoot cropped sensor of full frame.

Then, unless you really need something very specialized, at the point that at which you figure out that you need some specific prime focal length, start out with one of the fine, inexpensive Canon non-L primes - among them the 85mm f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.4, the 35mm f/2, and a few others.

Dan



Jan 26, 2012 at 03:15 PM
M Vers
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


gdanmitchell wrote:
Get a zoom first. Shoot a lot with it. You'll figure which FL is most appropriate for your photography in this way.


Based on the OP's profile I'm assuming the he has already done so, but I agree with your main point--get what works for you.

OP, what focal length do you feel would suit your needs best? That is what is most important.



Jan 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Snopchenko
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


I found the 50 to be a bit "in no man's land" on APS-C and very certainly so on APS-H. On APS-H I would probably get a 85 (or 60). On APS-C I'd opt for a 60mm macro Tamron that doubles as a fast (f/2) portrait lens.


Jan 26, 2012 at 03:52 PM
69charger
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


In response to what has been posted, I got the XS with the standard 18-55mm and a 75-300mm zoom as a kit sale. Just in spring I purchased a Sigma 105mm macro on FM, so I have been doing a lot of experimentation with what appeals to me and self discovery. But I keep reading about the clarity of primes, and that it why I am so interested. I was involved in photography in the 90's with a Minolta X-9, but circumstances and mishaps prevented me from continuing. So now starting anew I am learning that each lens has its strengths and weaknesses. So to decide what FL I like, I would say is a bit premature. Everyone has a preference and an opinion. That's why I asked to see what you all think is best and from that I can further my own choice.
Darren



Jan 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
anandnvi
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


One of the few truths about photography - where so much else is relative and subjective - is this: simple is appealing. There is nothing simpler than a normal focal length. The fancy telephotos and the 'abnormal' wides have their place but need specialized technique compared to what your two eyes with their 'normal' perspective tell you about a scene. Keep things simple, learn prime shooting with the 50.


Jan 26, 2012 at 05:18 PM
gpop
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


get the 85.


Jan 26, 2012 at 05:35 PM
M Vers
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


anandnvi wrote:
...There is nothing simpler than a normal focal length. The fancy telephotos and the 'abnormal' wides have their place but need specialized technique compared to what your two eyes with their 'normal' perspective tell you about a scene. Keep things simple, learn prime shooting with the 50.


If you go by that thought process then I don't really understand why you would recommend the 50 when on APS-C it would be ~80mm, which is not considered 'normal'. If you stick by that logic a 30/35mm lens would make more sense.



Jan 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
jay tieger
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


M Vers wrote:
If you go by that thought process then I don't really understand why you would recommend the 50 when on APS-C it would be ~80mm, which is not considered 'normal'. If you stick by that logic a 30/35mm lens would make more sense.



Yes...the 35/2 would be a better 1st fast prime....



Jan 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Daan B
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


jay tieger wrote:
Yes...the 35/2 would be a better 1st fast prime....


+1



Jan 26, 2012 at 07:06 PM
anandnvi
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · First prime lens 50mm or 85mm


M Vers wrote:
If you go by that thought process then I don't really understand why you would recommend the 50 when on APS-C it would be ~80mm, which is not considered 'normal'. If you stick by that logic a 30/35mm lens would make more sense.


mvers, that's right. The 35mm if he's not going to be upgrading to FF soon (see my earlier post).



Jan 26, 2012 at 07:12 PM
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