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Archive 2013 · 50mm options
  
 
coppertop
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p.1 #1 · 50mm options


I've got the Canon 50mm f2.5 compact macro and like it. Nice sharp lens that can get up close.

But it's a f2.5 and I'm looking at the 50mm 1.4 from Canon for a faster alternative.

Curious... is there a noticeable difference in image quality between these two lenses? And would it make better sense to save my money and keep pushing the ISO when I use the f2.5 indoors?

I guess I'm trying to see if there's an advantage to getting the 50mm f1.4.



Jan 28, 2013 at 05:04 PM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #2 · 50mm options


I would just stick with the Canon 2.5

Read the reviews on the Canon 50mm F1.4
-- images are soft at F1.4
-- mine had flaring from f1.4 to about F2
-- it has coma effects
-- I did not find it usable until F2.2


My Sigma 50mm F1.4 replace the Canon 50mm F1.4
-- The Sigma has given good IQ at F1.4 or stopped down
-- I do not have focus issues with the Sigma 50mm F1.4



Jan 28, 2013 at 05:19 PM
umihoshijima
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p.1 #3 · 50mm options


The 50mm f/2.5 is spectacularly sharp. You will notice a difference. As long as the autofocus speed on the f/2.5 isn't a hinderance, I would hold onto the 50.


Jan 28, 2013 at 05:41 PM
gome1122
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p.1 #4 · 50mm options


I can't speak from experience as I only own the Canon 50mm f/1.8(soon to be a Sigma 50mm f/1.4), but I've seen a lot of picture comparisons of the Sigma and Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the sigma is about the same price, cleaner bokeh, sharper(just a tad) and less CA. As for the image quality for the 50mm f/2.5 I have no idea. But you will love the fast f/1.4 aperture.


Jan 28, 2013 at 05:45 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #5 · 50mm options


I've always thought the 50 1.4 gets a bad press, mine's a very good lens, I use the Canon hood and it's plenty sharp. I don't expect miracles at f1.4, but it's still ok considering it's f1.4 and from a stop or two down it's very good.

I haven't tried the 50 CM but I hear it's fantastic.



Jan 28, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #6 · 50mm options


The 50/1.4 is a very good lens, but the 50/2.5 Macro is amazing. Chances are you won't be shooting the 1.4 wide open anyway, so just get a flash like the 270EX II or 430EX II as primary or supplementary light indoors.

Personally, I like the 50L if I want to shoot wide open or nearly so. So I have that lens and the 50/2.5 Macro as my main 50mm lenses. I have others in that range too, but those are my favorites. If I had to choose only one, it would be the 50L, but that's a serious financial commitment, usually after you have a lot of other important lenses.



Jan 28, 2013 at 06:13 PM
coppertop
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p.1 #7 · 50mm options


Thanks for confirming my thoughts.



Jan 28, 2013 at 07:06 PM
GC5
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p.1 #8 · 50mm options



The Canon and Sigma 50 macros (not the fast primes) are the sharpest 50s made. Decide what you need and get the lens that suits your needs best. If you need a wider aperture, both the Canon and Sigma 1.4s are nice affordable lenses.



Jan 28, 2013 at 08:22 PM
michael49
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p.1 #9 · 50mm options


GC5 wrote:
The Canon and Sigma 50 macros (not the fast primes) are the sharpest 50s made. Decide what you need and get the lens that suits your needs best. If you need a wider aperture, both the Canon and Sigma 1.4s are nice affordable lenses.



I own the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro and its a fantastic little lens. Wide open on a 5d....








Jan 29, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Johnny B Goode
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p.1 #10 · 50mm options


If you don't require autofocus there are many more options available.

ze50/1.4 wide open


IMG_6867 by Pete the Irish Guy, on Flickr


Here's another. Poorly exposed by the photographer and pushed in post. Still like this lens though:


IMG_7307-2 by Pete the Irish Guy, on Flickr

Used you can find these lenses priced in the same ballpark as canon's current 50/1.4. You lose autofocus but you gain build quality. I'm sure canon's next 50/1.4 will be better built but I bet it'll be priced higher.



Jan 29, 2013 at 03:39 PM
 

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twistedlim
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p.1 #11 · 50mm options


dhphoto wrote:
I've always thought the 50 1.4 gets a bad press, mine's a very good lens, I use the Canon hood and it's plenty sharp. I don't expect miracles at f1.4, but it's still ok considering it's f1.4 and from a stop or two down it's very good.

I haven't tried the 50 CM but I hear it's fantastic.



i have to agreee with Dave. I find the 1.4 very adequate. I have yet to find a great 50 to pair with the outstanding 24-35-85-100-135- and 200 lens out there. I do not hesitate to use my 50 1.4 at 1.4. That is why I bought it. Three is some hazing some and flare and the contrast is not what it is at 2.8 but then again few lens are. I have tried all the other AF 50s out there and have yet to find one that is constistanly better than the 50 1.4. The 1.2L is a great lens, better than the 1.4 for most uses but certainly not worth the extra money to me. Plus I love having the light little 50 with me. No excuse not to have it in my bag. I often pair it with a f4 zoom when I head out. I know some Sigma owners swear by theirs and that is great. I have just not had luck with autofocus consistancy with the sigma lens I have used. I think for the price it is hard to go wrong with the 50 1.4.



Jan 29, 2013 at 04:11 PM
saneproduction
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p.1 #12 · 50mm options


You would get about 1 usable stop from the 50 1.4 as you need to stop it down to 1.8 to get the sharpness and contrast up. If you wanted slightly dreamy images, you have the option of 1.4. You have to ask yourself if shooting at 3200 instead of 6400 is worth the cost to you. Also the 50 1.4 does not replace the wicked sharp macro, so you would keep both or add another macro like the 100.


Jan 29, 2013 at 04:19 PM
bcguy
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p.1 #13 · 50mm options


I've owned both the EF 50mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.8 II. Both are very sharp. The f/1.4 is sharper wide open and produces nicer photos overall. I haven't tried the Sigma or the f/1.2L, but I am quite satisfied with the photos my 50mm f/1.4 produces. This photo isn't perfect (one eye is sharper than the other due to focusing error) but it's wide open:

theres no more food by Dillan K, on Flickr



Jan 29, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #14 · 50mm options


I owed all the Canon 50s and the 50 1.2L is my favorite balance of ability to focus, speed, sharpness and bokeh. However the 50 2.5 is the sharpest of them all and if sharpness is your criteria, you may not be happy with other 50s. In terms of distortion control, the 50 2.5 is also the best. As I recall, the 50 1.4 USM was the worse, with heavy barreling at 2 meters. The 50 1.8 suffered similar barreling albeit somewhat less.


Jan 29, 2013 at 06:00 PM
lexvo
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p.1 #15 · 50mm options


The AF of the Canon 50/1.4 seems more prone to breaking than other lenses. Mine broke after 10 years (which is 'OK' I guess) but I also read about broken AF after 2 years.

Stopped down to f/2 (and smaller) I found sharpness and contrast of the 50/1.4 very good.



Jan 29, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Edward Rotberg
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p.1 #16 · 50mm options


My 50/1.4 is 10 years old and has always given me great results, even wide open. Sometimes having the extra 2 stops is huge not only for being able to just take the photo, but also for minimizing the DOF.

= Ed =






1D MkIII, 50mm f/1.4 @ ISO 3200, 1/25, f/1.4 (AV -1/3)




Jan 29, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Beni
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p.1 #17 · 50mm options


The 50mm 1.4 is underrated. I tested it in comparison to the 50mm macro on my 1Ds3 and at f8-16 didn't see any difference without seriously peeling my eyeballs. It's been my most used lens for wedding and personal work for years now. At f1.4 it's got a glow around the focus plane which I actually like but at f1.8 it is already both beautifully sharp and with very nice bokeh. The bokeh wide open is nice in flat light but can be horrific with specular highlights. As I said, at f1.8 that's all fixed. At f2.8-4 it is already sharper than any L zoom I have ever owned and with far cleaner contrast. Focus is fast, not super fast but fast enough that I was never held back by it. You will need a body that can focus f1.4 consistently, my 5Dc's can't. It's nice and light and build quality IMO is better than the macro. It is easy to break the focus motor, drop it on the front with the focus part of the barrel even slightly extended and it will break. I use a hood to guard it and have never had a problem while my friend has broken his 3 times. It's a cheap lens and the build is not up to the standard of more modern or expensive lenses. I've dropped the even cheaper 50mm 1.8 just a foot onto the ground and it split into two separate parts!

I've just bought a 50L so mine is now being sold to one of my students however if you don't need the f1.2 or the superior bokeh/color, all of which come at a huge premium in price and size/weight, the 50mm 1.4 is an incredible lens period and especially for the money.

Here's a recent one shot wide open.




Jan 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #18 · 50mm options


Beni & Ed -- I agree. I couldn't tell the difference between my 50/1.4 and 50/2.5 macro at f/4, and on -- really sharp and clean looking. But alas, I sold it in the pursuit of greatness, chasing after the supposed wonder of the Zeiss ZE 50/1.4. That didn't work out well for me at all.

So, I used the EF 50 macro for a year or more along with a Zeiss Contax 50/1.4 which was excellent. Still have those, but the 50/1.2L is my favorite creamy dream machine ever.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:08 PM
outlawyer
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p.1 #19 · 50mm options


Owning or having owned every 50 made by Canon and Sigma (I love the FL), to me the EF 1.4 is a great lens provided you get a good copy. My 4th was the charm, all were sharp stopped down but only 1 was really really sharp WFO. Sharper than the L at 1.4.
Also have the 2.5 CM, one of Canon's unsung heroes. Stellar across the frame.
Sigma 50 was fantastic except it's not calibrable, at least none of the copies I tried. Always front or back focused.

If you find that good 1.4 you'll be in hog heaven, as the shots in this thread indicate. Color is great as well, CA is what you'd expect from a fast Canon, L or not.



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:15 PM
OntheRez
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p.1 #20 · 50mm options


I've owned 2 50mm f/1.4 and both suffered from the same problems. First at 1.4 the sharpness just isn't there. You'll note that those who like the lens in this thread often mention stopping down and things are great. So what's the point of paying for aperture you can't use? Second, the 50mm f/1.4s are the only Canon lenses I've had fail for no apparent reason. If you check around you'll learn that it uses a non-USM motor system (ring or some such) that seems to be the source of most of the problems. I had to have both repaired one on my dime (actually $105 USD) and the other under warranty. Finally, I've found focus to be slow or lazy particularly in lower light - by which I mean situations that require ISO 3200 to get a Tv=1/500. The "generally accepted wisdom" is that if/when you can get a Sigma it is more robust and sharper wide open. The 50L remains the enigmatic star. It can obviously do amazing things wide open but there is more than a little yammering about focus shift. This might be user related. Don't know as I've never used it.

I picked up a 35mm f/1.4L to use instead of the the 50mm f/1.4 and it answers all of my problems with the 50mm. My only problem now is that for its major use (baseline or near court shooting on a 1DIV) it is really too wide. Maybe I'll sell the 35mm and get the 50L. I like 50mm but have never been happy with what's available. (And no, manual focus won't work for the type of shooting I do.)

As usual YMMV and all other disclaimers apply to one person's experience.

Robert



Jan 30, 2013 at 03:33 PM
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