Canon 50mm 1.4 for reception?
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zalle
Registered: Feb 27, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

Hi,

I own the 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 and I like to use them for the reception, mainly the dancing floor.

I do find that the focus on both of them is pretty inconsistent at wide apertures, it's a bit of hit and miss... Is this consistent with your experience or are my lenses sub par? I use 5D MKII.

Thanks for input



joelconner
Registered: Jan 23, 2009
Total Posts: 3872
Country: United States

the Canon 50 1.4 was my most hated lens ever. The only dancing bits that I could ever see using it for would be the "formal" dances where it is just two people.

I much prefer zooms when working on the dance floor for the flexibility. For dancing, I like to be stopped down to 5.6 or 8.0 so that I can zone focus and forget about auto focus. Even with my 5DIII, focusing in low light sis hella slow, and besides...I like having more in focus for dancing rather than less. I am usually using a 24-70 or 17-40 during the dancing, and I love the way they work for how I shoot that part of the day.



mccallmedia
Registered: Sep 11, 2011
Total Posts: 382
Country: United States

Yeah my 50 1.4 misses focus all the time in low light. I'm actually going to sell that lens to upgrade to the 35L. I go for my 16-35L for most dance shots and sometimes also a 35mm f2 or 100mm f2 for tighter shots of the first few formal dances.

I use 5d classic and 5d mk II btw.



sgtbueno
Registered: Jul 01, 2012
Total Posts: 588
Country: United States

I use the 50 1.4 and I do miss some shots but not always, it is my most use lens, my second most used lens is the 135L



eddie725
Registered: Jan 17, 2012
Total Posts: 110
Country: United States

I just did a wedding and stuck with the 85mm 1.8 @ 2.5-3.2 on my 40D and it worked pretty well. The focus was slow because of the low light, the flash unit infrared did help but it was still slow i tried keeping the center focus on and just using that and it worked pretty well.
IDK about the 1.4 but my 50 1.8 didn't do as good and struggled to focus accurately or quickly. But in low light its many times a matter of hit of miss regardless of the setup youre using.



D. Diggler
Registered: Dec 27, 2011
Total Posts: 5852
Country: United States

eddie725 wrote:
IDK about the 1.4 but my 50 1.8 didn't do as good and struggled to focus accurately or quickly.


The 50/1.4 has a little better accuracy than the 50/1.8 based upon my controlled tests of both.



mccallmedia
Registered: Sep 11, 2011
Total Posts: 382
Country: United States

one problem with low light is usually your shooting close to wide open which makes the DOF very thin so any movement after focus is locked ends up making the image OOF. That being said my 100mm f2 and 35mm f2 provide I'd say twice as many images in focus than my 50 1.4 does in low light. In good lighting images shot with the 50 are practically always sharp.



zalle
Registered: Feb 27, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

mccallmedia wrote:
one problem with low light is usually your shooting close to wide open which makes the DOF very thin so any movement after focus is locked ends up making the image OOF. That being said my 100mm f2 and 35mm f2 provide I'd say twice as many images in focus than my 50 1.4 does in low light. In good lighting images shot with the 50 are practically always sharp.


So, "in theory" I would double my in focus piictures with a 35mm F2?



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

mccallmedia wrote:
one problem with low light is usually your shooting close to wide open which makes the DOF very thin so any movement after focus is locked ends up making the image OOF. That being said my 100mm f2 and 35mm f2 provide I'd say twice as many images in focus than my 50 1.4 does in low light. In good lighting images shot with the 50 are practically always sharp.


+1

It's about technique at some point. You can't count on 1.4 if your or subject move. I would say it's not the fault of the lens as much as it is in how the photographer keeps in mind the DOF with a particular FL.



zalle
Registered: Feb 27, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

I just tried out another 50mm 1.4 in daylight, with my 5D MKII and another 5D MKII, and the results were the same, very inconsistent at 1.4/1.8.

I guess I'll just cross out the 50mm 1.4 for very low light situation. Looks like it wasn't made for this...

Do I have to spend 3X more to get the 35mm 1.4? And will it give me the results I want?

Thanks for your help guys!



sgtbueno
Registered: Jul 01, 2012
Total Posts: 588
Country: United States

I dont know why you're not getting sharp images in daylight, I understand that it is not as good as the 50L but it is a pretty good lens.



mccallmedia
Registered: Sep 11, 2011
Total Posts: 382
Country: United States

It sounds like maybe there is a problem with the lens or technique because my 50 in daylight will give me sharp focus all day long even at 1.4.



sgtbueno
Registered: Jul 01, 2012
Total Posts: 588
Country: United States

^Same here



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

zalle wrote:
I just tried out another 50mm 1.4 in daylight, with my 5D MKII and another 5D MKII, and the results were the same, very inconsistent at 1.4/1.8.

I guess I'll just cross out the 50mm 1.4 for very low light situation. Looks like it wasn't made for this...

Do I have to spend 3X more to get the 35mm 1.4? And will it give me the results I want?

Thanks for your help guys!


...but there is only one constant. That might be a clue. Seriously, think about it.



D. Diggler
Registered: Dec 27, 2011
Total Posts: 5852
Country: United States

zalle wrote:
I just tried out another 50mm 1.4 in daylight, with my 5D MKII and another 5D MKII, and the results were the same, very inconsistent at 1.4/1.8.


With a 5D classic [center focus point, one-shot, invisible focus points de-activated] I get 80 to 90 percent in focus at 1.4 on stationary objects indoors with medium-bright light.



zalle
Registered: Feb 27, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

cordellwillis wrote:
...but there is only one constant. That might be a clue. Seriously, think about it.


Not really, when I did these last tests yesterday, both me and the other guy were shooting and comparing results, which showed the same.



zalle
Registered: Feb 27, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

Double post, sorry.



jojomon11
Registered: Sep 06, 2008
Total Posts: 7392
Country: United States

35L



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

zalle wrote:
cordellwillis wrote:
...but there is only one constant. That might be a clue. Seriously, think about it.


Not really, when I did these last tests yesterday, both me and the other guy were shooting and comparing results, which showed the same.


Did he have problems prior to? I say this because 1.4 can be tough to shoot with if not done correctly. Distance from subject can make a significant difference compared to distance from subject when shooting with a 1.8 same FL lens. You and your subject basically can't move without proper compensation when shooting close. Further away helps "hide" the out off focus elements.

There are suggestions to go with the 35L, but the FL of this lens makes matters a bit different because it's wider and more forgiving for a situation; in other words, you can be a little less careful shooting it wide open.

Note, I'm not defending the Canon 1.4. It's just that people don't realize how important technique is with such a lens. I use the Sigma version and love it....when I shoot with it the way I should.



zalle
Registered: Feb 27, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: N/A

cordellwillis wrote:
Did he have problems prior to? I say this because 1.4 can be tough to shoot with if not done correctly.


Well, strange as it may seem, the guy says this is the best lens he has under 500, but he usually shoots in a studio at F5.6 or F8, so it's a completely different story.

You own the Sigma version, many people say that one is good.

I like the lens (the Canon), but it's not suitable for my specific need. I sold it today to someone who thinks it's just fine, and I told him about the 1.4 focus problems I was having.

Will keep trying the 50mm 1.8 and the 85mm 1.8 before I make my next move.



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