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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: eddiemrg on March 26, 2013, 01:14:45 PM

Title: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: eddiemrg on March 26, 2013, 01:14:45 PM
hello to all!
I have the 50 1.8 and I am considering an upgrade to the 1.4 version.
Can you give me some examples in which one is better than the other? (IQ, not USM, built, etc)

Version 1.4 is sharper? Bokeh?

Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: pierceography on March 26, 2013, 01:19:17 PM
The bokeh is much better on the 1.4, though the 1.8 is supposed to be a bit sharper wide open.

Personally, I never cared for the plastic mount, which is why I went straight for the 1.4.  But I recently sold my Canon 1.4 for the Sigma f/1.4.  I find the Sigma to be a bit sharper, with better contrast.  But it's hit or miss whether you get a good copy.  My second copy of the Sigma was much better than the first.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Skirball on March 26, 2013, 01:22:56 PM
I also find the ergonomics of the 1.4 to be almost worth the cost difference alone.  You can actually grip the focus ring.  It hunts less and is much quicker AF in my experience.  I dunno, maybe I had a junk nifty fifty, because I hated the thing and it has quite the cult following.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: eddiemrg on March 26, 2013, 01:28:27 PM
hummm...
I like my 1.8, I don't care about plastic mount but I'd like to learn the difference between 1.4 and 1.8.
Can you post any of your pictures?

Here you are one taken at the golf course in my city (Golf Club Trieste): amazing 50 (1.8) @2.8!

(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14904170/IMG_7051.JPG)

thanks!
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Skirball on March 26, 2013, 01:33:10 PM
hummm...
I like my 1.8, I don't care about plastic mount but I'd like to learn the difference between 1.4 and 1.8.
Can you post any of your pictures?

thanks!

I don't have them on this computer, but I could dig some up later.  However, two points:

1) there's a ton of comparisons of these two lenses online, far more formal than anything I can provide
2) I don't think there's a ton of difference in IQ, other than I think they're both soft wide open, but the 1.4 is far better at 1.8 than the 1.8 is wide open.  This, coupled with better ergo, build, bokeh, and faster AF made it worth the price difference IMHO.  YMMV.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: eddiemrg on March 26, 2013, 01:39:51 PM
1) there's a ton of comparisons of these two lenses online, far more formal than anything I can provide

Yep. I have read some but I found them not satisfying.
Here in a forum I have the possibility to orient my questions as I want...!

Infact I have never read about "bad and good" copy of Sigma 1.4 model  ;D
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: ecka on March 26, 2013, 03:25:57 PM
I think that Sigma has better optics for shooting at f/1.4 and nicer bokeh too. However, for f/2.8 and smaller apertures 40/2.8STM pancake may be a smart choice.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on March 26, 2013, 08:09:36 PM
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is optimized for APS-C , while the Canon 50mm f/1.4 performs better on FF. 
Reasons to upgrade are
F/1.4
Better build and reliability.
 
Downside to Sigma - commonly have AF issues (for those that check) and need to go to Sigma for adjustment.  None of them have AF that is outstanding.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: bdunbar79 on March 26, 2013, 08:51:09 PM
I have the 50 f/1.4 and absolutely love it.  It's much cheaper than the 50L and is very sharp f/2.8 and narrower.  And I mean really sharp.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Mr Bean on March 26, 2013, 09:43:37 PM
The 50mm f1.4 is one of my fav lenses for portrait work. Beaut narrow DOF, and sharp enough at f2 to make the image zing :)
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: EvilTed on March 26, 2013, 09:53:32 PM
The Zeiss 50mm F/1.4 is my favorite because it has hyperfocal focus markings making it an ideal street lens shot at F/8.

Manual focus works with focus assist on a 5D MK3 pretty accurately, especially using back button focus.
Hold in button with thumb and adjust focus until you get a beep and red indicator.
Use spot metering for more accuracy.

Has that lovely Zeiss look and at F/1.4 the bokeh is nice too.

ET
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: pj1974 on March 26, 2013, 10:59:00 PM
A lot of replies above highlight the exact reasons I don't currently own a 50mm.
Canon 50mm f/1.8 - poor AF (hunts and inaccurate, I had 2), poor bokeh
Canon 50mm f/1.4 - not sharp enough wide open, micro USM AF not so reliable
Canon 50mm f/1.2L - too expensive / too big and it has that focus shift issue
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 - too many reports of AF issues (also with different camera bodies)
other 50mm's (eg Ziess). I need AF!!

The Sigma 50mm would probably actually be my 'choice' if I was forced to choose. I'd go to a local bricks and mortar shop where I could try before I buy (the actual lens) - and I would use a shop that has a good return policy.

But in reality, I'm waiting for a new Canon 50mm USM, hopefully at f/1.4, but I will consider even if it's a f/2, and even if it has STM focus (rather than true USM).

IS would be an additional bonus (not quite an essential for me, but definitely a plus if IQ is still great wide open).

The new Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM is 'promising' - in that, I hope Canon keep the same format / standard in developing / producing a similar 50mm!

Cheers   8)

Paul
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: bdunbar79 on March 26, 2013, 11:04:17 PM
I've been shooting with the 50 f/1.4 for a long time now, and I still do not know what people mean when they say the AF is not reliable. 

I haven't looked at the Zeiss yet.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: jdramirez on March 26, 2013, 11:13:30 PM
If you can get a really good copy of the Sigma 50mm f1.4, it is supposed to be better than the Canon 50mm f1.4.  So if you know someone at the camera shop and they let you test a whole mess of new ones, do that.  The canon 50mm f/1.4 is better than the f/1.2L across the board... which is strange since it is a fourth of the price.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: jdramirez on March 26, 2013, 11:14:42 PM
I've been shooting with the 50 f/1.4 for a long time now, and I still do not know what people mean when they say the AF is not reliable. 

I haven't looked at the Zeiss yet.
IF you drop it while the lens is focused on something close that that lip sticks out, it moves the gears off its track and it is screwy thereafter.  So I never take off the hard plastic hood. 
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on March 26, 2013, 11:16:17 PM
A lot of replies above highlight the exact reasons I don't currently own a 50mm.
Canon 50mm f/1.8 - poor AF (hunts and inaccurate, I had 2), poor bokeh
Canon 50mm f/1.4 - not sharp enough wide open, micro USM AF not so reliable
Canon 50mm f/1.2L - too expensive / too big and it has that focus shift issue
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 - too many reports of AF issues (also with different camera bodies)
other 50mm's (eg Ziess). I need AF!!

The Sigma 50mm would probably actually be my 'choice' if I was forced to choose. I'd go to a local bricks and mortar shop where I could try before I buy (the actual lens) - and I would use a shop that has a good return policy.

But in reality, I'm waiting for a new Canon 50mm USM, hopefully at f/1.4, but I will consider even if it's a f/2, and even if it has STM focus (rather than true USM).

IS would be an additional bonus (not quite an essential for me, but definitely a plus if IQ is still great wide open).

The new Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM is 'promising' - in that, I hope Canon keep the same format / standard in developing / producing a similar 50mm!

Cheers   8)

Paul
I'm pretty much in the same boat, I've had numerous 50mm lenses, three 50mm f/1.4's and at least 6 f/1.8's.  I had one older 50mm f/1.8 MK I that was really good, the rest of them were fine, but not outstanding.
Last week, I sold all three of my remaining ones, two 1.4's and a 1.8 MK I.  I decided to order a 24-70MK II after holding out for quite a while.
 
50mm just does not seem to be a focal length that works for me.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: infared on March 26, 2013, 11:22:44 PM
I have a Sigma 50mm f/1.4...on a FF body. Is it perfect...no...but from a price/ performance standpoint it is the best choice for an AF standard lens for a FF body for my needs. The Canon f/1.4 has its own focus issues, too, which no one has mentioned so far.
I just put the lens on the camera and shoot...I don't sit around and fuss with it.  It makes great images! And you can pick one up for $450  right now.
Pretty sad that the choices are kind of shabby for Canon FF users for a standard prime. The Canon situation in this Dept is embarrassing as far as I am concerned.
Perhaps Sigma will make a 50 f/1.4 lens for its new Art Line Lenses. I would like to see that....but their current 50mm is just fine with me....
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: ecka on March 27, 2013, 03:52:20 AM
I've been shooting with the 50 f/1.4 for a long time now, and I still do not know what people mean when they say the AF is not reliable. 

I haven't looked at the Zeiss yet.
IF you drop it while the lens is focused on something close that that lip sticks out, it moves the gears off its track and it is screwy thereafter.  So I never take off the hard plastic hood.

Same as saying - this car is not reliable, it breaks when you drive it into a wall. - :)
Isn't it photographer's fault? I've never dropped a lens, or a baby, or a cup of hot coffee/tea. Phone?- sure! :D many times (no damage though). You just have to be extra careful with some things more than others. I see how careless people are with their gear while showing off on youtube. They drop it. They rub the table with their camera LCD while attaching a lens. They throw it around with caps taken off letting dust and stuff to get inside. They don't keep it clean, it's always covered with dust. They focus manually a non-FTM lens while it  is in AF mode. ... all kinds of careless behavior  :o ... and then they complain about something. It's kind of funny to watch :D.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: bdunbar79 on March 27, 2013, 10:32:00 AM
I've been shooting with the 50 f/1.4 for a long time now, and I still do not know what people mean when they say the AF is not reliable. 

I haven't looked at the Zeiss yet.
IF you drop it while the lens is focused on something close that that lip sticks out, it moves the gears off its track and it is screwy thereafter.  So I never take off the hard plastic hood.

What does that have to do with reliable AF?
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: jcollett on March 27, 2013, 12:11:09 PM
Canon will be updating the 50 and maybe the 85 like they did with the 24, 28, and 35.  Unknown what the final aperture will be on the new lenses but the build quality will most definitely improve.  Now, while waiting for a current 50mm to be built for EF, why not consider getting a 40 f/2.8 STM?  Image quality is excellent and the lens is very inexpensive.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: eddiemrg on March 27, 2013, 12:16:04 PM
Canon will be updating the 50 and maybe the 85 like they did with the 24, 28, and 35.  Unknown what the final aperture will be on the new lenses but the build quality will most definitely improve.  Now, while waiting for a current 50mm to be built for EF, why not consider getting a 40 f/2.8 STM?  Image quality is excellent and the lens is very inexpensive.

yes, I am considering it even if I don't like how it fits on the camera :)
I'll wait the new release and then judge my best option!
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: bseitz234 on March 27, 2013, 12:32:32 PM
And this is why I'm very excited for Sigma to announce the new art series 50 1.4...
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: bchernicoff on March 27, 2013, 12:37:06 PM
Another vote for the Sigma! Love mine on full-frame. Upgraded from Canon 50 1.4
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: cliffwang on March 27, 2013, 12:55:23 PM
I have Sigma 50mm F1.4.  The AFMA for this lens was 13 when I just bought it.  I believe it would be a problem if I used it on a body has no AFMA feature.  With AF adjustment, the lens is perfect.  Few months ago I sent it back to Sigma maintenance center to adjust AF.  I received the lens in two weeks with a perfect AF adjustment.  The AFMA setting for this lens now is 0.
My points are:
If your camera body has AFMA feature, you don't need to worry about the AF issue.
If your camera body has no AFMA feature and you don't mind to send the lens back to Sigma maintenance center, the AF issue of this lens is also not an issue for you.
Otherwise, Canon 50mm F1.4 might be a better choice.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: drock1317 on March 27, 2013, 01:07:28 PM
I've used both the Sigma and Canon ver. of the 50mm 1.4. The Canon is definitely consistent and efficient. If a shot wasn't quite in focus, it was probably my own faut and not the lens'. But image quality and sharpness... the Sigma is way better; unfortunately, I think some of you would agree that the Sigma is a hit and miss. Sigma doesn't do a great job with quality control. Some people get front or back focusing issues, especially when you shoot anything below ~f/2.8. I ended up with a bad copy and I still have not sent it in to get it fixed or replaced. It is more expensive but I would definitely go for the sigma if I could test a few before I buy one.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: mrsfotografie on March 27, 2013, 01:23:38 PM
I'm perfectly happy with my Sigma 1.4! I MF when critical focus is necessary (but that's the case with any lens shot at wide aperture).

Oh, and I have a 50mm f/1.8 MK I that's really great when I need something compact :)
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: infared on March 27, 2013, 02:13:15 PM
I have Sigma 50mm F1.4.  The AFMA for this lens was 13 when I just bought it.  I believe it would be a problem if I used it on a body has no AFMA feature.  With AF adjustment, the lens is perfect.  Few months ago I sent it back to Sigma maintenance center to adjust AF.  I received the lens in two weeks with a perfect AF adjustment.  The AFMA setting for this lens now is 0.
My points are:
If your camera body has AFMA feature, you don't need to worry about the AF issue.
If your camera body has no AFMA feature and you don't mind to send the lens back to Sigma maintenance center, the AF issue of this lens is also not an issue for you.
Otherwise, Canon 50mm F1.4 might be a better choice.
Unfortunately AFMA is not that simple for this lens.   Some of the lenses exhibit "schitzophrenic" AF.
See Roger's Take here:
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/normal-range/sigma-50mm-f1.4-dg-hsm-for-canon (http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/normal-range/sigma-50mm-f1.4-dg-hsm-for-canon)
If you AFMA one of the lenses that exhibit this characteristic...you will throw the focus out at one end or the other.
He is a very reliable source and I am sure he has handled many of these lenses....his word weighs heavy for me.
That being said...I have a Sigma and have not really had a consistent focus problem. I get mostly keeper.
Really love the lens, especially considering what my other choices are for AF lenses.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Efka76 on March 27, 2013, 02:50:58 PM
When I was choosing my 50 mm lens I had the same problem, which was easily solved  :)

50 mm 1.8 -   too cheap
50 mm 1.2 L - too expensive
50 mm 1.4 - reasonable price and good test results in many photographic forums. Of course i choose this option :)
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: Brendon on March 27, 2013, 04:18:22 PM
I have shot with Canon 50mm 1.4, Sigma 50mm 1.4 and the Canon 50mm 1.2 and can say that the latter two are in a different league.  I was disappointed with the canon 1.4 from many perspectives.  If you have the money, the best solution is the Canon 1.2...it just has some extra contrast and color...aka "pop"...to the photos but the Sigma is a solid performer. 

Have had a Sigma 50mm 1.4 for several years now and always had problems with it on my 50d.  Despite tweaking the AFMA I could never seem to get it right and the autofocus would simply miss at anything wider than f2. 

On my (still new to me) 5Diii it's night and day.  Adjusted the AFMA and have been shooting away since with great results.  I have shot several weddings now with the lens (didn't dare use it for weddings before) and have had good success with both servo and one shot autofocus. 

I second the notion that sigma update the 50mm 1.4 to join the art line, the 35mm 1.4 has gotten great reviews! 



Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: cliffwang on March 27, 2013, 04:42:53 PM
I have Sigma 50mm F1.4.  The AFMA for this lens was 13 when I just bought it.  I believe it would be a problem if I used it on a body has no AFMA feature.  With AF adjustment, the lens is perfect.  Few months ago I sent it back to Sigma maintenance center to adjust AF.  I received the lens in two weeks with a perfect AF adjustment.  The AFMA setting for this lens now is 0.
My points are:
If your camera body has AFMA feature, you don't need to worry about the AF issue.
If your camera body has no AFMA feature and you don't mind to send the lens back to Sigma maintenance center, the AF issue of this lens is also not an issue for you.
Otherwise, Canon 50mm F1.4 might be a better choice.
Unfortunately AFMA is not that simple for this lens.   Some of the lenses exhibit "schitzophrenic" AF.
See Roger's Take here:
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/normal-range/sigma-50mm-f1.4-dg-hsm-for-canon (http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/normal-range/sigma-50mm-f1.4-dg-hsm-for-canon)
If you AFMA one of the lenses that exhibit this characteristic...you will throw the focus out at one end or the other.
He is a very reliable source and I am sure he has handled many of these lenses....his word weighs heavy for me.
That being said...I have a Sigma and have not really had a consistent focus problem. I get mostly keeper.
Really love the lens, especially considering what my other choices are for AF lenses.
I heard that before I purchased Sigma 50mm F1.4.  However, I also read some comments from other websites about the improvement of this lens for its new version from 2011.  Some people mention that the new version has much better QC and improved AF.  That's why I decided to give it a try last year.  I thought the worth case was returning the lens.  Fortunately I gave it a try.  The lens is excellent and I am very happy with it.
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: vlad on March 27, 2013, 05:12:00 PM
I got the Sigma 1.4 recently after a few years of shooting with the nifty fifty.  Shooting on full frame, no problems, good focus right out of the box.  Overall very good image quality, the 1.8 can't touch it at 1.8 obviously.  Also, no more pentagon-shaped bokeh.  Haven't had any AF issues - the 5DIII locks it in fine even in low light.

I was calibrating it recently, and noticed that it only needed focus adjustment at 1 meter focusing distance and closer.  As I pulled away, it was sharp at 0, so I just kept it at 0 and will be more careful with focus up close. (Edit, I wonder if that's the schizophrenic focus that was mentioned.  I should try it at longer distances...)
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: pwp on March 27, 2013, 06:38:52 PM
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is optimized for APS-C , while the Canon 50mm f/1.4 performs better on FF. 
Reasons to upgrade are
F/1.4
Better build and reliability.
 
Downside to Sigma - commonly have AF issues (for those that check) and need to go to Sigma for adjustment.  None of them have AF that is outstanding.

+1....I turfed out my EF 50 f/1.4 and replaced it with the Sigma 50 f/1.4. What a wasted exercise. Not only was the Sigma heavier, it took up more room in my bag than the beautifully compact Canon 50. Should have kept the Canon...

I shoot on FF and found the Sigma AF erratic to the point where I just couldn't trust it on jobs. Which means I never used it. When it nailed focus it was terrific, but the inconsistency was the killer. It's gone now, replaced with a 40 f/2.8 which I also hardly use. But at least it's small, dependable...a lens I can trust.

Really, I'm a zooms shooter with primes kicking in at the long telephoto end. The new 24-70 f/2.8II is such an extraordinary piece of glass that primes in this range seem redundant. I'm even looking at disposing of my 24 f/1.4II because there is little need for it any more. A f/2.8 or even slower lens is not the liability it used to be when we were tied to 100iso if we wanted quality files. Now with our new best friend,ISO, carefully shot/exposed images done on sky high iso settings can deliver superb commercial quality files.

-PW
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: florianbieler.de on March 27, 2013, 06:49:26 PM
Get the L.  ::)
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: drjlo on March 27, 2013, 07:09:24 PM

I second the notion that sigma update the 50mm 1.4 to join the art line

I third that, hoping it would happen if enough people kept saying it  :'(  Dare I even wish for f/1.2?
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: bseitz234 on March 27, 2013, 07:44:42 PM

I second the notion that sigma update the 50mm 1.4 to join the art line

I third that, hoping it would happen if enough people kept saying it  :'(  Dare I even wish for f/1.2?

1.0, like the 50L from the days of yore?  ::)
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: pwp on March 27, 2013, 08:24:40 PM
I second the notion that sigma update the 50mm 1.4 to join the art line
I third that, hoping it would happen if enough people kept saying it  :'(  Dare I even wish for f/1.2?
1.0, like the 50L from the days of yore?  ::)
F/1 as the EF 50 replacement? Sure...and will you relish the weight and price penalty? Make it an f/2 but get the optics perfect and the weight realistic and the pricepoint somewhere where volume sales would happen. But the L 50? Now that might be a viable candidate for heavyweight, high priced f/1 goodness...

-PW
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: EvilTed on March 27, 2013, 09:40:57 PM
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is optimized for APS-C , while the Canon 50mm f/1.4 performs better on FF. 
Reasons to upgrade are
F/1.4
Better build and reliability.
 
Downside to Sigma - commonly have AF issues (for those that check) and need to go to Sigma for adjustment.  None of them have AF that is outstanding.

+1....I turfed out my EF 50 f/1.4 and replaced it with the Sigma 50 f/1.4. What a wasted exercise. Not only was the Sigma heavier, it took up more room in my bag than the beautifully compact Canon 50. Should have kept the Canon...

I shoot on FF and found the Sigma AF erratic to the point where I just couldn't trust it on jobs. Which means I never used it. When it nailed focus it was terrific, but the inconsistency was the killer. It's gone now, replaced with a 40 f/2.8 which I also hardly use. But at least it's small, dependable...a lens I can trust.

Really, I'm a zooms shooter with primes kicking in at the long telephoto end. The new 24-70 f/2.8II is such an extraordinary piece of glass that primes in this range seem redundant. I'm even looking at disposing of my 24 f/1.4II because there is little need for it any more. A f/2.8 or even slower lens is not the liability it used to be when we were tied to 100iso if we wanted quality files. Now with our new best friend,ISO, carefully shot/exposed images done on sky high iso settings can deliver superb commercial quality files.

-PW

I sold my 50L and 24 L II once I got the 24-70 II.
As you say, for sharpness, it's better.
It's also more modern and auto-focuses quicker.

ET
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: mrsfotografie on March 28, 2013, 04:48:35 AM
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is optimized for APS-C

If it were, it would have a reduced image circle and be a lot smaller.

I love mine on FF, it's a solid performer. So either I know how to handle the shallow DOF well or I have a brilliant copy (or both).
Title: Re: 50mm: Wich one?
Post by: redelses on March 28, 2013, 09:39:34 AM
I haven't used the canon 1.4, but my sigma 1.4 is awesome - now that it's on a FF. On the 7D it was so-so, with some awesome shots, but too many soft or poor focus photos (about 30-70). Now on a FF, it's spectacular. Focus is spot on every time, maybe a little soft a 1.4, but even at 1.8 it's superb - like a completely different lens. I was always having to redo the AF cal on the 7D, but haven't had to touch that since going FF.
I also like that it's a 77mm filter size - since most of my other lenses are the same.