I thought I'd start my Saturday with an absurdly long thread about 50mm primes.
Why I want a new 50mm...
My Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM is a lovely lens for the dollar. Sharp, large aperture, etc. But I have a few more dollars now, and I've noted that I am missing some of the niceties of a modern lens, an L lens, etc. AF can hunt from time to time, and though it has USM, it famously has the older USM which is not super fast. Of late, I've noticed that I miss focus a lot with children. So AF speed is a big reason for the upgrade, but IQ is a constant area for improvement.Basic brand filtering...
As you guys always ask when someone pipes up about lens selection, here are my shooting needs...
- I am a Canon snob when it comes to lenses. This is generally for quality / reliability / resale reasons.
- Must have AF for this length (sorry, Zeiss)
- I am not interested in the Sigma F/1.4 as it has mixed reviews on build quality, AF, etc. I know there are some huge fans of that lens, but until I see a Sigma 50mm with the accolades and IQ of the new 35mm F/1.4 'art' series, I am not considering Sigma here.
- I am an enthusiast only, been shooting about 9 years now
- Currently happily using a 5D3, so climbing up to ISO 6400 is not a problem.
- I never shoot in a studio environment.
- I almost never use a flash.
- I don't mind vignetting... In fact, I kind of like it sometimes
- I'd rather crank up ISO than shoot fully open as everything is soft in the corners
- I am in really low light, handheld situations all the time. My subjects generally are not moving, but I occasionally shoot at rock concerts. I generally prefer stopping down for sharpness and more useful DOF with IS than getting handcuffed into having to shoot fully open and accept softness and minimal DOF.
- High priority needs for this length: Walkaround, Candids, Kids, Handheld low-light (Not moving subjects)
- Medium priority needs for this length: Handheld Low-Light (Concerts), Street, Portraits
- Low priority needs for this length: Landscapes, Handheld low-light (Gymnasium Sports)
- Zero need for this length: Video, Macro, Field Sports, Wildlife
- I'll pay more for better gear at this stage.
- Weather sealing is great for a landscape-prioritized lens, but as I live in a place with near zero inclement weather, sealing is not a must for me in this length.
- I rarely take things to print.
- I generally shoot my Canon 50mm F/1.4mm in the F/2 to F/5.6 range. I appreciate what large aperture glass offers, but I almost always stop those lenses down for more sharpness, more working DOF, etc.
What I'm considering...
It is presumed by many (and absolutely expected
by myself) that the EF 50mm F/1.4 USM will finally get a modern refresh like the 24mm, 28mm and 35mm lengths. I own the new 28 and adore
it. I hold it in the same regard as my L glass -- it's a joy to use.
So I am eager to compare this likely new lens to the 50mm F/1.2L. Being an engineer, I then overthought the crap out of this and made a lens comparison spreadsheet. SEE ATTACHED.
I've flagged one as better than other in each category, but those are just my opinion. Further, I'm not tallying total wins in each field. See priorities above for what really matters to me.
Please let me know where my assumptions are off, or where your personal experience might have a different opinion. Which 50mm of the two do you think is right for me