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Author Topic: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2  (Read 5094 times)

risc32

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35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« on: October 31, 2012, 08:51:45 PM »
I've read all the reviews, I know all the stats, but i'd like to ask the collective.
                35mm f 1.4 -vs- 50mm f1.2 
 wide open to f5.6 or so, who's the sharpest in the center, and corners on FF.
  Is the 35mm sharper at f1.4 and f2 than the 50 at the same f-stops?

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35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« on: October 31, 2012, 08:51:45 PM »

bdunbar79

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 12:36:27 PM »
Well, to me, this is a focal length issue.  I do think at f/1.2 the 50L is sharper than the 35 at f/1.4.  But as you stop the 50L down, it gets less sharp, and actuallly gets overtaken by both the 50 f/1.4 and 50 f/1.8 beyond f/5 or so.  However, I speak in relative terms, as the 50L is still sharp at all apertures.  It simply is sharpest from 1.2 to 2 and after that there are other lenses sharper.  The 35L is not as sharp in my experience as the 24-70L II at all apertures.  Howver, and again, this is relative, as the 35L is sharp at all apertures.  So it boils down to focal length needs.  I would not do a big family photo at Christmas indoors with a 35L as distortion will likely play a factor, as would any portrait shot close up.  The 50 would be better for this.  So I guess either is great, you just need to decide on focal length.  I didn't feel the 50L was worth the huge price premium, so I have the 50 f/1.4 and I'm gettting every shot I could/did than when I had the 50L.  Of course though, I did pick up a 24-70L II zoom lens and now don't use either prime, as I feel on my camera bodies the zoom lens, f/2.8 and narrower, is superior to either lens.

Bottom line is neither is a bad lens and you will be really happy with either!  Just make sure you pick the right focal length for your needs.
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nightbreath

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 05:25:18 PM »
Well, to me, this is a focal length issue.  I do think at f/1.2 the 50L is sharper than the 35 at f/1.4.
Are you sure? Reviews say it's:
- 1190 lines vs. 1437 at corners (50L vs. 35L)
- 2473 lines vs. 3245 in the center (50L vs. 35L)

P.S. This data is taken from photozone.de.
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kbmelb

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 06:57:44 PM »
I have both and love both. But 50 is a much more usable FL for me. That said, the 35 will whoop the 50 as far as sharpness goes. Not even close. The 50 is sharp enough to be be considered sharp when wide open and to about 2.0-2.2 but as you stop down and you expect it to get sharper, it doesn't.

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 06:08:35 AM »
Well, to me, this is a focal length issue.  I do think at f/1.2 the 50L is sharper than the 35 at f/1.4.
Are you sure? Reviews say it's:
- 1190 lines vs. 1437 at corners (50L vs. 35L)
- 2473 lines vs. 3245 in the center (50L vs. 35L)

P.S. This data is taken from photozone.de.

+1.  35L is sharper than 50L in my experience as well.

bdunbar79

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 10:14:22 AM »
Oops sorry guys.  I meant 35L wide open is sharper than 50L wide open.   :-[
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robbymack

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 10:50:20 AM »
I don't think the 50L is worth the price unless you are always shooting at f1.2-2 otherwise either the 50 1.4 or to be quite honest the 50 1.8 are better and each of those are a fraction of the price of the 50L. As for the 35 I think it's a great fl for environmental portraits and some general street, but I think as someone else noted the 24-70ii is just as or maybe even sharper at the comparative apertures that unless you are shooting wide open I'd opt for the zoom even though its a step above the prime in terms of price and that gives you great sharpness not only at 35 and 50 but throughout the zoom range.

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 10:50:20 AM »

Nishi Drew

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 11:13:51 AM »
But there's so much more than sharpness, what about the bokeh!

robbymack

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 11:55:47 AM »
But there's so much more than sharpness, what about the bokeh!

I think this gets played up too much as just a function of aperture, distance to subject, and subject distance to background are equally important. The rest is just pure personal taste on the quality of blur.

nightbreath

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 12:31:36 PM »
But there's so much more than sharpness, what about the bokeh!
The only reason to buy 50L (as I see it) is to use it at f/1.2 and mainly with center focus point due to uncorrected spherical aberration.

50L pros:
- it has unique bokeh

50L cons:
- it has focus shift when you stop it down
- it has curved focal plane (i.e. focus shift on outer focusing points)
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RLPhoto

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2012, 12:33:48 PM »
I like the 50L over the 35L. I prefer the 50mm look vs the more distortion in the 35mm.

If I want wide and fast, Ill get the Widest and Fastest. The 24L II.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 01:08:25 PM by RLPhoto »

bdunbar79

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 01:00:06 PM »
RLPhoto hit the nail on the head.  You don't choose between these two lenses because of sharpness or bokeh, but rather focal length needs.
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Plato the Wise

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 01:06:59 PM »
I have both and they serve different purposes.

50L for closer portrait - shooting at f/1.2-2.8

35L for low light street photography and even some landscape.

The 50L is a very specialized lens. The expense is only worth the expense if you intend to use it for what it was meant to do. The 35L is more versitle in terms of a good low light walk around lens.

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 01:06:59 PM »

rocket_scientist

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2012, 01:27:14 PM »
But there's so much more than sharpness, what about the bokeh!

I think this gets played up too much as just a function of aperture, distance to subject, and subject distance to background are equally important. The rest is just pure personal taste on the quality of blur.

I disagree with you on this one.  The number of aperture blades also has an effect; otherwise, all lenses would only have 5 blades like the 1.8. 

Another thing to consider is the resistance to flare for the L series lenses.  I borrowed a 50 1.8 and was very disappointed by the flare from light that should not produce any flare.  It seriously affected the (unedited) photo I attached below. 

This weekend I shot with the 35 L and had no flare issues at all.  Just something else to consider when deciding on whether an L lens is worth the price.
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risc32

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2012, 01:57:41 PM »
 Again, i know most everything about these lenses, except i have no first hand knowledge, and many of you do. Barring it all doesn't fall apart at smaller apertures(and i know it doesn't), i'm really only interested in stuff wide open to f2.8 or so. if i could get away with narrower i'd just use a zoom. how about if i ask this, is the IQ at f2 and below on both lenses crap, decent, good, or great? and that's without cutting any slack. i know f1.2 at 50mm and f1.4 at 35mm is tough, but i don't care. thanks

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Re: 35mm f1.4 -vs- 50mm 1.2
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2012, 01:57:41 PM »