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Best effective use of my 50mm f/1.4

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I have been doing some event work lately and have found the need for an 80-100mm "portrait" lens. I have a 5DIII 2x 5DII and 7D for bodies. I generally work with a 24-70 f/2.8 MKI on the 5DIII with a 600 EX RT and 70-200 f/2.8 IS MKI on the 5D II with a 2nd 600 EX RT and the 50 f/1.4 on the second 5dII. The issue I run into is I have a lot of crop work on the 50 f/1.4 to get that ideal portrait look.

I was thinking today (doing some wildlife work since the snow has been out in force) while shooting my 7D that the 50 would become an 80mm. I have rented 85 f/1.2's in the past and not liked them for one reason or another. So the question is: Using a 50mm f1.4 on a 7D will make it an 80mm, BUT how much light do I lose due to the crop factor? Has anyone done this with much success? Or should I just buy an 85 f/1.2 and learn to love it? I also would not be opposed if the 7D +50 idea works to buying a 50 f/1.2. I also own a 100 f/2.8 IS Macro but the DOF is a bit too shallow for what I want without stopping down to f/5.6

When using a 1.6x crop sensor, multiply both the focal length and the aperture by 1.6x to work out what the lens would be equivalent to. So the 50/1.4 will act like an 80/2.2 lens in terms of field of view and DoF - and as it happens, a 1.6x camera should be just over a stop (x1.6) worse than full frame for noise.

Exactly the same thing will happen if you shoot with your 5D II and crop to that same central part of the frame your 7D sees.

You'll gain a clearer idea about the 80mm composition with the 7D, and of course get better AF. If you don't need it wider than 80mm, the 7D will make life easier.

If you're looking for a FF equivalent of the 50 on crop, as it works out at 80/2.2, the faster focusing Canon 85/1.8 is nearer to a direct equivalent than the 85L. The Sigma 85/1.4 is meant to be quite good too.

If the depth of field on the 100 2.8 is to shallow for what your looking for then the 85mm 1.2 would not be the lens for you. And personally just because its a lens that receives rave reviews calling it the best portrait lens doesn't mean its a lens for your portraits. I think if you should give it a chance and you have already done that but if there are things that drive you nuts then getting it again isn't going to remove them. Get 85 1.8 if you like that focal length, save your self a bunch of money, and you will get a lens that looks great stopped down.
As far as using your 50 1.4 on a crop camera that is great. Some of my favorite lens combinations are with EF lens on EF-s camera. I would challenge you to find out why though. Is it the focal length? is it the smaller body? Once you know what you like about it you can decipher for yourself if a new lens is the key to carry your style to a full frame.


THanks for the reply I had assumed that everything got the 1.6X treatment. I have not tried a Sigma f/1.4 or the Canon 85 f/1.8. Will be trying both for a week it seems.


I found the DOF on the 85 f/1.2 to be hard to work with in an active people moving around setting. If one person in the shot moves a bit forward the shot can be ruined, or with two people flanking a central subject and at a slight angle. I guess I can give it all a try. I do know what you mean about APS-C bodies. Something fun about them and an EF series lens. I personally enjoy my 100 f/2.8 Macro on that camera more then the 5d3.

don't know the precise technicalities of light loss...  but none that you'd notice...


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