April 17, 2014, 07:03:18 AM

Author Topic: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?  (Read 7770 times)

switters

  • PowerShot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:28:21 AM »
I currently own the Canon 50/1.4 but am disappointed with its performance from f/1.4 to f/2.0. At f/2.0 it sharpens up nicely, but what's the point of an f/1.4 lens that can't be used wide open?

Is the 50L any better in that range? I've read so many conflicting reports about the L. Some love it, others insist there isn't much of a difference (in sharpness, at least), between it and the 50/1.4.

Then there's the Sigma 50/1.4. I've heard it might be the sharpest of all at f/1.4, but it's extremely prone to AF problems (which I'm not willing to deal with).

I was really hoping Canon would come out with a new 50/1.4, or that Sigma would update its 50/1.4 to the "Art line" with similar quality to their new 35/1.4. No luck on either front — so far, at least.

canon rumors FORUM

Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:28:21 AM »

alexturton

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 174
  • I shoot what i find interesting; nothing else
    • View Profile
    • My flickr
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 10:49:14 AM »
I agree. My canon 1.4 is a little soft up to about 1.8. I found AfMA adjustments helped a little bit.

The sigma 50 1.4 is nice at 1.4 but suffers from focus shifts on stoping down.

I agree a new 'art' sigma 50 would be noce
Bodies: 5d mk iii, 60d
Primes: 24L 1.4, Sigma 35 1.4, 40 pancake, 50L 1.2, 85L 1.2 ii, 8mm fisheye, lensbaby, 100L macro.
Zooms: 16-35 2.8 ii, 24-70 2.8 ii, 70-200 2.8 is ii, 120-400

J.R.

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1427
  • A Speedlight Junkie!
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 11:05:59 AM »

Is the 50L any better in that range?

If you are only concerned with image sharpness ... NO.

AF consistency and tack sharpness is something you are not likely get with the 50L so you may have to look elsewhere. However, what the 50L will give you is way much better (and buttery) bokeh.

I have the 50mm f/1.4 and my copy is very good ... but I would love the 50L, only for the bokeh it provides ... The bokeh is not overrated. 
Light is language!

candyman

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 761
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 11:21:42 AM »
I was really hoping Canon would come out with a new 50/1.4, or that Sigma would update its 50/1.4 to the "Art line" with similar quality to their new 35/1.4. No luck on either front — so far, at least.


So am I. There is something for Canon or Sigma to win here. Let's hope 2013 will bring some news on that
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 11:24:55 AM by candyman »
5D III  |  6D  |  16-35L II  |  24-70 VC  |  24-105L  |  70-200 f/2.8L IS II  |  70-300L  |  135L  |  1.4ext III  |  GPS GP-E2

switters

  • PowerShot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 11:29:18 AM »
I was really hoping Canon would come out with a new 50/1.4, or that Sigma would update its 50/1.4 to the "Art line" with similar quality to their new 35/1.4. No luck on either front — so far, at least.


So am I. There is something for Canon or Sigma to win here. Let's hope 2013 will bring some news on that

What about things like micro-contrast and rendering? If the 50L does better in that arena, then images can appear more crisp and defined even if it's not strictly sharper.

rs

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 513
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 11:42:35 AM »
The Sigma 50/1.4 is very hit and miss. I've read lots of reviews which slate it for its AF inconsistencies. However, I took the gamble and went for it, making sure I ordered it from a retailer with a good returns policy. The lens they sent me front focussed by a huge margin, but with manual focus it showed huge potential. I got it replaced, and that one has very accurate AF. Never inconsistent, no need for AFMA. At any aperture, the results are truly amazing. The only time it doesn't produce results where its bristling with detail is when shooting wide open near MFD.

I have used the Canon 50/1.4 quite a bit, and the Canon's advantages are its tiny, and it has faster AF (but it's no more accurate). The Sigma's advantages are its much sharper, and it has a much more creamy, beautiful looking bokeh. From what I can see, the bokeh of the Sigma really is a match for the 50L, and at f1.4 a good copy of the Sigma is sharper than the 50L.

I've never noticed any focus shift when stopping down, and before reading this thread I'd not heard of anyone associating the Sigma 50/1.4 with focus shift.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 11:44:26 AM by rs »
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II

switters

  • PowerShot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 11:56:17 AM »
The only time it doesn't produce results where its bristling with detail is when shooting wide open near MFD.


What happens at MFD wide open? Reason I ask is that I frequently find myself shooting at that distance.

Maybe I'll play the Sigma lottery and order one from B&H.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 11:56:17 AM »

rs

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 513
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 12:25:53 PM »
The only time it doesn't produce results where its bristling with detail is when shooting wide open near MFD.


What happens at MFD wide open? Reason I ask is that I frequently find myself shooting at that distance.

Maybe I'll play the Sigma lottery and order one from B&H.
It just looks soft when viewing the images at 100%. Not an ugly soft, just a dreamy soft look. View it at normal screen sizes, and its fine. Use the Sigma 50/1.4 from about 1m + away from the subject, and its simply amazing.

As far as I know, many lenses are not at their best used near MFD. If you need to crop close, a good macro lens is the best way of increasing your chances of getting good results.

I decided before I ordered mine that if the second copy was no good, I'd get my money back and go for the Canon instead. With hindsight, I'd say its worth going to three or so to try to get a good copy. You really can land on your feet with the Sigma 50/1.4.
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II

extremeinstability

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 145
    • View Profile
    • Extreme Instability.com
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2013, 12:49:30 PM »
Sounds like you largely already know the ups and downs.  This may or may not be worth looking at for others.  I did a quick few comparisons with the Canon 1.4 1.8 and Sigma 1.4 here:  http://www.extremeinstability.com/topic-14-21-50-lenses.htm

Dave_NYC

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 01:37:31 PM »
I recently shot an event that I was using my Canon 50 1.8, and I was ok with what I was getting (output was 1000px on the long edge) where performers were getting hit by two different spots, and bumping my 5D3 to 6400 iso, I was able to get up to 1/125 at f/2 - 2.2 with reasonable success.

The problem came when I turned around and faced toward the crowd. Even though I didn't have the spots directly in my shot (not even close) I had the most horrible halos and flare, rendering any of those shots unusable.

So I'm wondering if anyone has experience what the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is like, in terms of flare on a full frame, wide open. Particularly in a very dark environment, such as a bar or club.

RS2021

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 720
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 01:51:47 PM »
Please tell me this is not yet another 50L vs 50 1.4 pissing contenst post.  >:(
“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept” - Henri Cartier-Bresson

J.R.

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1427
  • A Speedlight Junkie!
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 01:54:06 PM »
Please tell me this is not yet another 50L vs 50 1.4 pissing contenst post.  >:(

+1 ... I surely hope that the 50L brigade stays cool
Light is language!

risc32

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 450
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »
i know this is about to become another 50l-vs- the world thread, but my vote would be for you to get either the canon 35mm or sigma 35mm, and crop your way to 50mm if you like.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 02:56:19 PM »

HoneyBadger

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 03:07:18 PM »
50mm primes are notorious for being softer than other focal lengths. Plus at wide open, one should never expect a lens to be at its sharpest. For me, it is an easy decision. I want the extra half stop of the 1.2L, the amazing bokeh and most importantly for me, I want the weather sealing. I have more days with rain and fog here than clear days so it is not a question for me..luckily. I feel too many people care about sharpness while a whole bunch of other factors matter.

I would watch out getting the 35mm L right now. That is a very important focal length for Canon's new cinema cameras and they still have not released a cinema lens at that focal length. This means 2 things. Either they are working on and will release sometime soon a new 35mm L and have it modified to do cinema or they will release a cinema only 35mm, in which case a new 35mm L for photography won't be any time soon.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 03:11:31 PM by HoneyBadger »
5dIII; 40mm 2.8, 16-35mm 2.8L II, 100mm Macro 2.8L IS, 70-300 4-5.6 IS, 70-200mm 2.8L II, 24-70mm 2.8L II

Mt Spokane Photography

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 7703
    • View Profile
Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 03:16:03 PM »
It actually depends on the camera body in use.  On APS-C bodies, the Sigma lens has some advantage, since its weak outer edges are cut away.  With FF, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 beats the Sigma.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 03:16:03 PM »