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Author Topic: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?  (Read 9947 times)

ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2013, 08:43:01 PM »
As you do a lot of hand-held low-light photography, are you bothered by coma?  This seems to be unavoidable with 50mm lenses on FF Canon cameras (and I expect elsewhere too - it was pretty bad on the Pentax 50mm 1.4 I used to own (aps-c, where it should be much less of a problem), while the Nikon 1.8 I tried a few months ago on a FF Nikon was much worse).  Few reviewers seem to comment on this, but lenstip has a separate entry for this on each of its lens reviews, which is useful.  I'm hoping that Sigma will upgrade its 50mm 1.4, not just so that it's better mechanically - the one I bought was one of the duds; it never focused accurately on anything - but better optically too: their new 35mm lens, among its other virtues, has remarkably little coma.

Everything I've read is that the new 35mm prime from Sigma is a best-in-company offering, a real raising of the bar.

From Roger at LR:

"It’s been a long time since a take was so easy. This is the sharpest 35mm made. It costs a lot less than the Canon 35 f/1.4mm or the Zeiss 35mm lenses. Any questions? It’s extremely well built and everything I’ve been able to see, inside and out, indicates quality control has really improved at Sigma.

If you’re a bokeh fanatic, you may like something else better (or maybe not, that’s a subjective call). If you need Image Stabilization, then the 35mm f/2 IS may be worthwhile. Otherwise, this is the 35mm lens.

Arguably as good or better than anything else made, and at a lower price."


Kai at Digital Rev had crudely implemented but thoughtful idea of a user blinded vote on best bokeh. Against the Canon 35L and the Nikon high end 35mm, the Sigma won:

http://www.digitalrev.com/article/battle-of-the-bokeh-canon/NzI2ODkwODA_A

I know it seems OT, but I bring this up because I'd gladly take a look at a Sigma 50mm if it had this 35mm lens' performance levels.

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2013, 08:43:01 PM »

klickflip

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2013, 09:00:26 PM »



  • If people will gladly pay $1500 for L primes, they'll gladly pay $750 for non-L primes w/ IS that are as sharp or sharper.

[/quote]

I find this a weird middle ground that mainly only offers IS and better autofocus. And it seems quite steep for me!
An L prime is a special too to use carefully and get amazing results. An USM prime is midrange mid budget in enthusiast terms and normally very good optically but lacks the finesse or extra niceness in the image quality you get from a L.
What we'd have to see is how it renders the image, maybe in 5 years these new IS lenses will be the same price as the current older USMs which will make them a great purchase.

IS and extra 350 worth if for some IS with a similar look  but overall sharper.. overall sharpness may actually make it worse plus the IS could then soften it anyway or leave the rendering a bit all over the place. Is it worth an extra 1100 for a specialist lens .. yes! Once you do you wont ever look at a MTF chart again, you'll smile knowing what you are taking will look great, better than all the other lens.. sharpness pahh! But it will be really sharp too plus images will be so nice that you wont want to zoom in to pixel peep.

ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2013, 09:10:39 PM »
the first thing I'll say is HAVE YOU ACTUALLY USED THE 50L 1.2 ? because is is such a difference form the 50 1.4usm. It is such a different piece of kit and you will notice that instantly. I had been lamenting over getting it compared to the 1.4 specs, heard about bad or slow  focusing mainly and that 1.4 is sharper, but those or so over exaggerated. And especially when it comes to using it , then seeing the images it produces afterwards.

It feels like a tank and on my first test in low light the 1.4 was hunting and not focusing and the 1.2 got it less than a second. My 1.4 wide open  is so soft and unusable unless I want a soft glowy and fringing look. The 1.2 is not.
And more importantly the 1.2 just renders scenes much much more beautifully images have more of a 3D look to them thats really smooth at the same time. I had always thought the 1.4's sharpness and rendering was a bit harsh though.

Now those charts posted on MTF must be way out, as everything I've read shows the 1.2 is much sharper than the 1.4 up to 2.8 or so then the 1.4 is sharper. And from my tests the 1.2 is not as less sharp as tests produce in the real world.

However none have really blistering focusing speed I'd say the 1.2 is twice as fast and has less tantrums while trying to find focus which is a big thing and much more reassuring.
 

As you guys always ask when someone pipes up about lens selection, here are my shooting needs...
 
  • 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...



Now you say that most of your subjects arent moving then either should be fine unless your shooting in really dark environments a 5D III should be fine for most places, maybe a really dark bar would test it. But remember these aren't miracle machines to all situations! We now have imho stupidly high ISO options at our hands, and a lot of lenses / AF cant cope and imagine how difficult it would of been in the past on film and MF lenses. So I have to say to people get real about where you can expect to shoot and get a decent result, just because Canon says you 'can' shoot at 128000 . It or even 32000 is going to get compromised results. Now if its only capturing a moment that wasn't previously able to be captured then thats fine isn't it? And like you say you are an enthusiast. Should you expect to have a shooting and viewing experience and expectation that is similar to  the equipment being used in prime situations and conditions to give an absolutely stunning result.


Remember photography is a skill not a demo or expectation of technology just because you've bought it.

Release the artist in you and relax that engineer hat you don and you will learn more, understand photography & images  in new way. An engineer and artist combined is very powerful combination..

Thank you for the comments.  Again, the 1.2L is a great lens, but I don't know if its a great lens for me.  It seems its virtues start at F/1.2 and end around F/2.8.  Art is not solely relegated to narrow DOF '3D-like' shots -- how do I catch a candid of three people in a poorly lit room at F/1.2?  There is no working DOF @ F/1.2.  If they are lined up on a wall, I've got a shot, but that rarely has been my experience.

To be fair, I've shot a lot of L primes and this isn't one of them.  I owe it to myself to rent both lenses (when available) and compare them in my shooting environments.  That's likely to happen.

As for the engineer lightening up, it isn't going to happen.  I do try, but I'm wired this way.   :P

- A

ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 09:18:35 PM »
Have you considered the Shorty McForty? Because it's an awesome lens that seems perfectly designed for at least 80% if not more of what you say you're looking for.

No IS, obviously, but I don't miss it and I doubt you would, either.

b&

I own the Shorty McForty and it sadly never leaves my bag.  It's a technical wonder (marvelously sharp), but the AF is too slow for me.

That said, I'd leave a pancake on my backup body (Rebel T1i) if it was a useful focal length.  64mm FF equivalent is useless as a walkaround, IMHO.  I'm in a city, often in cramped spaces where I can't back up any further.  I'd love a 22mm EF (or even EF-S) pancake that I could leave on my crop as a 35mm full frame equivalent (which they did with the EOS-M, btw).

- A

ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2013, 09:41:15 PM »
Quote
  • If people will gladly pay $1500 for L primes, they'll gladly pay $750 for non-L primes w/ IS that are as sharp or sharper.

An USM prime is midrange mid budget in enthusiast terms and normally very good optically but lacks the finesse or extra niceness in the image quality you get from a L.

I have to disagree.  For sharpness, the midrange 50 F/1.4 and 85 F/1.8 are optically superior to their L counterparts once you stop down just a bit.  And the new IS primes are right up there for sharpness with their L counterparts.

Check out the Lensrentals data when you get a chance:
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/06/the-other-canon-primes-why-did-they-do-that

Again, this is just sharpness -- the warmth/color/artistic aspects may not be the same.

I own three Ls myself and I'm quite fond -- they are great lenses.  But there are impressive non-Ls out there worth checking out, and not just for price.

- A
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 09:43:00 PM by ahsanford »

bdunbar79

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2013, 11:23:05 PM »
The idea that L lenses are absolutely better than non-L lenses is just a total load of crap.
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pdirestajr

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2013, 12:32:48 AM »
Was there a rumor or an announcement about a 50mm f/2 IS lens that I missed? A lot of the language in this thread makes it sound like it's real. If not, why would it be f/2?

A new Canon 50 with IS is absolutely 100% happening -- it just hasn't been announced yet.

Not a new rumor, but a logical next offering.  Again, the forums have covered this, but here is the logic:

  • Canon is systematically refreshing all their mid-grade USM primes with IS.  They have already made replacements for the 24, 28, and 35 prime.  The 50 and 85 would logically be next.
  • The current 50mm F/1.4 is 20 years old yet remains on many pros' cameras b/c the 50mm F/1.2L appears to have some limitations.  This key length needs an upgrade.
  • If people will gladly pay $1500 for L primes, they'll gladly pay $750 for non-L primes w/ IS that are as sharp or sharper.
  • Video. IS is helpful for that, I'm told.

Just my two bits.  But I think the reasons above lead to a new 50mm absolutely happening in the next year or so.

The only real debate at this junction is when and at what max aperture.  F/2 is where I am setting my expectation so that I might be pleasantly surprised by something quicker.  But, given what I shoot, it's a nice to have and not a must.

- A

Since you are basing your theory on Canon's systematic upgrades, shouldn't your theory be an f/1.4 or f/1.8?

My prediction is:

• They make a 50mm f/2.5 H-IS USM Macro lens.
• And then upgrade the 50mm f/1.8 STM.
• Then ice the 1.4 and force people to buy the 1.2.
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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2013, 12:32:48 AM »

AJ

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2013, 02:47:57 PM »
I too think that a 50/1.8 IS or 50/2 IS is just around the corner.  I think it'll be pretty good optically, and I think Canon will price it north of 700 bucks.


J.R.

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2013, 03:10:32 PM »
Rather radical, but I'd suggest ponying up to the 24-70 II. It is way sharper than either the 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.2L.  With a lens with IQ like THAT, you probably won't need the prime.
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bdunbar79

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2013, 03:44:04 PM »
Rather radical, but I'd suggest ponying up to the 24-70 II. It is way sharper than either the 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.2L.  With a lens with IQ like THAT, you probably won't need the prime.

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ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2013, 03:56:05 PM »
The idea that L lenses are absolutely better than non-L lenses is just a total load of crap.

+1

That's like folks who claim the upcoming 7D2 can't possibly cost more than the 6D, because even a nerfed FF camera must run circles around a world class APS-C rig.  (equally BS to me).

- A

ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2013, 03:59:40 PM »
Rather radical, but I'd suggest ponying up to the 24-70 II. It is way sharper than either the 50mm f/1.4 or the f/1.2L.  With a lens with IQ like THAT, you probably won't need the prime.

Thanks for the thought.  The 24-70 II's data is great, but I am moving away from zooms.  Again, it's not just 'horsepower' features like length / aperture / IQ.   Something small and unassuming is a bit of priority for me. 

- A

klickflip

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2013, 04:00:12 PM »


Thank you for the comments.  Again, the 1.2L is a great lens, but I don't know if its a great lens for me.  It seems its virtues start at F/1.2 and end around F/2.8.  Art is not solely relegated to narrow DOF '3D-like' shots -- how do I catch a candid of three people in a poorly lit room at F/1.2?  There is no working DOF @ F/1.2.  If they are lined up on a wall, I've got a shot, but that rarely has been my experience.

To be fair, I've shot a lot of L primes and this isn't one of them.  I owe it to myself to rent both lenses (when available) and compare them in my shooting environments.  That's likely to happen.

As for the engineer lightening up, it isn't going to happen.  I do try, but I'm wired this way.   :P

- A

Sure completely understand your engineer pov.. (studied Mech Eng then switched to a photography degree ;))  So trying to help solve your situation needs, I think maybe the 50mm view might not be the best or only lens needed.

If you are indoors shooting candids then 50mm may be too long and as you say have too narrow DOF at wider apertures. How about a 35 mm, either the new IS one or the Sigma? As shooting at even F2 you'll get a lot more DOF than a 50mm and I'd say you might get a more fun engaged feel as you can get closer to your subjects and easily get 3 people in the frame. Plus it may be better for landscapes and general outdoors / city roaming shots as well.

Then continue to use the 50 1.4 for more tighter in portrait type shots, and if you want to shoot some gigs then maybe a 100mm or 85mm USMs could be good for that and get you a bit closer while still having a wide aperture to help with low light.

50mm is a lovely view but sometimes I find it too close for indoor situations. If i use it indoors in informal occasions I tend to only get one person at a time on the shots (plus more of a head shot or chest up view) and like you mentioned a very limited DOF .

Or even a 24-70 2.8 could be the one for you unless you are driven to primes which is not a bad place to be!

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2013, 04:00:12 PM »

ahsanford

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2013, 05:21:47 PM »


Thank you for the comments.  Again, the 1.2L is a great lens, but I don't know if its a great lens for me.  It seems its virtues start at F/1.2 and end around F/2.8.  Art is not solely relegated to narrow DOF '3D-like' shots -- how do I catch a candid of three people in a poorly lit room at F/1.2?  There is no working DOF @ F/1.2.  If they are lined up on a wall, I've got a shot, but that rarely has been my experience.

To be fair, I've shot a lot of L primes and this isn't one of them.  I owe it to myself to rent both lenses (when available) and compare them in my shooting environments.  That's likely to happen.

As for the engineer lightening up, it isn't going to happen.  I do try, but I'm wired this way.   :P

- A

Sure completely understand your engineer pov.. (studied Mech Eng then switched to a photography degree ;))  So trying to help solve your situation needs, I think maybe the 50mm view might not be the best or only lens needed.

If you are indoors shooting candids then 50mm may be too long and as you say have too narrow DOF at wider apertures. How about a 35 mm, either the new IS one or the Sigma? As shooting at even F2 you'll get a lot more DOF than a 50mm and I'd say you might get a more fun engaged feel as you can get closer to your subjects and easily get 3 people in the frame. Plus it may be better for landscapes and general outdoors / city roaming shots as well.

Then continue to use the 50 1.4 for more tighter in portrait type shots, and if you want to shoot some gigs then maybe a 100mm or 85mm USMs could be good for that and get you a bit closer while still having a wide aperture to help with low light.

50mm is a lovely view but sometimes I find it too close for indoor situations. If i use it indoors in informal occasions I tend to only get one person at a time on the shots (plus more of a head shot or chest up view) and like you mentioned a very limited DOF .

Or even a 24-70 2.8 could be the one for you unless you are driven to primes which is not a bad place to be!

Great comments.  Re: 35mm and shooting room, that's why I got the 28 IS.  Love it love it love it.  It would take an 35L II to get me to move off of that.

I think my end primes bag will become 24/28/35 (TBD), 50 and 85.  I like the 35mm FOV on FF, but with a three lens setup and a 50 all but assured to be one of them, the 24 and 28 will be considered.

- A

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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2013, 01:02:17 AM »
i must have missed the rumour!
is there a CR rated rumour about a 50 f2 IS? :o
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Re: Is the upcoming 50mm F/2 IS USM for me?
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2013, 01:02:17 AM »