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Author Topic: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...  (Read 6069 times)

canon23

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50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« on: April 23, 2013, 04:06:21 PM »
Hi All, it's been some time since I've posted on this forum and once again I need all your feedbacks, mates!
I'm debating between the 50mm 1.2L vs. the 35mm 1.4L.  They are priced pretty similar, so price is not an issue.
I will be using this mainly for weddings.

Currently I'm using 5D M2 w/ 70-280mm 2.8 v2; 24-70 f4L & 50mm 1.8.
I find the 50mm 1.8 not meeting my needs in low lighting.

So, bottom line, which lens would you go for and why?

Thanks again!!
5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, II, Sigma 35 1.4 DG, 24-70 f/2.8 II, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 50 1.8 , Speedlite 430EX, YN 568 EX II

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50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« on: April 23, 2013, 04:06:21 PM »

akraj

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 07:20:26 PM »
I have the 35 1.4 and it's a great lens.. but when shooting wide open, the images tend to be not sharp if the subject isn't too close. I would suggest that you try them both with what would be an optimal lighting scenario and then decide.
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hawaiisunsetphoto

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 07:22:58 PM »
You might also want to check out the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" lens....  rivals the 35mm f/1.4L....
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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 11:05:10 PM »
Standard CR answer:  go for the focal length you need.

If you're serious about the 35L, you should also consider the Sigma 35.  Less expensive and slight sharper than the 35L by many accounts.  I have the 35L, and it works for me, but if I were to make the decision now, I'd be tempted by the Sigma.

There is a lot of debate over the 50L.  Again, I'd suggest you try some the of the f/1.4 offerings before committing to the 50L.  It's a lot more expensive, but it does produce wide open.  I never had luck with Canon's 50 f/1.4 wider than f/2.8 -- it was sometimes hit but mostly miss.  The 50L is a lot more consistent AF-wise and the look is more pleasing, and it does seem geared to portraiture, which is what you'd use it for.

The 50mm focal length is more versatile for me when I'm trying to cover a large focal range (traveling) with the minimum number of lenses while keeping low light versatility (i.e. 16-35/50/70-300).  For portraiture, I'd still favor longer focal lengths (50 over the 35) especially if you have the space like most wedding locales, but ultimately it comes down to your shooting style...

ChilledXpress

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 11:36:33 PM »
Standard CR answer:  go for the focal length you need.

If you're serious about the 35L, you should also consider the Sigma 35.  Less expensive and slight sharper than the 35L by many accounts.  I have the 35L, and it works for me, but if I were to make the decision now, I'd be tempted by the Sigma.

There is a lot of debate over the 50L.  Again, I'd suggest you try some the of the f/1.4 offerings before committing to the 50L.  It's a lot more expensive, but it does produce wide open.  I never had luck with Canon's 50 f/1.4 wider than f/2.8 -- it was sometimes hit but mostly miss.  The 50L is a lot more consistent AF-wise and the look is more pleasing, and it does seem geared to portraiture, which is what you'd use it for.

The 50mm focal length is more versatile for me when I'm trying to cover a large focal range (traveling) with the minimum number of lenses while keeping low light versatility (i.e. 16-35/50/70-300).  For portraiture, I'd still favor longer focal lengths (50 over the 35) especially if you have the space like most wedding locales, but ultimately it comes down to your shooting style...

+1 Sounds like advice from an owner.

I do a lot of event work with a 5D3/70-200L 2.8II and a second 5D3/50L. I love the 35L but once I shifted to the 5D3s, the 50L is just about the best lens for me. It's my standard carry when I go for one rig. Great portrait focal length, pure cream bokeh and now, with the AF of the newer bodies... it's killer combo. For event work it shines, and gives the unique 50 perspective... great for photojournalism. The 50mm 1.4 is ok, had the same experience Random Orbits... cheap build and if your making money can take a crap on you when you need it.  It also hunts in sketchy light. Not the 50L though, locks on and its built like a tank. Love my 35L too but it now takes a back seat and with the new Sigma, I'd be checking it out too. I own  3 Siggys and the all perform flawlessly and are built well, so the 35 is looking like something I might need to try.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 11:47:55 PM by ChilledXpress »

jasonsim

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2013, 11:51:55 PM »
You might also want to check out the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" lens....  rivals the 35mm f/1.4L....

+1, I would definitely recommend the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.  You can probably get the Sigma 50mm also...the price of these two Sigma's is about what a 50L costs new. 
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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 12:30:42 AM »
+1 Sounds like advice from an owner.

I do a lot of event work with a 5D3/70-200L 2.8II and a second 5D3/50L. I love the 35L but once I shifted to the 5D3s, the 50L is just about the best lens for me. It's my standard carry when I go for one rig. Great portrait focal length, pure cream bokeh and now, with the AF of the newer bodies... it's killer combo. For event work it shines, and gives the unique 50 perspective... great for photojournalism. The 50mm 1.4 is ok, had the same experience Random Orbits... cheap build and if your making money can take a crap on you when you need it.  It also hunts in sketchy light. Not the 50L though, locks on and its built like a tank. Love my 35L too but it now takes a back seat and with the new Sigma, I'd be checking it out too. I own  3 Siggys and the all perform flawlessly and are built well, so the 35 is looking like something I might need to try.

I'll probably keep the 35L until after the 35L II is out for a while and the prices soften.  I mostly use it for portraiture and as a walk around lens, so I don't need it to be critically sharp into the corners because my subjects aren't in those locations anyway.  Most people know that the 24-70 II is sharper than the 35L, but according to TDP, it is also sharper than the Sigma 35, so in either case, the user that is concerned about sharpness the most will opt for the 24-70 II in either case.  Canon's next generation primes should be able to beat the 24-70 II.  If not, then Canon will lose potential sales because more people will opt for the 24-70 II rather than buying a few primes with higher total sales within that focal length range.

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 12:30:42 AM »

ChilledXpress

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2013, 12:58:40 AM »
+1 Sounds like advice from an owner.

I do a lot of event work with a 5D3/70-200L 2.8II and a second 5D3/50L. I love the 35L but once I shifted to the 5D3s, the 50L is just about the best lens for me. It's my standard carry when I go for one rig. Great portrait focal length, pure cream bokeh and now, with the AF of the newer bodies... it's killer combo. For event work it shines, and gives the unique 50 perspective... great for photojournalism. The 50mm 1.4 is ok, had the same experience Random Orbits... cheap build and if your making money can take a crap on you when you need it.  It also hunts in sketchy light. Not the 50L though, locks on and its built like a tank. Love my 35L too but it now takes a back seat and with the new Sigma, I'd be checking it out too. I own  3 Siggys and the all perform flawlessly and are built well, so the 35 is looking like something I might need to try.

I'll probably keep the 35L until after the 35L II is out for a while and the prices soften.  I mostly use it for portraiture and as a walk around lens, so I don't need it to be critically sharp into the corners because my subjects aren't in those locations anyway.  Most people know that the 24-70 II is sharper than the 35L, but according to TDP, it is also sharper than the Sigma 35, so in either case, the user that is concerned about sharpness the most will opt for the 24-70 II in either case.  Canon's next generation primes should be able to beat the 24-70 II.  If not, then Canon will lose potential sales because more people will opt for the 24-70 II rather than buying a few primes with higher total sales within that focal length range.

I own the 24-70II also... in reality and real world use the 35L and the 24-70LII are very similar. I still prefer to carry the 50L over the 24-70II due to it's low light flexibility. Especially in the event photography arena, sometimes a flash can't be used and dropping below 2.8 is a life saver.

jasonsim

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2013, 11:41:09 PM »
+1 Sounds like advice from an owner.

I do a lot of event work with a 5D3/70-200L 2.8II and a second 5D3/50L. I love the 35L but once I shifted to the 5D3s, the 50L is just about the best lens for me. It's my standard carry when I go for one rig. Great portrait focal length, pure cream bokeh and now, with the AF of the newer bodies... it's killer combo. For event work it shines, and gives the unique 50 perspective... great for photojournalism. The 50mm 1.4 is ok, had the same experience Random Orbits... cheap build and if your making money can take a crap on you when you need it.  It also hunts in sketchy light. Not the 50L though, locks on and its built like a tank. Love my 35L too but it now takes a back seat and with the new Sigma, I'd be checking it out too. I own  3 Siggys and the all perform flawlessly and are built well, so the 35 is looking like something I might need to try.

I'll probably keep the 35L until after the 35L II is out for a while and the prices soften.  I mostly use it for portraiture and as a walk around lens, so I don't need it to be critically sharp into the corners because my subjects aren't in those locations anyway.  Most people know that the 24-70 II is sharper than the 35L, but according to TDP, it is also sharper than the Sigma 35, so in either case, the user that is concerned about sharpness the most will opt for the 24-70 II in either case.  Canon's next generation primes should be able to beat the 24-70 II.  If not, then Canon will lose potential sales because more people will opt for the 24-70 II rather than buying a few primes with higher total sales within that focal length range.

I have the 24-70mm II and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.  Both are great, but have to disagree that the 24-70 II is sharper at 35mm than the Sigma at 35mm.  If you compare the IQ from both at f/2.8, the Sigma has an edge in center and mid frame sharpness.  This comparison can be seen at the the-digital-picture.com:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=829&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=3&LensComp=787&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=0

And the Sigma is two full stops faster; makes a big difference in the bokeh department. 
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alexanderferdinand

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 12:06:07 AM »
For events  I would take the 35L because of the wider angle.
Depends how close you are and your style of shooting.

jasonsim

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 12:17:46 AM »
Yep to get back to the original posters question...I would agree that a 35L is going to be a better option.  Paired with a 85mm f/1.2L and you can cover nearly every situation, provided you have room to move around and frame your shots without much restriction. 

Kind regards,
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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2013, 03:52:59 AM »
I own the 35L and 50 1.4.  I have no experience with the 50L, I read the reviews and based on those felt the 50 1.4 was 90% as good for 1/4 the price.

For me the 50mm focal length is generally more useful than 35mm on a full frame body.  I use my 35L more on my 7D than my 6D.  I've had very good luck with the 50 1.4 at f/2 and ocasionally wider.  Maybe I have a better copy then some of the posters above.  The 50 1.4 on my 6D is my go to combination for most indoor low light photography.  I only find myself using the 35L on the 6D for group shots or an occasional landscape.

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 08:38:24 AM »

I have the 24-70mm II and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.  Both are great, but have to disagree that the 24-70 II is sharper at 35mm than the Sigma at 35mm.  If you compare the IQ from both at f/2.8, the Sigma has an edge in center and mid frame sharpness.  This comparison can be seen at the the-digital-picture.com:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=829&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=3&LensComp=787&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=0

And the Sigma is two full stops faster; makes a big difference in the bokeh department.

I saw the same crops before making my post but came to a different conclusion.  I agree that the Sigma is slightly sharper in the center but saw the Canon slightly better mid frame (more vignetting but better contrast) and better in the corner.  Lens to lens variation might flipflop the center and midrange results, but it looks like the Canon should retain its advantage at the corners.

In either case, the difference between the two is not big enough to pick the S35 over the 24-70 II unless you need a larger aperture.  That was the part that surprised me -- how good the 24-70 II is.  I'm not surprised that newer designs beat older designs but I am surprised that the new S35 prime does not beat the 24-70 II.  I'm also impressed by the 24-70 II's AF speed/tracking ability in AI servo when I shot a young boys basketball game on a small court (standing at the baseline because there are no bleachers).  It's like a mini 70-200.  I know the 35L and 50L can't track like that (I haven't used the Sigma so I don't know about how that does in servo).  Before, I used all primes to cover the midrange focal lengths because they were better than the zoom options at the time.  Now, I use primes for low light/shallow DOF applications only, which means that I use them about 1/3 as much as I used to.

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 08:38:24 AM »

7enderbender

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 05:06:01 PM »
I have to second what others have said about the focal length. The 35L is probably the slightly "better" lens in many ways from a technical perspective. But I bought the 50L simply because I wouldn't know exactly what to do with a 35mm lens. I always got the most boring and insignificant results with that focal length. Not really wide enough for "drama" (I'd go for 28 on that) but too wide for portraits (adding big noses and things when too close).

Carefully try them out though. There are probably plenty of reasons to love or hate either one.
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TrumpetPower!

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 05:48:03 PM »
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned this.

Use one of those EXIF analyzer tools to figure out what focal length you use the most. Buy the lens closest to that focal length.

And, as others have mentioned, the Sigma 35 and the Canon 50 f/1.4 both deserve serious consideration. Don't automatically assume that the Canon red ring means it's the best lens, or especially the best lens for your purposes. The red ring generally means it's a very good lens...but, in the case of the 50s, the 50 f/1.4 is 90% as good as the L at a quarter of the price, giving the f/1.4 perhaps the best price : performance ratio in Canon's lineup and the L the worst. If that last 10% means something to you and is worth a thousand bucks (and you can afford it), by all means, go for it. Just go for it with your eyes open.

And the Sigma really does appear, by every account I've come across so far, to be marginally better than the Canon in pretty much every way that matters. Not enough better to warrant selling the Canon (unless you're desperate for cash), but certainly enough better to warrant buying the Sigma instead. Some are worried about future compatibility citing some infamous past problems, but with that USB dock that's also a non-issue. Long-term resale value might still be a concern, but that's a moot point if you buy your lenses to use for photography as opposed to financial investment instruments.

Cheers,

b&

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Re: 50mm 1.2L vs 35mm 1.4L for events photography...
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 05:48:03 PM »