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Author Topic: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?  (Read 6181 times)

symmar22

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 03:34:20 AM »
I would say it depends on what you want it for, if it's just to have a super light compact lens, I would go with the 40mm for the USM focus and unbeatable size,  on the other hand the 50mm 1.8 would allow a shallower depth of field and is 2 stops faster than your 24-105. I don't think built quality is an issue, especially considering the price asked for these lenses.

I would not go for the 50mm 1.4 now, since it's likely to be replaced soon. Nothing about the sharpness, (it's the sharpest of Canon's 50's, and better than the Carl Zeiss 50 1.4), but it's a very old lens and its simplified USM is not the most reliable. I would wait to see with what Canon will replace it.

For the price of the  50mm 1.4 you can have both the 40mm and the 50mm 1.8, try and decide what works best for you. You will have lenses to wait until a new 1.4 version is released.

IMO all these lenses are sharp enough, the real point is what you can or cannot do with them, and what they bring to your style of photography.

For different pictures, you could also consider the 50mm f2.5 compact macro, it's old but optically better than all the previous ones, allows 1:2 close-ups and is quite cheap as well.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 03:35:55 AM by symmar22 »

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 03:34:20 AM »

bholliman

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 06:19:03 AM »
I recommend the 50 1.4.  Its superior in build quality and IQ over the all plastic 50 1.8 and very close in IQ to the much more expensive 50 1.2 L.  Even if Canon does come out with a new 50mm lens at some point (still just rumors), it will not affect the resale price of this lens much and you will have the opportunity to use it now.  All lenses will be replaced at some point...

The 40mm pancake is a very nice little lens also.  Its tiny, inexpensive and excellent optically.  The 40 is slightly sharper at the edges at f/2.8 compared with the 50 1.4, but the 50 has the advantage of being able to open up to 1.4 if you want really shallow depth of field shots.  Also, since I typically use the 50 for portraits and shots of the kids playing indoors, I don't worry that much about sharpness on the corners. 

Both are excellent lenses for the money, you really can't make a wrong choice here.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

Ryan708

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2013, 10:49:33 AM »
I would go with the 50 f1/4 or even 1.8 over the 40mm in my opinion. alot of my favorite shots have been on my 50mm@1.8, and a very high percentage of my favorite shots out of my 17-70 are at 31mm and 34mm (very colse to 50mm on a full frame). the 50 1/8 @f2.8-5.6 is VERY sharp. and I have never had any issues with it focusing badly on my 60D. The 50 1.8 actually focuses well in low light too. I use an extension tube with it for a very sharp macro lens
60D, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4, Tamron 70-300 4-5.6 VC, EF 50mm 1.8II, and a Sigma EF-610 DG superflash

pedro

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2013, 01:14:03 PM »
I would say it depends on what you want it for, if it's just to have a super light compact lens, I would go with the 40mm for the USM focus and unbeatable size,  on the other hand the 50mm 1.8 would allow a shallower depth of field and is 2 stops faster than your 24-105. I don't think built quality is an issue, especially considering the price asked for these lenses.

I would not go for the 50mm 1.4 now, since it's likely to be replaced soon. Nothing about the sharpness, (it's the sharpest of Canon's 50's, and better than the Carl Zeiss 50 1.4), but it's a very old lens and its simplified USM is not the most reliable. I would wait to see with what Canon will replace it.

For the price of the  50mm 1.4 you can have both the 40mm and the 50mm 1.8, try and decide what works best for you. You will have lenses to wait until a new 1.4 version is released.

IMO all these lenses are sharp enough, the real point is what you can or cannot do with them, and what they bring to your style of photography.

For different pictures, you could also consider the 50mm f2.5 compact macro, it's old but optically better than all the previous ones, allows 1:2 close-ups and is quite cheap as well.


I'd go with the 50 f/1.4 it is a fine lens. I am shooting it wide open even at ISO 51k and 102k on my 5D3.

5D3 extreme ISOs sample 1 by Peter Hauri, on Flickr


5D3 extreme ISOs sample 2 by Peter Hauri, on Flickr
30D, EF-S 10-22/ 5DIII, 16-35 F/2.8 L USM II, 28 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 85 F/1.8, 70-200 F/2.8 classic,
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bholliman

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2013, 01:16:01 PM »
My initial response was... 40mm if you are on crop, 50mm if you are on full frame.  Since you have a 6D, I think the 50mm f/1.4 is a good option. 
+1  The 50 1.4 is considerably better than the 50 1.8 in sharpness and build quality.  I find the 50mm focal lengh very useful on a full frame body, I use it more than my 35mm, even though the 35 1.4L is better glass.  I've never owned a 40mm pancake, but they are nice lenses.  I've tried them out at camera stores. 

Both are very good lenses.  The choice really depends on which focal length you prefer and if a wider aperture is more important to you than smaller size.  You can't really go wrong either way.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

pedro

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2013, 01:43:06 PM »
The choice really depends on which focal length you prefer and if a wider aperture is more important to you than smaller size. You can't really go wrong either way.

+1 I am all for widest financially affordable apertures of my primes.
30D, EF-S 10-22/ 5DIII, 16-35 F/2.8 L USM II, 28 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 85 F/1.8, 70-200 F/2.8 classic,
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dgatwood

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2013, 10:43:57 PM »
My initial response was... 40mm if you are on crop, 50mm if you are on full frame.  Since you have a 6D, I think the 50mm f/1.4 is a good option.  Put a hard plastic hood on their and you should be safe from any AF issues.

I'd actually say 40mm on a full frame, "none of the above" on a crop body.  I own the 40mm.  On my XTi, I'd describe it as a good portrait lens.  I really don't find it to be wide enough to use as a walk-around lens.  As always, personal tastes vary.

Just for fun, I used sqlite to dump the focal length of every shot in my Lightroom database, then ran a histogram on the data.


10mm2406
11-30mm10518
31-45mm2582
46-60mm2376
61-120mm4262
121-600mm2130

There are two obvious hot spots around 10mm (2,406 pictures at full wide on my 10–22) and 17mm (4,195 picture at full wide on my 17-85).  I took 6,526 pictures in the 16-20mm range.  The median is 28mm.  The mode is 17mm.  Standard deviation is 69.02.

Obviously YMMV.  Widely.

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2013, 10:43:57 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2013, 10:05:10 AM »
My initial response was... 40mm if you are on crop, 50mm if you are on full frame.  Since you have a 6D, I think the 50mm f/1.4 is a good option.  Put a hard plastic hood on their and you should be safe from any AF issues.

I'd actually say 40mm on a full frame, "none of the above" on a crop body.  I own the 40mm.  On my XTi, I'd describe it as a good portrait lens.  I really don't find it to be wide enough to use as a walk-around lens.  As always, personal tastes vary.

Just for fun, I used sqlite to dump the focal length of every shot in my Lightroom database, then ran a histogram on the data.


10mm2406
11-30mm10518
31-45mm2582
46-60mm2376
61-120mm4262
121-600mm2130

There are two obvious hot spots around 10mm (2,406 pictures at full wide on my 10–22) and 17mm (4,195 picture at full wide on my 17-85).  I took 6,526 pictures in the 16-20mm range.  The median is 28mm.  The mode is 17mm.  Standard deviation is 69.02.

Obviously YMMV.  Widely.

I would very much like to do that myself.  Was it free?  Was it hard?
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

dgatwood

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2013, 12:08:49 PM »
Just for fun, I used sqlite to dump the focal length of every shot in my Lightroom database, then ran a histogram on the data.

I would very much like to do that myself.  Was it free?  Was it hard?

Pretty easy, actually, at least on OS X.  I have no idea on Windows.  Lightroom just uses a SQLite database, so you can run any SQL queries on the thing and get back results.  For example:

Code: [Select]
# Make a copy of the library just to be extra careful:
cp ~/Pictures/Lightroom/"Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat" lr4.sqlite3

# Run a query that dumps the focal length of every shot:
sqlite3 lr4.sqlite3 "select focalLength from AgHarvestedExifMetadata;" > focallengths

I then opened that in TextEdit, copied the resulting file (which contains one length per line), and pasted it into a Numbers spreadsheet.  I then sorted the list and deleted everything below 10mm (iPhone pictures), though I really should have limited the query by camera type to begin with, e.g.

Code: [Select]
sqlite3 lr4.sqlite3 "select * from AgInternedExifCameraModel;

# Look at the list and create a comma-delimited list of the index number on the left
# end of each interesting row, e.g.:

sqlite3 lr4.sqlite3 "select focalLength from AgHarvestedExifMetadata where cameraModelRef in ('510367', '509132');"

Either way, once you have the numbers in a spreadsheet, you can do various sorts of statistics on the list.

fegari

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2013, 12:41:16 PM »
Find a good condition Canon FL or FD 55mm f/1.2 and get the EdMika conversion kit (eBay).  You'll have an incredible, inexpensive, fast lens that you won't want to take off your camera body.

A Canon FD 55 1.2 SSC in good shape plus the mika conversion will amount to close to 500 USD and you have the probability of hitting the mirror in infinity. I have that combo, it does produce a particular look but wide open it is only good for portraiture (lots of aberrations that give a certain surreal look).

In your place and with hindsight experience of buying a bunch of lenses I would advice strongly to save a bit and get the very best first rate lens that you can afford later on. It is not worth spending some cash just because you have a couple hundred dollars to spare and coincidentally the 40 2.8 or the 50 1.8 are in that price range.

My advice to you would definitively be to save a bit and get yourself the Sigma 35 1.4 which used can be a very attractive proposition.  The 6D deserves first rate lenses and the 35 1.4 (a top tier 35mm, sharpest of all) will serve you handsomely in moderately wide landscape, general and even portraiture. Not to mention super fast 1.4 aperture that will do wonders in low light with the sigma....

Now, if you really need to chose now between the 40 and the 50 I´d give the 40 a try.

Good luck with the choice!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 12:47:12 PM by fegari »

Mantanuska

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2013, 01:31:09 PM »
A lot of good answers but most of them aren't choosing one of the two options provided. I have both lenses with a 6D and it really depends on what you want to shoot.
These lenses are very similar, in my opinion the only important differences are AF speed and max aperture.

If you are shooting moving subjects in low light, the 50 1.8 will end up being too slow to focus for you. The 40mm will be much faster.

If you are trying to get a shallower DOF, go with the 50 1.8

In all other situations they are pretty well matched.

jdramirez

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2013, 03:05:14 PM »
In your place and with hindsight experience of buying a bunch of lenses I would advice strongly to save a bit and get the very best first rate lens that you can afford later on. It is not worth spending some cash just because you have a couple hundred dollars to spare and coincidentally the 40 2.8 or the 50 1.8 are in that price range.

My advice to you would definitively be to save a bit and get yourself the Sigma 35 1.4 which used can be a very attractive proposition.  The 6D deserves first rate lenses and the 35 1.4 (a top tier 35mm, sharpest of all) will serve you handsomely in moderately wide landscape, general and even portraiture. Not to mention super fast 1.4 aperture that will do wonders in low light with the sigma....

I went the other way.  I would suggest not losing money when you buy and subsequently sell lenses.  The best way to do that is to buy a lens when it is on sale (obviously), but even more so, buy used good condition lenses and canon direct refurbs. 

So let's say the normal price for a 50mm f/1.4 is a $349.  There was a sale price for $285 the other day.  Or a canon refurb is $320 but with a 20% discount, it would only be $256 (before tax).  It's subsequent resale value is around $300 in really good condition. 

So buy the lens, use it for a year or two, and then sell it for what you paid, or maybe for a little bit of a profit.

The key is keeping it in like new condition. 

So buy a lens at a good price, and use it for a while and then when you are ready to upgrade, it is almost like you had that money in escrow and you are able to tap into any time you want.

As an FYI, bodies lose their value quickly because they are replaced frequently with better models.  Lenses aren't quite that way because even if a better/newer model comes out, it is still cheaper than the newer model which helps keeps its value higher, and more often than not, the older lens is still really good.

3rd party lenses lose value much faster than Canon lenses.  They may be good, but the market for Canon lenses is significantly larger than Tokina/Sigma/Tamron/etc.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

kennephoto

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2013, 03:20:22 PM »
Pancake on FF is a lot of fun! You can take fun photos of you and your significant other by holding the camera out in front of you and get good fun shots! I've had the 50 1.8 and I still prefer my pancake, it makes good bokeh too!
Canon 5d Mark II Canon 1D classic EOSM 20-35 2.8L 50 1.2L 135 2.0L 80-200 2.8L 40 Pancake and a bunch of old film cameras

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2013, 03:20:22 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2013, 03:33:44 PM »
Pancake on FF is a lot of fun! You can take fun photos of you and your significant other by holding the camera out in front of you and get good fun shots! I've had the 50 1.8 and I still prefer my pancake, it makes good bokeh too!


I HATE seeing the "hold your camera at arms length to take a self portrait photo".  Buy a IR wireless shutter release.

http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-RC-4-Wireless-Control-Digital/dp/B0019RGQVU/ref=sr_1_19?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1372620757&sr=1-19&keywords=wireless+shutter+release+canon
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

robertbanksoz

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2013, 07:51:31 AM »
I would go for the 40 if i were you...  :)

+1

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Re: Nifty 50 or Shorty 40?
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2013, 07:51:31 AM »