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Author Topic: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)  (Read 2013 times)

CanonLITA

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Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« on: July 04, 2013, 08:02:20 AM »
Thanks to the information available in the forum, Pros and Cons of both are clear to me. But I still have a couple of questions I hope you can help me figure out:

1. wide open on full frame, how much I will notice the difference in terms of DOF considering the relatively short focal lenght of both?

2. how much I will notice the difference in term of sharpness (not necessarily wide open)?

Many thanks

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Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« on: July 04, 2013, 08:02:20 AM »

mwh1964

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 08:19:26 AM »
Just my findings. There will be a noticeable difference in DOF between f1.4 and 2.8 although not so much if both used at f2.8. At 2.8 and up you won't see much difference in sharpness. They are both plenty sharp. If you need small, cheaper and slightly wider go for the 40ty if you need the potential to go faster than f2.8 obviously it is the 50ty that answers your requirement. FWIW I chose the 50 over the 40 and I don't regret.
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The Bad Duck

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 10:04:37 AM »
What is your planed usage for this lens?

I have the 50 /1.4 but not the 40 /2.8.

However when it comes to DoF, the 50 /1.4 is a (slightly) longer lens and two full stops faster, that does give quite a big difference. You would notice. The 40 has less distortion BUT the wider angle causes problems with tight portraits. I have no idea if this is how you want to use the lens, but it´s kind of a warning.

My 1.4 however is seldom used at f 1.4 - 2.0 because of
- lack of contrast (and sharpness)
- DoF is thin and hard to controll and get the sharpness where I want it
- For weddings DoF is too short for portraits of bride + groom. For a single person portrait, yes, its quite doable, but when they are both there, better step down to... 2.8. And then they play in the same league.

Since I cant comment on the 40, you´d better read some tests at photozone.de and/or the-digital-picture. Have a look at their test shoots to compare contrast and sharpness, they are very useful.

But a quick look sugests that there is not much of a difference in terms of sharpness when stopped down a bit.
And... the 40 is quite a bit cheaper.

Im sorry that I perhaps did not make it easier for you... but I would not use the 50 /1.4 @ 1.4 unless absolutely needed, to me it´s a f/2 lens. And as I said, I usually use it even further stopped down, so then they are about the same, but one is cheaper.

Dylan777

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 11:55:43 AM »
I had 50 f1.4 before my 50L and currently own 40pancake. If I have to choose between these two, I would take 50 f1.4 over 40pancake.

Why?
1. Lens is sharp from f2 to f5.6(at f2.8 both 50 & 40 is about the same to me)
2. Gain extra shutter speed or one f-stop in extreme low light condition. IQ might not as best as 50L, but hey...you taking picture in the dark here @ f1.4. You CAN'T do this with 40pancake.
3. Easy to shoot on FF
4. Much smaller than 50L, not so heavy to carry around

If you want to convert your FF DSLR into P&S, then get 40pancake ;)

« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 11:59:55 AM by Dylan777 »
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Prime: 40mm -- 50L -- 85L II -- 135L -- 400L f2.8 IS II -- Zeiss FE 55mm f1.8

cellomaster27

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 12:17:19 PM »
This is great! I myself was contemplating this matter..

I understand the sharpness and 1.4 and 2.8 differences but what about build quality and focusing issues? How will it affect the user? I have a 50 1.8 that I've been using for over a year. Great but build quality is horrible. I keep hearing that the 50 1.4 is not very good with the focusing issues.  The 40 pancake has great build quality, smaller and a STM motor (good for video and new sensors) and is a lot cheaper than a lens that was introduced in... 1993? Or 1992. Anyways, bound to be replaced very soon regardless.

I don't own one yet but the 40 pancake seems like a great deal to me. For a FF, sure its wide and kinda awkward but for a crop, not too bad i think (40x1.6). Sure it's small but it definitely doesn't perform like a P&S. ;)
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CanonLITA

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 03:00:08 PM »
Thank you all for your feedback, I'm glad I re-registered to CR.

I thought that for my specific two questions no more context was required. I was clearly wrong.. I plan to add this lens to 6D w/ 24-105/4. Next in line are 135/2 and either Rokinon/Samyang 24/3.5 TS or Rokinon/Samyang 14/2.8.

I like size, cost and sharpness of the 40, but I think I need something really fast to experiment with DOF.

sdsr

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 04:33:45 PM »
Thank you all for your feedback, I'm glad I re-registered to CR.

I thought that for my specific two questions no more context was required. I was clearly wrong.. I plan to add this lens to 6D w/ 24-105/4. Next in line are 135/2 and either Rokinon/Samyang 24/3.5 TS or Rokinon/Samyang 14/2.8.

I like size, cost and sharpness of the 40, but I think I need something really fast to experiment with DOF.

For shallow focus and its attendant quick fade to blur (e.g. creating a soft, dreamy look to a photo of a dozing baby, kitten, etc.; I've been using mine, on a 6D, quite a lot recently with a recently acquired kitten), the 50 1.4 is much better than the pancake, not just because it's a faster lens but also because of the longer length.  (Depending on what you want to photograph, though, you might want to consider a different sort of lens altogether - if you have enough space to work with, a 70-300mm at f/5.6 (say) will give fantastic isolation and blurred backgrounds; you can do it with your 24-105 too if you get the relative distances right and set it at 105mm.) 

By the way, as some of the negative comments re the 50mm 1.4 may suggest, this lens may be more prone to manufacturing variation than average.  The first one I bought was soft wide open, sometimes back-focused, sometimes front-focused and sometimes missed altogether; so I returned it for a replacement.  The second one is sharper wide open and has focused perfectly every time.  So, if you buy one and are not much impressed, try another before giving up.


Incidentally, 

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 04:33:45 PM »

Mr Bean

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 08:42:11 PM »
Thanks to the information available in the forum, Pros and Cons of both are clear to me. But I still have a couple of questions I hope you can help me figure out:

1. wide open on full frame, how much I will notice the difference in terms of DOF considering the relatively short focal lenght of both?

2. how much I will notice the difference in term of sharpness (not necessarily wide open)?

Many thanks
I've got both on a FF camera, and I use them for different purposes. The 50/1.4 is great for its short DOF (for portrait work or where I really want to highlight a subject by making use of that DOF). Yes, it is a little soft wide open, but I tend to use it at f2 / f2.2 just to add a little sharpness.

The 40 on the other hand, has better sharpness and better contrast. I tend to use it more for a semi-wide landscape lens. For the price and size, the 40 is great to have in the lens bag :)
5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
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tron

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2013, 09:14:34 PM »
I had 50 f1.4 before my 50L and currently own 40pancake. If I have to choose between these two, I would take 50 f1.4 over 40pancake.

Why?
1. Lens is sharp from f2 to f5.6(at f2.8 both 50 & 40 is about the same to me)
2. Gain extra shutter speed or one f-stop in extreme low light condition. IQ might not as best as 50L, but hey...you taking picture in the dark here @ f1.4. You CAN'T do this with 40pancake.
3. Easy to shoot on FF
4. Much smaller than 50L, not so heavy to carry around

If you want to convert your FF DSLR into P&S, then get 40pancake ;)
+100 No reason to get the 40mm. You have 40mm at f/4 (with the zoom) but you do not have 1.4

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 09:36:13 PM »
If those are the only two choices, then my vote is for the 50 f/1.4.  The only really good reason to get the 40 is for compactness.  If you're willing to use the 24-105 as a walk-around lens, then the 40 has very little value to you.  It is only 1 stop faster than your 24-105 and it doesn't have IS.  The 50 offers 3 stops compared to your zoom, which makes it much more appealing to use in low ambient light and for going for a really thin DOF look.  It makes sense to have clear uses for each of your lenses, and I think the 50 will fit that bill better.

paulc

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2013, 04:44:38 PM »
I have both the 50/1.4 and the 40 on a full frame.  To me the 40 starts to get to the point where it has a bit of that wide angle distortion to it.  It's not much, but it's definitely not a normal.  On a full frame and wide open the vignetting is there for sure.  Manually focusing is definitely more fiddly with the 40 as well due to a slight delay between touch and the result.  Since I manually focus a fair portion of the time this is a big thing to me.  You might not care.

To me the 40 is mostly about size, but it is also the second sharpest piece of glass that I own.  Don't underestimate how sharp it is based upon the size or cost.  It's simply nothing to sneeze at.  Pure raw sharpness won't make your pictures better though.

The main difference to me between the two is halation.  The 50 has it, the 40 does not.  Of course it goes away long before you hit f/2.8 but it's there if you want it and f/1.4 is the on switch.  The 50 has a certain look to it, even beyond just the thinner DoF with some swirly bokeh.

The thin DoF of the 50/1.4 may be too much for you. Bokeh is generally prettier wide open, so having wide open at only f/2.8 is a certain advantage.  With the 50 you can have eyelashes in focus but not the iris or if the head is turned slightly then you have to make sure the closer eye is at least in focus because you're not going to really get both wide open.  You're really playing with fire there and unless you're manually focusing with the high precision focus screen, you're not going to be happy in the end.  But having that much control is truly awesome.

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Re: Help me choose 40 v 50(1.4)
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2013, 04:44:38 PM »