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Author Topic: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4  (Read 7075 times)

EOBeav

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Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« on: August 18, 2013, 04:43:52 PM »
I attended a wedding over the weekend. While everybody was oohing and ahing over the bride, I of course was oohing and ahing over the fine photographic equipment in use. The photographer duo used 3 5D3's and a 5D2, some Alien Bee's and a bunch of L's.  I counted a 70-200 f/2.8, a 24-70, as well as some other red rings. These guys also moved around like this wasn't their first rodeo.  It looked to me like they knew what they were doing.

So, I was surprised when one of the guys was using a 50 f/1.4 instead of an L.  Later on in the day, I struck up a (brief) conversation with him. He seemed happy to oblige (I'm assuming that staying the heck out of their way had something to do with it). I mentioned the 50, and he said that while he loves the 50L, they couldn't justify it over the 50 f/1.4 simply because there was a negligible image quality gained for what it cost to own one.   

I know that there are several opinions and the subject has been beat to death here on CR, but it was interesting to get the view of a pro who boiled it down to a business decision.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

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Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« on: August 18, 2013, 04:43:52 PM »

kennephoto

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 05:18:12 PM »
You have the 50 1.4 so why buy a 1.2? Spend the money that youd spend on the 1.2 on something different. I have the 1.2 and I life mine! I had an old metal mount 1.8 and while I liked that lens I dreaded the pentagon bokeh that would occasionally show up. Now I have the 1.2 and no more ugly bokeh.
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

Vossie

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 05:43:20 PM »
If you do photography to make a living, you obviously have to balance investments intomequipment to the value that that equipment can bring to you. The price difference between the 1.2 and 1.4 is almost 1000$, so quite considerable.
There is quite some debate on this and other forums if people actually like the look of the 1.2 better than that of the 1.4. It's a matter of personal taste ofcourse.

BTW: Lensrentals did a nice 50mm shootout that shows that the sharpness of the 1.4 is very comparable to that of the 1.2: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/01/the-great-50mm-shootout
5D3, 16-35LII, 24-70 2.8LII, 24-105L, 85LII, 70-200 2.8LII, 100L, 135L, 100-400L, 50 1.4, 40 2.8, Sigma 180 3.5 EX, 1.4x TC III, 600EX, 550EX

DRR

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 06:21:23 PM »
Price aside - the 1.4 has a number of other advantages also.

Weight, for one, it's more than twice as light as the 50L 1.2. Smaller also.

The 50L has all that big beautiful glass, but that heavy glass has another disadvantage - it's a little slower to focus.

Of course the 50L is 4x more expensive too, so there is that as well. But it's got that dreamy 1.2 vs the 1.4 of the smaller 50.

Nothing wrong with either. I think many people look at it in a linear fashion - L > non-L, but you shouldn't look at it like that. They are two similar, but also very different tools, you need to pick the right tool for the job. Wedding photography is run and gun, a split second can be the difference between getting the shot and having it come out soft. In a case like that I honestly would choose the 1.4 every time. Also you're on your feet and carrying gear so the weight is a huge advantage also. For more posed photography, studio work, etc, the 50L would be the best choice. L glass isn't always the best option just because it's the most expensive one. Right tool for the right job.


jdramirez

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 06:23:38 PM »
 I've had this conversation a few times... I  don't see a value in it,  but I  don't have unlimited funds.
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->100L-> 85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm -> 85mm f/1.2L mkii

Dylan777

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 06:55:54 PM »
Why do we want f1ish prime? For me, be able to shoot at wide open or near wide open. Photo below was shot with 50L + 5D III - jpeg, straight out from camera. only resized to post here.

If 50 f1.4 able to bring contrast, color and bokeh as 50L then I guess we wouldn't have this conversation today.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 07:11:07 PM by Dylan777 »
Bodies: 1DX -- 5D III
Zooms: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

Dylan777

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 08:01:35 PM »
The 50L has all that big beautiful glass, but that heavy glass has another disadvantage - it's a little slower to focus

As an owner of 50 f1.4(x2) in the past, I do not see that at all. My current 50L focus much faster than f1.4.


Bodies: 1DX -- 5D III
Zooms: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 08:01:35 PM »

BrandonKing96

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 08:14:10 PM »
Imo, even though I can afford a 50 f/1.4 right now, I'm still saving up for a 50L.
Not just for that f/1.2 aperture, but for the better build quality, better bokeh, and just better photo quality overall.  Yes it's not that much over the f/1.4, but essentially, you're paying for the red ring- which I'm very happy to do.  I could've had one, but I decided to buy a 24-70 mark II instead of the mark I.
Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 60D; EF-S 10-22; EF 70-200 f/4L IS; EF 24-70 f/2.8L II; 580EX II.  Soon to add: 50 1.2L, 135 f/2L, 8-15L

alipaulphotography

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 08:18:37 PM »
I've had experience with 50mm 1.8, 1.4 and the 1.2L

I currently have the 1.2L but not for any difference in sharpness or spectacular resolution bump over the 1.4. The 1.2 just has bokeh that makes certain photos sing. It isn't something you can measure or put an exact finger on.
It is this difference that you pay for with the 1.2.

If I wasn't making money out of photography, I would certainly settle with the 1.4 and be completely content that it is offering me 90% of what the 1.2 can.

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SteenerMe

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 08:41:27 PM »
Have the 1.4. Rarely used it. Then the 1.2. there has to be a reason not to use it to be removed from camera.  Its just simply special.
5DIII, 7D, 8-15L, 16-35L II, 24-70L II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 50L, 100L

EOBeav

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 09:07:47 PM »
Why do we want f1ish prime? For me, be able to shoot at wide open or near wide open. Photo below was shot with 50L + 5D III - jpeg, straight out from camera. only resized to post here.

If 50 f1.4 able to bring contrast, color and bokeh as 50L then I guess we wouldn't have this conversation today.

For a lot of shots, yeah. I find that I prefer the sharpness/bokeh quality on my f/1.4 after about f/2.  And a lot of times, I'll keep it at f/2.8.  At those aperture settings, there is virtually no difference in IQ between the two lenses.  And I think that's the point the guy was trying to make. 
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

thelebaron

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 10:02:20 PM »
law of diminishing returns comes to mind

Dylan777

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 10:22:07 PM »
For a lot of shots, yeah. I find that I prefer the sharpness/bokeh quality on my f/1.4 after about f/2.  And a lot of times, I'll keep it at f/2.8.  At those aperture settings, there is virtually no difference in IQ between the two lenses.  And I think that's the point the guy was trying to make.

If f2.8 is your fav. then save your money for 24-70 II. It much more versatile and sharp @ f2.8

There is no fun shooting f2.8 with f1ish lens, that just me of course.

Besides, most wedding shooters would carry 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 anyways.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 10:53:47 PM by Dylan777 »
Bodies: 1DX -- 5D III
Zooms: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 10:22:07 PM »

EOBeav

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 10:38:08 PM »
Besides, most wedding shooters would carry 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 anyways.

And they had all of the above. I guess the point I was trying to make (that got lost somehow) was that they had the usual lineup of good L glass on different bodies, but one guy was sporting the 50 f/1.4 instead of the 50L. 
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

jdramirez

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 11:01:25 PM »
For a lot of shots, yeah. I find that I prefer the sharpness/bokeh quality on my f/1.4 after about f/2.  And a lot of times, I'll keep it at f/2.8.  At those aperture settings, there is virtually no difference in IQ between the two lenses.  And I think that's the point the guy was trying to make.

If f2.8 is your fav. then save your money for 24-70 II. It much more versatile and sharp @ f2.8

There is no fun shooting f2.8 with f1ish lens, that just me of course.

Besides, most wedding shooters would carry 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 anyways.

Not to be argumentative, but I know you are possibly the biggest supporter of the f/1.2 here.  Outside of the bokeh, can you replicate the contrast and color in lightroom? 

And again... not to be argumentative... or maybe I should say, With all due respect (Talladega Nights anyone?), I haven't heard of the 50 f/1.2L having a magic bokeh except recently.  The 135L yes, the 85mm f/1.2L yes, even the 200mm f/2L... I've even heard contrasting opinions regarding the bokeh of the 70-200mm f/2.8L Is mkii.

I know bokeh can be subjective, but would you contend that the 50's bokeh is on par with the 85/135/200?
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->100L-> 85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm -> 85mm f/1.2L mkii

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Re: Conversation with pro re: 50L vs. 50 f/1.4
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 11:01:25 PM »