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Author Topic: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4  (Read 22539 times)

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2013, 06:16:22 PM »
Good, balanced review from Justin as usual!!
For my money...I bought the Sigma f/1.4 for my 5DIII.....(mine focuses just fine...I know some don't)..I think its a better lens than the Canon, but I know that topic is a hornet's nest. Just MY opinion, put my money where my mouth is and enjoy the results, every time.
Now...If Sigma would just make an new ART Series 50mm f/1.4..we may all be happy! (well, almost. LOL!).

I love the images I've seen from the Sigma, colour and contrast to be specific. But it came out when I was still *very* wary of Sigma products and was still plenty happy with my Canon 1.4.

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2013, 06:16:22 PM »

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2013, 06:18:21 PM »
The 50 1.8 II is the superior and more reliable lens.

Unless you hate pentagons ;)

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2013, 06:19:51 PM »
Agree with most of the points, but there is one that is missing: The serious design flaw of the internal focus barrel.  It's very fragile. If you are extended out to infinity, and the lens gets banged at all, you're almost sure to have some problems. You'll find that the lens stops focusing (manual or AF) and the ring will only turn a very short amount. What has happened is that the end of the focus barrel has been bent slightly, and the pin that travels through the guide can't make its way back and forth. It's happened to me. You can try to fix it yourself or pay somebody to do it, but either way you've got problems. 

All that said, this lens has been a workhorse for me. I recommend that everybody have one. Just store it with the focus in the middle, and you should be fine.

Never happened to me but I guess I've been lucky, seems like a lot of people had to service this lens but, fortunately, I haven't (yet).

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2013, 06:21:38 PM »
Canon 50mm F1.4 was my first prime lens, and I still have today. It's embarrassing when friends ask me what I think about it ... ??? I reply that I never use the F1.4 aperture, but only from F1.8. :-\ Then they wonder why I have not bought the model F1.8, and I say that only has good image from F2.5, and I say with regret that there is no reliable 50mm, sharp and durable for canon. :( But, the model "L" is not good? ??? I answer that it is good, but only from F1.4, and not worth the price at all. :-[ After hearing my explanation, they look at me with dismay, and I say to try to 40mm, or wait for a decent refresh 50mm. ;)

Ha ha ha, that sums it up pretty well!

JVLphoto

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2013, 06:25:39 PM »
I'm going to have to go through my catalogue and look for closer focused images to see if I've had many issues? One of my own handicaps is I'm notoriously bad at manual focusing shallow depth of field, which could mean in those situations I've countered any potential back focus issues by using live view to focus or, and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, I sway forward and backwards slightly when in bust mode to get an "average" focus that hopefully works.  :P

R1-7D

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2013, 06:33:53 PM »
I love this little lens. I use it for street photography all the time. Once I AFMA'd it, the focus has been dead on.
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JPAZ

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2013, 06:35:37 PM »
I have one and, frankly, don't use it a lot.  I'll carry it if I know there are going to be some low-light needs at that focal length. 

Totally subjectively, I kinda like the output from the "shorty forty" a bit more even though that is a slower lens.  Just my opinion.
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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2013, 06:35:37 PM »

ashmadux

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2013, 06:36:43 PM »
I love this lens. I hate this lens.

I love it because of the dreamy image potential - it one lens that has a character all on its own.

I hate this lens because the goddamned autofocusing f*cking sucks.

I love this lens when i look at its potential in manual focus.

I hate this lens because ive had to use it as a manual lens for months, and its going in to get serviced.

Now i hate this lens. >:( >:( >:(

Ok yall get the picture.  I actually purchased a whopping 4 of these to get one that could focus on the most basic of non moving subjects. Earlier ones i purchased couldn't even focus at infinity. And even with this 4th unit- purchased retail-  its now on the way to the shop. When it comes back, im getting rid of it.

After years of questionable quality issues with canon hardware, i just cannot stand more time trying to test out for a week why things are going wacky.

(Great lens when it works  ;D)

Be the best you, screw everything else.

Rocguy

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2013, 06:50:57 PM »
I have own multiple copies of the lens and it isn't in my kit now...for two reasons.  One of those was highlighted ironically in my favorite picture in the review:  the lovely lady with the cool temperature blossoms in the background.  The photo is great on all technical merits save one thing beyond your control; the very nervous lining on the bokeh of the blossoms.   

The bokeh in that one picture is enough to make me not be tempted by this lens...  :o

AudioGlenn

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2013, 07:15:53 PM »
I sold mine.  I don't see the point of carrying a prime that can't do more than my 24-70 @f/2.8.  I was only somewhat satisfied with this lens at 2.5 or smaller apertures.   Any apertures bigger than that gave me horrible color and contrast.  Sure shooting at 1.4 gives you shallow DOF but I never liked how it looked.  I'll be saving for the 50L or 85L.  If I'm in need of really shallow DOF right now, I'll use my 70-200, step back, and zoom in to 150-200mm. 
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Zv

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #55 on: September 12, 2013, 07:20:07 PM »
I had the 1.8 and it served me well and then I sold it. Kinda wish I hadn't. Been thinking about picking up a 1.4 but unsure about the focusing motor. Seems quite a few folk have issues with it. Hard to believe the Canon 50 1.4 is twenty years old and still very much in everyday use!

I think I can hold out until Sigma release their updated 50 or see what Canon throws out (50 f/2 IS?).
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ahsanford

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2013, 07:39:14 PM »
I have one and, frankly, don't use it a lot.  I'll carry it if I know there are going to be some low-light needs at that focal length. 

Totally subjectively, I kinda like the output from the "shorty forty" a bit more even though that is a slower lens.  Just my opinion.

That shorty mcforty is a sharpness wonder.  It's sharp like the 50 F/1.4, but maybe biased towards better on the wide end.  See data below.

I have heard that it softens up from diffraction more quickly than a non-pancake, but the data I've seen doesn't back that up.

I just can't stand the focus speed of non-USM lenses.  That 40's STM is camcorder-like for focusing speed -- even the much maligned 50 F/1.4 of this thread (hunting and all) locks on faster than that pancake does.

- A

BozillaNZ

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2013, 08:33:54 PM »
Boooo! Reviewing a EF 50 1.4 at 2013? Really? It's like... teaching grandma how to suck eggs.

But seriously, the AF is so inconsistent that the hit rate is unbearable at wide apertures. Try to shoot at f1.8 (forget about wide open) and hit a target at normal shooting distance of 1-3m.

You get one front focus, one more or less on target, one back focus! That's just the way this lens works. The plastic gears have huge slacks which makes precise focusing impossible.

Not to mention a slight knock or squeeze will make it stop working! Both in AF and MF!

This lens is so bad, that it make me question Canon's sanity.

Anyone saying the don't see the problem of inconsistent AF on EF 50 1.4 just haven't seen anything better. Go borrow/rent/buy a good lens with ring USM, do a compare and tell the different yourself.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 08:36:38 PM by BozillaNZ »
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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2013, 08:33:54 PM »

SwampYankee

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #58 on: September 12, 2013, 08:53:03 PM »
The 50 1.8 II is the superior and more reliable lens.

I would hazard a guess that you are in a minority with that position.  The 50 F/1.8 is sharp and a stellar value, but it lacks virtually everything else.

As much maligned as the 50 F/1.4 is, the 50 F/1.8 has greater issues.  Pentagonal bokeh, cheap build and a comically slow (and noisy!) focusing plague this lens.

It's a great starter lens in getting use to primes, using larger apertures, etc. but unless you are shooting non-moving objects at stopped down apertures, I'd choose the F/1.4 ten times out of ten over the F/1.8.

- A

But the 1.4 breaks more often the the 1.8 and yet you say the build quality is better?  bang the 1.4 on the nose and it breaks.  fragile as glass....how is this better build quality?  I've had 3 1.4's they all broke.  i have an old metal mount 1.8 for 25 years...never broke.  yet you say the 1.4 has better build?  what does that mean?
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EOBeav

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2013, 09:16:28 PM »
I'm not the one who claimed that, but after F/4 or so, I believe the F/1.8 is as good as the F/1.4 for sharpness.   But there are so many other limitations with that lens, as I have previously enumerated.- A

Shooting this lens at f/4 is kind of like buying a convertible and driving with the top up.  You have to do it sometimes when circumstances dictate, but when its nice out, the top is coming down.  Sure, we all have to shoot our 50's stopped down occasionally, but we like to keep it open most of the time. For things I shoot, f/2 is where the good stuff is.
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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2013, 09:16:28 PM »