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Author Topic: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4  (Read 21673 times)

MichaelHodges

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2013, 09:28:35 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?

I'll back that up. The 50 1.8 II is just the better lens. My 50 1.4 AF mechanism broke when my camera swung lightly into a carpeted stair. My 50 1.8 II has been *submerged*in a freezing river, and actually smashed into gravel while under. I had to scoop water and sand out of it, still works fine despite a nice crack in the glass.

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2013, 09:28:35 PM »

drjlo

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #61 on: September 12, 2013, 09:32:34 PM »
For things I shoot, f/2 is where the good stuff is.
Yup, and when wider than f/2 is needed at 50mm, 50 f/1.2 steps in.  I mostly use the 50L from f/1.4 to f/1.8, where its color, contrast, and bokeh really are class-leading.



 

JonAustin

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #62 on: September 12, 2013, 09:50:14 PM »
An early poster to this thread said he sold his 50/1.4 and bought the compact macro to replace it.

When I first came on the Canon SLR scene 10 years ago, I looked at the three then-available 50mm lenses, and chose the compact macro. I sill have it.

But I'm amazed at some of Canon's product development (or, at least, product release) choices. Why do they update already really decent ring USM primes (28mm comes to mind), and ignore the awful, fragile 50/1.4? Why do they have three standard L zooms (24-70/2.8, 24-105, 24-70/4 IS)?

I can only conclude that if Canon were to release a proper, non-L 50/1.4 or /1.8, with ring USM, sharp optics, accurate auto-focus, metal mount, round aperture -- possibly with IS -- they're scared to death that they'd never be able to keep up with demand!
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infared

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2013, 10:01:22 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.

Justin, I agree with your decision...I bought my Sigma about 4 yrs ago..( when the press for the lens and the company was iffy at best).and let me tell you I knew that I was taking a chance..but it looked like the sharpness, build and bokeh "could" be there if I got a good copy. I did and I love what I have for the price that I paid considering what else was/is available. My question is...why is the frontier so bleak for a normal lens for the most popular cameras in the world???...no matter what price you pay?
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CharlieB

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #64 on: September 12, 2013, 10:25:22 PM »
I've been through three of the 50/1.4's.  Bought my first one in the early 1990's.

The glass isn't bad, but none of the one's I've got gives any focusing consistancy whatsoever.  All of the drift from the inner edge to the far edge of what the DOF would be at about f/2 - which means you lose it at f/1.4.   Canon says to me... thats all you can expect.

Shooting longer distances, shooting stopped down.. . great results.  But why get a 1.4 lens when you have to close it to 2.8 to get consistant focusing results?

There's a thread on the forum regarding Leica glass - using a .095 /50mm on the EOS-M with adapter.   I cringe.  I'm a Leica M shooter since the 1970's.   You get better focusing with the Leica M than any EOS camera.  Its just the way it is.  Sure, you have to do it yourself, and its not as fast.  But if you take your time with a Leica M, you will nail the focus every time.   No matter what you do with the EF50/1.4 you're gonna get inconsistant and toss-away images in 20-30 percent of the wide open shots.


verysimplejason

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2013, 11:08:56 PM »
Used this lens most of the time from my part-time job but I can't justify switching from my 50mm F1.8 II to this lens.  Yeah, bokeh is better but I find the AF of my 1.8 more accurate even if it's slower.  Maybe I've got a bad copy also.  I love the 50mm focal length and will replace my 1.8 as soon as this lens is refreshed.  Stopped down, the 1.8 can produce a lot of photos that are arguably almost at the same IQ level as this lens.

Taken with 500D + 50mm F.18 II @ F2.5 + some vignetting from LR...



500D + 50mm F1.8 II @ F5 + vignetting from LR

« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 11:14:42 PM by verysimplejason »

ashmadux

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2013, 12:06:39 AM »
If the lens barely works, then it's just not a good lens. Period. How do you take something that works half of the time to a paid gig- heck, or any gig.

What's more sad is that it's a 20yr old piece of shiz design. Too many canon apologists over the years is probably the reason they have yet to produce a new version. I actually tried out my nifty fifty a few days ago, and no focus issues (never did have any).

But seriously...Twenty years old and they haven't even upgrade the build materials. That is beyond pathetic IMHO
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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2013, 12:06:39 AM »

verysimplejason

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2013, 02:39:33 AM »
If the lens barely works, then it's just not a good lens. Period. How do you take something that works half of the time to a paid gig- heck, or any gig.

What's more sad is that it's a 20yr old piece of shiz design. Too many canon apologists over the years is probably the reason they have yet to produce a new version. I actually tried out my nifty fifty a few days ago, and no focus issues (never did have any).

But seriously...Twenty years old and they haven't even upgrade the build materials. That is beyond pathetic IMHO

At least Canon didn't degrade it as opposed to the 50mm F1.8.  The mark I version is so much better.

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2013, 03:21:25 AM »
I will have to disagree with the reviewer about the weight issue. I understand his appreciation of the sturdiness, but 1.2 is twice the weight of the 1.4. I know it's not the sharpest knife in the drawer but walking around with the 1.4 is a pleasure for me.

Marsu42

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2013, 03:37:10 AM »
I love the vignetting on this 50mm 1.4

...which you can also produce with a couple of mouse click in postprocessing :-)

For your dime, this lens is the best value out there (imho).

Agreed, but this is simply due to the fact that 3rd party manufacturers have shied away to produce a competing lens yet - personally, my issue with the 50/1.4 is that it hasn't got a "real" ring usm but the horrible micro usm with the known issues which is only undercut by the 50/1.8 with no usm at all...

... and it's not like adding a real usm would be a large cost burden, it's just that Canon keeps making profit with this dinosaur version so why rock the boat and threaten the 50/1.2 sales?

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2013, 04:20:28 AM »
... and it's not like adding a real usm would be a large cost burden, it's just that Canon keeps making profit with this dinosaur version so why rock the boat and threaten the 50/1.2 sales?
+1
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verysimplejason

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #71 on: September 13, 2013, 04:57:34 AM »
... and it's not like adding a real usm would be a large cost burden, it's just that Canon keeps making profit with this dinosaur version so why rock the boat and threaten the 50/1.2 sales?
+1
+2.  It's the AF that's only keeping it from being the best 50mm from Canon at least from the IQ perspective.

Sith Zombie

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2013, 05:55:21 AM »
... and it's not like adding a real usm would be a large cost burden, it's just that Canon keeps making profit with this dinosaur version so why rock the boat and threaten the 50/1.2 sales?
+1
+2.  It's the AF that's only keeping it from being the best 50mm from Canon at least from the IQ perspective.
+3 I hope Sigma rocks the boat so hard, it tips over!

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2013, 05:55:21 AM »

ashmadux

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2013, 11:27:14 AM »
I wish i knew all this AF fail issues before i bought the lens. Even with all my research, i still didn't come across this many real world instances of fail.

That Sigma 50mm cant come soon enough!
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ahsanford

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2013, 11:48:15 AM »
I wish i knew all this AF fail issues before i bought the lens. Even with all my research, i still didn't come across this many real world instances of fail.

That Sigma 50mm cant come soon enough!
Agree -- I'd love the Sigma 'Art' treatment in 50mm.  But with next to zero chatter on that one coming, this may be the case where Canon fixes this before Sigma arrives.

It is highly, highly likely that we will get a 50mm lens from Canon that mimics all the (stellar!) upgrades we've seen on the non-L wide primes: proper USM AF, IS, internal focusing, IQ on par with the stopped down Ls, and a build quality in the same neighborhood as the 100L macro.

Just imagine this in a 50mm lens:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-35mm-f-2-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

The big debate is what IS will cost on the aperture side to keep the lens fairly inexpensive, small and light.  I don't know if we'll get F/1.4 IS, F/1.8 IS, or F/2 IS.  Time will tell, but this 50mm lens is 100% coming, as is (one would imagine) on the similarly 20 year old 85 F/1.8 (which is soooo much better than the 50/1.4).

- A

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Re: Review - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2013, 11:48:15 AM »