September 01, 2014, 08:21:36 PM

Author Topic: Prime Lenses  (Read 5202 times)

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4489
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 07:19:25 PM »
with regard to the 85 do yourself a favour and test the canon 85 f1.2 side by side with the sigma 85 f1.4

I did and went with the sigma it is much faster AF and lighter smaller and exceptionally well made and ALOT cheaper. depending on what you are shooting really but i think the slow AF of the 1.2 would struggle to keep up in certain conditions also and even more shallow depth of field making it harder to nail the shot.

Best you go into a shop get the lenses side by side on a 5D2 and shoot various things, change focus near far near far to get a feel for the response check the depth of field of both see what will suit you most and see if the 1.2 is worth 2.5 times the cost of the sigma.

I've also been bitten by the prime bug looking into a wide prime next but I think the 24 1.4 would be a better choice than the 35 but thats just what will suit me so you have to look at your uses. the wide end is such a hard choice for primes especially between the 2 canon 24mm offerings
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 07:23:39 PM by wickidwombat »
APS-H Fanboy

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 07:19:25 PM »

branden

  • Guest
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 07:46:47 PM »
I'm looking to invest in some L series prime lenses.  I'm working towards owning both the 7d and the 5d Mk2 (or 3 soon).  I've heard nothing but glowing reviews of the 35mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.2, and the 85mm 1.2.  But besides the 35 being a bit faster is there much difference between these lenses?  Would I simply be picking one based on how close I predict being from my subjects or do the lenses actually perform better/worse?
I think that Flake and PWP misunderstood the nature of my question.  I own the 40D, 70-200 L 2.8 IS II, 24-70 L 2.8, and 50 1.4.  I'm looking to upgrade my camera to the 5DM3 once it's available and then upgrade my APS-C to the 7D.  I have several years of experience with this equipment (70-200 since it's release) and a great deal of technical knowledge regarding the features of my camera and lenses.  Since I do not own the primes I mentioned I was asking about the performance of those lenses against one another.  I understand my style and how close I'd like to be to my subjects.

Sorry, but I still find your original question very confusing. It's impossible to say whether the 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm lenses are better than one another, because each of them does something wildly different. Deciding which one to choose is a decision of what focal length you need, not which performs best.

handsomerob

  • Guest
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2011, 07:47:16 PM »
I think that Flake and PWP misunderstood the nature of my question.  I own the 40D, 70-200 L 2.8 IS II, 24-70 L 2.8, and 50 1.4.  I'm looking to upgrade my camera to the 5DM3 once it's available and then upgrade my APS-C to the 7D.  I have several years of experience with this equipment (70-200 since it's release) and a great deal of technical knowledge regarding the features of my camera and lenses.  Since I do not own the primes I mentioned I was asking about the performance of those lenses against one another.  I understand my style and how close I'd like to be to my subjects.

Well, you already have some great glass!! And we still don't know what you most like to shoot ???
And this is kinda important since you'll be paying quite a lot for a decent L prime (they are all decent!!!).

Those three lenses you were asking about are different in many ways, most significant and important difference being their focal length... That's what you gotta choose first... If you really have no clue, you could start by sorting your photos with the focal length used and see in which range you mostly frame your shots. Then you can maybe start considering if you want to replace that focal length with a prime and if that will be worth all the investment.

For instance, 70-200 f/2.8 IS II absolutely rocks, so unless you need the faster aperture of the 85mm f/1.2 L and you take a lot of portraits, buying it would be a waste of money that could be spent on other gear (tripod, flash, filters, batteries, cards, blablabla) or better, help you fund your 5DIII...

Also, you already have a 50mm prime, the f/1.4 version. Do you use that lens a lot? If yes, do you mostly shoot wide open? If yes, maybe you can consider the 50mm f/1.2 L, otherwise it's, again, a waste of money...

You got 35mm covered by the 24-70 f/2.8 L so again, do you shoot a lot around 35mm? 2 extra stops might sound very appealing but do YOU really need it? Is it worth all that cash for your particular case?

wickidwombat's suggestion is great! You could rent those primes and see which one YOU like the most. At the end, YOU are the one who is gonna dump all that cash for it ;)

Please take no offense here, but I think you first need to answer your own questions. And I'm sure with all that gear, experience and technical knowledge you say you got you'll make a much wiser choice based on YOUR real needs than anyone here making the choice for you based on his very own experiences.

I wish you good luck with your decision. You will absolutely LOVE any of those primes!!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 07:55:56 PM by handsomerob »

pwp

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1508
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2011, 08:08:25 PM »
I think that Flake and PWP misunderstood the nature of my question.  I own the 40D, 70-200 L 2.8 IS II, 24-70 L 2.8, and 50 1.4.  I'm looking to upgrade my camera to the 5DM3 once it's available and then upgrade my APS-C to the 7D.  I have several years of experience with this equipment (70-200 since it's release) and a great deal of technical knowledge regarding the features of my camera and lenses.  Since I do not own the primes I mentioned I was asking about the performance of those lenses against one another.  I understand my style and how close I'd like to be to my subjects.

OK my apologies. It can be dangerous to read between the lines! You clearly are in a far more experienced position than I interpreted from your first post.

One great way of assessing whether a new lens is a good fit with your shooting style is to rent for a weekend. My local dealer is also a lens rental outlet and will zero the lens rental amount if I go ahead and buy the lens.

Or buy second hand and lose almost nothing on the deal if it's not working for you.

Paul Wright

UOduck23

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2011, 09:49:43 PM »
Thanks to all of you for your input.  It's nice to have an outlet like CR to discuss these things and learn from others in the same position as well as those with far more expertise. 

I enjoy shooting mostly abstract landscapes and candid people but like the rest of you, I enjoy any chance I have to press the shutter.  Lately I've been getting work shooting engagement photos and families so I guess portrait work is becoming a larger part of my photography. 

Wanting to take my work to a higher level I thought it would be best to invest in some great glass and I feel like I've got some great lenses already.  But having heard that so many pros use prime lenses (I'm sure there are plenty who use telephotos) because of how crisp they are and how well they perform in a variety of situations I just assumed that I'd need to add those to my arsenal.  What I'm reading from you guys is that I'd be buying myself a few aperture stops and not a bunch more.  Knowing that I think that I'll experiment with the improved ISO on the 5D versus my 40D and see if I'll even need more than that.  If so I'll just rent a couple primes for a weekend and see what works best for me.  Thanks again.

Cheers,
UOduck23

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14028
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2011, 10:36:05 PM »
What I'm reading from you guys is that I'd be buying myself a few aperture stops and not a bunch more.  Knowing that I think that I'll experiment with the improved ISO on the 5D versus my 40D and see if I'll even need more than that.

It's true that at comparable apertures, there's not much real-world difference between the 70-200 II and the primes (same for the 135L).  So in that sense, you are just getting a few aperture stops (and smaller, lighter lenses, but less versatile, too).

Those few stops of aperture mean more light, for which as you state, an ISO bump can substitute. But a wider aperture also means a shallower DoF - I'd argue that for the 50L and 85L, at least, that's the primary motivation.  Still, I think it's not a bad idea to try FF with the lenses you have - after all, your f/2.8 zooms will give you DoF on FF equivalent to f/1.8 on your 40D.  The 35L can deliver shallow DoF, too, with close subjects...but being a wide angle lens (on FF), low-light situational shooting is a common use.

To your original question, there's little to distinguish the three lenses you mention from an IQ standpoint, although the 50L is a little weaker on sharpness (it's a portrait lens, and intentional sacrifice of sharpness was made to improve the bokeh).  The 50L also has focus shift, which makes it more challenging to work with between f/1.4 and f/4.  The 85L focuses slooowwwwwly. It takes some getting used to.  The 35L has no quirks, just goodness.

Personally, I don't have the 50L, but I have the 'holy trinity' of primes - 35L, 85L II, 135L. My 24-105mm and 70-200mm II see much more use, but the primes are wonderful in certain situations. 35L for indoor family shooting in ambient light and nighttime walkaround/street shooting (on 5DII), 85L for portraits (on 5DII), 135L for tight portraits (on 5DII) and indoor sports (e.g. swimming, on 7D).
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

Edwin Herdman

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 542
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 10:52:17 PM »
I've heard nothing but glowing reviews of the 35mm 1.4, the 50mm 1.2, and the 85mm 1.2.  But besides the 35 being a bit faster is there much difference between these lenses?  Would I simply be picking one based on how close I predict being from my subjects or do the lenses actually perform better/worse?
Minimum focus distances and maximum magnifications, borrowed from The-Digital-Picture:

35mm:  .3m / 0.18x (0.97x with 25mm extension tube)
50mm:  .45m / 0.15x (the author notes some barrel distortion focused closer than about 1m)
85mm:  .95m / 0.11x (0.42x to 0.33x with 25mm extension tube)

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 10:52:17 PM »

Cosk

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2011, 01:31:37 PM »
I'll revise my earlier post now that I know you already have some good glass.

When I had a cropped body, I had the following:
24/2.8 (street)
50/1.4 (candid/children/pets)
85/1.8 (portrait)

The 50 and 85 are awesome - and great value.  I strongly recommend getting those two lenses.

The 24/2.8 is annoying - it has an old micro motor focus and sounds like an electric shaver.  Although I hated using that lens and rarely put it on my camera, a very high percentage of the images that ever came through that piece of glass are now framed on my wall.

When I moved to a 5D, I sold the 24/2.8 and bought the 35/1.4, and I love it... amazing image quality and it just feels right. 

I also bought the 50/1.2, 85/1.2, and the 135/2.  I returned the 50/1.2 - I like the 1.4 better.  I kept both 85s - the 1.2 is more magical than the 1.8, but only about $500 more magical, which annoys me.  And the 135 is new... I'm still learning it.   


I'd say start with a 50mm 1.4 the add the 85 1.8.  Next, add the 24L if you still have a cropped body or 35L if you have a FF by then. 

And those "couple stops" make all the difference.  It add a level of three-dimensionality to your images that is really challenging with even a 2.8 lens. 
5DII 5D 135L 85L 50/1.4 35L 17-40/4L | Denver, CO

Axilrod

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2011, 02:02:29 PM »
I think that Flake and PWP misunderstood the nature of my question.  I own the 40D, 70-200 L 2.8 IS II, 24-70 L 2.8, and 50 1.4.  I'm looking to upgrade my camera to the 5DM3 once it's available and then upgrade my APS-C to the 7D.  I have several years of experience with this equipment (70-200 since it's release) and a great deal of technical knowledge regarding the features of my camera and lenses.  Since I do not own the primes I mentioned I was asking about the performance of those lenses against one another.  I understand my style and how close I'd like to be to my subjects.

Nobody misunderstood anything, you left that information out completely.  There wasnt any mention of you owning any gear in your first post.  The information you gave would lead most to believe that youre new to photography and tryin to pick some lenses.  It just seems like someone that already owned a 24-70, 70-200 ii, and 50 1.4 wouldnt be asking such basic questions....
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Prime Lenses
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2011, 02:02:29 PM »