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Author Topic: Which 50mm prime?  (Read 16658 times)

bin_gor@yahoo.com

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Which 50mm prime?
« on: December 25, 2010, 01:33:37 AM »
Looking for a new 50mm on My 5D2  for a budget under $800. 
Want pretty bokeh, good general use~  won't mind to try out manual focus.

Canon F/1.4?
Sigma F/1.4 EX DG HSM?
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZE?
Other option?

Please help to chose~~

Thanks in advance.

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Which 50mm prime?
« on: December 25, 2010, 01:33:37 AM »

Norkusa

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 02:08:27 AM »
I bought the Sigma because all the reviews said the Canon was too soft @ 1.4 - 2.0. I'm using it with a 7D and pretty happy with it. Those were the only two 50mm's I looked at though so I don't know about any others.

dash2k8

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2010, 02:10:14 AM »
I only have the Canon f/1.4 so I can't comment on the others. I am happy with mine but have felt the usual urge to want the better f/1.2 model. The f/1.4 is great for its price and I don't think you will be disappointed unless you need pro-grade stuff. Then only the f/1.2 will satisfy.

Viggo

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2010, 06:48:02 AM »
I have owned and used the Canon 1,4 extensively and I now have the 1,2 L, and the main difference is that the AF is 100 times better on the 1,2, color contrast sharpness between 1,2 and 2,0 is superior. However, it does have a rep for having shift-focus, which would throw many off it (that and the price). BUT you don't buy a 1,2 lens to use at f4, and shift-focus is only an issue between 2,0 and 4. The other thing is that it's quite a bit less sharp at mfd than more normal distances. I have the 35 L and 85 L also, so I can use which one is best for what type of photo. The 50 L has, without ANY doubt, the superbly best AF of the three. And what good does great IQ have to say, when your low-light image is oof?

If you want the best handling lens from canon, the only of three mentioned that is weather sealed, the best AF on a 50 and will use it around normal distances at 1,2-f1,8 the 50 L will not dissapoint you, but it isn't perfect for everybody.

The 50mm f1,4 have had some af issues, and I did with mine, and my gf with hers. I have heard good things about the 30 f1,4 and 50 1m4 from Sigma, make sure you get a good copy!

All this being said, I really like the 50 1,4 from Canon, but you can forget mf at these apertures, if not on a tripod and shooting a chessboard :D You need a camera that can focus in low-light, because the 1,8 and 1,4 from Canon doesn't impress in that way.

If I had 800 usd to spend on lenses, I would get a used 50 f1,4 and a used 85, 1,8...
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

TheAshleyJones

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2010, 07:08:51 AM »
I have an excellent 50 F1.4 which is wonderfully sharp at 1.4.  However, it is falling to bits and really needs a major overhawl (the price I have been quoted actually means I will probably just replace it).   It is not a robust lens, but I love the images it produces.

I recently tried the Zeiss and was very tempted, but I don't think I could realistically live with only MF.  Sharp, nice bokeh and built like a tank.

I have tried maybe seven new and used 50 F1.2s.  I have an 85 F1.2 II and just love it; on my 5DII it is really sharp at F1.2.    [However, I recently bought a 60D and it is nothing special on that].  If I found a 50 F1.2 that was sharp at F1.2 I would buy it in a heartbeat.  But so far, none of them has been as sharp as my F1.4 below F2.

Early on, I bought and returned a couple of the Sigma 50 F1.4s.  Despite what everyone else seems to say, mine were nowhere near as sharp as the Canon 1.4 at F1.4.  I am told the QA has improved since launch.

All the 50 F1.2s I have tried have been soft up to F2 and I have *almost* given up hope of finding a really good one.  I might still buy one just for the bokeh and colour though. 

But if I had to pick one, based on my experience, I would have to vote for the Canon F1.4.  But I would also second Viggo's vote for the excellent 85 F1.8 - a tremendous lens in every way.  Just not *quite* as amazing as the 85 F1.2

Viggo

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2010, 10:45:36 AM »
To TheAshleyJones: Have you tried calibrating the 50 1,2's? I sent mine in, and also adjusted +2 with microadjust, and also, beware of distances. Often people try lenses at mfd when they want to check them out, which is where the 1,2 really suffers from not having the floating elements like 85 L does have. IQ wide open at 1,2 and up to f2, nothing beats the 85, it really is in a class of it's own. BUT for me, absolute sharpness at 1,2 isn't what I value most, being able to af in low light, weather sealing, color and contrast, handling, build and last, but certainly not least, bokeh, is much more important to me. (Absolutely not saying the 50 L has the same insane bokeh as the 85 L, but compared to other 50's)

Here's the best tip for 50 L: Get the 2010 edition!! You know it is when the Canon code on the rear mount says "UY". It's said to be much better, and the two I have tried, one was 08 and mine is 2010, and that one is a lot better.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

bin_gor@yahoo.com

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2010, 11:27:27 AM »
Thanks again everyone for the time to share.

I do have the 85 F/1.8 and love it and it does live on my camera a big chuck of time.  I just found that at a lot of times I am too close and a 50mm would have been better fit in those occasions.

I guess the Canon 50 F/1.4 would be my choice unless I don't mind the size and the extra $ and the time to find a good copy of the Sigma.  Read some about Canon 50 F/1.2 L, seems "magical" and should save up more to upgrade...

Still very tempted to the Zeiss.... but guess MF is not as easy as it sounds...

Merry X''mas!~

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2010, 11:27:27 AM »

revup67

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2010, 02:10:33 PM »
Here's a few links to help you further decide on the 1.4 over the 1.2.  Unquestionably, the 1.2 is built better but if you look at the F/4 ratings on these two charts to 1.4 is actually a bit sharper @ 3740 - see (LW/PH section).  Be sure to check out some of the sections in the articles below as both lenses are somewhat disappointing as compared to their equal competitors

http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/564-canon50f14ff?start=1  <1.4 lens showing higher resolution on LP/PW chart

Here's the chart for the 1.2
http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/472-canon_50_12_5d?start=1  <1.2 showing under 3740 @ 3584 F/4

I wound up getting the 1.4 and overall am quite happy but rarely if ever shoot at the 1.4 unless absolutely necessary.  As you can see from the links F/4 is the lens sweet spot

Thanks
Rev
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2010, 03:02:07 PM »
but guess MF is not as easy as it sounds...

MF is not hard - but if you're using a lens faster than f/2.8 you will need the Eg-S focusing screen.
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Viggo

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2010, 03:10:13 PM »
To "revup67"; Why would you be interested in f4 on 1,4 or 1,2 lens? Just get the 24-70 and use it mid-range one stop down and you'll have the same IQ and a much more versatile lens... I don't think I have ever used any of me three 1,4 and 1,2's at anything above f2. I realize not everyone shoots wide open all the time, but comparing f4 on the 50 is quite frankly pointless.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

revup67

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2010, 04:45:41 PM »
Viggo - I do understand your point and it is well taken but I disagree for a few reasons.  My reasoning is this:  when I choose a lens I consider all factors however sharpness and resolution is one of the most important.  In each lens I have selected I seek out its best F stop with respect to the latter.  On this lens, F/4 provides the best resolution.  I work around it with ISO and shutter but try and stick with F/4 when shooting this lens (not for all scenarios of course such as extreme depth of field) but then again if I'm looking for extreme depth of field I'll opt for a different lens with a smaller F-stop.  The lens you recommend 24-70 F/2.8 is a great lens it is also about 4x the cost and heavier.  Plus I am trying to compare apples to apples not to oranges (sticking with the creators original inquiry which is 50mm prime).   Lastly, the lens you offer has its shortcomings as well and does not outperform the 50mm prime in resolution at approx the same distance.  In general, most primes beat zooms in sharpness.  The lens you speak of reaches its max. sharpness at F/5.6 @ 40mm (3514 LW/PH and then begins to drop off).  The 50mm 1.4 reaches 3740 LW/PW @ F4.  In essence, the 50mm with a wider aperture out perfroms (sharpness wise) the 24-70 according to this chart and previous charts I had posted
Canon 24-70 L 2.8 lens - go here:  http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/528-canon2470f28ff?start=1
Thanks
Rev
Canon EOS 5D MK3 + EOS 7D » Canon50mm 1.4 » Canon 100mm IS USM L Macro » Canon 24-105 L USM IS » Canon 70-300 IS USM L» Canon MP-E65 » Canon 8-15mm Fisheye »Canon 16-35 Mkii USM L » Canon 200mm 2.8 L USM II » Canon 400mm 5.6 L » Canon 580EXII & MT 24EX Flash

Gothmoth

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2010, 05:09:51 PM »
one word about the focusing and focus shifts with f1.2 and f1.4 lenses.

we get a few fast lenses back each month because noobs (thought i don´t call them noobs at our store) focus and then recompose. thats a nono with f1.2-f1.4 lenses at these wide apertures.

you won´t believe how many "im photographing for 20 years boy" people don´t know this. 

most of the time i can show them that the lens is focusing just fine and the user behind the lens is the problem.

http://www.mhohner.de/recompose.php?lg=e
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 05:13:33 PM by Gothmoth »

Viggo

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2010, 05:39:51 PM »
If you want the highest possible resolution and nothing else, none of the 50's should even be considered.

I said the 24-70 as an example- You don't buy a standard zoom for bokeh and shallow depth and fast aperture. But that's why one normally buys a 1,4 prime. To buy a 50 to use at f4 because it gives best sharpness, for what? What type of things do you shoot? In studio with a plain background it makes sense, but then you would get a better lens.

Ths shift-focus of the 50 L has nothing to do with recomposition though. It's how it is constructed , it lacks the floating elements other fast lenses, such as the 85 L, has. But it is true that you can't recompose at these wide apertures, I have my camera permanently set to Ai Servo, because the smallest movement back and forth throws the image oof.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2010, 05:39:51 PM »

Edwin Herdman

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2010, 06:06:02 PM »
but guess MF is not as easy as it sounds...

MF is not hard - but if you're using a lens faster than f/2.8 you will need the Eg-S focusing screen.
Or Live View - it's probably a bit more laborious than using a focusing screen but you can zoom in, very helpful when isolating a single part of the image at f/1.4 (which is very often how it's used anyway).

The f/1.4 unfortunately can't be mistaken for a macro and I feel it is very soft on APS-C below f/2.0, which combined with higher sensitivity requirements can make an image somewhat unpleasant.  Good for portraits though where you're putting the subject across the whole frame.

Flake

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2010, 06:26:24 PM »
You should be aware that the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 has a bit of a problem on Canon cameras.  The lens suffers focus shift on stopping down, so it focusses wide open, you press the shutter and the focus point changes.  Because Canon autofocus works at f/5.6 and f/2.8 if you have a fast enough lens, the focus becomes even more critical.

The Canon f1.4 50mm is probably the best of the bunch, but its micro USM motor is not as reliable as the ring type of other lenses.  As someone has said, there's not much difference between the image quality of the 50mm f1.4 and the 24 - 70mm f/2.8 so if you're not buying it for the wide aperture then the zoom is a better choice, even if it does cost four times as much !

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2010, 06:26:24 PM »