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Author Topic: Which 50mm prime?  (Read 16637 times)

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2010, 08:24:43 PM »
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).   

Canon has a flat rate of about $95 to overhaul the 50mm f/1.4.  What rate did they quote you?  That is quite a bit less than the price of a new one.

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2010, 08:24:43 PM »

Sinsear

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2010, 01:38:33 AM »
I recently got a Sigma 50mm after trying to decide for several months. I guess you could say I got a "good" copy, as I don't have any issues whatsoever with the focusing. My friend lent me his Canon 50 1.4 for two weeks to try, and, after using it, I was pretty disappointed, by its image quality, AF, and build quality. The only complaint I had with the Sigma was that the focusing ring was a bit stiff. I sent it in to Sigma for calibration and I received it a week ago. The focus ring is now very smooth, almost matching the quality on my 16-35mk2. The lens is a bit soft wide open, but then again, so are all lenses. Overall, for the price, I would give the lens an 8.5/10.

unruled

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2010, 07:19:59 AM »
from what Ive read online in reviews about the canon 1.4 and the sigma 1.4, the sigma is clearly better, although not by a huge amount. slightly sharper wide open and better bokeh as well as AF. so are you guys really convinced that the canons are better? or is it a case of just better quality checks on the canon line?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2010, 10:20:25 PM »
from what Ive read online in reviews about the canon 1.4 and the sigma 1.4, the sigma is clearly better, although not by a huge amount. slightly sharper wide open and better bokeh as well as AF. so are you guys really convinced that the canons are better? or is it a case of just better quality checks on the canon line?

I think there may be some design issues with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4.  Roger Cicala (owner of lensrentals.com, and therefore someone who's seen many copies of a particular lens), states, "On full frame cameras and to a slight extent on crop frame cameras, the lens exhibits what I will term “schizophrenic autofocus”, i.e. when closer than 5 feet, it will front focus, further than 20 feet it will backfocus. This is not a calibration issue, it’s just how it is."
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jhanken

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2010, 12:32:26 AM »
I went through the same challenge to pick a 50mm for my 5D classic, and I went with the Sigma. I like it, maybe love it, it is clearly well constructed and the bokeh is a compelling feature, almost perfectly round and dreamy.  I have found I almost always shoot it wide open (I reach for this lens when I want short DOF), and I have noticed that when photographing two subjects at once, it does favor the front object, so you need to be on top of the manual adjustments.
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unruled

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2010, 03:57:28 AM »
from what Ive read online in reviews about the canon 1.4 and the sigma 1.4, the sigma is clearly better, although not by a huge amount. slightly sharper wide open and better bokeh as well as AF. so are you guys really convinced that the canons are better? or is it a case of just better quality checks on the canon line?

I think there may be some design issues with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4.  Roger Cicala (owner of lensrentals.com, and therefore someone who's seen many copies of a particular lens), states, "On full frame cameras and to a slight extent on crop frame cameras, the lens exhibits what I will term “schizophrenic autofocus”, i.e. when closer than 5 feet, it will front focus, further than 20 feet it will backfocus. This is not a calibration issue, it’s just how it is."

that sounds really bad. Does it just happen ocassionally or often? shame...

Flake

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 05:55:34 AM »
Perhaps you should read the Photozone review:  http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/522-sigma50f14eosff

The new Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM showed pretty impressive results in our APS-C review. However, it's not quite as convincing on full format cameras. The center quality of the lens is certainly fine and even great from f/2 onwards. Unfortunately the border & corner performance is rather disappointing. It's downright soft at large apertures and never really better than good even at the very best setting (f/8). The amount of vignetting is quite heavy at f/1.4 but that's rather typical for such lenses. If you stop down to f/2.8 this will not be a real issue anymore though. The lens produces moderate barrel distortions which is a tad more than the standard in this lens class. Lateral CAs are very well controlled and not really field relevant. The bokeh is quite decent although not perfect either.
A real highlight of the lens is certainly its build quality. Unlike most 50mm f/1.4 it features a metal body and a good focus ring. The HSM AF drive is very fast and virtually silent. Unfortunately the lens suffers from residual spherical aberrations (focus shifts) when stopping down so accurate focusing can be tricky.


The focus shift is the main reason why this lens should be avoided especially for FF.  I do wonder when people say that they have a good copy, or they cannot see a problem, if they are used to inspecting their (RAW) images at 100% and know what to look for?

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 05:55:34 AM »

unruled

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 07:24:30 AM »
Thanks for the link. That reading to me seems to suggest that the sigma would be fine for APS-C, however if you upgrade to fullframe later, you will have problems.

as I've decided only to get EF lenses from now on, exactly for the sake of upgradeability... I guess that means I should stick to the canon. Im not in a rush though.. wonder if canon will make any revisions to the 50mm primes.

traveller

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 09:42:26 AM »
.. wonder if canon will make any revisions to the 50mm primes.

I think a lot of people have been hoping for an upgrade to the EF 50mm f/1.4, but the latest rumours don't seem to be good:

http://www.canonrumors.com/2010/12/70-300l-more/

The difference between Canon and Nikon is that Canon has the 50L sales to protect, unlike Nikon who needed to release a new 50mm to maintain compatibility with their motor-less entry level cameras. 

The dilemma for Canon, if they were to release an updated 50mm f1.4, would be how much to improve it.  They could go the whole hog and give it ring type USM, aspherical elements, 8 rounded aperture blades and perhaps UD elements as well.  But this would kill a load of 50L sales, as it would most likely make it a sharper and faster focussing lens.  If they simply upgraded the AF motor and tweaked the optics, it would mean sinking a lot of investment developing a lens that would struggle to command a premium price and may not sell any better than the current model. 

I am starting to wonder if Canon's f/1.2 primes are still an asset to the EOS system, or if they are starting to become a millstone.  Nikon and Sigma have now both released f/1.4 lenses in the 50-85mm range that are faster to focus, cheaper and maybe sharper.  Could it be time for Canon to replace the f/1.2Ls for new f1.4Ls in this focal range, like they did with the 50mm f/1.0L?

Flake

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2010, 05:57:58 PM »
Canon appears to have 'issues' with non 'L' FF lenses so the possibility of a new 50mm f/1.4 seems remote.
The micro USM motor is not reliable, it's rumoured to be the most unreliable lens in Canons range, so it would be nice to see it replaced, but the 85mm has a ring type motor and doesn't seem to steal sales from the 'L' version so why should a revamped 50mm?

The 'L' 50mm has poor resolution at the borders & corners, it's a deliberate decentering to make the Bokeh more attractive, it's a specialised lens only really suitable for portraiture, the f/1.4 is much more suited as an all rounder.

Much as I'd like there to be a new 50mm I just can't see it happening.

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2010, 08:14:02 PM »
Perhaps you should read the Photozone review:  http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/522-sigma50f14eosff



Since he is getting it for a 5D MK II, you should refer him to the FF review on photozone rather than pointing him to the crop camera review. 

On FF, the Canon lens is about the same sharpness as the Sigma in the center, but the corners and edges are much better.  It clearly shines on a 5D MK II.


alsoforum

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2010, 03:02:11 AM »
I recently got a Sigma 50mm after trying to decide for several months. I guess you could say I got a "good" copy, as I don't have any issues whatsoever with the focusing. My friend lent me his Canon 50 1.4 for two weeks to try, and, after using it, I was pretty disappointed, by its image quality, AF, and build quality. The only complaint I had with the Sigma was that the focusing ring was a bit stiff. Sandalerlooking forI sent it in to Sigma for calibration and I received it a week ago. The focus ring is now very smooth, almost matching the quality on my 16-35mk2. The lens is a bit soft wide open, but then again, so are all lenses. Overall, for the price, I would give the lens an 8.5/10.


I just wanted to thank you for posting this message about this and I hope it helps some of the others on the board as much as its helped me. Many thanks for the help!!!

revup67

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2010, 01:29:46 PM »
Adorama article on which 50mm (1.8 or 1.4) just released and good reasons why this is not the same as just buying a zoom lens which covers the same 50mm range:

http://www.adorama.com/ALC/Article.aspx?alias=50mm-lens-shoot-out-f18-or-f14&utm_source=ET&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=EmailALC122910
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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

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2010, 01:29:46 PM »

revup67

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2010, 02:08:17 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.

Viggo - The 24-70 was a misleading example.  The article (below) illustrates why one would want a 50mm prime instead of a "zoom".  It also points out that yes, some people are sticklers and shoot the middle apertures for sharpness (it's just a preference the same way you may have unique preferences from everyone else in this forum)  have you not heard of aperture priority?.  By getting the zoom you recommend in your example you lose sharpness over the 50mm across the board and also must shoot at a smaller aperture to get anywhere near the crispness the 50mm shoots at a larger aperture.  Get a better lens for what purpose?  the LP/PW on the 50mm prime beat out some of the L series zooms with respect to sharpness.   I suggest you go here for starters and learn more about primes vs. zooms.

http://www.adorama.com/ALC/Article.aspx?alias=50mm-lens-shoot-out-f18-or-f14&utm_source=ET&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=EmailALC122910
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

BogdanSandulescu

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2011, 02:02:03 PM »
The Sigma version is mutch expensive than the Canon; the bokeh are ~ the same, focus speed are the same, so why you think at Sigma? I saw Sigma dropping the price recently for 70-200; if they drop the price for 50mm, maybe than...  ;) 

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Re: Which 50mm prime?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2011, 02:02:03 PM »