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Author Topic: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens  (Read 19567 times)

Wrathwilde

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 03:01:08 PM »
Well, since I've never found a 50mm useful for anything... Not wide enough for most indoor, landscape or architectural  shots, and not telephoto enough for anything else (assuming a FF sensor). The last time I used a 50mm was when it came with my Canon T70, I couldn't find any subject that lens was suited for, ended up trading up to a Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8, still my favorite lens of all time, wish Canon would make a similarly fast L lens with that range, variable f/ stop would be fine, but a fixed f/2.8 would be nicer.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 03:08:14 PM by Wrathwilde »

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 03:01:08 PM »

Halfrack

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2012, 03:03:47 PM »
So you're looking to get pit access - go for it but expect to hear no more than yes.  Depending on what body you have now, you may be better suited to a body upgrade and a light lens, rather than spending a lot on the lens.  Better performance at 6400ISO and higher will be critical.  You may want to wait for the new 24 or 28mm 2.8IS - since you're shooting hand held - both for the IS and that the DoF of F2.8 will be much better since you would be that close.

But all that said, the 50/1.4 is by far the widest lens & brightest at the cheapest price you'll ever get.  There's lots of them, and getting a used one is a great first step for any photographer.  If you can't get into the pit, you can still shoot from the other side, and having the 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8 will both work out great.

I can only think that someone would part with the 50/1.4 when/if they go for the 50/1.2
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scottsdaleriots

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2012, 03:02:49 AM »
I realise I have accidentally posted this in the wrong section of the forum. Hoping the mod/admin will see this and kindly move it to the right section.

This is my gear (so far): 7d, kit lens (18-200mm) and my 70-200mm 2.8 IS II

Yet another question which assumes the people answering it have second sight!  For the purposes of guessing should we assume you are a Canon 1DX user or that you own an 1100D or maybe a D30 perhaps a 5D MkI?  There are many many cameras now, not all of them new, and by with holding the body you own makes the question impossible to answer accurately!

Assuming you have a crop camera (although you might not have) 50mm is 80mm (fov) so if you want 50mm you will need a 35mm.  For portrait consider the 85mm f/1.8.

Of course the other information you haven't told us is the lenses which you currently have so it's nothing more than a guessing game.

I take it you aren't considering photography as a career?  Music photography is a sure fire way to poverty as every single student in the world seems hell bent on producing images for free and then giving them away for nothing!  Fine is it's for fun and a hobby, but for professional use they really aren't suitable for a portfolio unless they're really stunning.
I thought it was a straight forward question, I didn't realise people would be asking me about my gear. Currently I've got a crop body and will upgrade in the future to FF (I was going to save up and get the 5dmkiii but probably not, too expensive and I don't actually need it right now). I've only got 2 lenses - my kit lens (18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS) and my 70-200mm 2.8 IS II.

Lol, don't forget the copyright! It seems quite stupid ridiculous to me that the photogs wanting to be a music/concert would pay a few hundred dollars to be able to take photos and most likely give up the copyright(?) as well. I haven't been to a concert and asked to take photos there in the pit but it seems to me that's what I would most likely do - beg, beg and BEG the tour organisers to let me takes photos there in the pit for my folio, pay an extra $30 at least or something to get a piece of cardboard saying 'media pass' (or whatever) and sign a contract or the like giving away the copyright and voiding the chance to put the photos in my folio. Which I think it is a little more (a lot more..?) easier to do music/concert photography if I were living in the US or UK just coz there's a lot more concerts AND a lot more outdoor concerts with tons of bands playing all on the same day. Here it's the band playing in an arena where the roof is closed and lots of artificial light (Im not very good with staged lighting, especially since at concerts there's a lot of different light types and they use colour gels a lots and bursts of light, etc. I would probably fail in getting my exposure right lol, I dunno I havent tried it yet).

What camera and lenses do you already have? What do you want to shoot / like shooting most, if you were to cross out concerts?
Well I want to work in the film industry as a stills photographer, but obviously that's a very long road and quite difficult to break in to. I also shoot sports at a major event (no press pass) and dabble in a bit of everything - landscape/cityscape, portraits, street, etc.

You should slap your professor....

The 1.4 is a workhorse... for the money it is probably the best lens you can get for a Canon, esp if you are only going to have 1 or 2 lenses.   It is simple, versatile, and optically pretty damn good.

It might not be 'fun' or 'sexy', but it gets the job done, which if your goal is taking pictures is exactly what you want, especially if you are just learning.  Get good with that one first then start playing with more interesting (but less flexible) lenses.

That being said, I would also recommend this one if you are looking for a good general purpose lens usable across a wide range of subjects:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006I53S/ref=oh_o04_s00_i00_details

Good lens, nice range, low cost.
Lol my professor doesn't own a 50mm lens and he's been shooting for 20+ years, he thinks they're boring and "why wopuld you want to shoot something that everyone else can see! It's pointless" (his words, not mine regarding the 50 focal length is equivalent to the human eye). Prior to his words I had never heard someone talk bad about the 50mm lens/focal length. Which, admittedly, is making have second doubts about purchasing the 50mm lens from canon (I was thinking of getting the sigma).

The beauty of a 50mm lens is precisely in its simplicity.

The focal length on full frame is roughly what the eye can see, which is perfect for documentary/street photography or simply telling stories and capturing memories of how you saw things with your eyes.

Sometimes I wish I had a little button on my head I could push and take a photo of what I see through my eyes - (Dynamic range is certainly better!) But until then - a 50mm on a full frame/35mm film body will have to do.

They are cheap, can shoot in low light, just the right focal length for getting wonderful shallow depth of field and bokeh without being telephoto.

Wider than 50mm (24/35mm) - you'll be sacrificing that shallow depth of field, but obviously you can fit more into a scene. I use the 35mm a lot at weddings as it allows me to get close and tell stories better by capturing more people in each photo. But if I had to use one lens - it would be a 50.
Thanks for your input. I think I might do a few weddings in the futuree just coz it pays well and is a challenge to shoot. Very stressful and definitely a shoot you don't want to stuff up. I'm also considering a wide angle zoom like the 17-40L but am not sure.

If you are going to be right up front next to the stage a lot of artists like to show off & get right there in your face. That is why I prefer a wide angle lens for those events.

I assume that you have a 1.6x crop body. If that is the case a Canon EF-S 10-22 would be a good option, a Tokina 11-16 is a great option & a Canon EF-S 17-55 would be another good option.

Two pieces of advise:

1. Buy the best glass that you can. The lenses are the investment & no matter how good of a camera you have, if you use a crap lens you WILL get crap photos.

2. This one ties into the last comment......buy good filters! A crappy filter isn't any better than a crappy lens.

For filters I suggest B+W Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC) UV filters. They are well worth the investment!
Yeah I will try to get in front of the stage coz that's where it all happens - and i love those shots from the pro music/concert photogs where they're like in the (almost) face of the singer. That's what I want and aspire to try and achieve.

Thanks for the lens suggestions, I will do some research on them. But I am trying to stay away from the EF-S lenses since I want to buy FF lenses so I can use them in the future. And am trying not to get bitten by the L lens bug or the 'collector of lenses' bug in general - a fellow student (older man from overseas with money to burn) in my class has 22 lenses.

So you're looking to get pit access - go for it but expect to hear no more than yes.  Depending on what body you have now, you may be better suited to a body upgrade and a light lens, rather than spending a lot on the lens.  Better performance at 6400ISO and higher will be critical.  You may want to wait for the new 24 or 28mm 2.8IS - since you're shooting hand held - both for the IS and that the DoF of F2.8 will be much better since you would be that close.

But all that said, the 50/1.4 is by far the widest lens & brightest at the cheapest price you'll ever get.  There's lots of them, and getting a used one is a great first step for any photographer.  If you can't get into the pit, you can still shoot from the other side, and having the 50/1.4 or the 85/1.8 will both work out great.

I can only think that someone would part with the 50/1.4 when/if they go for the 50/1.2
I kinda leaning towards the zoom lenses since that's all I've got and i like the vewrsatitly.


I was considering buying the 50mm from B&H or amazon since it's a bit more than $200 cheaper there than my country. But of course there's the inflated shipping fees (I bought $120 worth of gear from B&H and the shipping was an extra $125+.) I've found a site selling the 50mm for $356 + $6 insurance delievery + free freight. Not so bad IMO http://www.dwidigitalcameras.com.au/store/product.asp?idProduct=62

dunkers

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2012, 03:29:38 AM »
Since youre using a 7D, the 17-55 f/2.8 would probably be a good fit unless you plan on switching to full frame in the near future.

The 17-55 is L quality, minus the red ring/weather sealing. It has the versatility of a zoom. It covers wide angle and the 50mm range. Youre sacrificing f stops, but you get a versatile zoom range.
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D_Rochat

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2012, 03:38:05 AM »
Since youre using a 7D, the 17-55 f/2.8 would probably be a good fit unless you plan on switching to full frame in the near future.

The 17-55 is L quality, minus the red ring/weather sealing. It has the versatility of a zoom. It covers wide angle and the 50mm range. Youre sacrificing f stops, but you get a versatile zoom range.

Agreed. Sell that 18-200 and put the money towards a 17-55 2.8 or a 24-70 ver I if you plan on going to full frame in the near future. Providing that your 18-200 is still in good shape, you should be able to recover most of the cost to fund a replacement.

wickidwombat

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2012, 04:32:00 AM »
I would like to buy a nifty-fifty (most likely the 50mm 1.4). I'd like it for portraits but want it for music/concert photography (right between the stage and the crowd, where the security personnel stand...if I can figure out a way to get a media pass without paying extra to the tour organisers :().

But while some people say everyone should have a 50mm in their lens collections, one of my teachers (I'm a photography student) have said that some people find 50mm lenses boring, etc. So what's the next best kind of lens? I guess my (stretched) budget wpuld be up to $1500 including the B+W filter I would buy. What does everyone think of these 'kits' and which one is better? http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Filter-Accessory-Digital-Cameras/dp/B002PX21JS/ref=sr_1_7?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1331887805&sr=1-7 or http://www.adorama.com/CA5014AFUA.html

I don't need this lens (canon branded or otherwise) but I would like it. I guess the alternatives would be a prime such as the 24mm/35mm or the 17-40mmL. Any suggestions/advice is appreciated.

sigma 85mm f1.4 is awesome i got it for $999 here in oz they go for around $900 on ebay
then you got change of $500 so i think the 50 f1.4 is around $350 $400 so get one anyway
those 2 lenses and the 16-35 f2.8 and i'm all set :)
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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2012, 05:14:53 AM »
24 and 28mm equiv is extremely versatile. I have the 24 L II and the Zeiss 28mm and use them both for all sorts of pictures, great tools.
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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2012, 05:14:53 AM »

tt

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2012, 05:44:39 AM »
Yogurt the lens for the focal length and background co
Pressing you want, right?
A 50mm can make a great lens for Photojournalists - it can be the 1.4 or the 1.2 and not too noticeable.

Subject to camera distance and how you want to frame the subject both make a difference no?
If you're far away and want a tight crop, that's need a telephoto.
Of you're close and personal and want wider angle
24,35,50 or that range would better suit.
Once you know the zoom range or prime focal length you're golden - its just saving and buying and using time!

Every lens is subjective - what you want to do with it ultimately decides if a given lens is suitable for you

scottsdaleriots

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 12:06:35 AM »
Are they several specific lenses which are mainly used for music/concert photography? Anyone know? E.g. 35mm, 50mm, etc.

Here are the lenses I am considering;
* 24mm IS L (when it's released)
* 28mm IS L (when it's released)
* 35mm f/2 or f/1.4L
* 24-70mm mki or mkII (I prefer internal zoom but will have to see what the price tag will be, plus it's on my equipment list for uni)
* 16-35mm 2.8L
* 50mm 1.4 (have been wishing a mkII comes out but it'll prob never happen)
* 17-40mm f/4 (I like the focal range but wish it was faster, at least a 2.8 instead of f/4)
* 17-55mm 2.8 IS (however i am trying to avoid buying another ef-s lens/es since I will be upgraded to FF in future. Not if I upgrade to FF, Just a matter of when and when I have enough money)

Harley

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2012, 12:44:06 AM »
Since you're using a 7D, I would recommend looking for a Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 and get the EdMika FL 55mm brass adapter.  Search this forum for EdMika and you'll see photos and comments from people using it.  Also here's a link to one thread:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,1758.msg73641.html#msg73641
Also, if you look at the ribbon at the top of the CR home page you'll see and article called "FD & FL Lenses on your EF Body."  This is the whole story about Ed Mika.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 01:01:18 AM by Harley »
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pwp

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2012, 05:23:42 AM »
Since you're using a 7D, I would recommend looking for a Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 and get the EdMika FL 55mm brass adapter.

Yes that would be an inexpensive solution, and deliver great quality for a lot of subjects. For concerts/stage work there really is no substitute for reliable speedy AF. I shoot stage with two bodies...1D4 with 70-200 f/2.8IIis and a second body with either 24 f/1.4 or 50 f/1.4 depending on how close to the action I can get. But on a countback, I'd say over 90% of the shots are from the 1D4 70-200 f/2.8.

Your 7D should be great for stage work...speedy AF and perfectly acceptable results with 1600 iso. If the budget is there, consider the 70-200 f/2.8. It will quickly become indispensable glass for you.

Paul Wright

scottsdaleriots

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2012, 06:09:19 AM »
^ I've already got a 70-200 lens. Right Im just looking at primes - L or non-L - and at wide/sandard zooms. I've also been looking at some sigma lenses, like http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-17-50mm-2-8-Aperture-Nikon/dp/B003A6NU3U

Since you're using a 7D, I would recommend looking for a Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 and get the EdMika FL 55mm brass adapter.  Search this forum for EdMika and you'll see photos and comments from people using it.  Also here's a link to one thread:
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,1758.msg73641.html#msg73641
Also, if you look at the ribbon at the top of the CR home page you'll see and article called "FD & FL Lenses on your EF Body."  This is the whole story about Ed Mika.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will have to do some research on that particular lens. First time I've heard of it. Can I only get the lens and adapter from ebay? I dont use ebay coz of some dodgy 'sellers'.

koolman

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2012, 06:48:54 AM »
Scott:

I understand you are using a crop 7d - and want a low light solution for stage photography and portraits.

The 17-55 zoom should do this well. You could also get away withe 35 f/2 or 35L 1.4

The 501.4 you are looking at is somewhat narrow on a crop, and your FOV will not cover the stage.

Its great however as a portrait prime.
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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2012, 06:48:54 AM »

Harley

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2012, 01:42:22 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, I will have to do some research on that particular lens. First time I've heard of it. Can I only get the lens and adapter from ebay? I dont use ebay coz of some dodgy 'sellers'.
Yes, as scrappydog indicated, Ed Mika is the only source for this adapter (which has no glass optics -- it's purely an engineered brass replacement for the FL 55mm's breach lock mount).  He is currently only selling on eBay.  Ed is an excellent seller and will do everything to make sure you get your adapter in a timely manner and provide all the support you'll ever need in getting it installed and functioning.  It's really quite fast and easy to adapt the lens and it is entirely reversible if you want to take the lens back to its original condition. 

Other adapters for old Canon glass usually involve optics which effectively slow the lens down.  Some adapters require you to permanently alter the lens making it thereafter unusable as originally intended.  All of Ed's adapters are non-permanent and non-altering, involve no optics, and have microchips providing autofocus confirmation and EXIF data back to the camera body.

I'm a big fan and now have several old lenses with Ed's converters.  The FL 55mm was my first.  Having a lens that can shoot at f/1.2 is a huge advantage -- it's letting in about 50% more light than f/1.4 and about six times more light than f/2.8 so you can do available light interiors and night shots.  Plus at that wide an aperture you can get super-shallow depth of field.  It's an 88mm equivalent on a crop body like the 7D so it's a great portrait lens, too. 

It's an awful lot of bang for not a lot of bucks.  And it's just a fun and versatile lens. 
EOS 7D, EF 17-40mm f/4 L, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX, FD TS 35mm f/2.8, FL 55mm f/1.2, FD 300mm f/2.8 L

darrellrhodesmiller

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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2012, 02:29:42 PM »
or just rent a big lens with 400+mm focal length when you need one.
far cheaper than buying.


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Re: Recommend me a lens that's better/more useful than a 50mm lens
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2012, 02:29:42 PM »