Jul 1, 2016
6
2
I’ve been considering buying a lens for low light photography and shallow dept of field. Budget is around 600. I’m going to use it mainly to photograph my family but I’m also hoping for lens that could give me some artistic options in nature photography. I also do some videography but that's not the main point. I currently own Canon EOS R and rf 24-105 f4. I have also access to ef 85 1.2L when I need to take portrait kind of shots.

My current options are

a) wait for new rumored more budget friendly rf 50

b) Sigma 50 art 1.4.

c) Canon ef 35 f2 IS

d) Canon rf 35 1.8 macro

Any advice or experience about the lenses? I need to make decision by the end of July.


(I edited list - it used to be like this:
a) wait for new rumored more budget friendly rf 50
b) Sigma 50 art 1.4.
b) Canon ef 35 f2 IS
c) Canon rf 35 1.8 macro)
 
Last edited:

slclick

PINHOLE
Dec 17, 2013
4,568
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I have been reading many great reviews about the Tamron 35 f/1.4. If the size (especially when on an adapter) isn't a concern and your main issue is IQ, it should be given a hard look.
 
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BillB

EOS R
May 11, 2017
1,393
659
I’ve been considering buying a lens for low light photography and shallow dept of field. Budget is around 600. I’m going to use it mainly to photograph my family but I’m also hoping for lens that could give me some artistic options in nature photography. I also do some videography but that's not the main point. I currently own Canon EOS R and rf 24-105 f4. I have also access to ef 85 1.2L when I need to take portrait kind of shots.

My current options are

a) wait for new rumored more budget friendly rf 50

b) Sigma 50 art 1.4.

b) Canon ef 35 f2 IS

c) Canon rf 35 1.8 macro

Any advice or experience about the lenses? I need to make decision by the end of July.
I like the 35mm focal length and the RF 35 is the only one that you can use without an adapter. If you prefer 50mm or want f1.4, the Sigma checks those boxes. Since you already have the 24-105, you can try 35mm and 50mm and see which focal length you are more comfortable with.
 

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
847
294
The RF 35 f1.8 is a no brainer for the EOS R. Small, light, sharp, has nice bokeh especially at closer distances, has IS and doesn’t need an adapter. Waiting for the anticipated RF 50 f1.8 is the only other reasonable option, if you ask me.
 

slclick

PINHOLE
Dec 17, 2013
4,568
2,909
then there is this....

 

brad-man

Semi-Reactive Member
Jun 6, 2012
1,676
588
S Florida
I’ve been considering buying a lens for low light photography and shallow dept of field. Budget is around 600. I’m going to use it mainly to photograph my family but I’m also hoping for lens that could give me some artistic options in nature photography. I also do some videography but that's not the main point. I currently own Canon EOS R and rf 24-105 f4. I have also access to ef 85 1.2L when I need to take portrait kind of shots.

My current options are

a) wait for new rumored more budget friendly rf 50

b) Sigma 50 art 1.4.

b) Canon ef 35 f2 IS

c) Canon rf 35 1.8 macro

Any advice or experience about the lenses? I need to make decision by the end of July.
It's got to be a or c. b(1) is heavier than your 24-105 and b(2) is just crazy considering there is a c that is at least its equal. Sadly, it is unlikely that a will be realized in three months, so that pretty much narrows it down to the RF 35 f/1.8 as 2 of the previous posters suggested...
 

JustUs7

EOS RP
Feb 5, 2020
238
442
Add one for the RF 35 f/1.8 macro.

Full disclosure. This is my only first hand experience with a fast prime. But zero regrets. Glued to the RP for any indoor family function. Fits all seven of us in frame from less than 10 ft away for those living room family photos in front of the fireplace or Christmas Tree. Even used it on dark rides at Disney World with much success.

I’ll add, in nature your 24-105 should be fine. Depending on your space, I feel like the 35 is a bit better indoors. Sometimes you can’t back up to make 50 work. You can almost always take a step closer for 35 in tight spaces. I do like the macro on the 35 for little wildflowers and such. That’s good in nature but there isn’t always time to switch lenses. I use the RF 24-240 90% of the time outdoors.
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,697
1,663
I just bought the RF 35mm f/1.8 macro when the refurbs were 10% off. It was better than I expected and has been living on my R. The IS is generally not needed, but for a static low light scene, it will help.
 

jd7

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
916
279
FWIW, I'm a big fan of the Sigma 50 Art and 35 Art. I owned the Canon 35 f/2 IS for a while and it is a really nice little lens, but after trying out a Sigma 35 Art I made the switch. I do miss light weight and small size of the Canon 35 f/2 IS sometimes, but otherwise I prefer the Sigma. I haven't tried the RF 35 f/1.8 IS (don't own an R system camera) but from everything I have seen it is reasonably similar to the 35 f/2 IS. I wouldn't blame you at all if you went with one of the Canons, but if you went with the 50 Art (or 35 Art), I reckon you would be very happy wih the images.

Let us know what you decide!
 

ildyria

R5 Lover
CR Pro
Mar 5, 2020
51
83
I have the EF 50mm f/1.4 (which conveniently is not in your list), RF 35mm f/1.8 and EF 85mm f/1.8.
In the end, I nearly never used the 50mm (way too much chromatic aberrations) and I'm close to always with the 85mm or the 35mm.

If I were to chose, I would go for the 35 RF, great IS, good macro, nice low light.

Here is a sample image I took a few months ago:
https://photography.viguier.nl/uploads/big/1349d4f36bba884569dda6bc2e2b0b8c.jpg (6720 x 4480, 20.9MB)
LensRF35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM
Shutter Speed1/500 s
Aperturef/2.8
Focal Length35 mm
ISO200
(model: Cute As Candy)

TL;DR: option d (or a)
 
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Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,629
2,790
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The RF 35 f1.8 is a no brainer for the EOS R. Small, light, sharp, has nice bokeh especially at closer distances, has IS and doesn’t need an adapter. Waiting for the anticipated RF 50 f1.8 is the only other reasonable option, if you ask me.
I 100% second this.
Esp. if you will change to an R body with IBIS. Then those stabilizers will work 100% together.
 
Jul 1, 2016
6
2
Thanks for replies. I've tested ef 50 ef 1.4 with R, but it's just not sharp wide open. I've also used sigma 35 with 5d mark ii but at the time autofocus performance was inconsistent and the corners were not that great. Sigma art 50 is tempting and rf 35 would be practical solution.
 

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
847
294
Thanks for replies. I've tested ef 50 ef 1.4 with R, but it's just not sharp wide open. I've also used sigma 35 with 5d mark ii but at the time autofocus performance was inconsistent and the corners were not that great. Sigma art 50 is tempting and rf 35 would be practical solution.

I owned the Sigma 50ART. For a week. Then I sold it again.

Sure it is sharp, but it was something about its rendering I absolutely hated. It made subjects appear flat... the lens lacked a sense of depth rendering that many (most?) other lenses has at wider apertures. The images had a look that reminded me of a sticker that was pasted onto a blurry background.

The lens is technically very good in many measurable ways, but I didn’t like it one bit.

AF shouldn’t be an issue though, on an R or Rp body.
 

slclick

PINHOLE
Dec 17, 2013
4,568
2,909
I owned the Sigma 50ART. For a week. Then I sold it again.

Sure it is sharp, but it was something about its rendering I absolutely hated. It made subjects appear flat... the lens lacked a sense of depth rendering that many (most?) other lenses has at wider apertures. The images had a look that reminded me of a sticker that was pasted onto a blurry background.

The lens is technically very good in many measurable ways, but I didn’t like it one bit.

AF shouldn’t be an issue though, on an R or Rp body.
That's a common trait of a lot of the earlier ART primes. Especially the 35 and 50. Hate the sticker look. The only Sigma I loved was the 24-35. It was like having 3 primes in one.
 

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
847
294
That's a common trait of a lot of the earlier ART primes. Especially the 35 and 50. Hate the sticker look. The only Sigma I loved was the 24-35. It was like having 3 primes in one.

I agree on the 35, but I believe the 50ART is the worst. That said, I do like the pictures I get from my Sigma 20 ART.
 

SumanV

EOS M6 Mark II
Sep 25, 2016
53
18
I have a related question. Are longer focal length primes better for low light photography than smaller focal length ones?
Shouldn't 85/135/200 mm lenses do better than 35/50 mm? I think that these would do better as the former's aperture is larger than the latter thus collecting more light(?)

Regards
Suman
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
2,159
862
Davidson, NC
I have a related question. Are longer focal length primes better for low light photography than smaller focal length ones?
Shouldn't 85/135/200 mm lenses do better than 35/50 mm? I think that these would do better as the former's aperture is larger than the latter thus collecting more light(?)

Regards
Suman
Not really. In the f-number fraction, the f stands for the focal length, so yes, the larger f is, the bigger the opening is physically. But the denominator is the real measure (more or less) of the exposure. So an f/4 lens will give you more or less the same exposure as another f/4 lens, regardless of focal lengths. (And, yes, I realize there are a lot of yes-buts and more technical ways of saying this. But I'm just addressing main practical purposes.)

In general, you can get faster lenses in the 35mm to 50mm range than you can with telephotos. Fast telephotos are large, heavy and expensive for the most part, so somewhat less practical. And even with zoom lenses, many of them will have variable f-numbers, say f/3.5 at the wide end and f/5.6 on the telephoto side, so that difference can be built-in. Wider lenses are also more practical in low light because of greater depth of field at a given f-stop.

Also, most low-light shooting situations, other than concerts, will call for wider lenses, for example, kids playing in the family room, or a lot of night street photography.