50mm f1.4 or ___?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by superbart, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. superbart

    superbart TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I am planning to buy the 50mm f1.4 lens and since this is my first lens, i'd like to ask some questions:

    a.) I basically use my camera to take picture of my 3 year old kid. But lately I am a bit intrigue with HDR. My question, is the 50mm to short as a walkaround lens?

    b.) or should I buy the 50mm f1.8 to save money and use the extra to buy another lens for landscape shots.

    c.) Any suggestion on my first lens?... this is more of a late father's day gift... hehe

    Thanks a lot...
     
  2. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    One thing to consider is the following: If this is your first lens, will you be able to tell the difference between an f/1.4 vs. the much cheaper f/1.8? When I bought my first lens, I wanted a ~70-300 mm zoom lens, and at that time I knew that there was no point in paying 5x more for a better lens because there was no way I'd be able to tell the difference due to my experience and skill level.

    Is your camera a full-frame CCD or is it cropped (1.3x, 1.5x, 1.6x, ...)? If it's cropped, remember that a 50 mm lens will give you a more narrow field of view than a 50 mm lens on a 35 mm camera. So you might really want to go for a 35 mm lens instead, depending upon what crop factor your camera may be.

    To more specifically answer your questions:

    a) HDR can be done with any lens. Refer to above about if 50 mm is too short.

    b) Refer to above for this.

    c) If it's your first lens, I would almost recommend a zoom lens so that you can have a range of focal lengths as opposed to a prime. That way (a) is moot.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it would help to know what lens you currently have. If you have the 1.8 already you would be nuts to go after the 1.4. I am not saying this is the case but I get that impression from your post.
     
  4. superbart

    superbart TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply... I am currently using the kit lens for my 1.6x crop camera (Rebel XT) and I'll keep in mind your recommendation to get a zoom lens as opposed to a prime... I just thought that 50mm is the way to go as a walk around lens and at the same time is wide enough to do some landscape stuff.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Everyone has a different expectation from what they want/need for a walk around lens. You have the kit lens (18-55), so do you think you would be OK with walking around with a lens that is practically the same as that lens at full zoom? (although the quality and speed of a 50mm would be better).

    Personally, I'd prefer something much wider...especially if landscapes are something you like to shoot. Actually, when I had the kit lens and a 50mm...the kit lens was my walk around lens and the 50mm only came out when I wanted the wider aperture or the better quality.

    Again, my personal taste for landscapes is a really wide lens. On your camera, that would mean something like 10 to 20mm. The Canon EF-S 10-22mm, for example.

    Another suggestion, would be the Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens. I recently picked this lens up and the image quality it freakishly good.
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, on a 1.6 APS sensor the 50mm would be too long for me as a walkaround lens.

    50mm and 28mm are good for most things except wildlife (and some extent portrait) on a 35mm camera or film.
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I'd agree with this. You could also look at the Sigma 30mm f1.4 which I keep leaning towards.
     
  8. bakuretsu

    bakuretsu TPF Noob!

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    I second those who said 50mm is too long on a 1.6x APS-C size camera. I first purchased the 50mm f/1.4 when I was using the 10D, which has a 1.6x multiplier, and I found it too long for many casual situations. I eventually broke down and bought the Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L and have used it exclusively as my default lens since (years now!). The image quality is absolutely superb by comparison.

    The Canon 50mm f/1.4 suffers from vignetting and a bit of chromatic aberration but I do still use it from time to time because f/1.4 is so awesome. I've learned to integrate the vignette into my compositions and find it pleasing at times.

    Between the f/1.4 and f/1.8 versions of that lens, as I've said in other threads, I very much recommend saving a bit more and going for the f/1.4 simply because the f/1.8 is a plastic piece of junk (IMO). I will keep and use the f/1.4 for years to come and I know it won't fall apart or malfunction on me; it's built to the same standards as other Canon non-L lenses, while the 1.8 is almost an exception with its flimsy housing.

    As a day-to-day lens, though, for your Rebel, I would buy the widest zoom lens you can afford. Perhaps price-wise, investigating Sigma lenses is a good idea. I don't trust Tamron and don't know much about Tokina, either, but my experience is that their build quality and focusing performance leaves something to be desired.

    In lenses, typically, you really do get what you pay for. After watching a few videos of how these things are made, I'm amazed they don't cost more.
     
  9. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I just wanted to add my thoughts regarding the 50mm f/1.8. While it is a very cheap lens (price) and made of plastic. If it malfunctions or you accidentally drop it well $75 will get you a new one no big deal. I like to use it when I shoot flowers or something because of the DOF. For the price I don't think you can beat it, even though I'm sure the 1.4 and the 1.2L are probably much much better.

    But, I'm pretty new so take it for what its worth.
     

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