50mm Prime lens for Canon

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Goldeeno, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Goldeeno

    Goldeeno TPF Noob!

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    After posting a few times about covering a wedding, a lot of people have recommended a lens with a low f stop, should help with low light etc.

    I notice a very common and popular lens is the Canon 50mm primes, but with a couple of options, i wasnt sure what would be best.

    At the moment im seeing:
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens for about £60

    Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM for about £220

    As much as id love the L, way out of my budget, but whats the main difference between these two. Is 4x the price, 4x the lens? Or have you any other surrgestions for lenses in low light. A budget applies, if its something ill find myslef using again, i can spend a bit more, or for the odd wedding will a £60 get me by?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, the 50mm F1.2 L, is very expensive...:shock:

    As for the F1.8 vs the F1.4...that has been asked, thousands of times over the last...well 5 years at least. I'm sure you could find some old threads about this...on this forum or on some others.

    In a nutshell, the F1.8 is made to be cheap...so many of it's parts are plastic. Last I heard, this one was made in China while the F1.4 was being made in Japan (not sure if that's still true). The overall build quality is much better on the F1.4 model. The focus ring is much tighter and feels a lot better. The F1.8 isn't know for fast or very accurate auto focus, the F1.4 has USM focus, which is fast & quite in comparison.

    The obvious difference is the max aperture. The F1.4 is about 2/3 of a stop faster. While that does make a difference...it's not a lot.

    I've heard that the F1.4 is sharper at F1.8 or F2 than the cheaper lens...but I've also heard that the F1.8 is just as sharp at smaller apertures.

    I think this is the important factor. If you are buying it as a tool to do a job (shoot weddings) then I would certainly recommend the F1.4. The price difference is much less than a wedding photographer makes for one wedding.
    If you are just looking for something to get the job done, for now, and for as little as possible...then you could get by with the F1.8.
     
  3. I have the 1.4 and find it is the lens I used the most - and I own only L lenses otherwise.
     
  4. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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    I had both -

    1.4 = better build, better colour, wider aperture, full time manual, FAR superior focus ring.


    1.8 = was plastic and felt light and cheap, horrible focus ring, not full time manual, slightly worse colour, slightly worse bokeh

    I would suggest the 1.4. I paid the extra and do not regret it for one second. It makes beautiful results, and if cared for will last.

    Must add - the 1.8 is still a great lens, result wise. If held to strict budget, maybe lean that way. If you can spring, the 1.4 is an investment!
     

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