50mm prime really worth it?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by colintinto, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. colintinto

    colintinto TPF Noob!

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    Hi All,

    There has been much talk on here about using a 50mm prime lens for portraits etc., and I've been thinking about getting one. However I'm not completely convinced that the difference will be that noticeable.

    I have a Canon 300D, with a 70-200 f4.0 L series, and recently added a 17-85 EF-S F4.0 IS to my collection, which I'm very happy with. The 18-55 kit lens lies unused now.

    So would a 50mm prime really produce much better pictures than my 17-85 at 50? Or the L series at 70? And if yes, is there a massive difference between the f1.4 and the f1.8, other than the price...

    Colin
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Normally very sharp lens. And with the fast fstop and magnification with digital, makes for a great portrait lens. You can really get the shallow depth of field that works so well with portraits. Difference between 1.8 and 1.4. Normally the 1.4 has either better glass or a couple more elements, but I personally don't think its that big a difference. I think the 50mm is worth picking up.
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Your largest aperture right now is f/4. There's a huge difference between f/4 and f/1.8. With your 70-200, to get lots of background blur, you need to be really far away from your subject. A 50mm (80mm) puts you at a nice comfortable distance, and the 1.8 gives great shallow depth of field (careful, sometimes too shallow), and great bokeh.

    Here is a comparison between the 1.4 and 1.8. Decide for yourself. I have the 1.8, and for the money, you can't beat it.

    http://www.photo.net/equipment/canon/ef50/
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Depends what you mean by "better"? For sure the 50mm f/1.8 will give you a very shallow DOF if you want, and give you 2 stops more speed in low light conditions. If these would be handy for you then I think at $75 the 50mm f/1.8 is a cheap and easy lens to keep in your bag.

    In a recent lens comparison I saw between the $75 50mm f/1.8 and professional zooms ($1000+), the cheap prime smoked the pro zooms in the small details.
     
  5. joeboot

    joeboot TPF Noob!

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    I don't know how much sharper the 50mm f1.8 will be than your high-quality zooms, but you might appreciate the speed and the ability to separate a portrait subject from the background. I know I'm thrilled with my 50 1.8. When I got my Canon 7NE with the Canon kit zoom, my results were comparable to what I was getting with my point-and-shoot. Then I invested in the 50mm and the whole world changed.
     
  6. iSellJerseyShore

    iSellJerseyShore TPF Noob!

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    I just ordered the 50mm f/1.8 i'll let you know tomorrow how it is after I get it :p



    -iSellJerseyShore
     
  7. spiralout

    spiralout TPF Noob!

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    The DOF difference between a 1.8 and a 1.4 is not enough for ME to shell out another $200 bucks. I know with Nikon, the 1.4 has significantly more distortion, as well. But to answer your question, a 50mm prime is SOOO worth it! :D
     

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