Canon Lens question?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by FoundMyCamera, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. FoundMyCamera

    FoundMyCamera TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Auburn CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Those of you that are experienced Canon lens users...of what benefit is the USM? I understand the autofocus on these lenses are supposed to be very quiet...but if I am not taking photos of weddings or other sacred/quiet events, is it worth the extra expense? OR is there something else that I'm missing? For instance, a 50mm f/1.4 USM is $520, while the 50mm f/1.8 II is $150. Is there something else that makes for such a difference in price? I know normally the faster the glass, the more expensive, but 1.8 vs. 1.4 doesn't seem much.

    Just looking to get the most for my money...

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    USM allows full-time manual focusing override, without the need to flip a switch to go to manual focusing mode. The 50/1.4 EF is a professional-caliber 50mm lens with good coatings, very pleasant bokeh, and high quality construction,and it autofocuses accurately,reliably, and repeatably with ease,and it does so reasonably quietly.

    The 50mm 1.8 EF-II is built very cheaply, lacks full-time manual focus override, so you have to disengage the AF switch to focus manually, or risk damaging the lens. IT also focuses very loudly, with high-pitched whirring noise, and its AF is somewhat erratic and not nearly as dependable at the 1.4 model. It's bokeh is much harsher,since it has a 5-sided diaphragm, but more importantly, its bokeh is harsh because it has overcorrected spherical aberration to boost sharpness and acuity.

    The 50/1.4 EF is a professional-caliber 50. The 50 1.8 EF-II has cut a LOT of corners, to get the weight down and to make is absolutely as cheap as possible. One is a pro-level lens, the other is very,very basic.
     
  3. FoundMyCamera

    FoundMyCamera TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Auburn CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks Derrel! That's the kind of info I needed. I am learning quickly that the old saying "you get what you pay for" really does apply to lenses. I bought a "good deal" quantaray 17 -200 lens last year and am really noticing a difference in image quality.
     
  4. chammer

    chammer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i think more and more people are giving the 50mm 1.8 more of a bad name these days than it deserves. i have no issues with the af motor noise, or focusing issues with my 1.8. im not a person that needs the absolute sexiest bokeh on the planet just so i can have people drool over it. no, instead, i just want a nice, clean, sharp image that can stand on its own and pull the subject away from the background. in that regard, the 50mm 1.8 is an absolute steal and should be in everyone's kit.

    i already know derrel disagrees with me, and im sure many more will follow. why the hate on the 1.8 these days, i don't know. the only thing about the 50mm 1.8 is that yes it's plastic and thus doesnt look professional, but who really cares? you go ahead and spend 5x more on the 1.4 and look cool...meanwhile i'll be there getting the shots with my cheap 1.8. full time manual hasnt been something i have used to date either.

    there are times when yes, you do get what you pay for, however...there are other times when you go the bang for your buck route and get pleasantly surprised by the results. just as with the 50mm 1.8, the tamron 28-75mm 2.8 is another such lens. its $389 on amazon right now, and is constantly compared against the 24-70 2.8L which goes for over $1000 more.

    its true that in the future i do plan on getting a 50mm 1.4 (though it probably wont be canon's - the sigma 50mm 1.4 is looking more attractive to me at this point in time), but it will be later down the road. i love my 50mm 1.8's image quality too much right now to care about all the other minor stuff, and build quality of the lens is only an issue if you're rough with your gear. which i'm not.
     
  5. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Oahu
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Where did you get those prices from? The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is $399 and the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is $109.95 at B&H.
    The jump from f/1.4 to f/1.2 doesn't seem like much either, but the price difference is bigger and crazier. The EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens is $1599 at B&H.
    If you're kinda new to photography, the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is a good lens to start out with. It's one of the best values on the planet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Take the $110 you'd spend on a 50mm 1.8 prime and put it toward the price of a decent zoom lens--now that is the best value on the planet. Seriously, there's something called value and there's flat-out low-priced and cheap. I'd say look at the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 or the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 as being a much better place to put $110 on your lens budget.

    Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Review
    Note the MTF scores-- the Tamron outperforms the Canon 50 1.8 at the center and at the edge across most of the aperture range.

    Tamron SP AF28-75/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Review
    Note the absolutely horrible, dismal performance of the Canon 50/1.8 when shot toward the sun--the 50mm 1.8 prime is simply terrible, while the Tamron 28-75 handily outperforms both the Canon 28-135,and the Canon 50mm 1.8. My own 50/1.8 EF-II experience is similar; the antireflection coatings and optical design and performance of the 50/1.8 are nowhere near "modern" standards. Nikon's 50 1.8 is significantly better coated and more flare-resistant,as is Nikon's 50/2, a 1960's design. Same with Canon's 50/1.4--much better against the light. When a multi-element, 3rd party zoom lens shoots *significantly better* toward the sun than a 50mm prime lens, there's something wrong with the design of the 50mm prime. Canon EF 50mm – F1.4 vs F1.8 MK II - photo.net
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  7. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    or you could get a used 50mm 1.8 for in the 60 dollar range, which is a steal, and for the sharpness of the images again is a steal.

    60 bucks (what I have seen them go for) is an amount you can spend on a lens and then go out and get a zoom or different lens a little later on. A 50mm provides a much better image quality than a kit lens and is great to learn on/with.
     
  8. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Those are the MSRP prices listed on canon's website.

    My suggestion... buy a used one on craigslist... look at the general value of them on there and get a fairly priced one...

    Use it for a while. If you are happy with it, great you just got a cheapass lens you like... if you don't, sell it on CL for what you paid for it (or more)...
     
  9. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    6
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I bought a like new used 1.8 for $70 at my local camera shop. Find a used one, see how you like it and if you don't sell it. You will never have a problem moving a 50mm 1.8.
     
  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I gave one away. It's a great lens, but I didn't have a need for it so it went to a friend along with an old 300D. For the price, it's great lens and it's extremely sharp once you start to step it down. Plus you can do fun things with it, like send it around the world and have everyone take a turn taking pictures with it. Speaking of which, TPF Canon people want to do this?
     
  11. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Diego
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Derrel is so awesome!!!! and so helpful :)
     
  12. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Diego
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    im down
     

Share This Page