Suggests for a 50mm lens?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Amber_Cullen, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Amber_Cullen

    Amber_Cullen TPF Noob!

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    I'm hoping to get a 50mm lens sometime soon, but when searching around I realized there are so many different kinds. I'm still very new to photography so bare with me if you can :)

    What do you suggest for a 50mm?

    I have a Canon Rebel XT
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well the "nifty fifty" - that is 50mm f1.8 - is always a good suggestion - fast and sharp (especially for the price) its a very good prime to have. Its only falldown is that it has a very plasticky construction - though they seem to wear well

    the f1.2
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    What's your budget?
    You can get the F1.8 mentioned above, for less than $100...while the F1.2 L version is $1400. The 50mm F1.4 is a good value at around $300.
     
  4. claytonchatham

    claytonchatham TPF Noob!

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    Go the 50 1.4, The 1.8 is a beautiful lens but for the not much extra cash you will have an extra stop to play with incase you find yourself with not much light to work with.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    eh? where did the rest of my post go?

    Anyway here is the rest:

    The f1.4 is a more costly, but affordable 50mm lens and its construction is far more professional than that f1.8 version = it also sports the additional stop of light which can help you when in darker conditions with focusing (manual or auto).

    The f1.2 is another game - as Mike pointed out - it costs far more than either of the other two. Its a very good lens, sharp and with an even wider max aperture, but whilst many can justify the price of an f1.4 edition over the 1.8, fewer people really do need the f1.2 for their normal use -- especially at its price.

    My advice is thus;
    f1.8 - sharp and cheap - good prime to get if you are short on cash
    f1.4 - the more serious lens, better construction quality and finish make it more expensive, but more suited to wear and use.
    f1.2 - only really worth investing in if you have a definate need for f1.2 at 50mm - if not then its just not worth the price to the average user
     
  6. Amber_Cullen

    Amber_Cullen TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone! I currently don't have a budget, I'm just looking around for what would be best, so I'll probably end up going with the f1.8 or f1.4
     
  7. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    If you can afford the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, thats what I'd do. It stomps a mud-hole in Canon's ancient 50mm 1.4, and darn near rivals Canon's 1.2L. I know people will now chime in saying how Canon's 1.4 is just as sharp stopped down as the Sigma. So what! People don't buy these wide aperture lenses to be stopped down. The upside...perhaps Canon will step up their game in the 50mm department.

    Derrick
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  8. Montana is right, but he fails to mention that the Sigma weighs more than any of those lenses... heck, probably more than the camera.

    There is more to lenses than how far the aperture opens. The number of elements, the way their grouped, and - most importantly - the aperture bladed and their shape make a huge difference. It affects how out-of-focus areas are rendered, but also how the lens draws. Does it have a lot of contrast, is it sharp, how are the colors? Some shooters do a lot of their work at f/8, others shoot wide open, still others prefer to work at f/22 and above. Each lens performs differently there.

    ...and no, there's no real good site to read up comparisons - yet. DP Review has begun covering lenses, but they have years of work ahead of them. In a fantasy world, you could shoot with each of them, and see which you prefer.

    My recommendation: get the Canon f/1.4 if you want a 50mm lens.
     
  9. Amber_Cullen

    Amber_Cullen TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I think you guys made up my mind for me lol. I'm looking into f1.4 :)
     
  10. Joe S

    Joe S TPF Noob!

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    I would get the f1.4, for the money its a great buy and a good low light lens.
     
  11. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As always what are you going to do with it and is the extra stop REALLY ever going to be used by you (with that extra stop, comes with a shallower DOF) that its worth the extra 200 bucks. I know people go absolutely bat nuts over "fast" primes, yet everything they shoot at is stopped down to 4 and up. If, as an "new" photographer a f/1.8 lens isn't "fast" enough for what you are using it for. . .then something is definitely up, and its not coming from the camera or the lens.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    remember though that an extra stop of light will help give a brighter viewfinder and better chances for af to function in low light conditions. When in lower light situations, or inside where flash is not allowed/available - this can help. Granted you won't shoot at f1.4 much, but viewfinder and af are used all the time at f1.4
     

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