50mm or 24mm prime lens??

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by PatrickBCulhane, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. PatrickBCulhane

    PatrickBCulhane TPF Noob!

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    im new to photography and have heard these “nifty fifty” lenses are great for portraits and as a regular go to lens. I want to take pictures of my infant son and am trying to find a good one and am torn between these two.. I have a canon sL2 and have the kit lens as well as a 18-250mm.. I know that with a crop sensor vs a full frame, lenses actually have different focal length (a 50mm is actually like a larger length) I may have that wrong but. Any advice will help. I’m also really interested in getting into astrophotography, landscape and macro. I know neither one of these lenses are good for them but...thanks!!


     
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  2. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    You need to decide what you want to shoot. If it's portrait work on your son, then the 24mm isn't a wise choice. If you want to shoot landscape then the 24mm is a better choice. You already have an in between version of both with the 18-250. Maybe this will help some
    How to Choose the Perfect Portrait Lens
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The SL2 is small and light, a perfect new d-slr for pancake lenses like the Canon 24mm and 40mm pancake lenses. Both the 24 and 40 are STM equipped, and there is also a new-ish 50mm STM.

    Here's a neat video comparing the three STM models, 24,40,50.

    For people photos, especially of a baby, I would not recommend a 24mm lens length, but something longer.
     
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  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Welcome!

    If this is only about focal length, then of the two you mentioned, the 50mm will be the better choice.

    The reason is; most photographers will attempt to "fill the frame" with the subject, which means you will tend to move closer to your subject than would be ideal.

    At least the 50mm will help keep you back some additional distance.

    Newbies keep getting confused about quite a lot, actually, so let me just offer my two cents worth:

    1. Keep your focal length above 100, so why not just use the lens you already have, and keep the focal length up between 100mm and 250mm.

    2. Spend the money you will save on a flash attachment.

    3. Learn how to use your flash attachment so you're not flashing your subject directly from atop the camera, which is why most people don't like the look of flash. They haven't learned how to use it yet.

    The one application you mentioned for which you will need to purchase a lens is for macro.
     
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  5. SuzukiGS750EZ

    SuzukiGS750EZ No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Out of the two the 50mm will benefit you for portraits. That's what I use. I own both. Both are great lenses but if I had to open one, it would be the 50mm
     
  6. PatrickBCulhane

    PatrickBCulhane TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the info guys!! So I guess at this point considering What I have and what I want to do with my family (portraits) I should be fine with what I have? The kit lens, 18-55 and the 55-250? Maybe I should focus on my other interest if buying a new lens like a macro or one for astrophotography?
     
  7. SuzukiGS750EZ

    SuzukiGS750EZ No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50mm you will want. It has a wide aperture of f1. 8. That 18-55 doesnt come close. I have one and have used it once in the 3 years of owning it (stm) and the version before I used learning photography and then have it away. It also has other bad qualities which I'm sure you can find in a search. The 55-250 is an excellent lense for the money I would say go for it! But you won't really beat a prime. Think of it like this (hopefully you like tools). Universal tools are ok for most situations, but nothing comes close to purpose made tools. A prime lens is a purpose made tool. It's one fixed aperture at a given focal length. A zoom lens of lesser quality (18-55) is one aperture at wide and and another at telephoto end. And in portraits you want to isolate the subject (shallow depth of field, large aperture f1. 8). I would highly consider the 50mm and do yourself a favor and buy the stm version. I owned the previous fantastic plastic as well as the stm, I still have the stm, have the plastic one to my brother. Not much if any difference in photo quality but huge difference in focus and metal lens mount.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    There are other accessory items that might be useful. When one is "getting in to photography", there's a great temptation to rush around and locate products and information and videos on gear; the issue is that the old, cheap "nifty fifty", the plastic-mount, 50mm f/1.8, hashy-bokeh 50mm that sold for $100 or so for a decade is the first,and often only, prime lens that many YouTube video makers own...they fall prey to confirmation bias,and rave about it. But...it's not a very good performer; noisy focusing, harsh bokeh, tends to literally SNAP into two pieces if dropped or banged hard, horrible flare when shot toward the sun, just a really crappy 50mm lens design, wayyyy below the standard for a 1990's lens, let alone a 20th century AF lens. All of those issues are why Canon re-worked it's 50mm f/1.8, and came up with the new 50mm f/1.8 STM model.

    Anyway...yeah, on APS-C, a 50mm is a lot like a 75mm range short telephoto. Fairly selective in terms of angle of view. NOT very useful in small rooms, except for closely-framed shots, so, good for portraiture, but not good for parties (if you get my meaning).

    But...perhaps you'd really be better off buying a bounce and swivel hot-shot flash (speedlight), or the Canon 12mm extension tube...or a Raynox close-up lens attachment...or a couple of books about photography...or an 85mm f/1.8 Canon EF lens...these are more or less "lifetime" accessory pieces.
     
  9. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Jack of all trades, master of none.
    However some are better or more flexible than others.
    Your 18-55 is a decent lens with a decent zoom range, but it isn't a fast lens like the 50/1.8 or Yongnuo 35/1.8.
    Similarly a portrait lens may not make a good daily chase the kid around the yard lens. And that chase the kid around the yard likely will not make a good chase the kid around inside the house lens, and none of those may make a good night sky lens.
    You have to set your requirements and see how well the different lenses meet them, and be prepared to end up with 2 or 3 lenses instead of the 1 you thought you wanted.

    Compromise is the name of the game. You can't get all that you want in one lens.
    Can you compromise on several requirements so that you get one lens, eg 35.
    Or maybe compromise on two lenses, eg 24 + 50, each meeting different needs.

    The "nifty fifty" was the standard/normal lens for 35mm film.
    The equivalent lens for a Canon crop camera is a 35mm lens.
    Canon does not make a 35mm crop lens, so the options are: 35mm FF lens, Yongnuo 35/1.8, Canon 40/2.8, Sigma 30
    As a "walk about" lens I would use either a 35 or 30mm (normal) or 24mm (wide) on the Canon crop camera.

    BTW, your 18-55 would do just fine for landscape.
    It also depends on how YOU define landscape.
     
  10. Dacaur

    Dacaur TPF Noob!

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    I have both Canon lenses, 50mm and 24mm and both are good for different things. For portraits, the 50mm wins hands down. My wife's favorite picture of herself was taken with this lens the day I got it, just messing around testing it, shot a picture of her in the bathroom doing my daughter's hair.
    It's so great that it was the only lense I took to photograph my brothers wedding. That was a mistake, the kit 18-55 would have been a better choice. The pics I got looked great, but 50mm on a crop sensor is too much zoom for a wedding! It's also too much zoom for a birthday party. That's where the 24mm prime comes in. It's better in low light than the kit lens, and wide enough to get the cake and the whole table. I actually bought the 24mm to take pictures of a meteor shower. It worked ok, better than anything else o had.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019

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