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canon 50mm f/1.4 Vs. f/1.8

dustinpedley

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is the f/1.4 worth the extra $$$ $375 Vs. $80

Ive seen good reviews on both, plus the f/1.8 is $80

Does anyone have some or know where i can see some side by side photos taken with both to compare the lenses?

Thanks
-Dustin
 
When you go for a 1.4, or even a 1.2 over a 1.8, you are not always looking for a "better" image quality for your money, you are looking for the faster speed and higher light gathering capability, which is where the money is.... (on high end products)

That, and the status...:D
 
It is really a personal preference.

From what I read ...

1.4 is sharper, faster, better build, more aperture blades (more creamy blur look), has Dof scale, faster autofocus .... but will it worth the extra money. Some will say yes and some with say no.


For regular photos taken with both lenses, you may not see much different. However, you can see the different if the photo are taken with the lenses and have a blur background. The f/1.8 version is not as creamy as the f/1.4 (because it only have 5 aperture blades)
 
I would say no, the 1.8s perform just as well in my opinion, save the money and get another lens with it.
 
This was probably the most asked question on many photography forums before digital took over and 'What camera should I get?' become more popular.

The others have made good points so far.

To me, the biggest difference is the overall quality of the lens. The F1.8 version is made to be cheap and light. Plenty of plastic was used and the AF motor is very basic. The glass is quite good though...which makes this lens a great value.

The F1.4 version is a higher level lens. The construction is better and it has better AF. It simply feels better when you are using it. And overall, at only $375, it is actually a pretty good value itself. If you plan to use the lens in a professional manor or even if you plan to keep it for many years...this would be my recommendation.

There is an F1.2 L version as well....which is much, much more expensive.
 
To me, the biggest difference is the overall quality of the lens. The F1.8 version is made to be cheap and light. Plenty of plastic was used and the AF motor is very basic. The glass is quite good though...which makes this lens a great value.

The F1.4 version is a higher level lens. The construction is better and it has better AF. It simply feels better when you are using it. And overall, at only $375, it is actually a pretty good value itself. If you plan to use the lens in a professional manor or even if you plan to keep it for many years...this would be my recommendation.
I agree with Big Mike. You might not be able to tell the difference between pictures taken by both lenses, but I think you would notice a big difference in the shooting experience. I have the f/1.8 and it tends to hunt for focus in low light, is a little slow to focus and just sounds cheap...and the plastic lens mount just adds to the cheap feel of the lens. I plan to replace it with the f/1.4 after I get the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.
 
The F1.4 version is a higher level lens. The construction is better and it has better AF. It simply feels better when you are using it. And overall, at only $375, it is actually a pretty good value itself. If you plan to use the lens in a professional manor or even if you plan to keep it for many years...this would be my recommendation.

I have heard some bad things about the USM motor on the 1.4's

any thoughts?
 
I have both the 1.8 and the 1.4. I would say that I very much like the 1.4 better. It's really better than the 1.8 in every way, especially when it comes to focusing in low light. Also Full time manual is a good feature, It allows you tweak focus in auto, without switching to manual. It comes in handy when shooting with very shallow dof.
 
I have heard some bad things about the USM motor on the 1.4's

any thoughts?
You read the reviews over at Amazon?

All 12 of my Canon shooting buddies have the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM and no one has complained about the motor or the general performance of the lens. Last problem I heard of from any of them was the mirror falling off a Canon 5D because of the glue issue. But that was taken care of quickly by Canon Hawaii.
 
stick to your budget. The 50mm f/1.8 is a very affordable and very good quality lens. The initial investment is so small and it is a relatively easy lens to sell used that there is no reason why you shouldn't use it as a starting point. At some point in time, you will either be satisfied with the results or decide to move on. If you stick to the 50mm f/1.8, then you just saved yourself some $$$. If you decide to move on, you had little $$ invested and the experience to appreciate the f/1.4. Either way, you are a winner.

The 50mm f/1.4 buys you a better build, USM motor, and more aperture blades.

It is also important to note that a faster aperture buys you f-stops but not necessarily image quality. The wider the aperture the more complex the issues involved with optical design. There are many examples in which the "slower" lens can out perform the "faster" lenses in IQ (and weight). One example, was the Canon 50mm f/1. The 50mm f/1.4 (and f/1.8) out performed that lens in every way except the extra f-stops of light. The 50mm f/1 was several times the cost of either.
 
I have heard some bad things about the USM motor on the 1.4's

I used to deal in equipment.. There have been lemons in every product line but I have never heard any significant trends of USM motor failures in the 50mm f/1.4. I have heard of failures in the plastic mount of the 50mm f/1.8 mark II version. In most cases, the photographer was working his equipment hard enough that it justified going to the better build 50mm f/1.8 Mark I or the 50mm f/1.4.
 
You read the reviews over at Amazon?

All 12 of my Canon shooting buddies have the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM and no one has complained about the motor or the general performance of the lens. Last problem I heard of from any of them was the mirror falling off a Canon 5D because of the glue issue. But that was taken care of quickly by Canon Hawaii.

Yah there and a couple at bh photo
 
One example, was the Canon 50mm f/1. The 50mm f/1.4 (and f/1.8) out performed that lens in every way except the extra f-stops of light. The 50mm f/1 was several times the cost of either.
A professional freelance photographer I know got his hands on one last year and said it was one of the hardest lenses to use he ever seen. I'm not sure if he kept it or not. He's been playing with large format film cameras lately.
 
A professional freelance photographer I know got his hands on one last year and said it was one of the hardest lenses to use he ever seen. I'm not sure if he kept it or not. He's been playing with large format film cameras lately.

The few I have found sit in someone's cabinet.... more like a collectors item.

In general, any fast aperture lens is going to be difficult to shoot... this is especially true with the f/1 lens. For a while, I swore that mine was back focusing until I confirmed it on a tripod. What I discovered was that I was unconsciously leaning into my shots... there by shifting the razor thin DOF back a bit. You also have to back focus a little if you focus and recompose.
 

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