Canon 50mm primes


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Aug 26, 2007
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Buffalo, NY
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So, I have decided to invest in one of these.

Canon 50mm f/1.8

Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM

See, my original plan was to go with the 1.8 after it caught my eye; it's a real cheap lens with good ratings, and something that I'd get a load of use out of. But now I have discovered the 1.4, which costs almost 300 bucks and has USM.

Now... who can tell me how big of a difference there is between the two? Obviously there is a price difference, but is that simply due to the USM and extra .4 to min aperture? Is there a noticeable difference in quality? Or would I get a bigger bang for my buck if I bought the 1.8 for only $75? And how is the autofocus on the 1.8?

Your thoughts on this matter are appreciated.
The f1.4 version has
* more aperture blades = smoother bokeh
* USM motor versus the noisier slower micro motor
* much better build

Both are excellent lenses.. I usually say ....

got the extra money to burn.. go ahead with the f1.4
on a budget... go ahead with the f1.8
I would think the Canon version is like Nikon's, substantially better build quality. The extra 1/3 stop of light might be the difference between getting the shot or not. Also the shallower DOF can help isolate the subject a little easier, but that would be a very small difference.
So, I have decided to invest in one of these.
I think 'invest' is the key word here. The 50mm F1.4 is more of an investment because it's made to last longer and/or stand up to more use. The F1.8, is a good lens but it's made to be cheap and light.

Of course, you could consider the 50mm F1.2 L. It's well over 10 times as expensive as the F1.8 :D
it's made to be cheap and light.
Absolutely. For me, it's a way to always have a good prime in my bag. Because it's light and cheap, I carry the 50-1.8II with me in all situations.
I agree, it's so affordable that every EOS owner should have one....but if you have a better lens, then it just won't get used.

I have the older 50mm F1.8 I (metal mount)...and I haven't used it at all, in the last year or more, especially since getting my Sigma 30mm F1.4
I am pretty happy with my 50mm f/1.4 .. never tried the 1.8 though, so I cannot compare. but people seem to like it as well.
The f/1.8 is perfectly fine, though the f/1.4 is a lot more "solid".
I struggled with the same decision for a couple of weeks. The low price on the 1.8 was almost too much to pass up, but my 1.4 just arrived today. :mrgreen:

Unfortunately, I have too much work to do to take many shots tonight, but I cannot wait to get some indoor portraits going with this lens.
I have the 1.8, and it's amazing. But if I had the cash, and didn't have the 1.8, I'd get the 1.4 in a second. 1.4 compared to 1.8 is a lot of light. It's actually TWO THIRDS of a

It's not a bad choice to get either lens..but if you have the cash, the 1.4 is a great little performer.
Excellent, thanks for all the great advice and information guys. I'll most likely go for the 1.4, for the sake of quality and durability.

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