Sharp potrait lens for a 1.6x canon cropped frame


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Apr 20, 2010
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Hello guys,

I have a 550d canon.....
I need a portrait lens similar in picture quality and f-stop as canon 50mm 1.4f....
problem is since my 550d has a cropped sensor, it wont give a picture-frame equivalent to 50mm.
So can u guys suggest me a sigma/canon or any other lens between 25-35mm which can effectively give the same frame in 50mm region.
Image quality and low f-stop number is my primary need.
budget close to canon 50mm 1.4...dont mind a bit extra...

thanks in advance

Do you own a Canon 50mm?
If not then I don't know why you don't consider a 50mm. at 1.6 crop it would be equivalent to an 80mm - a good length for portraiture.
@rsphotography...No i have the standard kit lens...but dont u think 50mm on a cropped will be too close?
If u have similar experience please letme know

24-70 2.8L
70-200 2.8L

Really good portrait lenses
@rsphotography...No i have the standard kit lens...but dont u think 50mm on a cropped will be too close?
If u have similar experience please letme know


Set your kit lens to 50mm and see if it is too close for you.

If you are new to photography, do not worry about the crop factor too much. Just look through the viewfinder and see if a particular focal length is suitable for what you are looking for.

Beside the field of view, also pay attention to perspective distortion. In a lot of situations, longer focal length is better for portrait type photos. So that's why the 85mm, 135mm as well as 70-200mm lenses are popular choice as long as you have enough room between you and the subject.

Personally, I do not think I will go with anything shorter than 50mm.

I have a 50mm prime lens, but in the past before I bought the 85mm prime, I found that I use my telephoto zoom lens (70-300mm IS lens) more often for outdoor photos of my family because I like the result better than those taken with my 50mm prime lens.
Canon 35mm f/2 is a very sharp lens with good contrast. Might be worth looking into.
like Dao said... try it and see!

I have a 50mm which I love. It gives nice natural proportions.
Too wide and it 'fisheyes'.

It does depend on whether you want head and shoulders or more wide angle shots - though you could always stand further away!!
@rsphotography...No i have the standard kit lens...but dont u think 50mm on a cropped will be too close?
If u have similar experience please letme know


Step back a step or two. Not to close any longer.

Focal lengths of 70-120 mm are the standard for classic portraiture. The characteristics of a lens in 70mm on up have a slight compression effect on a subject. A good thing for classic portraiture. Lenses under 50mm tend to stretch a subject slightly.

Any lens that gives you the look that you are wanting will work if you have the working room.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions.....I tried the sigma 30mm 1.4 but they said they have stopped that model...dunno whether its true....anyhow I finally bought the 50mm 1.4 canon prime it fell into my pretty happy with the result :)
I have used canon ef 50mm F/1.4 for portraits up close (shoulders and up) and had no problems with the 1.6 crop on my XTi (400D). Just back up a few steps if you find yourself...too close... Were not comparing 100mm and 600mm here, its not a huge difference for portraits. The F/1.8 versions is a little plasticy and the F/1.4 has slight better build quality. Has FTM and the front element doesnt rotate on focus. I have this lens and its one of my favorites. Its VERY sharp.
@prodigy2k7 and others..

Would Like to know something....which is the best way to focus in canon 50mm 1.4?
What i feel is autofocus goes haywire when am focusing on something small like a watch on the table or other products.... portraits are coming reasonable sharp....

So my question is first focusing by AF and then a little more MF recommended for this lens?

Would appreciate if people who have taken sharp pics with this lens can comment how they usually deal with focusing on this lens

thanks again
Part of good focusing is the method you are using. How many focus points are you using? For most portraits I use a single points on the area I wish to have in focus. On a single individual it is usually on one of the eyes. On a large group I use the minimum amount of points needed to get the faces into focus. This is where a good understanding of DOF comes in handy. For portraits I always use single shot mode focusing.

Maximizing the focus ability of a lens comes from good technique.
For standard portraits with a high power flash, I am somewhere around the F/8 aperture and that allows enough DoF to nail the auto focus if you have to recompose.
I use the middle focus point, focus on their eyes, then recompose.

On a 1.6x crop, 50mm, at F/8:
5 feet from subject: 0.9 feet depth of field
10 feet from subject: 3.77 feet depth of field

You should have plenty of give to properly focus on eyes and recompose without losing focus.
That's assuming that the op has off camera lighting. I use whatever aperture is called for by the shot.

Good little article on focus/recompose.
Why Focus-Recompose Sucks

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