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Thread: I'm considering buying a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens for my camera . . .

  1. #1
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    I'm considering buying a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens for my camera . . .

    are there anyone who can think of anything I should consider before doing that?

    And no, buying the f/1.2L instead isn't an option at the moment.
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  2. #2
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    I've been considering the same, and I've noticed that the price fluctuates a bit. A few weeks ago it was $349 on Amazon, now it's $396.

    I guess the only thing to note, really, is that the field of view is smaller on a DSLR than it would be on a film SLR. Equivalent to about an 85mm lens. However the perspective distortion is the same on either, so it's probably preferable for portraits to a 30mm lens, which would offer the same field of view as a 50mm on a film SLR, but more distortion. I've even been considering an 85mm lens for portraits on my DSLR, for the depth-of-field effect.

  3. #3
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    As my 1000D is the first real camera I've ever had, not counting my phone, I'll mostly be concerned with how it'll be to work with compared to my 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens which covers the same focal length but is much slower.

    Comparisons with a different camera won't tell me a lot.
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  4. #4
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    Well, of course, it can't zoom, and it can't do wide-angles so well, but it's going to be a lot sharper and a lot more fun in low light.

  5. #5
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    I saw go for it. The zooming might become a bit of an annoyance especially indoors. You can't really compare it to the kit lens (i.e. 18-55mm), as Siguy said above it a better piece of glass. I've used the F1.8 (nifty fifty) version for nearly four years now, it is a nice lens for what you pay, but I've always wished I could buy the F1.4 (better built, faster, more features, but it is three times the price).

  6. #6
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    If you like your SLR's optical viewfinder, (and who doesn't..), then YES. You haven't lived until you see the bright and crystal clear view from a lens of f1.8 or better. For many scenes, your feet can act quite well as a form of zoom, and ~80mm (35mm equivalent) is a lovely focal length for portrait photography.. Finally, that lens is the best pick of the Canon 50s - the 1.8 is very good value but feels cheap (plastic mount - eurgh), and the 1.2 isn't as sharp as it should be at the wider apertures for the horrendous price.

    The only downside is that when you are then forced to use your 18-55 for landscapes or indoor wide-views, you will think your viewfinder (or eyesight) is faulty...

  7. #7
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    I have actually considered later supplementing with a fast 24mm or shorter for wide shots, but I'll spend the time to get used to no-zoom composing with the 50mm first.

    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    The only downside is that when you are then forced to use your 18-55 for landscapes or indoor wide-views, you will think your viewfinder (or eyesight) is faulty...
    Sounds like it was a good idea to get my eye fixed first then.
    The astigmatism was actually a real irritant when using the viewfinder and manual focus because I couldn't see when the scene was in focus.
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2012-Mar-26 at 01:52 PM.
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  8. #8
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    There's a couple of photography groups in town, and they highly recommend that very lens as a great all-around lens. I've made a note of it from two different lectures, including one given by Dan Ballard, a National Geographic photographer.

    I don't think you can go wrong!

  9. #9
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    For me, the 1.4 is the "nifty 50" while the 1.8 is its "thrifty" sibling. I own the 1.4 and it's a workhorse for shoot-on-the-move portraiture. I often favor it over my 24-105mm f/4L when I want compactness and speed. When shooting at or near wide open, backgtounds almost melt away with a pleasing bokeh. On most DSLRs, the crop factor brings this lens closer to a traditional medium focal length portrait lens such as the 85mm but those lucky enough to be shooting full frame (drool) will have an excellent standard lens.
    Brett's the name. Peters Creek is the place.
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  10. #10
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    The bokeh is one of my reasons for picking the 1.4 over the 1.8, the 1.8 has a 5 blade diaphragm vs. the 8 blades of the 1.4, so bokeh on the 1.8 is noticeably pentagonal.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

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