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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 06 Feb 2014 (Thursday) 02:55
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Your experience of Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM with crop body

 
Hermelin
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Feb 06, 2014 02:55 |  #1

I'm gonna get the 35 f/2 IS USM later this year (for lowlight / indoor shooting / general lens)

I'm also thinking of getting the Canon 50 F/1.4 USM for portrait, and for "extrem low light" when f/2 on my 35 isn't sufficient. And also f/1.4 should be pretty fun. I never had more than f/1.8 in the past.

I've heard some bad stuff about the Canon f/1.4 USM. That it's very soft at f/1.4 and that it can hunt quite much in low light.

Now I don't expect it to be razor sharp at f/1.4 obviously. Almost no lens is. But I expect it to be usable at f/1.4 and pretty sharp at f/1.8. I heard people saying they that don't go more than f/2 as it will be soft more open than that, which kinda defeats the purpose of having a f/1.4 lens.
But maybe those people are just pixel peepers? I previously owned the 50mm f/1.8 and I didn't mind the sharpness at f/1.8.

So to make an already long story shorter, I would love to hear your experience (especially you m with crop bodies) with this lens.

How is the sharpness between f/1.4 and f/2.0?
How well accurate is the AF, how fast is the AF?


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xhack
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Feb 06, 2014 06:00 |  #2

Anecdotally, buying Canon's 50mm ƒ/1.4 is a crap-shoot. Many users report that it's useless below ƒ2 in terms of IQ; that the bokeh is harsh; that the focus mechanism is flaky; that build quality is so-so; that focus acquisition in low light can be hit-or-miss.

I guess I'm one of a charmed circle that get a good copy every time, but my experience of the 50mm over six years is 90% positive on FF. Whether you'll find much use for it on a crop is another matter. The FoV does give a decent portrait lens, equivalent to 80mm on FF. But that's about it - in six years, I've never found it worked well on a crop body for any other purpose.

My copy is sharp at ƒ/1.4; I find the bokeh somewhat busy but otherwise acceptable; I do 'baby' the lens mechanism with a permanent lens hood; focus in low light is pretty useless on my 20D, but seems body-dependent - it works fine on my old 1D and 5DII. The focus ring is sloppy and has a gritty feel quite unlike any other Canon lens I have owned.

I'd suggest you live with your 35mm for some time after you get it; then decide whether 50mm will usefully extend your lens suite. I suspect not, but YMMV.


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artyH
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Feb 06, 2014 07:33 |  #3

I have the 35F2IS, the older 35F2, and the 50F1.4 (Canon). I rarely use the 50, and the 35F2IS lives on my 60D. AF on the 50 is faster than the old 35, but not as fast as the IS version. AF is accurate on the 50, and like the other poster, I always have the hood on the lens. My copy is sharp at F1.4, but I prefer F1.6- F2 for portraits. Depth of field is so shallow at F1.4 that you can get one eye in focus, but the tip of the nose is blurry. I prefer the 35 IS for low light, since you can shoot at lower shutter speeds, e.g. 1/60 or 1/50 for people, and 1/20 for objects. The 50 needs a higher shutter speed, with a field of view that is comparable to an 85 (my personal test).
There is a lot of copy variation with this lens, as with many others. There is no guarantee that an individual copy will be fine at F1.4. If you buy one, get it from a reputable dealer, get the hood and keep it on the lens...even in storage.




  
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davidc502
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Feb 06, 2014 07:48 |  #4

I've owned my 50mm f/1.4 since 1993-4, and loved it on 35mm film. When I adventually got into digital, I bought a APS-C (550D), and 50mm was pretty much useless indoors (too tight). Since moving back to the 35mm size (5dmk2), I've really enjoyed 50mm again.

Autofocus? Yes, I've had to send it to Canon 3 times, and adventually learned how to take it apart and fix myself. Since my own fix, it hasn't flaked out.
Build Quality? Has been fine, and I've had no issues after 20 years.
Bokeh? Yes, it's a little nervous at times, depending on the situation. I've had shots where it's buttery, and other times a little harsh or nervous.
Chromatic aberration? Yes, this lens can exibit Axial Chromatic aberration. Lenses in this category can show CA depending on the situation. If you learn the pluses and minuses of the lens, it's usually easy to shoot around.

If you have some time, take a look at the 50mm f/1.4 forum and see what others have shot with the same lens using APS-C or 35mm digital sensors.


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ksbal
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Feb 06, 2014 10:33 |  #5

I'd vote for one.

Yes, it does hunt a bit, yes you can get a bad copy, but it can be fixed. Mine had a problem with focus, would be off 2 out of three tries.. but when it was on - sweet. Then I had someone drop the camera, bugger up the barrel and I had to take it to a local shop for repair.. and when it came back.. Wow. I think the slider channel inside can be a bit tight, and it wasn't letting the lens get to the right spot when using AF.. but now.. Bang on.. rarely misses.. doesn't hunt near as much as the 50 1.8 but it won't be quite as good as an L lens.

I use mine on a 50D, so cross points on all 9 af points.

This isn't at f1.8 or anything, but it is on a crop body.

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I also have a yn-622 that I can put on the hotshoe and use as an af helper, when the points fall on the pattern.

So it is and can be a wonderful lens, portrait and other uses, but you will need to have some patience with it, but it isn't anywhere as bad as the 50mm 1.8 - gawd I hated that lens in any light... that dog hunted me to death.

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ERJL
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Feb 06, 2014 11:44 |  #6
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I have the 50mm 1.4 and it can be quite a useful lens. Mine focuses just fine and has some nice uses for a crop body. However, if you are getting the 35mm I just don't understand why you would need the 50 1.4. Its too close in focal length and only one stop faster. Modern sensors can easily be boosted an extra stop with no real harm in iq.


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MalVeauX
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Feb 06, 2014 11:53 |  #7

Hermelin wrote in post #16667398 (external link)
I'm gonna get the 35 f/2 IS USM later this year (for lowlight / indoor shooting / general lens)

I'm also thinking of getting the Canon 50 F/1.4 USM for portrait, and for "extrem low light" when f/2 on my 35 isn't sufficient. And also f/1.4 should be pretty fun. I never had more than f/1.8 in the past.

I've heard some bad stuff about the Canon f/1.4 USM. That it's very soft at f/1.4 and that it can hunt quite much in low light.

Now I don't expect it to be razor sharp at f/1.4 obviously. Almost no lens is. But I expect it to be usable at f/1.4 and pretty sharp at f/1.8. I heard people saying they that don't go more than f/2 as it will be soft more open than that, which kinda defeats the purpose of having a f/1.4 lens.
But maybe those people are just pixel peepers? I previously owned the 50mm f/1.8 and I didn't mind the sharpness at f/1.8.

So to make an already long story shorter, I would love to hear your experience (especially you m with crop bodies) with this lens.

How is the sharpness between f/1.4 and f/2.0?
How well accurate is the AF, how fast is the AF?

Heya,

The 35 F2 IS is sharper than the 50 F1.4, wide open. Stopped down, they are similar. The 35 F2 IS focuses very well in low light and is very fast. The IS also helps a lot in low light, realistically, not just theoretically, I have tested it up to 2 seconds hand held. You can realistically do very low shutter speeds, well below 1/30s. That's a 4 stop advantage in low light (for low shutter speeds). Build quality of the 35 F2 IS is also outstanding, very sturdy, big, and no worries with autofocus mechanism. Very good lens.

Since you already have the 50mm F1.8, I would not bother with the 50 F1.4. You're not gaining very much at all. Better autofocus, but still not superb.

I went from 50mm to 35mm on my crop body because I much prefer the field of view of 35mm here. If I'm going to go telephoto, I prefer the 85mm jump from there. I find 50mm just to not suit me at all on a crop body. But that's just me. I much prefer the 35mm & 85mm field of view on a crop. Both do portraits very well. The 35mm is my go to lens for almost everything, and does low light extremely well.

Very best,


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The ­ F ­ stops ­ here
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Feb 06, 2014 23:46 |  #8

I've had the 50mm 1.4 for quite some time, i also have the 35mm F2 IS.

Apples to oranges in comparison really, the 35 is way sharper and in every aspect and also focuses much closer making it quite a fun lens.

As far as the 50 on a crop, i found it to be pretty much useless honestly, but on a FF it does considerably better and can have it uses.

Oddly though on my last portrait outing i never once used the 50, only the 35 and it performed flawlessly.

IMO, skip the 50 and go with the 35 F/2 IS, you will be pleasantly surprised :D


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mike_311
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Feb 07, 2014 09:47 |  #9

it makes a great portrait lens for a crop body just as a 85 is perfect on a FF. i owned one for both and its was most my most used lens.


Canon 5d mkii | Tamron 24-70/2.8 | Canon 85/1.8 | Canon 135/2L
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Keyan
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Feb 07, 2014 12:41 |  #10

I have one. I think my copy is pretty sharp, even wide open. Got some great pics of my daughter with it.

That said, since I got the 17-55, I haven't touched it at all. The 17-55 is sharper at 2.8, AF is worlds faster, IS, and it is much more flexible on a crop. The difference between 1.4 and 2 is only 1/3 of a stop..honestly the IS in the 35 will more than compensate for a little bit longer shutter..or you can bump the ISO up one tick and get away with it.

I haven't tried the 1.4 on my 70D yet, maybe I will if I have some time this weekend.


Cameras: 7D2, S100
Lenses: 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, 18-135 STM, 24-70 f/4L IS USM, 50 f/1.4 USM,70-300L IS USM
Other Stuff: 430 EX II, Luma Labs Loop 3, CamRanger

  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 07, 2014 15:28 |  #11

And also f/1.4 should be pretty fun. I never had more than f/1.8 in the past.

Don't let that be the driving reason. There isn't a huge difference. A good friend that raced motorcycles (professionally) once stated that "...whatever I lack in horsepower, I'll make up in skills." That is true in the photography world as well; "...whatever I lack in f/stop, I'll make up in skills."




  
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sardines
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Feb 07, 2014 15:29 |  #12

I have both 50 f1.4 and 35 f2 (old version). Love them both on my 7D. They serve different purposes. I don't really use f1.4 on the 50 because of purple fringing, but still useable. I try to use f1.8 or f2. Same with the 35, it also has purple fringing at f2 so I try to avoid f2 if I can.


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Lumens
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Feb 07, 2014 15:48 |  #13

I had to be careful with my 50 f1.4 mm on my 7D. I made the mistake of using it for some casual photos to be posted just so people in a group could get acquainted with each others names. They were Soooo darned sharp and detailed even printed to 4X6 I swear I could count every cavity in everyone's mouth. Not to mention the facial blemishes.

I had to retake with my cheap kit lens :) My copy of the lens is always extremely sharp and IQ is outstanding.


FUJI XT1 -> XF 10-24, XF 18-55, XF 55-200, XF 27mm pancake
6D -> Canon 28mm f2.8 IS, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 85mm f1.8, Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro IS
Canon 24-105 f4L, Canon EF 70-200 f4L IS USM, Canon EF 100-400L IS
7D -> Canon EF-S 15-85

  
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madhatter04
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Feb 07, 2014 15:50 |  #14

KSBAL: I would hesitate to drink anything that looks like it would have to be handled in a hazmat suit! But looks great!!

I owned the Canon 50mm f/1.4 on a crop body and loves it for portraits and general use. The only problem was the dreaded AF motor breaking issue reared its head one day. Luckily, even though it was just out of warranty, Canon fixed it for no charge.


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Your experience of Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM with crop body
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