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Thread started 17 Nov 2011 (Thursday) 08:27
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Canon 85mm f/1.8 OR Sigma 50mm f/1.4?

 
AlexB_Photo
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Nov 17, 2011 08:27 |  #1

Ok so I convinced myself to take the hit and purchase a Canon 85mm f/1.8. It is a wonderful lens and I love it. The problem is, on my 450D and 20D, it's too long. The quality of the lens it amazing and I love the bokeh. I bought it for portraiture use but I find myself in the 35mm-50mm range a lot more often on my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. The 85mm may be more useful on a Full Frame body but right now it's just a $400 paperweight.

So I was looking at the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and it seemed to be pretty good. If I sell my 85mm I want to get a lens with very similar quality. I heard that the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is dreamy and soft at f/1.4 and f/1.8 while the Sigma is not. I would have to shell out about $50 more for the Sigma but I'm okay with that.

The question is; should I hold out and just use my 17-70mm for now until I get a Full Frame? Or should I get the Sigma 50mm for now and consider repurchasing the Canon 85mm when I upgrade bodies?

Has anyone heard anything about this lens or even another that I'm missing? I've thought about renting one for a week to see how I like it, but it would come out to be an extra $50.

Thanks in advance.


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mco_970
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Nov 17, 2011 09:28 |  #2

I think a fast prime would def. compliment your kit, so I'd go for a faster 50. I have the Canon 1.4 and like it (this after trying the Siggy).


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coolpbkid
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Nov 17, 2011 11:47 |  #3

Do you like it more than the Sigma?


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AlexB_Photo
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Nov 17, 2011 11:55 |  #4

mco_970 wrote in post #13412754 (external link)
I think a fast prime would def. compliment your kit, so I'd go for a faster 50. I have the Canon 1.4 and like it (this after trying the Siggy).

So you do think I should sell my 85mm f/1.8 and go for the Sigma 50m f/1.4? I would love the Canon 50mm f/1.2L but need to shoot a few more weddings before that makes its way into my bag.


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SaxonIV
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Nov 17, 2011 12:06 |  #5

I actually just sold my sigma fifty for the 85mm, but. I'm on a 1D body. I would say that the 50 on your crop would make an excellent combination.




  
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amfoto1
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Nov 17, 2011 12:16 |  #6

Save some money, size and weight and give the Canon 50/1.4 a try.

If you like it... you're good to go.

If you don't, sell and replace with the Siggy 50/1.4... Just be prepared to have to have it calibrated by Sigma. It's fairly common for their new prime lenses to need that. Also be prepared that it's a lot bigger and heavier than the Canon. The Siggy's 77mm filter size seems ridiculous considering 50/1.4s for decades haven't needed larger than 58mm and some were as small as 49mm or 52mm.

If that doesn't make you happy, trade up to the Canon 50/1.2L... the most premium lens in the category at the moment... and of course the most expensive at 2X or 3X the cost of the f1.4 lenses. Some folks have issues with the L having some focus shift. But likely for portraiture, at the distances you'll be using it, you'd be fine. Also quite heavy and big (though it manages to fit 72mm filters).


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AlexB_Photo
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Nov 17, 2011 12:16 |  #7

SaxonIV wrote in post #13413416 (external link)
I actually just sold my sigma fifty for the 85mm, but. I'm on a 1D body. I would say that the 50 on your crop would make an excellent combination.

That's the exact reason why I would keep the Canon 85mm f/1.8. I am planning on upgrading to 5D Mark II and/or 1D at some point but for now the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 would make more sense and would get used much more.

Thanks for your help.


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thestone11
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Nov 17, 2011 12:22 |  #8

the canon 50mm f/1.4 will be my pick! I tried 3 copies of the sigma 50mm f/1.4, none of them works properly out of the box. All 3 of them were front focusing like never before. So I dumped the idea and went for the canon f/1.4, I am more than happy with it, AF is spot on out of the box and the lens is sharp even at f/1.4 and excellent at f/2. One thing to keep in mind for the canon f/1.4 though, remember to buy a lens hood and leave it on all the time to protect the AF mechanism, do that the lens is good to go!


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AlexB_Photo
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Nov 17, 2011 12:26 |  #9

thestone11 wrote in post #13413469 (external link)
the canon 50mm f/1.4 will be my pick! I tried 3 copies of the sigma 50mm f/1.4, none of them works properly out of the box. All 3 of them were front focusing like never before. So I dumped the idea and went for the canon f/1.4, I am more than happy with it. One thing to keep in mind for the canon f/1.4 though, remember to buy a lens hood and leave it on all the time to protect the AF mechanism, do that the lens is good to go!

Not that I don't appreciate and value your opinion, but I'm going to rent the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 from Borrowlenses and see what I think because they recommend it over the Canon and I have gotten many positive reviews of the Sigma.

I will remember you if I am incorrect though, thank you anyway!


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pridash
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Nov 17, 2011 12:46 |  #10

The Sigma is a wonderful lens and I personally preferred its bokeh over the Canon 50, hence why I purchased it. I had to go through 3 copies to get one that was spot on though.

However, if you're going to stick with your crop for a while, I think a 35mm prime would be more flexible...especially if you shoot weddings. It may be worthwhile to rent a 35L over the Sigma. I'm still deciding if I should go 35L/85 and just sell my Sigma, even though I really love my Sigma.


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AlexB_Photo
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Nov 17, 2011 12:59 |  #11

pridash wrote in post #13413572 (external link)
The Sigma is a wonderful lens and I personally preferred its bokeh over the Canon 50, hence why I purchased it. I had to go through 3 copies to get one that was spot on though.

However, if you're going to stick with your crop for a while, I think a 35mm prime would be more flexible...especially if you shoot weddings. It may be worthwhile to rent a 35L over the Sigma. I'm still deciding if I should go 35L/85 and just sell my Sigma, even though I really love my Sigma.

I've tried 35mm on my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and really like it but I can't find many 35mm lenses that stand up to the Canon 85mm f/1.8 or the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. I do weddings, where I use my zooms but prefer primes when doing portrait work so the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 could still fit them bill. I bought the Sigma 17-70mm specifically to complement my Canon 70-200mm for wedding work.

Interesting thought though...


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Nov 17, 2011 13:08 |  #12

abouthillier wrote in post #13413485 (external link)
Not that I don't appreciate and value your opinion, but I'm going to rent the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 from Borrowlenses and see what I think because they recommend it over the Canon and I have gotten many positive reviews of the Sigma.

I will remember you if I am incorrect though, thank you anyway!

Do not waste your money renting this lens if you are seriously considering buying it. Buy it from a retailer, like Adorama, that has a 30 day inspection with no question return policy. If you are lucky and get a good copy then keep it if not then return it. Renting this lens will not gaurantee that the copy you eventually buy will be good.

My suggestion is go with the Canon 50 1.4. I have had one for 7 years with no issues but thought about finding a successor in case the AF failed. So I bought the Sigma 50 which was the second biggest lens buying mistake I have made with the first being preordering and then purchasing the Sigma 85. I have been playing the service game with Sigma on both copies of my 50 (yes I have had two copies with Sigma replacing my first copy) and also with my 85 for the past year and they have to both go back again. I have spent nearly $300 in shipping costs this past year in sending lenses into Sigma for service. I wish in hindsight that I had just returned them for refund instead of going the service and calibrate route.

Good luck in what ever you decide. It is always nice to hear when someone gets a good copy and to insure that you do I would try before you buy and then only buy the copy you tried.


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pridash
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Nov 17, 2011 16:30 |  #13

abouthillier wrote in post #13413631 (external link)
I've tried 35mm on my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and really like it but I can't find many 35mm lenses that stand up to the Canon 85mm f/1.8 or the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. I do weddings, where I use my zooms but prefer primes when doing portrait work so the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 could still fit them bill. I bought the Sigma 17-70mm specifically to complement my Canon 70-200mm for wedding work.

Interesting thought though...

I don't believe there are many 35mm lenses that stand up to the 85 or 50, other than the 35L...and from what I have seen and heard, it's a stunner of a lens! Since you say you like the focal length, you really should try it out. :)


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KenYork
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Nov 20, 2011 21:46 |  #14

I would get a used Canon 50mm 1.8 to pass the time and save for the fullframe body you want.




  
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Nov 21, 2011 18:25 |  #15

For outdoor portraits, 85 is hard to beat. It's also very useful for sports due to FL and fast aperture.

If I were looking for a shorter portrait prime, I'd look at Sigma 30 /1.4. From what I read, it beats 50mm primes.

FWIW, I find the quality of bokeh, and overall portrait quality of Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS to be very close to my 85 1/8. Close enough that I'd sell the 85 if I didn't feel that I may regret it later.


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