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Thread started 27 May 2012 (Sunday) 11:49
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Disappointed with Canon 50 mm 1.4

 
macsteelship
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May 27, 2012 11:49 |  #1

Hello!

A few days ago I received the Canon 50 mm 1.4. I tried the lens on a walk and I was a little disappointed with the outcome.
Expected to be sharper. Maybe it's because I compare it with the 15-85 mm IS, with which I am extremely happy. When I decided to buy it I thought that better results would be 1.4 in dark, but even in such tests did not see who was better than the 15-85 f3.5 to.
I will continue testing it a bit longer but so far, I regret the purchase.

regards,
Mariano.


Canon EOS Rebel t6i | Canon 15-85mm IS USM | Canon 50mm 1.4 USM | Canon 70-200mm f/4L USM

  
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SuzyView
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May 27, 2012 11:52 |  #2

What were your settings and can you give us examples? The 50 1.4 is a great lens, but has limitations. I have 2 of them. It's a lens I use more often than I thought I would because it's so good for portraits, but if you set it for f1.4, it's not going to be as sharp as at f2.8.


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davidc502
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May 27, 2012 12:12 |  #3

I own the 50f/1.4, and it is soft wide open. This lens begins getting sharp at f/2. At f/4 this lens is extremely sharp.


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Carlwashere
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May 27, 2012 12:20 |  #4

It's your first prime from the look of it.
They're a bit of a different beast than zooms.

Well let me take a guess of your experience.
I'm guessing you're testing by shooting stationary objects. With the IS, the 15-85 shouldn't have much trouble.
However, let's just guess settings of 1/100 f2.5 iso 800.
The settings required by your 15-85 in such a situation would be 1/25 f5.0 iso 800.
With those numbers, great. I have no doubt the IS can give you a sharp shot at those settings, but there's one thing IS can't compensate. Movement of the subjects.
While stationary objects will be clear, chances are that moving objects, such as people will be blurred.
Personally I use my 50f1.4 above 2.0 if I can help it.
Additionally, there's effects you can really only get from a wide-aperture prime that can't be replicated on a zoom such as yours.

Primes take a while to get used to. Once you get a hang of it, you won't regret it.


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maximus_73
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May 27, 2012 12:23 |  #5

50mm is a great lens, I have 50mm 1.2L and it is not that different from 1.4 in term of limitation. Below f/2.8, the sharpest is at the center of the lens.


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May 27, 2012 12:31 |  #6

I rented and used a 35 1.4 prior to buying my 50 f1.4. of which I just got a two weeks ago. The 35 was just too wide for me for shooting portraits of my son, closeups, etc. Also feel that the 50 is every bit as sharp as the 35 when stopped down. I had to get too close to my subjects with e 35. But anyway, I love my 50. At 1.4 its not as sharp as in the 2s but I'm ok with that. I think it still gives good bokeh at 2.8-4.0 and its sharp as hell at 4. Focus works quite well to boot! Using it on my 5D MKII and my 7D as an 80 when I need to.


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May 27, 2012 13:48 |  #7

A fast lens almost never performs as well wide open as it down stopped down; some are frankly pretty poor wide open. MTF curves reflect that simple fact. Resolution and contrast are compromised, in an effort to allow you to shoot in lower light.

Compare your lenses at f/4 or f/5.6 to see how they stack up at same aperture.

Photozone.de testing of both lenses on 15MP camera shows that at f/4 (50mm f/1.4) vs. f/5 (15-85mm at 50mm),
MTF resolution is 2598 center/2382 edge for 50mm lens, 2404 center/1874 edge for zoom

And when you put the 50mm at f/1.4, it falls to 2237 center/ 1432 edge!

To illustrate the compromises of fast lenses, when tested on a FF camera we can see that the 50mm f/1.2 fares much worse than the 50mm f/1.4 on the same camera when wide open, simply in an effort to be able to shoot in even lower light!
f/1.2 2473 center/ 1190 edge vs. f/1.4 2910 center/ 1700 edge

...and the f/1.4 lens keeps the performance advantage over the f/1.2 lens even when stopped down to f/4.


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macsteelship
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May 27, 2012 18:50 |  #8

Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions. I try to learn with them.
I was read that it was soft wide open, and because of that I shot in f2 and up.

(To Carlwashere: Yes, I shot all static objects)

Here are some samples with the 50 mm and the 15-85 mm. Non post processing except flower 15-85 that has Lightroom Vibrance.
I know it's not a fear comparison, because are different objects, settings, ambient light, etc.
I'm just talking about the impression I have when I see one or other picture.

The first two was taken with the 50 mm. The first one looks fine, but I don't know, still not sharp like some pics with the 15-85. The second one looks out of focus or not sharp, what is it?

50 mm, f/4, 1/400, ISO 200 - Mode: Program

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7219/7270892692_cbfc648622_b.jpg

50 mm, f/3.5, 1/320, ISO 200 - Mode: Program
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8027/7282949324_245941ddae_b.jpg

Now two with 15-85 mm, I can't believe how sharp they're.

15-85 mm, f8,1/200, ISO 200 - Mode: Program
IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5229/5644853120_f4f16c4ef4_b.jpg

15-85 mm, f/10, 1/200, ISO 200 - Mode: Program
IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3220/5858641388_7a705cbf70_b.jpg

Regards,
Mariano.

Canon EOS Rebel t6i | Canon 15-85mm IS USM | Canon 50mm 1.4 USM | Canon 70-200mm f/4L USM

  
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MMp
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May 27, 2012 18:55 |  #9

First image looks good. I assume focus was on the stamen of the plant. The second image is OOF. Did you focus and recompose? Looking at the bricks, it seems that you were front focused by about 2feet.

There is probably some variation from one copy to the next, but my 50 wasn't exactly "soft" a f/1.4...here's an example. Sure, it is sharper @ f/2 and beyond, but still sharp @ 1.4


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ljason8eg
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May 27, 2012 19:07 |  #10

I had a 50 1.4 that would front focus when the subject was 10 feet or farther away. Pain in the ass and Canon could never fix it. The car shot makes me think that could be happening. Take some test shots of a subject that is 15-20 feet away, focusing through the viewfinder and then through live view and compare them.


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macsteelship
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May 27, 2012 19:24 |  #11

mannetti21 wrote in post #14492803 (external link)
First image looks good. I assume focus was on the stamen of the plant. The second image is OOF. Did you focus and recompose? Looking at the bricks, it seems that you were front focused by about 2feet.

There is probably some variation from one copy to the next, but my 50 wasn't exactly "soft" a f/1.4...here's an example. Sure, it is sharper @ f/2 and beyond, but still sharp @ 1.4

Very sharp picture in the casino !


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macsteelship
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May 27, 2012 19:27 |  #12

ljason8eg wrote in post #14492841 (external link)
I had a 50 1.4 that would front focus when the subject was 10 feet or farther away. Pain in the ass and Canon could never fix it. The car shot makes me think that could be happening. Take some test shots of a subject that is 15-20 feet away, focusing through the viewfinder and then through live view and compare them.

Was autofocus and the camera selected the center, above the wheel, but I'm started to think the front focus issue...


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mike_311
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May 27, 2012 20:54 |  #13

the 15-85 are taken at f8 and f10. no way that's even a fair comparison like you said. stop the prime down to that and you'll see stellar results.


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NG8JGFX
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May 27, 2012 22:18 |  #14

mike_311 wrote in post #14493209 (external link)
the 15-85 are taken at f8 and f10. no way that's even a fair comparison like you said. stop the prime down to that and you'll see stellar results.

I second that.


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Carlwashere
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May 27, 2012 22:27 |  #15

Your copy does not appear to front focus.
I personally think you just need to become more acclimated to primes.
Seeing at the shots with the 50mm are taken f4 and f3.5 respectively, I believe you see the shallow DOF as being soft. That is not the case.
By using wider apertures than you are accustomed to with your 15-85, your DOF is drastically different.
This DOF is why you believe the lens is soft. Often, DOF becomes too shallow with wide apertures like this.

Additionally, I suggest trying out AV mode. Play around with the settings, take a shot at f2, then one at f2.8, one at f4, and one at f5.6. Then look through them, and watch as the DOF changes.


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Disappointed with Canon 50 mm 1.4
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