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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 20 Mar 2013 (Wednesday) 09:36
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50mm f/1.8 or 40mm f/2.8 for APS-C?

 
vengence
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Mar 20, 2013 09:36 |  #1

A little background: I'm picking up a DSLR for macro coral photography, general picture use, and vacation photos. I think I've decided on the 18-135mm STM kit over the 18-55+55-250 combo as for vacations photography, I don't want to have to constantly switch lens and there doesn't seem to be any great penalty (other than the obvious lower zoom range) for doing the single lens approach. I'm going to also pick up a 100mm 2.8 Macro (non-L) to photograph corals and other still macro shots (always from a tripod). I've got roughly a 1500$ budget so that leaves me with just enough wiggle room to pick up either a 40mm 2.8 or a 50mm 1.8.

Back to the question in the title. I know the 40mm has less stops, but has the better AF motor & has better video AF, something I may actually do, but is not a primary use driver for my decision. I know the 40mm has better IQ than the 50mm, but at the cost of a slower lens. However, the 50mm only has a 5 bladed aperture compared to the 7 bladed aperture of the pancake.

I know there are a lot of nice options if I was willing to go up in $$$, but if the overall budget was larger I'd probably be picking up the 100mm 2.8L macro before I spent more money on this prime.

I've done lots of research and searching (most of the thread topics that show up are around the time of the pancake's release and it was not widely used), and I'm having a bit of analysis paralysis on this whole thing. From the people who have owned both, which do you recommend given the above kit?




  
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smmokan
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Mar 20, 2013 09:45 |  #2

For an APS-C sensor, have you considered the Canon 60mm f/2.8 macro instead? I believe that would give you more budget for the wide prime, in which case you could pick up the Sigma 30mm f/1.4.

The 60mm f/2.8 macro lens is widely considered to be one of the sharpest lenses for APS-C sensors available. I had it for a short time before switching over to my 5DII, and I was very impressed.


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vengence
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Mar 20, 2013 09:52 |  #3

I haven't heavily considered the 60mm, mostly because of the distance at which I have to be to the subject to get the 1:1 magnification. With salt water corals really being the main driver of the macro lens, I don't have infinite control of the distance to subject as there is eventually glass in the way. The 100mm is the "go to" macro in that world because of that.




  
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pulsar123
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Mar 20, 2013 10:24 |  #4

I don't think the pancake has better IQ than 50mm - at f2.8 they both have very good IQ, at least on crop cameras.


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icacphotography
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Mar 20, 2013 18:13 |  #5

I'd go for the 40mm 2.8 IQ might be very very close at 2.8 but the MFD is shorter on the 40mm and the 40mm is tack sharp wide open I find most copies of the 50mm are just starting to catch up around F2.8-4 with the 40 @ 2.8. Secondly build quality on the 40mm is a TON better than the nifty fifty. i guess it comes down to which FL you like better for your subjects and if you're doing macro with either one. If Macro then 40mm hands down if not it's a tossup


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DreDaze
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Mar 20, 2013 18:16 |  #6

have you budgeted for a flash? you're going to want one for macro...

i'd take the 50mm over the 40mm though...or maybe a 35 f2 or sigma 30mm f1.4


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jdmwerks
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Mar 20, 2013 18:19 |  #7

out of the two I use the 40mm 2.8 much more due to the focal length. Its super sharp and so small so thats a plus.


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vengence
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Mar 20, 2013 20:27 |  #8

I'm really leaning towards the 40 after several more reading of reviews and feedback on the poor craftsmanship of the 50's body. Won't be doing much macro with the 40/50 because I'm going to get the 100mm Macro as the macro lens. Don't currently have a flash in the budget as the corals I'll be taking pictures of has a light that's brighter than direct sunlight (dead serious here). If I find it's something I really need going forward I'll pick one up if I need it, but I don't plan on much indoor macro photography other than the tank.




  
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DreDaze
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Mar 20, 2013 20:33 |  #9

when it comes to macro, it doesn't matter if it's indoors or outdoors...a flash is important because of how stopped down you'll be to gain any kind of DOF...if the tank has a bright light though, you probably won't need it for that...


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vengence
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Mar 20, 2013 20:50 |  #10

DreDaze wrote in post #15737851 (external link)
when it comes to macro, it doesn't matter if it's indoors or outdoors...a flash is important because of how stopped down you'll be to gain any kind of DOF...if the tank has a bright light though, you probably won't need it for that...

~100W of LED power over the tank, so somewhere around 500-1000W of incandescent over an area of about 30"x12"x12". It's really my primary focus for the macro lens.




  
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50mm f/1.8 or 40mm f/2.8 for APS-C?
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