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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 27 May 2014 (Tuesday) 13:57
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I hate my 50mm 1.4, is it just me?

 
Jixr
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May 27, 2014 13:57 |  #1

I picked up a 50mm 1.4 after my 1.8 broke ( popped in half )

Every thing I've shot with it I'm just generally been unhappy with.


Most of the photos I take with it it has CA like no other, and ever since I got it I rarely find myself using it unless I want the super thin DOF.

If I can, I'd much rather use my 17-40 f4L or my 70-200 f4L

I also have a EOS-M with its 22mm f2.0 lens that I love hands down more than the 50 1.4, but the focal length can be kind of a let down, and obviously I'm limited to the slower responding body of the M.

I'm thinking about selling it, as I rarely use it, but on the other hand, It may be a good idea to hold onto it.

Does anyone else have these feelings about their 50 1.4?

I paid practically nothing for it ( it was mislabled as a canon 50 1.8 by the pawn shop that sold it ) so I could easily sell it and make a little money as well.




  
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CameraMan
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May 27, 2014 14:00 |  #2

I'd send it in and have it looked at by Canon. Might cost you $150 to have them look at it and do some adjustments but they will send it back and it should work like new.


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vengence
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May 27, 2014 14:11 |  #3

Shooting f/1.4 & high contrast subject and all lenses are going to show some CA, especially on out of subject areas. If you're always finding CA as problem, it probably means you are always shooting it wide open. Stop. I'm not saying don't shot it wide open, I'm just saying don't always shoot it wide open. Just like you shouldn't buy a zoom only to use it at the widest and longest ends of it's zoom range.

Do an MFA adjustment on it if your body can (perfect focus on contrasting areas will have less CA), and try stopping the lens down to f/2 and shooting it for a bit.

Then sell it and buy a 35 f/2. It's an amazing lens with a focal length half way between your EF-M 22 and the 50. It's shorter and slower and will be a lot more resistant to CA.




  
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Elton ­ Balch
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May 27, 2014 14:20 |  #4

Jixr wrote in post #16933898 (external link)
I picked up a 50mm 1.4 after my 1.8 broke ( popped in half )

Every thing I've shot with it I'm just generally been unhappy with.


Most of the photos I take with it it has CA like no other, and ever since I got it I rarely find myself using it unless I want the super thin DOF.

If I can, I'd much rather use my 17-40 f4L or my 70-200 f4L

I also have a EOS-M with its 22mm f2.0 lens that I love hands down more than the 50 1.4, but the focal length can be kind of a let down, and obviously I'm limited to the slower responding body of the M.

I'm thinking about selling it, as I rarely use it, but on the other hand, It may be a good idea to hold onto it.

Does anyone else have these feelings about their 50 1.4?

I paid practically nothing for it ( it was mislabled as a canon 50 1.8 by the pawn shop that sold it ) so I could easily sell it and make a little money as well.

Well...let's start with it's used and came from a pawn shop. Sounds like it might need to be looked at.

I owned the 50 f/1.4 until I gifted it to my son a few years ago. My copy had no issues produced great images even at 1.4; in many ways it's as good as my 50 L.

Since you paid very little for it, I'd suggest selling it, turning a small profit and buying a new 50 f/1.4 with a warranty thus skipping the repair hassle.


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Jixr
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May 27, 2014 14:22 |  #5

yeah, lemme note that I don't shoot at it wide open unless I'm looking for the paper thin DOF, generally as a personal rule of thumb, I never shoot with it wider than 2.8

If I sold it I would probably see about the sigma 30mm 1.4 art lens. I tried it at the store and I really liked it.

Basically I'm not sure if the lens is normal or not, or if maybe the characteristics just don't fit my personal style.




  
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Mike ­ K
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May 27, 2014 15:50 |  #6

Jixr wrote in post #16933898 (external link)
50mm 1.4

Every thing I've shot with it I'm just generally been unhappy with.

Does anyone else have these feelings about their 50 1.4?

I owned a 50 1.4 for several years. Being generally uninspired by its output I sent it back to Canon several times with a D60 and 1DII bodies for recalibration. I also used it many times with manual focus on the 1DII with a split screen focusing screen.
Bottom line is that I was never impressed with the detail or contrast of this lens. I found myself avoiding it and realized it was time to sell it. It simply was very lackluster in overall IQ, and terribly soft at wide open, thus I never used it at f1.4, always much smaller apertures. I always found myself preferring the output of 24-70 version 1 zoom at 50mm and avoiding the 50/1.4 at all costs.

A few years later I decided to try a Zeiss 50 makro planar f2.0 ZE. Wowie Zowie! what an improvement!!! The contrast, color and perception of detail was a huge improvement. It was a huge change in my 50mm shot output as I now sought out framing that would work with the 50mm fov. I was now looking for good 50mm images rather than avoiding them. In retrospect I should have sold the Canon 50/1.4 much sooner rather than trying to make a poor copy of this lens marginally acceptable.
Mike K


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InfiniteDivide
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May 27, 2014 16:04 |  #7

I have never owned the 50 1.8 I bought the 50 1.4 as my first prime and loved the thin f1.4 DOF
Recently I have been looking back at all my photos from 2013 and I can say two things.
First: Wow!, my photography has improved. What I thought were great shots were terrible.
Second:My 50 1.4 is not that impressive in colors, contrast, or bokeh. Although sometimes it's great.

I decided in April to sell it and buy the 50L. On FF I liked the 50mm FL more than the 81mm FOV on crop.
I am now very happy with the 50L. More so than when I used the 50 1.4 It also hunts less in low-light.

As the OP suggested the 30 1.4 may suit their needs better.
It just depends on what FL they want in a prime.
I have heard nothing but great things about the Canon 35 IS f2 but have not used it myself.
Best of luck on your decision.


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Jixr
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May 27, 2014 16:48 |  #8

yeah, I don't have the budget or need for the canon 1.2, though at the time i was looking at some of the cheaper primes, I really wanted the (old) sigma 50mm 1.4, but it seems they have ceased production, and saw the price of this one so I snatched it up, sold my 50 1.8, and came out nearly even.

Just everyone always craves over the 50mm primes, and I'm kinda sitting here thinking that they are not that great. Sure I'm comparing a $300 lens to my two $700+ lens's, but still.

I'll see if my local camera store has any type of calibration services or anything like that that can determine if the lens is bad or if its just me.

I'm pretty amature-ish so it could very well be user error being the reason i'm not getting images that people who love their 50's are getting.

I'll try to upload some photos for you guys later tonight and you can tell me if what i'm seeing is normal and expected, or possibly something that needs looked at.




  
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InfiniteDivide
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May 27, 2014 22:25 |  #9

My best advice is to turn off AF and manually focus on an object (soda can) with good light and fast shutter speed. This will show you how sharp and colorfully the lens can be.
Perhaps the AF is not a problem, perhaps it is. But that will give you a starting point of that lens.

If you're still not happy with that lens, sell it and try something else.
If you don't mind MF the older Pentax 50 1.4 is a great lens for less than the cost of the Canon 50 1.4

I enjoy the convenience of AF on my 50L but don't always use it; the lens is not as sharp as my 100L
even when MF both on a tripod.


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May 27, 2014 22:55 |  #10

I owned the EF 50/1.4 as well for a time. Didn't like it. Lots of CA, soft wide open, unreliable AF. I replaced it with a 50/1.8 Mk I.


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ed ­ rader
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May 27, 2014 23:19 |  #11

Jixr wrote in post #16933960 (external link)
yeah, lemme note that I don't shoot at it wide open unless I'm looking for the paper thin DOF, generally as a personal rule of thumb, I never shoot with it wider than 2.8

If I sold it I would probably see about the sigma 30mm 1.4 art lens. I tried it at the store and I really liked it.

Basically I'm not sure if the lens is normal or not, or if maybe the characteristics just don't fit my personal style.

the 50 1.4 should be excellent at f2.8. I've owned several copies of the lens over the year. the 50 1.4 rates higher than any other canon and probably sigma 50mm prime on the Fred Miranda user reviews.


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May 27, 2014 23:32 |  #12

It's likely just you. :) ----> light-hearted sarcasm

I think part of the problem is that you are using it wide open most of the time. If you're experiencing CA, halation, mushy corners and missed focus, you're very likely shooting wide open. If you stop down a little, even f/2, things get much better. Give the lens a chance to show you what it can do!


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May 27, 2014 23:54 |  #13

Heya,

I have no interest in Canon's 50 F1.4. It's just not good enough to me. It's an ok lens. It's better than the 50 F1.8 II, but only build-wise, optically it's not much different. It's just not great at F1.4, and who needs a 50mm that's not able to be sharp wide open? Kind of annoying. I have a few in the 45~60mm range, a few 50's. My favorite is the Super Takumar 50 F1.4 (Pentax) that I adapted my to Canon. And my second favorite, and the one I use the most, is the Helios 44-2, the oldest I could find from Soviet Russia, also Pentax mount adapted to Canon. It's 58mm F2. Both are sharp wide open. And I paid maybe $35~45 (my Takumar is full of fungus so it was dirt cheap, but you can't tell it's full of fungus).

I am interested in the Sigma 50 F1.4 ART though. If I'm going to pay good money for an autofocus modern lens, I want it to be optically superior to my 20~30 year old manual lenses. Canon's 50 F1.4 simply isn't. So I passed. I also gave away the 50 F1.8 II. I couldn't stand that thing's focus. I've walked around with manual lenses in that focal range ever since, but that's because I'm weird like that and in no way is it related to Canon's 50 F1.4 other than... I share your sentiment that it's just not a great lens, for the money.

Very best,


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May 28, 2014 01:44 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #14

I had a very sharp copy of the canon 50 f1.4. It's a great lens shooting in shade and uniform lit areas. However, when your shooting in high contrast areas, yeah, you get a lot of CA , halos and busy bokeh. A better lens, is the sigma 50 classic. If you get a good AF copy, it' has alot less flaws and the bokeh is really great.
I just got the sigma50art. That lens is in a different league. This is the one to get.


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May 28, 2014 01:55 |  #15

I don't trust the AF on mine so I rarely ever use it. When I do, however, I can pop the backgrounds and create some nice stuff. Assuming I can get a shot to be properly focused.

I just find it annoying to have to take 12 shots of a client to get 2-3 that are actually in focus and sharp.


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