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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Apr 2016 (Sunday) 16:07
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35 or 50?

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Apr 03, 2016 16:07 |  #1

Currently I have a 6D and a 135L on there way here. A few years back (before I took a break from shooting) I used all zooms. While versatile, I didn't feel that magic until I got the 135L which was the fiorst lens I bought this time around. Which would be a better 2nd lens. 35mm or 50mm. I'm 90% certain I want the Sigma 50mm ART, anyone see the 35mm the better option?

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Apr 04, 2016 00:40 |  #2

That's highly personal, both focal lengts have a loyal fanbase.

- 35mm prro's: More context, better at telling stories, you can get more information in 1 photo.
- 50mm pro's: More aesthetic, simpler images (in my opinion), easier to blur backgrounds.

It might help if you tell us what you're planning to shoot (I'm assuming spontaneous people photo's).
But in the end, we can't really give you a clear answer, it's still up to your personal preference. (external link)

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Post edited over 2 years ago by BigAl007.
Apr 04, 2016 01:36 |  #3

Fully half of all the great candid street photographs were taken with a 35mm camera were taken with a XX*mm lens!

*Insert your specific preference between a 35mm or a 50mm lens. This is an almost impossible question to answer. I suppose the "usual" pairings that have classically (although I think it's more of an internet age construct myself) accepted was (is) 50/135mm or 35/85mm. As Jefzor says what are you actually planning on shooting? The lens choices you have mentioned suggest street etc, but who really knows? Only the OP.


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Apr 04, 2016 03:20 |  #4

I have exactly the same question but its specifically related to boxing and mma. I've previously rented the 24L used with a 1 series body and found it just a little too wide. I've used a 50L and found it slightly long. Easy solution I hear you cry, 35L is baby bears porridge. Not quite, I'll be shooting on a 6D next time, so would I then find the 35 too wide??? Answers on a postcard please....

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Apr 04, 2016 04:05 |  #5

I use my 35IS a lot more I use my 50 STM. But that's me and how I shoot. It likely doesn't apply to you.

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Apr 04, 2016 05:04 |  #6

For me it is the 35mm all the way. I had several 50's and was never really attached to any of them.

I absolutely love the perspective my 35 ART gives.

Actually it was my only lens for a couple of years until I recently bought a 200mm 2.8 and a 17-40 to be used at 17-24mm. (external link)

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Apr 04, 2016 06:55 |  #7

I had both. My 50 1.4 was a Canon and the 35 1.4 was the Sigma. Once I got the 35 dialed in I sold the 50mm. I just like the 35 more as a walk around lens. Thats what I intended it to be when i purchased it and so far really liking it. Very sharp once adjusted properly.

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Apr 04, 2016 10:02 |  #8

thijs wrote in post #17960073 (external link)
I absolutely love the perspective my 35 ART gives.

Lenses DO NOT have or give PERSPECTIVE. Perspective, the relative size of objects in the frame, is solely affected by the placement of the camera, and the resulting relative distances from the camera to the objects in the image. If you shoot from a fixed location with both a 35mm lens and the 50mm lens the perspective will be identical. If you were to crop the shot from the 35mm lens down to match the field of view of the 50mm lens, then barring the loss of resolution and the fact you would have to open the 35mm up by approximately one f stop on the aperture to match the DoF, the two images would be identical.

If you were to try to frame the subject the same with both lenses in camera, then the fact that you have to be 1.48 times closer with the 35mm than the 50mm will cause a significant change in perspective. This change is produced by changing the position of the camera, not the focal length of the lens. The correct approach to photography should be to select a position for the camera that will give you a pleasing perspective. Then chose the focal length of the lens to suitably frame the subject. Finally select an aperture value that will provide you with the required amount of depth of field.

Don't let your choice of lens determine the camera location to achieve the desired framing.


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Apr 04, 2016 10:27 |  #9

There's no right answer. It all comes down to your personal preference and chosen subject matter, but either 35 or 50 will be a welcome departure from your 135L.

For me, I prefer 35mm for everyday use, such as a general walk-around, environmental portraits, and street/reportage subject matter. The 50mm, on the other hand, gets used more for obligatory work such as portraiture.

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Apr 04, 2016 10:35 |  #10

35mm gets my vote , wide but not too wideep .. 50 is ok but I found it to be too tight more often for everyday use , I rarely use my 50

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Apr 04, 2016 13:47 |  #11

I am following this thread as I am in a similar position. I am debating between the two also. I actually have the Sigma 35mm but am looking at replacing it, either with another 35mm or a 50mm. I also want the 135mm as my 85mm 1.8 is great, but the 135 really looks like magic. Then again, I have no idea what I want. I just dont like the Sigma because its so huge.

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Apr 04, 2016 14:08 |  #12

35mm was my favorite for years but now I rarely use it. My 50mm 1.2 is almost glued to my camera.

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Post edited over 2 years ago by CanonYouCan. (6 edits in all)
Apr 04, 2016 14:08 |  #13

I started with the 35L followed by the 35 Art and I bought a 50 Art on top of it.
First I couldn't choose and decided to keep them both as they are both perfect primes.

As I had to do a wedding I sold 35 Art for a Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC (almost as sharp as the 24-70 2.8LII)
With the Sigma 50 Art, the bokeh is a lot better and the lens is also killer sharp in comparison with 50 1.2L.

This summer I plan fashionshoots, 50 1.4 Art is ideal for halfbody shots of the model & the clothes in the picture.
35mm was too much environmental, models want more close shots, they don't like environmental portraits.

So 50-85-135 (or 70-200 2.8) are ideal for modelshoots.
For commercial shoots, example a doctor in front of his practice,... the 35mm is wider.

Sometimes I doubt to re-sell my 24-70 2.8VC as I don't plan too much weddings in future, but but I will keep doing events, so it's more handy than a 35 Art.
Another small difference : when i'm in a restaurant I can take a pic with 35L of my wife + daughter while sitting over them.
With my 50 Art I have to stand up and take the pic from further.

So short : both lenses are perfect, but for halfbody portraits/fashion the Sigma 50 Art is the way to go.

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Apr 04, 2016 14:09 |  #14

generally 50.... buy a cheapo 35mm f2 and 50mm stm and shoot it for a while. Figure what you want, the experimentation will be inexpensive and valuable for your experience.

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Apr 05, 2016 00:45 |  #15


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35 or 50?
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