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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Jul 2011 (Wednesday) 14:40
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50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.8 for crop sensor?

 
arch.cm
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Jul 13, 2011 14:40 |  #1

Which would be the better lens? I have a 60d and a 50mm 1.8... and I like to take potraits of my 1 year old and really all kinds of pics... Would the 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.8 be better? I'm just worried that the 85mm 1.8 would be too long... Thanks.


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Voaky999
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Jul 13, 2011 14:43 |  #2

For head and shoulders shots, the 85 is fine but for full or 1/2 body shots the 50 is better. At least this is my experience.


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canonistul
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Jul 13, 2011 14:44 |  #3

35mm f2 good and cheap lens. good in low light.


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Bheims
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Jul 13, 2011 14:58 |  #4

Image quality isnt much better on the 50 1.4 imo. The real benefits are an improved AF and more pleasing bokeh. If you are using manual focus on the 50 1.8 and getting great shots I would go for a wider prime like the 35mm mentioned above. Are you finding that your 50 is too short/long?


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ktownhero
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Jul 13, 2011 15:01 |  #5

IMHO the 50mm focal length is a bit awkward on a crop sensor. It has the field of view of an 85mm but not the compression, and it's not typically wide enough to do full body shots or get a "normal" field of view. Don't get me wrong, I've taken some of my best pics with it, but I'm looking to ditch it for a 24-30mm prime and an 85 eventually.




  
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amfoto1
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Jul 13, 2011 16:42 |  #6

You have 50mm f1.8 already... That should give you a good feel for using that focal length on your camera. An upgrade to 50/1.4 would give some subtle improvement of image qualities (nicer bokeh and better colors, more resistant to flare), but mainly a better built lens that should be more durable and faster/quieter/more accurate auto focus. See posts about the weaknesses of the Canon 50/1.4's focus mechanisim (get the hood and store the lens with it reversed to help protect it) and the Sigma 50/1.4 that you often have to try a few to get a "good copy", or send it in to have it calibrated.

I have never been a big fan of 50mm on full frame/film... I just bought one because I got a great deal on it. But it started to see a lot of use once I went to digital and was using crop sensor cameras like yours most of the time, soon as I discovered that it was a great little portrait lens.

I also use the Canon 85/1.8... it's a longer portrait lens, another of my favorites but both on crop and on full frame cameras... Useful for tighter face shots with crop cameras, as someone mentioned already. Outdoors you also can stand off further away, to be less intrusive, perhaps for some more candid shots. Indoors you need working space to do that... so might not be as useful in smaller spaces.

Take one of your zooms, set it to 85mm and tape the zoom ring in place to keep it there temporarily, shoot with it for a day to see what you think of the focal length. You can do this with any particular focal length, for that matter.

I am really not much of a fan of 30 to 35mm on crop sensor cameras. I use slightly wider 28/1.8 instead and really like it. I suppose this is just a personal preference, though. You might like a different lens better. With any of these wider lenses you have to be careful of wide angle distortion effects when shooting portraits. If you get too close, you will see exaggeration of people's features: big noses and tiny ears, for example. Also positioning someone too close to the edge of the frame will show some nasty effects... called anamorphic distortion... where their body and features look "stretched" toward the edge of the image. Someone posted a shot made with 10-22 the other day to ask about it... person really wasn't that close or near the edge of the frame, yet it looked like their one arm was about 6 inches longer than the other!

Gotta watch out for these things any time you are using wider lenses. On a crop sensor camera the range from 50mm to 85mm is considered "traditional portrait" focal lengths, precisely for this reason... gives the nicest proportions and is the least likely to distort (still can a little if you get really close, though).


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phreeky
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Jul 13, 2011 17:26 |  #7

ktownhero wrote in post #12752709 (external link)
IMHO the 50mm focal length is a bit awkward on a crop sensor. It has the field of view of an 85mm but not the compression

That makes no sense. If you step back and use like an 85mm (in 35mm equiv) then it has the same compression.

Anyway I don't like 50mm on crop. I like 30mm and 85mm. It probably depends on your environment though, I've got no doubt it works well for some people.




  
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tkbslc
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Jul 13, 2011 17:29 |  #8

arch.cm wrote in post #12752583 (external link)
Which would be the better lens? I have a 60d and a 50mm 1.8... and I like to take potraits of my 1 year old and really all kinds of pics... Would the 50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.8 be better? I'm just worried that the 85mm 1.8 would be too long... Thanks.


You said you have the 50mm f1.8 now, so do you want a nicer version of the same lens, or one that is 70% longer in focal length?


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tjbrock42
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Jul 13, 2011 17:56 |  #9

I have had experience with 17-55, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm amongst others all on a crop body. I also have two kids (1 and 4). I'll share what I have found over the past several years choosing lenses for kid pics.

As several others have said, the 50mm focal length seems a little awkward on crop. It is a little too long indoors (but certainly usable). It is nice outside though, but often times I find myself using longer lenses outside. This is also true of the 85mm lens for me personally. I'm sure you have enough experience with your lens to know what I am talking about. For this reason, I prefer the 35mm focal length indoors. I would probably even be happy with a hair wider too (think 24-30mm).

In my experience with the 17-55, the wider angle focal lengths are nice for capturing interior spaces, but they don't have the same emotion or feeling of tighter portraits. 24-35mm is my favorite focal length range as described above. The 35-55mm can be really nice, but a little too long.

Regarding the 85 f/1.8 specifically, it is an awesome nice lens. Build quality is very nice (better than the 50 f/1.4). It is very sharp, fast and accurate focus, nice colors, nice bokeh. CAs are a little harsh, but you can fix those in post.

I did not feel the same about the 50 f/1.4 when I had it. Build quality was less than I would like, but certainly not terrible. I wasn't crazy about it's colors, sharpness,or AF speed either. I was kind of indeifferent about the bokeh. It was just kind of boring to me. f/1.4 was a softer than I would have liked too. After the 100mm macro and 85 f/1.8, I was probably hoping for too much. Needless to say, I sold it not long after buying it and don't regret the decision to do so.

I would say keep the 50 f/1.8 and buy something in a different focal length range. You might consider the Canon 28 f/1.8 or 35 f/2. Maybe the Sigma 30 f/1.4. Hold off on the longer focal length for now. It takes a few years before the kids get into activities where you need a lot of reach. Okay, I'm just rambling now.


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tkbslc
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Jul 13, 2011 20:47 |  #10

It's pretty crazy to read how "awkward" 50mm is on a crop camera when it equates to nearly 85mm on FF. Is the 85mm L an awkward length on a 5Dmk2?


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phreeky
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Jul 13, 2011 22:32 |  #11

tkbslc wrote in post #12754398 (external link)
It's pretty crazy to read how "awkward" 50mm is on a crop camera when it equates to nearly 85mm on FF. Is the 85mm L an awkward length on a 5Dmk2?

I believe so, for me. 135L for FF IMO ;) And it's a hell of a lot cheaper than an 85L too.




  
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yogestee
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Jul 13, 2011 23:15 |  #12

tkbslc wrote in post #12754398 (external link)
It's pretty crazy to read how "awkward" 50mm is on a crop camera when it equates to nearly 85mm on FF. Is the 85mm L an awkward length on a 5Dmk2?

Yep,, pretty crazy in my book. There's also a rumour floating around that a 200mm f/2 is "awkward" on a 1D MkIII ;)

Back to the original question,, the 50mm f/1.4 will do the job..


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Blurr ­ Cube
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Jul 14, 2011 00:35 as a reply to  @ yogestee's post |  #13

85mm 1.8 can be long indoors. I love it for having snappy AF even in low light situations. Great for speedy 1 year olds. ;)

If you like or comfortable with the 50mm FL, the 50mm 1.4 will be a slight upgrade.


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ktownhero
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Jul 14, 2011 06:43 |  #14

phreeky wrote in post #12753502 (external link)
That makes no sense. If you step back and use like an 85mm (in 35mm equiv) then it has the same compression.

When you step back you change the relationship between your subject and the background. What I was saying is that on a crop body the 50mm focal length gives you all the awkwardness of working with 85mm but none of the benefits, of which you seem to agree.

Hope that helps to clarify what I was referring to.




  
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m.shalaby
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Jul 14, 2011 07:29 |  #15

50mm

85mm on a crop is pretty long




  
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50mm 1.4 or 85mm 1.8 for crop sensor?
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