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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 29 Nov 2011 (Tuesday) 16:08
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50 1.8 AF

 
Daan37
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Nov 29, 2011 16:08 |  #1

Thinking about getting a 50 1.8 (on FF). Not so much for the fast aperture (I will be using it outside in good light most of the time), but more so because it is small and light. I did have one a few years ago, but that one didn't focus very consistent / accurate. I traded it for a 50 1.4 that focused much better. Unfortunately it was smashed to pieces.

What do you think, if I use the 50 1.8 @ 2.8, in good light, with the center AF point in One Shot, will I get accurate AF? Or shouldn't I even bother?


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wimg
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Nov 29, 2011 16:50 |  #2

Actually, I have owned two specimens, and tested another 5 (actually a few more by now, but lost count a bit :D), plus a 50 F/1.8 Mk I, the one with the metal mount and angry wasp AF engine. I have never found any focusing problems with either of these.

However, make sure you focus on a contrast transition, and they will focus just fine, plus give them a little more time than, say, any fast USM L lens. Note that with MF in the good old days we used a centre point wedge, but always on a contrast transition so one could see where one was focusing. That is the concept this lens has really built upon, so it needs to be treated in a similar way, just that MF is replaced with automated movement of the lens for focusing. And focusing on something with a single colour, f.e., and no large enough (size wise) contrast transitions at all, will make it hard on the camara AF system, and because the focusing engine has bigger steps than any USM engine, will make it focus on something that is only close, but will not be focused perfectly.

What will help as well is using the *-button for focusing, rather than using the shutter button. That way it will not refocus when you try to take a photograph, and "get confused" because it is relatively slow and will try to refocus.

A friend of mine, who took over my last specimen, uses this lens for concerts and the like amongst others, in rather dimly lit establishments, on an older camera body, and he gets perfect results each time. I did show him how to use it, according to what I described above, however.

Based on my tests, I rate the 50 F/1.8 Mk II above the 50 F/1.4, because it is usable at F/1.8, and becomes excellent by F/2 or F/2.2, from an optical POV, while the F/1.4 only becomes so at F/2.8. That's my experience, BTW (and I tested 5 specimens of the F/1.4).

HTH, kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 2 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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thestone11
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Nov 29, 2011 21:15 |  #3

If I were you, I will buy the 50mm f/1.4 again! It is such a good 50mm for the money, AF is not excellent but good and spot on out of the box! Or else, you can try the sigma 50mm f/1.4, but that really depends on your luck. I tried 3 copies of the sigma 50mm f/1.4, none of them works properly out of the box, all suffers from front focusing and focus shift issues!

I recently bought the 50mm f/1.2 L and sold my canon 50mm f/1.4. All I can say is the 50L is the proper 50 on my 5d mk II. It may not be the sharpest prime but the shallow dof from the f/1.2 is just amazing!


Canon 5D MK II | Fuji X100 | Canon T2i | Canon 100mm macro f/2.8 | Canon 135L f/2 | Canon 50mm f/1.2 L | 17-40mm f/4 L | 24-70mm f/2.8 L | 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM |Canon 430EX II Flash X2 | Pocketwizard TT5 & TT1

  
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kf095
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Nov 29, 2011 21:25 |  #4

I use 50 1.8 on 5Dc. No problem with AF focus, it is sharp at 1.8 and focus with any AF point.
But contrast and colors are not impressive.


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Nickc84
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Nov 29, 2011 22:19 |  #5

I noticed colors on 20D,7D are good with this lens but on my xti its pretty bad.




  
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ScottCullum
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Nov 29, 2011 23:42 |  #6

5Dc and 50 1.8mki work very well together here! (better than it did on my 40D, less missed focus shots)


5Dc / 28-70L / 50 1.8 mk I / 580EX / BG-E4

  
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contributor_M
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Nov 29, 2011 23:55 |  #7

I'm on a T1i, and the focus hunts A LOT!!! Well, other than a nice bright day, but in low light, yeah the hunt is on. Upgrading my 1.8 to a Siggy 1.4 soon.


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Daan37
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Nov 30, 2011 01:39 |  #8

Thanks guys for the helpful comments.

My former 50 1.4 wasn't all that good in the 1st place. It had to be calibrated. IIRC the Canon tech performed adjustments to the AF hardware of the lens (instead of making adjustments to the AF software). After the calibration it became sharp @ 1.4 and really sharp @ 2.0 though. Too bad I smashed it :(

I have other fast primes. But no 50mm yet. Like I said, it will not be used under challenging conditions (low light). The 50 1.8 won't break my bank account. So, I guess there is no harm in trying one. Review on it's AF are a mixed bag mostly. Some say they have problems, others say they haven't. My own experience wasn't all that great either. Maybe if I give Wim's suggestions a try, it will be a better experience :)

I am also considering the 50mm macro. Anybody care to share their experience on it's AF?


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wimg
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Nov 30, 2011 02:23 |  #9

Daan37 wrote in post #13472568 (external link)
Thanks guys for the helpful comments.

My former 50 1.4 wasn't all that good in the 1st place. It had to be calibrated. IIRC the Canon tech performed adjustments to the AF hardware of the lens (instead of making adjustments to the AF software). After the calibration it became sharp @ 1.4 and really sharp @ 2.0 though. Too bad I smashed it :(

I have other fast primes. But no 50mm yet. Like I said, it will not be used under challenging conditions (low light). The 50 1.8 won't break my bank account. So, I guess there is no harm in trying one. Review on it's AF are a mixed bag mostly. Some say they have problems, others say they haven't. My own experience wasn't all that great either. Maybe if I give Wim's suggestions a try, it will be a better experience :)

I am also considering the 50mm macro. Anybody care to share their experience on it's AF?

Since I've owned one: AF is good, be it being rather slow and noisy when you are used to micromotor and USM AF motors :D. The combination of a long focusing throw and a fairly old fashioned AF motor do make it a little slow.

Very good lens, sharp wide open, and very good bokeh too, much better than 50 F/1.8 or 50 F/1.4.

I referred to 50 F/1.8 Mk I as having an angry wasp engine: the 50 F/2.5 CM has an extremely angry wasp engine, noise wise :D. That is IMO its only disadvantage. If you don't mind the noise, it is a great little lens with its close focusing abilities.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 2 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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Daan37
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Dec 01, 2011 00:44 |  #10

wimg wrote in post #13472626 (external link)
Since I've owned one: AF is good, be it being rather slow and noisy when you are used to micromotor and USM AF motors :D. The combination of a long focusing throw and a fairly old fashioned AF motor do make it a little slow.

Very good lens, sharp wide open, and very good bokeh too, much better than 50 F/1.8 or 50 F/1.4.

I referred to 50 F/1.8 Mk I as having an angry wasp engine: the 50 F/2.5 CM has an extremely angry wasp engine, noise wise :D. That is IMO its only disadvantage. If you don't mind the noise, it is a great little lens with its close focusing abilities.

Kind regards, Wim

Wim, many thanks. Just one question: how would you say the 50 CM's AF engine holds up for photographing toddlers? I mean speedwise. The angry wasp sound may be just an advantage to attract attention ;)


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wimg
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Dec 01, 2011 02:32 |  #11

Daan37 wrote in post #13478008 (external link)
Wim, many thanks. Just one question: how would you say the 50 CM's AF engine holds up for photographing toddlers? I mean speedwise. The angry wasp sound may be just an advantage to attract attention ;)

I guess it will grab their attention for a short while, if they are listening that is. I honestly don't know, never used it with a lot of people around.

The thing is that I am a little spoilt with USM, which effectively is noiseless, so what I find noisy is may well be normal to others.

As to keeping up with toddlers: I shot a toddler once with 50L and 135L, and she moved so rapidly and quickly, even when staning still or sitting, that I could only get her sharp in focus when we finally managed to grab her attention for more than 10 seconds. Considering that, it doesn't really matter that much how fast a lens focuses, even MF would have been ok in the end :D. This is what it is about, grab them when they are still or quietely and intensely focused on something :D.

I think you need to try one out to see if it will work for you... Trying it out in a shop will do, I would think.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 2 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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iLvision
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Dec 01, 2011 03:07 |  #12
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I have a 50II and I use it with a 5dmkii. I GOTTA SAY, it's sharp straight from 1.8!! I don't know if it's the full frame or the RAW file but the shots come out perfect and sharp and better than my L-Series zoom at f/2.8. I love that lil lens. Very light and cheap.


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Ashura
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Dec 01, 2011 04:11 |  #13

If you'll be shooting in good light condictions, the AF won't be a problem (it's slower than on the 1.4 and noisy, but accurate). I moved to the 1.4 mostly because I shoot in low light a lot, and wanted nicer bokeh. Otherwise the 1.8 is very satisfying for IQ.


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wimg
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Dec 01, 2011 04:28 |  #14

Ashura wrote in post #13478440 (external link)
If you'll be shooting in good light condictions, the AF won't be a problem (it's slower than on the 1.4 and noisy, but accurate). I moved to the 1.4 mostly because I shoot in low light a lot, and wanted nicer bokeh. Otherwise the 1.8 is very satisfying for IQ.

Nicer bokeh, or less DoF?

The 50 F/2.5 CM has nicer, or rather, smoother bokeh than the 50 F/1.4, but obviously more DoF wide open :D.

The nice thing about it is that it even has good bokeh in front of the focus plane, with a little blip at F/4, IOW, in front of the focus plane, and only at F/4, where occasionally it is possible to get double lines with sharp edged elongated small shapes (narrow blades of grass, etc.). Do note that most lenses with good bokeh, fare well in background bokeh, but not in foreground bokeh, because these are really mutually exclusive from an optical POV. This is why this lens is special, and the 50L even more so (oh, as are the TS-Es, they are good back and front too).

In 50 mm land, with the lenses I tested (which includes 50 F/1.4), only 50L and Sigma 50 F/1.4 have better bokeh, IMO anyway. This is also a matter of taste, obviously, but personally I do prefer the 50L and 50 CM with regard to bokeh.

Kind regards, Wim


EOS R & EOS 5 (analog) with a gaggle of primes & 2 zooms, OM-D E-M1 Mk II & Pen-F with 10 primes, 6 zooms, 3 Metabones adapters/speedboosters​, and an accessory plague

  
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Ashura
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Dec 01, 2011 07:08 |  #15

wimg wrote in post #13478476 (external link)
Nicer bokeh, or less DoF?

Nicer bokeh.
I rarely use the 1.4 aperture, I often shoot at 2.8 or so, and the background blur looks a lot smoother than with the 1.8 at the same aperture.


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50D, EF 24-105/4 L, EF 50/1.4, EF 35/2.0, EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5, 430EX, D-Lite 4 It kit

  
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