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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 23 Aug 2017 (Wednesday) 15:56
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Is the Canon 50mm 1.4 good...enough...?

 
kaitlyn2004
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Aug 23, 2017 15:56 |  #1

Currently all my lenses are L-lenses, plus a Sigma 35 Art.

I am tempted to add a 50 prime and immediately went to the Sigma 50 Art. Unfortunately it is bigger, heavier, and more expensive than my 35. A bit too much to bite off right now, and makes it even tougher for travel (size+weight).

Which I think leaves me with the Canon 50 (is there something else to consider?). I've heard it's not so great 1.4-1.8, but how is it at 2.0?

Do you guys shoot with it and enjoy using it? I think I'd love the smaller size of it but worry I'd be too disappointed by IQ.

Currently mainly using
- 5D Mark IV
- 16-35 F4L IS
- 70-200 F4L IS
- Sigma 35 1.4 Art
(as you can see, nothing in the 35-70 range...)


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Bassat
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Aug 23, 2017 16:31 |  #2

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #18435206 (external link)
Currently all my lenses are L-lenses, plus a Sigma 35 Art.

I am tempted to add a 50 prime and immediately went to the Sigma 50 Art. Unfortunately it is bigger, heavier, and more expensive than my 35. A bit too much to bite off right now, and makes it even tougher for travel (size+weight).

Which I think leaves me with the Canon 50 (is there something else to consider?). I've heard it's not so great 1.4-1.8, but how is it at 2.0?

Do you guys shoot with it and enjoy using it? I think I'd love the smaller size of it but worry I'd be too disappointed by IQ.

Currently mainly using
- 5D Mark IV
- 16-35 F4L IS
- 70-200 F4L IS
- Sigma 35 1.4 Art
(as you can see, nothing in the 35-70 range...)


I've had two copies of the 50mm f/1.4. Fantastically sharp lens, if you can get it to focus. Very prone to breaking the micro-motor focusing system, also. I use the 50 STM. Best bang for the buck you can get in a 50mm.


Tom

  
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apersson850
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Aug 23, 2017 16:35 |  #3

If you do get the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM, just make sure you always have the hood on, in the correct direction. Regardless of what you do with the lens, that is, on camera or off. The hood works as a bumper for the fragile focusing system in the lens.


Anders

  
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CheshireCat
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Aug 23, 2017 18:41 |  #4

Sorry, my very personal opinion is that the Canon 50/1.4 is crap, for many reasons (and sharpness is at the end of the list).

If you are used to good glass like L or Art primes, be sure to try the lens before buying. Keep in mind that the 50/1.4 is not a very reliable lens, so even if you like what it renders... think twice.


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DaviSto
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Aug 23, 2017 20:14 as a reply to  @ CheshireCat's post |  #5

It is one of my most favourite lenses, because of the special character of the images it delivers ... and especially the way it renders colour.

But mostly other people seem to hate it.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Aug 23, 2017 20:20 |  #6

If you want to do 50mm for cheap on a Canon, just get the 50mm f/1.8 STM
The new STM version has more reliable AF than the f/1.4 ever did. IQ is nothing to frown at either.


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hait0622
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Aug 24, 2017 00:43 |  #7

So I just ordered the 35mm Sigma Art and I already have the 50mm Sigma Art. I was thinking that the 35mm would be a great walk around lens, but I am not sure if 50mm is to close in a prime lens and get maybe an 85mm. I read somewhere if doing prime you should do 35/85 and 24/50. If you still want the 50mm The Sigma is really sharp, but I also had the Canon 50mm 1.4 and it was really good for the price/size with pretty good quality pics.




  
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Bassat
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Aug 24, 2017 06:01 |  #8

hait0622 wrote in post #18435582 (external link)
So I just ordered the 35mm Sigma Art and I already have the 50mm Sigma Art. I was thinking that the 35mm would be a great walk around lens, but I am not sure if 50mm is to close in a prime lens and get maybe an 85mm. I read somewhere if doing prime you should do 35/85 and 24/50. If you still want the 50mm The Sigma is really sharp, but I also had the Canon 50mm 1.4 and it was really good for the price/size with pretty good quality pics.

I have a 50mm STM, primarily because it is cheap. 50mm on crop is roughly comparable to 85mm on FF. That is mostly how I use my 50; it gets very little full frame time. I prefer 35mm on FF.

About the prime collection.... I use 28 1.8 (can't afford 24 1.4A), 35IS, 85 1.8, 135L. The 50 isn't in the mix because I rarely use it on FF. Of the bunch, the 135 gets used the least, but I won't sell it again.


Tom

  
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s1a1om
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Aug 24, 2017 11:21 |  #9

I've had the Canon 50 1.4 for a number of years now. I've been as happy with it as I am with my 70-200f2.8 and 16-35f4. Actually, of the 3, it's my wife's favorite to use.

It does a great job with color rendition. It's sharp. It's small. It's lightweight.

I didn't realize there were problems with the autofocus, but I've never used it with the hood and never had a problem.


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hait0622
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Aug 24, 2017 11:48 |  #10

Bassat wrote in post #18435672 (external link)
I have a 50mm STM, primarily because it is cheap. 50mm on crop is roughly comparable to 85mm on FF. That is mostly how I use my 50; it gets very little full frame time. I prefer 35mm on FF.

About the prime collection.... I use 28 1.8 (can't afford 24 1.4A), 35IS, 85 1.8, 135L. The 50 isn't in the mix because I rarely use it on FF. Of the bunch, the 135 gets used the least, but I won't sell it again.

Yes I am on a ff also. And I am pretty sure I will end up getting rid of my 50mm and get an 85mm 1.4 sigma art unless the new Canon 85 will be better for around the same price range.




  
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welshwizard1971
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Aug 24, 2017 11:51 |  #11

I ditched it for the art, but at the time doing research, was struck by how many recommended the 1.8 ahead of the 1.4, that with the 1.2 being a 'character' lens, Canon didn't sell any 50mm's I was happy with.


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oingyboingybob
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Aug 24, 2017 12:14 as a reply to  @ hait0622's post |  #12

I'm fairly sure the new Canon 85mm will be in the region of £2k to start with. It's that pesky IS.


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DaviSto
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Aug 24, 2017 13:45 |  #13

The 50mm F/1.4 gets a lot of stick. On average, it gets poor reviews and it doesn't have a great reputation.

Some criticisms can't be disputed ... it's fragile with a lot of plastic internals. It's easy to break. But if you leave the lens hood on all the time (as I do), the risk of destroying the focus mechanism is reduced. I dropped mine onto hard concrete from about 18 inches a couple of months back. The hood took the main impact. No harm done.

There also seems to be a lot of manufacturing variation with reports of serious front or back focusing issues ... or just fairly random focusing errors. But when I MFA'd my lenses a little while back, my 50mm F/1.4 required less adjustment than any other lens (none of my lenses needed much adjustment ... but in the case of the 50/1.4, it really didn't need any adjustment at all). And it performs consistently. I have had no issue with it being slow to capture focus or hunting.

The 50/1.4 vignettes quite a lot on a FF camera but you can either leave that for it's effect or adjust it easily in PP. The issue doesn't arise with a crop camera.

Colour rendition is superb in my opinion and it's perfectly sharp enough for my usage. It's light and (even with the hood fitted) reasonably small.

So ... I really like my 50/1.4 and I shoot with it a lot, especially for portraits on a crop sensor. And I'm not going to change my opinion of it because majority opinion differs from my own views/experience.

But you are going to hear more bad than good about this lens. It's perfectly possible that I am right (lucky to have a really good copy) and the majority are right as well (most copies are not very good). In which case, if I were you, I'd probably go with majority opinion.


David.
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CheshireCat
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Post edited 11 months ago by CheshireCat. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 24, 2017 15:03 |  #14

I must say that while some people might love the Canon 50/1.4 color rendition "character", technically it is not good (although not as bad as some Samyang lenses).

Compare it side to side to a good Zeiss lens, and you will understand what great color rendition means.


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Dillan_K
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Aug 24, 2017 17:21 |  #15

Current opinion about the lens is that it's total crap, but I like mine. Mine is very sharp and focuses accurately. Sure, there are better 50mm lenses available, but for the price, it's pretty good. Yes, I'd say it's good enough.


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Is the Canon 50mm 1.4 good...enough...?
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