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Thread started 03 Jan 2011 (Monday) 14:53
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Are soft copies of Canon 50mm 1.4 common ?

 
m.shalaby
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Jan 03, 2011 14:53 |  #1

I just got a Canon 50mm 1.4 and wasn't happy with its performance, even stopped down to 2.0 - very soft images (check out the model shoot I did on my flickr to see what I mean).

Is this acceptable & common? Is this just how this lens is? Or did I get a bad copy?

I sent that one back to B&H, and now have a new one (same thing, Canon 50mm 1.4) out for delivery today. Should I expect the same softness, or was this just an odd ball case?

If this next one is still soft, I guess I'm going to have to play the "Sigma Lens Lotto"...




  
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ni$mo350
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Jan 03, 2011 14:55 |  #2

Mine was extremely sharp. Maybe it needs to be sent in for calibration.


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anscochrome
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Jan 03, 2011 15:05 |  #3

That particular lens is weak at F 1.4 and F 2.0 (but so are a large number of similar 50mm lenses), but @F 2.8 and beyond, it is good or better than anything out there (imo). If you want a 50mm F 1.4 lens to primarily use @ F1.4 or 2.0, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 would be a better bet. If F 1.4 or 2.0 is for very occasional use, and you are at F 2.8 and smaller, the Canon is just fine. Mind you, we are talking optical quality here, not build/AF reliability and or physical property issues.


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Jan 03, 2011 15:08 |  #4

Maybe it could have used some micro focus adjust.


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ni$mo350
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Jan 03, 2011 15:12 |  #5

If you need proof that the Canon 50 is sharp even wide open then just check out what Jordan does in the lens sample thread. I thought mine was incredibly sharp at 1.4. I didn't need to MA or anything. Here's a shot of my brother's old Z shot at f/1.8

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macroimage
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Jan 03, 2011 15:26 |  #6

After I got my EF 50/1.4 back from having the AF motor replaced and calibrated, it seems to be as about as sharp as the 50/1.8 II now which is much improved over how it originally was. It is pretty decent and accurate now. Focus seems more accurate on my XTi and 5D. With the Rebel and XT, it is more inconsistent and the 1.8 generally does better with those cameras for me.

These lenses are low contrast at f/1.4 and mostly only sharp near the center which leads to a feeling of softness. Also the depth of field is very thin so not much will be in focus anyway even at a distance. The focus plane may not be perfectly flat either so test charts may not be good subjects either.


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m.shalaby
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Jan 03, 2011 15:37 as a reply to  @ macroimage's post |  #7

thanks guys.

it seems i just got a bad copy... hopefully the new one I exchanged for is better.




  
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LowriderS10
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Jan 03, 2011 15:40 |  #8

Also beware of front/back focus...my second 1.4 was ridiculous for front focusing...


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hieu1004
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Jan 03, 2011 15:47 |  #9

Post a picture next time - a good copy of the 1.4 should be rather sharp (or not soft). The copy I had required some MA as it was front focusing a little.


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HyperYagami
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Jan 03, 2011 16:06 |  #10

hieu1004 wrote in post #11565880 (external link)
Post a picture next time - a good copy of the 1.4 should be rather sharp (or not soft). The copy I had required some MA as it was front focusing a little.

check his flickr.

yes i think it's little softer than it should but really not by that much.



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workerdrone
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Jan 03, 2011 16:12 |  #11

I just recently found some time to do some MA on lenses, the 70-200 and the 85 1.8 were very quick and easy to do, the 50 1.4 kept giving different results so I'm suspecting that it may have AF issues - how much does Canon charge to service the AF motor out of warranty?


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hieu1004
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Jan 03, 2011 16:16 |  #12

^Ah, I missed that. Hm - yeah it doesn't seem too bad at 1.4 - a little soft - definitely try another copy.


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muskyhunter
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Jan 03, 2011 16:32 |  #13

try looking at a Sigma 50 or Simga 30.... very sharp @ 1.4



  
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liupublic
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Jan 03, 2011 16:49 |  #14

OP has a 60D body. Compare picture from AF vs MF in live view on a tripod. Unfortunately 60D does not have MA. So it's either a calibration or return for another lens.

Canon 50 f/1.4 is not quite sharp as at f/1.4 vs f/2 but the image should still be pretty useful. Just make sure it's not underexposed. Really need a sample picture.


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yogestee
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Jan 03, 2011 18:40 as a reply to  @ liupublic's post |  #15

Is the "softness" due to focusing errors or is your lens optically soft??


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Are soft copies of Canon 50mm 1.4 common ?
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