Disappointed with 50mm F1.4

Started Jul 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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mibu2011
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Disappointed with 50mm F1.4
Jul 10, 2011

I am not a Pixel Peeper by any means but I am quite disappointed with my new 50mm F1.4 I bought today.

As some will already know I recently bought the 24-105 which I am really happy with. I bought the 50mm F1.4 for two main reasons. One, for low light/non flash photography and two, for those nice creamy backgrounds on any portrait shots, shot at a large aperture.

I have also read on many forums that Primes will provide a quality that is generally superior to what you can get with a zoom but I am not seeing that.

I know this is quite a crude comparison but what prompted me to do it is I just wasn't seeing that stand out type of quality on my 27" mac screen with practically all of my shots with this new 50mm F1.4 prime that I see with my 24-105 L lens. So this is the same shot taken at the same settings on both lenses. 50mm, ISO 200, F4.0 and bounced flash with a bounce card (I just decided to use flash on this one). To avoid any human error and movement I took six shots at the same settings with each lens and the results were pretty much identical to this comparison. I stopped the 50mm 1.4 down to F4 for two reasons. Firstly because it is the largest aperture on the 24-105 so it provides a like for like comparison and secondly because I have read in more than one place that the ultimate sharpness and sweet spot for this lens is around F4-F5.6.

I have tried a number of shots inside, outside, different exposure settings and I just cannot get the same IQ from the 50mm 1.4 at the starting point out of the camera before any pp as I can with the 24-105 at the same focal length. These are 100% crops, shot RAW, converted to full quality JPG in Lightroom 3 with no PP at all.

Do I have a dud, am I doing something wrong, or even though it is a prime am I not going to get the same IQ as my 24-105 L lens unless I go for a Prime L lens?

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