Canon 60 f/2.8 vs. 50 f/1.8

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
007peter
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Re: Love the 60, but "Ultra-SHARP" is not desirable in Portrait Photography
In reply to DoctorPDA, May 9, 2012

let me reply you with my own experience. Draw your own conclusion

  1. I bought 50mm f/1.8 II - love it

  2. but 50mm is too tight, so I bought a 35mm f/2

  3. not impressed with 35mm f/2 . Too much purple fringe @f2, facial distortion, and very annoying loud af motor. I also find the focal length " neither here nor there "

  4. bought a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (non-vc)

  5. sold 50mm f/1.8 II and 35mm f/2 ( draw your own conclusion )

  6. was happy for 3 months, but (1) poor AF in low light (2) random AF error (3) strong barrel distortion (4) bad field curvature at 17mm that induce radial softness in corners

  7. sold the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8

  8. replace it with Sigma 18-50 f2/.8 macro - love this lens, zero AF problem

  9. happy for 1 whole year, but really missed the Image Stabilization

  10. bought a 2nd copy of Canon 50mm f/1.8 II - can't live without

  11. sold canon 18-55 IS, canon 17-85is, canon 28-135is , and sigma 18-50 f/2.8

  12. and bought myself a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 is AMAZING. It is sharper wide open at f/2.8 than Sigma 18-50 f2.8 macro is at f/5.6 step down. If you buy this lens, you won't regret it. I was happy with this setup for whole 3 years.

But there are some annoyance: (1) build quality is only so-so, same plastic build as a Canon 17-85mm IS, (2) sealing isn't great, will accumulate some dust (3) no zoom lock = potential zoom creep problem down the road (4) expensive (5) heavy

so I bought myself a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC (vibration control) to test out the lens. As you recall, I was NOT HAPPY with the older 17-50, so I really took a chance on the new VC. I'm very pleasantly surprised by how well the new VC performs:

  • build is awesome, improved over older non-vc

  • VC is as good as canon's IS but more quiet

  • unlike the older non-vc, I had zero AF problem

  • focus is fast and reliable even in very low light (unexpected surprised)

  • zoom lock to prevent zoom-creep

I went on vacation with just a Tamron 17-50 VC this time, 856 photos later, not a single out of focus. I'm so impressed that I just did the unimaginable: I sold the canon 17-55 f/2.8 .

Now, I'm not saying tamron vc is better than c17-55; it isn't! Canon is still far sharper at the corners at f/2.8. But for everything else, I find this tamron vc deliver 90% of canon's quality at fraction of the cost. Not only is my keeper rate 100%, the smaller size + zoom lock makes it an ideal traveling lens when using black rapid rs-4 strap.

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Nikon D3100 Canon EOS M Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
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