Bad rap on Canon 50 1.4

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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graphikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Re: It's not bad optically for the relatively cheap price

gdanmitchell wrote:

There is a bit of a halation and contrast issue at f/1.4, easily fixed in post, but that's it. Optical quality is really very, very fine.

There is a lot of halation and extremely low contrast at f/1.4. This is pretty much identical with what I see from my lens at f/1.4:

Can this be compensated for in post? Sure, to some extent, though not completely. Is it a weakness? Most definitely.

The "build quality" mantra is getting really old.

No, it's just been consistent for this fairly old lens during its lifetime. As I wrote, I used to downplay this too, until the AF clutch failure happened to me.

Yes, it is not an L lens, but complaining that a non-L lens is not an L lens is pretty silly.

I didn't do that. Your statement is a good example of the straw man fallacy.

It also isn't relevant to debate the merits of AF motor design. Yes, newer lenses have newer motors. But that doesn't mean that the older system works poorly.

Dead wrong. If a lens's autofocus works worse in some respects than others, then it's totally relevant to discuss this in comparison to other lenses.

In other words, if a person were to pick a car today and be musing whether to pick a Model T or a 2012 model with a warranty, it wouldn't be off the mark to discuss the relatively weak acceleration and handling of the Model T, because of the context. It would be totally irrelevant to try to prop up the Model T as a good choice for driving on the road today, on the basis that its handling and acceleration were quite good for the price in 1908.

The point isn't (and wasn't attempted to be made) that the 50mm f/1.4's AF motor doesn't work, it's that it's not the best compared to lenses in the similar price range in terms of functionality when it's working, as well as that it appears to fail relatively often.

Filling a description with nasty code words ("ticking time bomb," "you get what you pay for," "last resort," "Achilles heel") does not strengthen your argument. In fact, it makes it look like you are wedded to a point of view that would be must less compelling if you had to leave it at objective fact.

Don't be silly. The phrase "Achilles' heel" is common parlance for a flaw, especially in something that is otherwise relatively strong. "You get what you pay for" is a simple statement that value is often tied to money; it doesn't indicate that a product is a bad value. "Ticking time bomb" is not a "nasty code word", it obviously and explicitly states what it is intended to state in this context: that something has a flaw which will be exposed over time and cause the lens to fail. Of course it's not intended to indicate that shrapnel will fly out of a failing 50mm f/1.4, or that having a 50mm f/1.4 is as bad as having a literal ticking time bomb. Back to English 101 for you, perhaps?

In the context of my post, nothing that I wrote was out of line, though you may dislike it because you disagree with it. Such is life. It doesn't help matters to accuse other people of things without basis.

I will agree with one point you made. I do think that there will come a time when Canon updates this lens, somewhat in the same manner as the recent update/new 35mm f/2. Hopefully such a new lens will achieve the same very high optical standard of the existing 50mm f/1.4 prime while improving on its few areas of weakness - just what we want all upgrades to do. And hopefully you won't be among those posting diatribes about the cost... which will likely be perhaps three times that of the current lens.

I hereby grant you an honorary Forum Police badge and hat, with oak leaf cluster for exceptional haughtiness in the line of duty. Enjoy.

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