Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?

Started May 19, 2012 | Discussions
eorlingas
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Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
May 19, 2012

Hi guys,

I'm contemplating purchasing a new glass to add to my existing collection, which consists of:

17-40 f/4 L
28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS
50 f/1.8 II

Getting the 35 f/1.4L would allow me to do more indoors photography in low light without having to bump up ISO and/or use a strobe, but I don't do too much of those anyway.

Also, I'm considering buying a 70-200 f/2.8L IS already (very likely purchase).

Given the lenses that I already have and probably will get in the near future, will buying a 35 f/1.4L for general purpose use be redundant??? Thoughts?

Bear in mind that I use a 7D. I do mostly street photography, events photography, some portraits for fun, and then a lot of landscapes

 eorlingas's gear list:eorlingas's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +3 more
ultimitsu
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

see discussion here on why F1.4 doesnt get you F1.4 light transmission

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1019&thread=41526763&message=latest

So F1.4 is a bit of a waste of money.

If I were you I would all 3 lenses, buy a 17-55 or sigma 17-50 OS. and put the rest of the money towards 70-200 II or F4 IS or 70-300 L.

Either of 17-55 or the sigma would make 17-40 and 50 F1.8 redundant. and they will do F2.8 at 35mm, actual light transmission is less than 2 stop difference, more like 1.2 stops, but having 3~4 stop IS means you can shoot at much lower speed for static subjects.

As for moving subjects, given the thin DOF for F1.4, you may end up with more OOF images than shooting F2.8, especially if they move in or out of focus plane, it further reduces the benefit of F1.4.

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MI6gunny
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to ultimitsu, May 19, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:

see discussion here on why F1.4 doesnt get you F1.4 light transmission

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1019&thread=41526763&message=latest

So F1.4 is a bit of a waste of money.

I would argue not nessecarrilly. I would argue that there are certain shots that would the f/1.4 would be indespensable. And sometimes that extra stop or half a stop makes a world of difference.

If I were you I would all 3 lenses, buy a 17-55 or sigma 17-50 OS. and put the rest of the money towards 70-200 II or F4 IS or 70-300 L.

The OP already said he had the 17-40 and the 50mm f/1.8. Though a 17-55/17-50 would probably be carried more so then a 17-40, a 50mm f/1.8 is almost the ideal portrait lens for a cropped sensor body. And I would be recommending the 70-200 I/II more so then the 70-300 but he may want to pack light. The better lens I would think is the 30mm f/1.8 from Sigma considering he is on a 7D.

Either of 17-55 or the sigma would make 17-40 and 50 F1.8 redundant. and they will do F2.8 at 35mm, actual light transmission is less than 2 stop difference, more like 1.2 stops, but having 3~4 stop IS means you can shoot at much lower speed for static subjects.

IS was meant for negating camera shake. And in my experience IS is only effective for 1-2 stops at best, 3-4 if I can drop my heart rate below 60bpm

As for moving subjects, given the thin DOF for F1.4, you may end up with more OOF images than shooting F2.8, especially if they move in or out of focus plane, it further reduces the benefit of F1.4.

The 7D features one of the most advanced Auto-focus systems for a camera of its kind ever. I think it should be able to keep up with moving targets with that lens.

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eorlingas
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

Thanks for the replies so far.

As I said, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is looking very likely at the moment, and if so, I will be selling my 28-135 IS to offset its cost.

I'm more reluctant to sell my 17-40 f/4L, as it has been my general purpose glass for a very long time, and I'd only replace it if I find another Canon L glass of similar range and better optical quality and for a reasonable price (e.g. ~

 eorlingas's gear list:eorlingas's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +3 more
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JoeAmateur
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

I have a nice selection of zooms, but have thoroughly enjoyed my 50/1.2 and its razor-thin DOF. A quality prime may end up staying on your camera more than any other lens--mine sure has.

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GatanoII
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

eorlingas wrote:

As I said, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II is looking very likely at the moment, and if so, I will be selling my 28-135 IS to offset its cost.

the 70-200 II is a must have if you can live with it's size/weight, the price may be high compared to the glass you have, but once you see the results you will know it's a bargain

I'm more reluctant to sell my 17-40 f/4L, as it has been my general purpose glass for a very long time, and I'd only replace it if I find another Canon L glass of similar range and better optical quality and for a reasonable price (e.g. ~

once you see what your crop camera can do with the 70-200 you will see the 17-40 was/is not giving the best from your camera, in that focal zoom range the only piece of glass that is really good in low light (AF and aperture speed) is the 17-55 F2.8, 15mm more reach, 1 stop advantage, IS, sharpness and contrast already very good at F2.8, are much much more valuable than L build quality

the 35mm 1.4 is much more useful on a FF body

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ultimitsu
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to MI6gunny, May 19, 2012

MI6gunny wrote:

If I were you I would all 3 lenses, buy a 17-55 or sigma 17-50 OS. and put the rest of the money towards 70-200 II or F4 IS or 70-300 L.

The OP already said he had the 17-40 and the 50mm f/1.8.

what I meant to say is to sell all 3 existing lenses.

IS was meant for negating camera shake.

...? that is exactly what IS is for.

And in my experience IS is only effective for 1-2 stops at best, 3-4 if I can drop my heart rate below 60bpm

dpending on your lens, 24-105's IS is rated at 1~2 stop. but with 17-55, I can comfortably shoot 1/10s at 55mm end.

As for moving subjects, given the thin DOF for F1.4, you may end up with more OOF images than shooting F2.8, especially if they move in or out of focus plane, it further reduces the benefit of F1.4.

The 7D features one of the most advanced Auto-focus systems for a camera of its kind ever. I think it should be able to keep up with moving targets with that lens.

this is a problem even 1D/D3 owners have.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

eorlingas wrote:

I'm more reluctant to sell my 17-40 f/4L, as it has been my general purpose glass for a very long time, and I'd only replace it if I find another Canon L glass of similar range and better optical quality and for a reasonable price (e.g. ~

17-55 is a better lens in every aspect except weatherseal. if you sell 17-40 and 50 F1.8 you only need to add a little to get one.

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eorlingas
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to ultimitsu, May 19, 2012

I read the reviews on the 17-55 f/2.8...so tempted now...

One minor consideration is that it's an EF-S...meaning that if I ever upgrade to FF, I'll have to look for another replacement...

With the excellent IQ, I don't understand why Canon didn't just make this an EF L glass...

And yes, I've decided on getting the 70-200 f/2.8L IS for sure.

 eorlingas's gear list:eorlingas's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +3 more
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eorlingas
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

Another option I have is to sell my 17-40, use the money to offset the cost of buying 16-35mm f2.8L II USM. Sell my 28-135 to offset 70-200 f2.8L IS II. And keep 50 f/1.8 II.

I'd end up with 16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200mm. Thoughts?

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +3 more
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MI6gunny
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

IF I were you I would keep the 50mm f/1.8. I think you being on a cropped sensor shooting landscapes and street something like the Canon EF-S 10-22 or the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 would make the most sense

eorlingas wrote:

Another option I have is to sell my 17-40, use the money to offset the cost of buying 16-35mm f2.8L II USM. Sell my 28-135 to offset 70-200 f2.8L IS II. And keep 50 f/1.8 II.

I'd end up with 16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200mm. Thoughts?

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aVolanche
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to ultimitsu, May 19, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:

MI6gunny wrote:

If I were you I would all 3 lenses, buy a 17-55 or sigma 17-50 OS. and put the rest of the money towards 70-200 II or F4 IS or 70-300 L.

The OP already said he had the 17-40 and the 50mm f/1.8.

what I meant to say is to sell all 3 existing lenses.

IS was meant for negating camera shake.

...? that is exactly what IS is for.

And in my experience IS is only effective for 1-2 stops at best, 3-4 if I can drop my heart rate below 60bpm

I

dpending on your lens, 24-105's IS is rated at 1~2 stop. but with 17-55, I can comfortably shoot 1/10s at 55mm end.

Where did you get that? The 24-105 F4 L is rated at three stops of IS.

As for moving subjects, given the thin DOF for F1.4, you may end up with more OOF images than shooting F2.8, especially if they move in or out of focus plane, it further reduces the benefit of F1.4.

The 7D features one of the most advanced Auto-focus systems for a camera of its kind ever. I think it should be able to keep up with moving targets with that lens.

this is a problem even 1D/D3 owners have.

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Peter 13
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to ultimitsu, May 19, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:

see discussion here on why F1.4 doesnt get you F1.4 light transmission

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1019&thread=41526763&message=latest

So F1.4 is a bit of a waste of money.

If I were you I would all 3 lenses, buy a 17-55 or sigma 17-50 OS.

BTW, the 17-55 (and just about any other lens) does not get you the advertised transmission either:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Canon/EF-S-17-55-f-2.8-IS-USM

Click on Measurements, Transmission. The loss is 0.7 Ev vs. 0.5 Ev for f/1.4 lenses.

I would still back the recommendation for the 17-55/50 however.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to Peter 13, May 19, 2012

Peter 13 wrote:

BTW, the 17-55 (and just about any other lens) does not get you the advertised transmission either:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Canon/EF-S-17-55-f-2.8-IS-USM

Click on Measurements, Transmission. The loss is 0.7 Ev vs. 0.5 Ev for f/1.4 lenses.

I could be wrong but I think this is a different problem. This loss seems to be caused by the number and quality of glasses in the lens, so the loss will be constant at all apertures, I.e. at 2.8 you lose 0.7, at f4.0 you still lose 0.7. Also primes all seem to only lose 0.2, I guess it is due to less number of glasses inside. 24-105 loses 1.1 stop and 16-35 loses o.4 stop.

Basically you have pile this loss on top of the micro lens loss, so for 1.4 lens it will be 0.2 + 0.4 = 0.6 stop loss at f 1.4.

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GatanoII
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to eorlingas, May 19, 2012

eorlingas wrote:

Another option I have is to sell my 17-40, use the money to offset the cost of buying 16-35mm f2.8L II USM. Sell my 28-135 to offset 70-200 f2.8L IS II. And keep 50 f/1.8 II.

I'd end up with 16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200mm. Thoughts?

it will cost much more than the 17-55 + 70-200 combo and will give you worst results, buy more glass with the saved money

if you have a crop body the 17-55 is the glass to have for the standard zoom range, noting better exist for that scope, what it's missing is the L build quality, I'll pay 50% more to have L build quality on that glass ... wait a minute, if canon makes it I wont upgrade because the L optical quality is already there and the build quality is still very good, unless I have to take photos in war zones or heavy rain condition, the 17-55 is not wort to upgrade, even if canon builds an L model.

once you have a FF camera think at the FF glass, but till you have a crop camera think at the right glass for your format, your camera will be used at it's best, the 17-55 keeps it's value over time just like the best L glass.

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Peter 13
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to ultimitsu, May 19, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:

Peter 13 wrote:

BTW, the 17-55 (and just about any other lens) does not get you the advertised transmission either:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Canon/EF-S-17-55-f-2.8-IS-USM

Click on Measurements, Transmission. The loss is 0.7 Ev vs. 0.5 Ev for f/1.4 lenses.

I could be wrong but I think this is a different problem. This loss seems to be caused by the number and quality of glasses in the lens, so the loss will be constant at all apertures, I.e. at 2.8 you lose 0.7, at f4.0 you still lose 0.7. Also primes all seem to only lose 0.2, I guess it is due to less number of glasses inside. 24-105 loses 1.1 stop and 16-35 loses o.4 stop.

Basically you have pile this loss on top of the micro lens loss, so for 1.4 lens it will be 0.2 + 0.4 = 0.6 stop loss at f 1.4.

They are not very clear about this. My understanding is that they measure the total loss wide open regardless of what causes it. The primes are brighter but wide open you have microlens vignetting - so there is some balance of the two factors. In terms of "QE", I still believe that 0.7-0.5-0.2 is right.

I have done experiments with my 35L on the 5D2. I can measure 0.2 EV with LR4. DXO says about 0.4 or so. This only makes sense if the DXO figure includes light loss due to glass and Canon not telling the whole truth plus about 0.2 microlens vignetting.

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eorlingas
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to GatanoII, May 19, 2012

Thanks for all the replies! The 17-55 IS is a serious possibility right now, and I'll definitely be getting the 70-200.

I think you guys are right, with my current glass lineup, I'm always finding something missing but haven't been able to put my finger on it.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to Peter 13, May 19, 2012

Peter 13 wrote:

I could be wrong but I think this is a different problem. This loss seems to be caused by the number and quality of glasses in the lens, so the loss will be constant at all apertures, I.e. at 2.8 you lose 0.7, at f4.0 you still lose 0.7. Also primes all seem to only lose 0.2, I guess it is due to less number of glasses inside. 24-105 loses 1.1 stop and 16-35 loses o.4 stop.

Basically you have pile this loss on top of the micro lens loss, so for 1.4 lens it will be 0.2 + 0.4 = 0.6 stop loss at f 1.4.

They are not very clear about this. My understanding is that they measure the total loss wide open regardless of what causes it. The primes are brighter but wide open you have microlens vignetting - so there is some balance of the two factors. In terms of "QE", I still believe that 0.7-0.5-0.2 is right.

I have done experiments with my 35L on the 5D2. I can measure 0.2 EV with LR4. DXO says about 0.4 or so. This only makes sense if the DXO figure includes light loss due to glass and Canon not telling the whole truth plus about 0.2 microlens vignetting.

If you check their measurements, you will see all sub-100mm primes have 0.2 loss exactly, and one any camera you pick, even for 7D, but if you check F-stop blues article, 7D at F1.4 loses 0.66 stops. this is what leads me to believe these 2 figures - lens T-stop and micro-lens loss - are independent.

I cannot explain why your got only a total of 0.2 stop from your 5D2 test though. have you tested 7-200 F4 IS? you should get a figure of 0.6 stop loss.

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Peter 13
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to ultimitsu, May 20, 2012

ultimitsu wrote:

If you check their measurements, you will see all sub-100mm primes have 0.2 loss exactly, and one any camera you pick, even for 7D, but if you check F-stop blues article, 7D at F1.4 loses 0.66 stops. this is what leads me to believe these 2 figures - lens T-stop and micro-lens loss - are independent.

I cannot explain why your got only a total of 0.2 stop from your 5D2 test though. have you tested 7-200 F4 IS? you should get a figure of 0.6 stop loss.

Why? I can only test for the camera compensation (hidden "ISO" boost). I cannot check whether f/4 is actually f/4, or f/5 in terms of light transmission, etc. I do not believe that there is any boost at f/4 with that lens but I will try some day.

On the other hand, a few years ago I checked a few of the lenses back then at f/4 (no unscrew, just shoot a fixed target) and the 50/1.8 was the brightest by about 1/2 stop, the EF-S 60 was next, and the zooms were the last. Those differences might be also due to what Canon calls f/4 on the 50/1.8, etc.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Would the 35mm f/1.4L be redundant given my current glass collection?
In reply to Peter 13, May 20, 2012

Peter 13 wrote:

Why? I can only test for the camera compensation (hidden "ISO" boost). I cannot check whether f/4 is actually f/4, or f/5 in terms of light transmission, etc. I do not believe that there is any boost at f/4 with that lens but I will try some day.

I see, I thought you somehow was able to test actual transmission.

what you tested is difference between F1/4 vs other apertures, so it can't show the loss inherent to the glasses in the lens.

On the other hand, a few years ago I checked a few of the lenses back then at f/4 (no unscrew, just shoot a fixed target) and the 50/1.8 was the brightest by about 1/2 stop, the EF-S 60 was next, and the zooms were the last. Those differences might be also due to what Canon calls f/4 on the 50/1.8, etc.

this is in line with DXO's measurements.

50 F1.8 T-stop : 2, T2 - F1.8 = 0.2 stop loss

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en../Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Canon/EF50mm-f-1-8-II/ (camera) 436

60 F2.8 T-stop : 3.3, T3.3 - F1.8= 0.5 stop loss

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en../Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Canon/EF-S-60mm-f2.8-Macro-USM/ (camera) 619

17-55 T-stop : 3.4, T3.4 - F2.8 = 0.6 stop loss

So if you set f4 on all of them yo get 4.2 on 50mm, 4.5 on 60mm, 4.6 on 17-55. between 50mm to 17-55, the difference is 0.4 stop.

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