A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens

Started Jul 5, 2013 | Discussions
SohoAperture
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A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
Jul 5, 2013

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom.  Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event.  I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc?  Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance.

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Muresan Bogdan
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 5, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom. Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event. I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc? Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

I own the Canon 50mm f1.4 and the 85mm f1.8 . They are great lens. For general use I would say that the 50mm is better than the 85. The 85 will give you a better background blur for portraits but is a bit long. I sometimes find even the 50mm to long if you shoot indoors at least. I am planning in buying a 35 or 24 mm beacuse of this. But 50mm is a great full body portrait lens, maybe good to use for 2-3 people groups if you have enough space to backup.

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I had some bad experiences with third party lens and will never buy one again. I don't think the Canon 50mm f1.2 is worth the money against the 1.4 if you do not need the weather sealing the L ring brings.

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance.

From my experience I can tell you I love the lens and use it for about 3 years now without any problem. The focus is not as fast as the 85mm but it is precise and fast enough.

Good luck with your choice.

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Philippe Castagna
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 5, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom. Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event. I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc? Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance.

I recently tried the 2 canon f/1.4 and f/1.2 on my 6D (which provide similar IQ than the 5DmkIII)

The f/1.2 gave me great images with a beautiful bokeh. Compare to the 24-105 @50mm and f/5.6 the result was similar but with a most detailed and smooth bokeh. The general image IQ is improved.

I had the f/1.4 several years on my 40D (crop) and it was good but I didn't like it at all on the 6D. Especially in the corner the IQ is not really attractive.

Finally, FYI, for everyday photo and lighter system, I goes with the canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake which is good wide open and much better than the 50mm f/1.4 for half price and half size...

Cheers

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glokenpop
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Get the Sigma
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 5, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom. Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event. I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc? Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Yes from 1.4 - 2.2 it is, from 2.8 onwards the canon gets better.

And yes it's better than the Canon 50L at 1.4.

I have the Sigma 50 1.4 it's awesome, it's cheap and if you have a full frame camera and you don't own one you need to take a good long look at yourself.

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I have some L glass and it's often worth it - with the 35, the 50 and the 85 I don't think it is. Sigma is kicking butt with their fancy primes.

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance.

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William DIllard
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 5, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom. Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event. I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc? Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance

I had the 50 1.4 and it was a good lens at the least. I know some pro's that use it frequently, Omar Carter for one and he is awesome with it. Much has to do with how much you like that focal length and your skill with the lens in question. I know that the optics are really good on the 50 1.4 but only as wide as 2.2 on a regular basis. You can almost guarantee your shot at 2.2 but wider than that it struggles. Naturally you can shoot it wide open if the subject is still and if you are not too too close. So if 2.2 is good enough for you get the lens. If 2.2 is not  good enough for you you have to consider the 50L. I only shot the Sigma once and I did not like it much. But one time really is not a fair test. Yor photo store should be willing to let you test the lens if they think you are serious !

The Sigma 35 is truly great but for me personally I would not be happy with only one prime lens that was 35mm.

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Klaus dk
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to William DIllard, Jul 5, 2013

If your problem is that you use the tele end of your zoom too much and you want to be better at including more in the picture, would you not be better off with a 35 mm or 28 mm prime?

If you are set on 50 mm, why not test it with the nifty fifty (f/1.8)? You can get it used cheaply and sell it again without much loss.

You could also fix your zoom with tape at any focal length you want to learn, and shoot with it as if it were a prime for some days.

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Ed/Chicago
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 6, 2013

I would recommend the 28 1.8 and stop it down....  You can get a lot of environment into your picture with this prime and still be able to more easily control distortions. I have this lens and sometimes use it as an unobtrusive walk around lens set to hyperfocal, aperture preferred on my camera. The 50mm range is great, but I use it at a 1.4 aperture only and portrait that includes most or all of the body. I have to force myself to stop down any lens....

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Timbukto
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 6, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom. Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event. I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc? Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance.

Which one you get will depend entirely on the performance of individual copies IMO. I've compared my previous 50mm 1.4 and Sigma 1.4 and felt the Canon took the lead by the time you stopped down past f2, etc and that was my old copy. I also compared my 40mm f2.8 to the old 50mm f1.4 and with my *previous* copies of both, felt the 40mm f2.8 was better (I sold my old 40mm f2.8 with my 5DMKII and felt that combo was stellar and I didn't get quite the same out of it with the 6D + new copy of the 40mm f2.8).

However my recent Canon 50mm 1.4 on the 6D is just stunning wide open even to the point that it is my favorite by far over other alternatives. In terms of handling I vastly prefer the smaller and lighter Canon 50mm 1.4 over Sigma and you will want to buy a cheap $6 hood to permanently affix to it for protection. But even with the hood it still beats the Sigma in size and carry.  Sigma might have more contrast or saturation wide open as well as vignetting, but I happen to disregard a lot of these differentials that are a single checkbox or tiny nudge of a slider of software PP, (or Digic V heavily has a mini-DLO built in actually to produce very good OOC wide open shots).  If anything its unfortunately the Canon brand that has more PP possibility with DPP DLO and has the native in-camera lens correction for better OOC performance.

All wide open full-size. Near infinity shot is behind a hotel window, and slight softness in mid-frame had more to do with focus adjustment than anything (only used PDAF and didn't really adjust which even though near infinity can make a big difference still as I have other wide open shot *but poorer exposure due to harsher lighting* that were actually sharper mid-frame). I would say that you can spend a bit more time adjusting focus (I just haphazardly aimed the center point to a distant building and shot), you can get rid of more outer-frame softness as it appears sometimes that center frame always tends to have a higher 'effective' DOF than outer frame...

Same for the 24-105L...I had a copy that had noticeable border softness at 24mm wide open...and then a stellar copy that was very usable at 24mm wide open, etc. There are folks that subscribe to the theory that there is very little real-world sample variation. I would say that is true of all lens *after* you stop down once or twice, but rarely true wide-open. Granted I don't believe you should only stress wide-open performance, however it tends to be wide-open performance is what justifies far more expensive, far more heavier classes of lenses...so YMMV.

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CrapCamera
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Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens
In reply to SohoAperture, Jul 6, 2013

SohoAperture wrote:

I currently use the 24-105mm on my 5D3 but have this awful habit of using too much zoom. Although i normally end up with lovely portrait shots i normally miss out on what is really happening in the scene and only capture the small details rather than the main event. I know i should discipline myself but thought a 50mm could maybe help prevent me from doing this.

I see a lot of people using the 50mm as the lens of choice for everyday photography, would you recommend this as the lens of choice for everyday street, holiday shots, etc? Would the 35mm or the 85mm be a better choice?

Also a photographer friend tells me the Sigma 50mm 1.4 is better than the Canon 50mm 1.4 - is this the case?

Or would you recommend i sell one of my kidneys and buy a canon 50mm 1.2?

I am still swaying to the 50m 1.4 but would like to hear other peoples experience

Thanks in advance.

This is the reason many street photographers use a 35mm, you need to include the context of the subject.

I'd recommend the Canon 35L

It is a very good lens, and worth the price.

More 35L examples

Since I wasn't going to be using a 50mm for moving people shots so much, I decided on the manual focus Zeiss 50/2 Makro-Planar for this focal length.

It is a very versatile lens be macro (half life size), and superb colour, micro contrast and sharpness.

More Zeiss 50/2 examples

I have no regrets on these two lenses.

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