5D owners : 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 ?

Started Jan 23, 2006 | Discussions thread
Rootbeer Senior Member • Posts: 2,311
Re: True enough.

Peter White wrote:

The 50 f/1.8 is an optical gem. Canon's least expensive 50mm lens
has always been an excellent lens optically, all the way back as
far as you want to go to the 1940s they've been great lenses.

What's different now is the build quality. In the 60s, 70s and 80s,
the R FL and FD 50mm f/1.8 lenses were as well constructed as the
more expensive f/1.4 and 1.2 lenses. The 1.4 lens didn't cost 4
times what the 1.8 lens cost. It was more like 50% more expensive
because the only real difference was the glass, the larger maximum

But now the 50mm lens doesn't have the quiet autofocus or the metal
mount or full time manual focus. So if you're used to FTMF and all
of your lenses but one have it, it makes you not want to put that
lens on your camera. I want all of my lenses to function the same
way so having the 50 with USM is important to me.

It's the reason I bought the 28mm f/1.8 rather than the f/2.8. And
it's the reason I won't use my wife's 70-300 IS zoom. It doesn't
have full time manual focus. She doesn't care because she's loathe
to use manual focus. I think she'd almost rather take up knitting
than manually focus a lens.

That is all true,...however, we are talking about a 300 dollar lens vs a 75 dollar lens... not a 150 dollar vs a 1,200 dollar lens.. The 225 bucks is 225 bucks difference but that's about it.. If sacraficing better image quality is worth 225 bucks to someone,...then why are they buying the 5D then..?

For me, the 1.8 was the very first Canon lens I bought, because when I traded in all my Minolta stuff, I then learned that the store had to hold the equipment for 2 weeks, and I just bought 2 Canon bodies,...and was expecting to buy lenses with what I was getting in return for my used gear,....and so I had 2 cameras with no lenses,...so I ended up buying the 50mm f1.8, because it was "something".. .. I ended up keeping that lens for the next 8 years.. Then I decided to buy the 1.4 version,...and after I used it for a product shoot in my studio,...I wish I had never bought the 1.8 version! I have since found that it is better wider open than the f1.8 version... the ability to manual focus without having to switch the af/mf switch is also nice, because of "full time manual focus" . In addition to that,...the contrast is noticably better.. I find myself using the 50MM f1.4 in situations where my 28-70 f2.8 L was "just about as good as" my f1.8 @ 50mm.. and the 28-70 f2.8 L doesn't come close to my 50mm f1.4...not even comparable..

So,...if 225 bucks is that big of a deal to whom ever,...then get the 50mm f1.8 version,...however, IMO, if it isn't such a big deal, get the best lens you can afford,...and IMO, 300 bucks isn't a lot...Seriously, f one can't afford 300 bucks for an excelent prime lens, they won't be able to afford any other lenses that would be suitable for using the 5D, which is optimized when used in conjunction with Canon's best glass......the "consumer glass, especially the zooms, show their flaws more so when using the 5D than say, the 20D.. and if all one can afford are those long range slow zooooom lenses,....then why bother... just sell the 5D, because they'll never get the performance they desire out of it..


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