50mm F/1.4 lens or a Canon 580EX II?

Started Mar 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
osullis Regular Member • Posts: 179
Re: 50mm F/1.4 lens or a Canon 580EX II?

I was in exactly the same situation as you, a few years ago, and asked this very question in a number of places. I was surprised by the responses and, ultimately, by my own choice.

The overall advice I received was to favor the flash. I didn't like this advice, because I wanted to use ambient light. I thought that this somehow makes for "better" photographs. I was wrong.

I have bought a few fast primes, including the 50 1.4 and the 85 1.8. I use them, but not NEARLY as often as I use the flash. I've come to learn that the flash is so flexible -- but there's a steep learning cure. By controlling
a. the distance of the flash to the subject
b. the power of the flash output
c. the angle of the flash (bouncing it off of other surfaces)
d. modifiers (stofens, umbrellas, reflectors, etc)

you can get almost any look you want to. Not so much for a 50mm 1.4 lens.

My advice is this: get the flash. You'll gain far more than you'll gain with the lens, and learn to improve your own photography by controlling light, and there's nothing, really, more important than that.


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