First Prime Experience

Started Oct 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
graphikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Re: First Prime Experience

chumphries wrote:

Hey everyone,

I just purchased my first DSLR (Canon t4i) with the 18-135 kit lens and 70-250 zoom lens. I'm trying to decide on a first prime lens.

I understand the pros of both 30-35mm primes and 50mm primes and I can see where they would both be beneficial depending on what you shoot more. I have about $700 left in my budget to spend and $250 is for the Canon EX II flash, which leaves me about $450.

I 'm considering the following options myself:

  • Sigma 30mm f/1.4 - $489
  • Canon 50mm f/1.4 - $336
  • Canon 35mm f/2 - $309 and Canon 50mm f/1.8 - $92 (I'd be able to get both, but I'm afraid of buyers remorse wishing I would have gotten the Canon 50mm f/1.4 instead because of its pretty bokeh and the extra stop)

NOTE: I'm aware of the AF issues for the various lenses. I plan to inspect/test all the lenses when I receive them for defects and purchase through Amazon in case they ever stop working.

Putting branding and cost aside, I'm wanted to know of some of your experiences with your primes. Specifically I'm looking for the following:

  • Which prime do you use most and why?
  • Any thoughts on the options I'm considering?

The 35mm f/2 is not very good optically wide open, so it doesn't offer much over f/2.8 zooms except its light weight and small size (which still are pretty nice if you like a small camera kit).    I'd give it a miss.

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is fairly nice for the price, if you are satisfied with the AF.  I wasn't.

The 50mm f/1.4 is fairly fragile.  However, it is better optically than the f/1.8 and focuses more quickly and accurately.

The 40mm f/2.8 is very nice optically and can be had for under $150 right now.  While it's not f/1.8, it is nice and small, and wlil be noticeably faster than your current kit zooms.

In your situation, with such a limited budget, I might get the 50mm f/1.8 now (or 40mm f/2.8 if low light is not a high priority), live with the limitations, and save up for another prime.  The 35mm f/2 IS looks like it may be a very nice lens, and a 50mm refresh is likely in the works too.

My favorite primes that might eventually fit into your budget include the 50mm f/1.4, 28mm f/1.8, and 85mm f/1.8.

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