A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens

Started Jul 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
Timbukto Veteran Member • Posts: 4,988
Re: A quick question to those who use a 50mm lens

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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