50/1.4 or 135/2 dilemma...help

Started Mar 10, 2006 | Discussions
rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
50/1.4 or 135/2 dilemma...help

I have an offer for a newish 135/2 but money is a big factor. I realize the quality of the lens and the images are superb. The 50/1.4 gets good reviews and it is smaller and much cheaper. Between the two which would I get the most consistent daily use, bearing in mind that image color and saturation are very important. Any help will certainly be appreciated.
Russell

Paul Turton Contributing Member • Posts: 855
Re: 50/1.4 or 135/2 dilemma...help

Two entirely different lenses and uses. Myself, I pick up my 135L to go for a walk and don't even think of using my 50 f/1.4 - maybe because I like to fill my frame with the subject. My 50 does get usage but it is not sharp wide open like my 135L and 35L.

If the deal on the 135L is exceptional and comes from a reliable source don't hesitate. The 135L will become a favourite lens from the first shot. Its sharpness, colour, contrast and bokeh are a standard by which other lenses are compared.

...now start saving for the 35L

Paul
http://www.iaw.com/~pturton/
http://www.photo.net/photos/pturton

zape Senior Member • Posts: 1,062
Entirely different lenses...

... for entirely different purposes. Not comparable.

Perhaps if you would tell us what subjects you want to shoot with them?

-- hide signature --

br
ZapE

OP rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
purpose

I shoot anything and everything, vary from what I am doing to where I am at. I know they are quite different, just trying to justify buying the 135:-)) I have used the 135 and it renders superb images of whatever taken.
Russell

voland Contributing Member • Posts: 915
Re: 50/1.4 or 135/2 dilemma...help

rkhndjr wrote:

I have an offer for a newish 135/2 but money is a big factor. I
realize the quality of the lens and the images are superb. The
50/1.4 gets good reviews and it is smaller and much cheaper.
Between the two which would I get the most consistent daily use,
bearing in mind that image color and saturation are very important.
Any help will certainly be appreciated.
Russell

it would be helpful if you tell us:

1) if you use FF or 1.6 crop body

2) what do you want to do with the lens - what kind of photography?

4) how big is your house?

while it's true that 135/2 is MUCH better lens overall (L-built quality, more reliable "real" USM autofocus vs. "ring" USM, smooth manual focus ring, sharper at f2, no barrel distortion, ETC) still for certain applications 50/1.4 is better (f1.4 for low light photography, possible to use in small spaces, lighter, ETC).

If you use 1.6 crop camera, need a prime for casual indoor avalable light pics of your kids and pets - get 50/1.4;

If you live in a mansion, use full frame camera, need a lens for indoor basketball or rock concerts, or need a perfect portrait lens with ultimate bokeh and sharpness - get 135/2

I own both lenses and use them for different purposes. Actually your question sounds little strange to me; it's like asking "should I buy a new car or a new plasma TV?"

OP rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
voland

it is a strange question. I did reply in above about what I shot. I do understand the differences. I use a 20D and take pictures of all things, love the very act of taking a picture. I see beauty in all creation and take pictures of all things. My purpose here is to find if the 50mm is of high enough quality to make a difference. If it were not that money was a big factor there would be no post here.
Russell

voland Contributing Member • Posts: 915
Re: voland

rkhndjr wrote:

it is a strange question. I did reply in above about what I shot. I
do understand the differences. I use a 20D and take pictures of all
things, love the very act of taking a picture. I see beauty in all
creation and take pictures of all things. My purpose here is to
find if the 50mm is of high enough quality to make a difference. If
it were not that money was a big factor there would be no post here.
Russell

both lenses are sharp, 50/1.4 on 20D is more versatile, if I had to chose only one lens I would get 50/1.4, but now that I have both you have to kill me first before I give up on my 135/2, the difference in price is about x3 but both lenses worth every penny for what they provide.
taken with 50/1.4 at f2:

OP rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
Re: voland

yes, money is scarce when you are my age with Social Security the only income. Otherwise there would be no hesitation. There is a 50/1.4 on FM for sale and I have an offer for a 135/2 made in 2005, good price on it, too.
Russell

voland Contributing Member • Posts: 915
Re: voland

rkhndjr wrote:

yes, money is scarce when you are my age with Social Security the
only income. Otherwise there would be no hesitation. There is a
50/1.4 on FM for sale and I have an offer for a 135/2 made in 2005,
good price on it, too.
Russell

if you are on such a tight budget maybe you should consider getting 50/1.8 and 100/2 instead? the difference in terms of picture quality won't be that big.

OP rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
Re: voland

I have a Sigma 105 macro that is exceptional sharpness and I use it for portraits and other short tele, as well as macro. It is just a great lens. I have a 35/2 which I think is one of Canon's best and use it a lot for all things from WA to closeups. Have a 28-135 for lots of good stuff, it is a good copy. My Tokina 12-24 takes care of WA. It is my favorite, just fantastic lens.
Russell

caveman_lee Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: 50/1.4 or 135/2 dilemma...help

Hi Paul,

35L, you are moving in a right direction. You will love it.

Caveman
http://www.pbase.com/caveman_lee

GAD Senior Member • Posts: 1,325
My advice

My advice will be conflicting, so be warned.

I have both. In fact I have the 50 f/1.4, 85L, 135L, 24-70, 70-200 IS

All fantastic lenses. I'm blessed to be able to have them all. I also shoot FF and 1.3x crop.

I will tell you hands down, the best lens of the bunch, and the one I grab for a walk in the woods every time is the 135L.

The 50 gets used for available light sitting on the couch with the kids by the window. anywhere I know I need to be close, but for the sheer joy of photography, the 135 is hard to beat. Even the 85L, though amazing, doesn't quite do it for me like the 135, but that's probably due to it being slower and heavier and not as natural in the hand.

Now all of that being said, the 50 is a wonderful lens for the price. My problem with 50mm (and I know I'll get heat from a lot of people for this), is that it's, well, sort of boring.

Now that's a lens-by-lens comparison. The issue for you may be more financial. I can tell you that I had the 50 long before I had the 135, and I had a lot of fun with it.

If money is a prime driver, then money is a prime driver. Be careful about lusting after something beyond your means.

But then, if it makes you happy, what price happiness?

See - conflicting...

FWIW when I want something I shouldn't buy, I force myself to sell some other thing I don't use that much.

GAD
--
Cameras don't take great pictures; people take great pictures

OP rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
Gad

you make good sense. Yes, it is the satisfaction more than all else. I can afford the 135 and your words help me in my desire to have the best. I have used it and the pics are just so good. At my age, why not have and enjoy the best? I love photography and the very act of taking a picture gives such pleasure, whether it is a macro or a WA, they all are wonderful to me. Thanks.
Russell

YellowBullet Senior Member • Posts: 1,374
Get 50 1.4 + 100 2.0

135mm is very long on a 20D. It truly is an amazing lens, but I didn't get to use it much at all.

On FF though, 135 F2L is a must.

Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 827
85USM is your best bet

The 85USM is probably Canon's best lens value. On either a 1:6 body or FF, it's really something. The photos sure look like they were from an L + the focus is instant and silent. Less than $400 - we are talking high value here. I own it, and the other two lenses you are considering. All are excellent (the 50 being disappointing wide open for the money), but the 85 gets used most often. I never leave home without it.

 Lee Baby Simms's gear list:Lee Baby Simms's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM +7 more
Dray Senior Member • Posts: 2,960
I agree...

I have the 35 1.4 L, 85 1.8, and 135 2.0 L, with the 135 being my favorite of the three. However, the 85 can hold it's own in the group and is Canon's best non-L lens, IMHO.

Danny

OP rkhndjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,082
thas to all for this.

hadn't taken the 85mm into the equation.
Russell

39steps Regular Member • Posts: 115
Re: thas to all for this.

Get 135L then the 35L then the 85LII (when price falls somewhat), then the 50/1.2L (if it ever comes out!) and you'll be set!

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