35, 50 or Both?

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MMACory
MMACory Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
35, 50 or Both?

On a full-frame, to complement a 14, 24-70 f/4, 85 1.4 and a 135, would you favor a 35 1.4 II or 50 1.2 for general everything?  My paid thing is headshots/portraits/commercial, but most of my photography is just the usual personal not-paid landscapes, travel and architecture.

Thanks.

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Pocket Lint Contributing Member • Posts: 778
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

I would get both if you can afford it. I like my 50 1.2. It is pretty versatile. Can be used for portraits, beautiful out of focus rendering, stopped down to f/2, it’s very sharp. Weather sealed and good solid build quality.

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I just got in to photography and I love the artistic and technical aspect of it.

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rmexpress22 Senior Member • Posts: 1,030
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

If you do group shots, the 35 II would give you more. If you just want a slightly different perspective or feel you need to shoot in tighter spaces, the 50 1.2.

Full disclosure, I've disliked every 50mm I've owned, from the plastic to the L.
But I do think the 50 is too close to the 85 whereas you don't have a really large aperture standard lens in your toolkit.

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ffabrici Contributing Member • Posts: 979
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
9

I would buy the 35L II first and then evaluate whether you also want/need the 50L. The two lenses discussed are very different. The 35L II is an extraordinary sharp and well corrected lens whereas the 50L is a signature lens designed for torso portraits and super smooth bokeh, but is comes with the price of focus shift (RSA), hefty CA and softness when wide open.

Wanderer52 Forum Member • Posts: 58
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
2

Was considering buying the same but have decided to split the difference. So impressed am I with the Sigma 105f1.4 Art, I've ordered the Sigma 40f1.4 Art. Should have it Thursday.

P.S. I traded my Canon 85f1.2L II for the Sigma 105f1.4 Art. No regrets whatsoever.

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threw the lens
threw the lens Senior Member • Posts: 1,949
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
2

I believe the 35 II is the better lens objectively. And it's not more hard to make a 50mm f1.2 than it is a 35mm f1.4, it's probably the other way round.

I was never at home with a 35mm field of view, it was never quite wide enough for scenics nor long enough to do much service shooting people. I liked 45 a bit better. The 40mm Sigma sounds a hell of a lens, but is also professional zoom weight.

tcphoto1
tcphoto1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,000
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

I find the 50L to be quite versatile and have been thinking about adding a 35LII. Since you have an 85L, I would probably add a 35LII next.

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Steve Balcombe Forum Pro • Posts: 13,596
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

MMACory wrote:

On a full-frame, to complement a 14, 24-70 f/4, 85 1.4 and a 135, would you favor a 35 1.4 II or 50 1.2 for general everything? My paid thing is headshots/portraits/commercial, but most of my photography is just the usual personal not-paid landscapes, travel and architecture.

Thanks.

It's already been mentioned but definitely consider the Sigma 40/1.4 Art. It's very big and heavy, but worth it.

Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,767
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

MMACory wrote:

On a full-frame, to complement a 14, 24-70 f/4, 85 1.4 and a 135, would you favor a 35 1.4 II or 50 1.2 for general everything? My paid thing is headshots/portraits/commercial, but most of my photography is just the usual personal not-paid landscapes, travel and architecture.

Thanks.

”General everything?” Well, that means the EF 35/2.4L II, for me. It is not even close. 35mm and 50mm are so very far apart, 35mm is more useful to me, and I have zooms that cover 50mm.

The EF 50/1.2L is for a photographer who wants the specific visual effects that this lens produces.

I loved my 50L for portraits, when using a 7D camera, which cropped much of the 50L’s less-desirable character. That was some time ago; pre-2014, perhaps pre-2012. My 100mm Macro L and 135L became my favored portrait lenses. My first-version 35L became my combined travel and “general everything” prime lens, and now I have an EF 35/2 IS and EF 35/1.4L II lenses.

When I revisited the idea of a 50mm lens with “character” in its visual signature, in early 2018, I ended up with a well-preserved, pre-owned Leica Summilux-M 50mm ASPH, which meant that I had to buy an M10 camera to affix to its hind end.

To be clear, I am not hating the 50L. I still have mine, though its focusing mechanism is inoperative. Paying a technician to repair it has not been a priority, and I mostly forgot about it for several years.

I am not, and have never been, a “professional” photographer. I did endeavor to make the best possible evidentiary images, the most important of which were images of crime victims and their injuries, at portrait, head-shot, and close-range/macro distances, but these had to be clinically correct, not images with any character, so I used a 100mm Macro L, and zooms known for low distortion in the “normal” range. (These victims were usually living and breathing.)

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By accident of availability, I learned to use Canon and Nikon DSLRs at the same time. I love specific lenses made by both Canon and Nikon, too much to quit either system. Dabbling with Leica-M is fun, too. I am, certainly, not an expert.

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MMACory
OP MMACory Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
1.4 vs. 2.0?

Thanks and, if you don't mind, could you talk about about your 1.4 II vs. the 2.0 IS?

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JerryriggedTECH
JerryriggedTECH Senior Member • Posts: 1,019
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

MMACory wrote:

On a full-frame, to complement a 14, 24-70 f/4, 85 1.4 and a 135, would you favor a 35 1.4 II or 50 1.2 for general everything? My paid thing is headshots/portraits/commercial, but most of my photography is just the usual personal not-paid landscapes, travel and architecture.

Thanks.

I'm in a similar position... For primes, I have the 35mm f/1.4L II and just recently got the 85mm f/1.4L IS (also have the 100mm L macro). Trying to decide if I should get the new RF 50mm f/1.2L (I shoot on the EOS R), and/or the 135mm f/2.  I'm really leaning toward that new RF 50 1.2, because I think it will be different enough from the 35 and the 85 to make it useful.

I know the Sigma 135 is supposed to be better than the Canon 135, but the Canon is loved by so many! Would be nice to have a fast(ish) telephoto, but not sure how useful 135 would be?

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Jerryrigged
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EOS R (x2), 5D4, 6D
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EF: 16-35 f/4L, 24-70 f/2.8L II, 35mm f/1.4L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 85mm f/1.4L IS, 100mm f/2.8L Macro

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MMACory
OP MMACory Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Re: 35, 50 or Both?

JerryriggedTECH wrote:

Would be nice to have a fast(ish) telephoto, but not sure how useful 135 would be?

Was going to get the 85 1.4, but figured that I'll use that or the 135 for that application (most of the time). Then thought about maybe selling the 135 and getting the 85 for a nice concise kit where I could use the 85 all the time vs. the 135 only when I have the room.

But then thought that the 135 could serve (as it currently does) as a phenomenal portrait lens and a short telephoto so decided against GAS and just stuck with the 135/no 85.

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ttcyclist Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
2

I think it is largely a preference thing. What field of view do you prefer? You can use the 24-70 at each focal length to see what works for you. Also the 35 will be better if sharpness is key to you, the 50 if you like that “magical” look that the 85 1.2 has.

Also think of lens pairings. When I just use one lens I go with the 50. For people I often go with a 35 and 85 pairing but for landscape I like the 24tse and 50 combo. Pairing a 50 and 85 might not be enough difference, but 50 and 135 would work well. The 14 could likely go with either of these lenses.

long story short I ended up with both because I like to vary lens combos, but if I chose one I’d pick the 50 based on my shooting preferences.

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Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,767
Re: 1.4 And 2.0
1

MMACory wrote:

Thanks and, if you don't mind, could you talk about about your 1.4 II vs. the 2.0 IS?

I see this as EF 35/1.4L IS II “and” the EF 35/2 IS, rather than one “versus” the other.
The short version would be that the use case is important. The 35/2 IS makes a compact do-it-all two-lens combo with my EF 100/2.8L Macro IS, has a very short Minimum Focusing Distance, accepts the same Macro Ring Lite adapter as the Macro L, and, of course, has Image Stabilization, which does matter, at times, especially on the pixel-dense 5Ds R. The 35/1.4L II is one of the most optically-perfect 35mm lenses available, has the wider aperture for lower light, and has weather sealing.

The magnification of the 35/2 IS does not make it a true macro lens, but its ability to photograph something at a very close distance, with the Macro ring Lite flash in place, certainly had its useful moments, such as photographing bullet holes while moving about inside a limo bus, which had been shot repeatedly. (From 2010 to early 2018, I had the added duty of evidentiary/forensic/crime scene photography, as part of my first-responder duties.)

Actually, even though the 35/2 IS could share the same Macro Ring Lite adapter as my work-horse Macro lens, I ordered a second adapter, as soon as I bought the 35/2 IS, as it makes a nicely-compact short metal hood, that I can leave in place all the time.

Because I may want to use two cameras, at the same time, one a 7D or 7D II, and the other a 5Ds R or 5D IV, I may be using two 35mm lenses at the same time, each providing a different angle of view. Had the 35/1.4L not been developed, I might have bought a second 35/2 IS.

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By accident of availability, I learned to use Canon and Nikon DSLRs at the same time. I love specific lenses made by both Canon and Nikon, too much to quit either system. Dabbling with Leica-M is fun, too. I am, certainly, not an expert.

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arty H Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: 1.4 And 2.0
2

I have the 35F2 and the 35F2IS. I also have the 50 in various forms. For a pure portrait function, I like 50 on full frame, or 35 on crop. For a general purpose, do it all sort of lens, 35 gets much more use on full frame. It will do architecture and people. The 50 gets used less.

I like having both, but tend to use my 35s much more often. They are more versatile.

JerryriggedTECH
JerryriggedTECH Senior Member • Posts: 1,019
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

JerryriggedTECH wrote:

MMACory wrote:

On a full-frame, to complement a 14, 24-70 f/4, 85 1.4 and a 135, would you favor a 35 1.4 II or 50 1.2 for general everything? My paid thing is headshots/portraits/commercial, but most of my photography is just the usual personal not-paid landscapes, travel and architecture.

Thanks.

I'm in a similar position... For primes, I have the 35mm f/1.4L II and just recently got the 85mm f/1.4L IS (also have the 100mm L macro). Trying to decide if I should get the new RF 50mm f/1.2L (I shoot on the EOS R), and/or the 135mm f/2. I'm really leaning toward that new RF 50 1.2, because I think it will be different enough from the 35 and the 85 to make it useful.

I know the Sigma 135 is supposed to be better than the Canon 135, but the Canon is loved by so many! Would be nice to have a fast(ish) telephoto, but not sure how useful 135 would be?

UPDATE: I went with the RF 50 f/1.2L - being delivered tomorrow! However, if I didn't already have the 35 f/1.4L II, I'd get the 35 first! The 50 will is still a bit of an unknown for me. I used the EF 50 1.2, and loved it, though no one will say it is a particularly sharp lens (sharpness isn't everything). My understanding is that the new RF 50 lens that I'm getting is supposed to be very sharp... even wide open at 1.2!

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Jerryrigged
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Rexgig0
Rexgig0 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,767
Enjoy!

Enjoy your new lens!

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By accident of availability, I learned to use Canon and Nikon DSLRs at the same time. I love specific lenses made by both Canon and Nikon, too much to quit either system. Dabbling with Leica-M is fun, too. I am, certainly, not an expert.

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JerryriggedTECH
JerryriggedTECH Senior Member • Posts: 1,019
Re: 35, 50 or Both?

So shot with the new RF 50mm f/1.2 over Thanksgiving. After culling images, I came up with my 33 favorites that I sent around to the family. I also was shooting with the 35mm f/1.4L II. Of the 33 favorites, 32 of them were with the new 50mm! I'm not hating on the 35... it is one of my all-time favorites. But that new RF 50 is just awesome... almost every image is just magic. Sort of like my experience with the old EF 50mm f/1.2 - which wasn't sharp, but made really amazing images. RF 50 brings both - sharpness and magic!

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Jerryrigged
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EOS R (x2), 5D4
EF-S 10-18 IS STM
EF: 16-35 f/4L, 24-70 f/2.8L II, 35mm f/1.4L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 85mm f/1.4L IS, 100mm f/2.8L Macro

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1Dx4me Senior Member • Posts: 7,808
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
1

Pocket Lint wrote:

I would get both if you can afford it. I like my 50 1.2. It is pretty versatile. Can be used for portraits, beautiful out of focus rendering, stopped down to f/2, it’s very sharp. Weather sealed and good solid build quality.

50mm has been my least favorite FL, ever! 35mm and 80mm are my fave for portrait for full body and head or shoulder portraits. 50mm FL doesn't make any sense to me, i rather go back and forth on my feet and frame my subject than a dull 50mm prime. however, the latest gen canon teles (II) generation, they are like having primes in that range, such as canon 24-70 f2.8 II. i have retired my "L" primes in that range, ever since i acquired my 24-70 f2.8 II! i know this wasn't your question but i just threw it in the discussion as an alternative

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Trevor Sowers
Trevor Sowers Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Re: 35, 50 or Both?
2

MMACory wrote:

On a full-frame, to complement a 14, 24-70 f/4, 85 1.4 and a 135, would you favor a 35 1.4 II or 50 1.2 for general everything? My paid thing is headshots/portraits/commercial, but most of my photography is just the usual personal not-paid landscapes, travel and architecture.

Thanks.

I have and use both.  The 50L gives me more joy and the 35L (mine is old model) is just darn useful.

For the uses you've listed you may enjoy the 35 more.

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