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What are expert/enthusiast opinions of this lens on an APS-C (e.g., 600d)? I feel like this is too long for indoor use, and have been eying the 40mm f/2.8 pancake (albeit much slower than this, yet still faster than the 18-55 kit) lens instead, although I really feel like I should be using a 35mm indoors instead.

I have been using my 18-55mm kit lens as wide open as possible (which usually keeps me b/t f/3.5 and f/4.0) to keep ISO down and brighten my photos, which means I usually stay around 40mm and below.

Hoogineer said:   What are expert/enthusiast opinions of this lens on an APS-C (e.g., 600d)? I feel like this is too long for indoor use, and have been eying the 40mm f/2.8 pancake (albeit much slower) lens instead, although I really feel like I should be using a 35mm indoors instead.

I have been using my 18-55mm kit lens as wide open as possible (which usually keeps me b/t f/3.5 and f/4.0) to keep ISO down and brighten my photos.


The great things about this lens are that you don't need a flash and it's really, really sharp.

The downside, as you said, is that it's long. It's long enough that if you want to take a head-to-toe shot of two adults standing up you have to be about 10-12 feet away. Group pictures are difficult as well.

That said, it turns your candids into portraits. You'll learn to go way back for group shots, just because the picture'll look really good.

If you need group shots (like classroom pictures), the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 is pretty good. It's better than the kit, though not as sharp as the 50mm 1.4.

Really, you can't go wrong with the 50mm 1.4, especially at this price. I've been using it almost exclusively for a year, until I added the 17-50. You will be blown away.

thanks OP...in for one and a free filter

at this price, it sure does make it easier to choose over the refurb model at cannon direct

I decided to get one. Couldn't resist...

Now to sell my 50mm F/1.8...

I might be interested in your 50 f/1.8, depending on the price. PM me!

As a note, because this lens is so good in low light you're going to have to fiddle with your metering mode. I use center-weighted average now, but used to use spot metering.

If you use evaluative the shot will tend to be too dark, since the background is usually brighter than your subject when you're indoors. You also have to watch out because it's easier to blow out your background (ie: your background may be all-white).

hosen said:   Add Tiffen UV filter to the order and get it for free. Discount shows up in cart when you go to checkout

Can you send me a print out i want to go back and see if i can get the Free Filter...

According to SLRGear, when this Canon is wide open at f1.4, only about a third of the frame is sharp, while everything else is pretty soft. Sharpness gets much better at f2 and above. Compare to Nikon 50mm 1.4.

Also, for those who want 50mm f1.4 but on a tight budget, consider the manual only Canon FD 50mm 1.4 on eBay. Usually costs under $100 with adapter for modern DSLRs. Optics are very good, all glass.

mannyv said:   The great things about this lens are that you don't need a flash and it's really, really sharp.

The downside, as you said, is that it's long. It's long enough that if you want to take a head-to-toe shot of two adults standing up you have to be about 10-12 feet away. Group pictures are difficult as well.

That said, it turns your candids into portraits. You'll learn to go way back for group shots, just because the picture'll look really good.

If you need group shots (like classroom pictures), the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 is pretty good. It's better than the kit, though not as sharp as the 50mm 1.4.

Really, you can't go wrong with the 50mm 1.4, especially at this price. I've been using it almost exclusively for a year, until I added the 17-50. You will be blown away.


Thanks for the comments! In a perfect world I'd just get the 17-55mm and not worry about anything (although, again, that's still f/2.8). I probably need to play with my kit lens indoors at 50mm to see what the FOV looks like. I'm wondering whether I can add it and make a decision (one way or the other) before it ships. Usually it takes Amazon several days to ship with FSSS, but they may be trying to speed things up closer to X-mas.

AmishBoy said:   Can you link to the $299 lens on B&H? I'm seeing $399.
Add it to the cart and you will see $299 (if you still don't see it, clear your browser's cookie and try it again)

In for one and a free filter. Thanks!

Would this be a good choice for street level video work with the T3i?

AmishBoy said:   Would this be a good choice for street level video work with the T3i?

Yes, I don't see why not. I however, prefer to shoot with older manual focus lenses fitted with a focus gear puller. The one I use and can be had on eBay about about $50 is the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4. The only issue is you have to have it converted and this is how I did that: http://www.motleypixel.com/forum/index.php/topic,608.0.html

LexTalionis said:   AmishBoy said:   Would this be a good choice for street level video work with the T3i?

Yes, I don't see why not. I however, prefer to shoot with older manual focus lenses fitted with a focus gear puller. The one I use and can be had on eBay about about $50 is the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4. The only issue is you have to have it converted and this is how I did that: http://www.motleypixel.com/forum/index.php/topic,608.0.html

Thanks, Lex. Will give it a shot.

Dang! Just bought this from Dell last week at $339.

(also, I have the f/1.8 which I won't need anymore, if you are interested, PM me. Its10 months old)

if anyone wants to buy my 1 year old mint 50mm 1.8

here it is: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290825925916

PM with ur best offer and we can talk

Sorry to disagree, but a 80mm prespective is a great portrait lens, but not the best for a fixed focal length general purpose lens. I think you'd be better off with a 18-50mm to work in that range (or even longer). This is a great lens, but not a great all-around lens.

LexTalionis said:   AmishBoy said:   Would this be a good choice for street level video work with the T3i?

Yes, I don't see why not. I however, prefer to shoot with older manual focus lenses fitted with a focus gear puller. The one I use and can be had on eBay about about $50 is the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4. The only issue is you have to have it converted and this is how I did that: http://www.motleypixel.com/forum/index.php/topic,608.0.html

dogmeat said:   Sorry to disagree, but a 80mm prespective is a great portrait lens, but not the best for a fixed focal length general purpose lens. I think you'd be better off with a 18-50mm to work in that range (or even longer). This is a great lens, but not a great all-around lens.
I am making my first foray into DSLR videography and just picked up the T3i deal from Amazon. I know the lenses I got with it aren't what I need for my intended purpose, and am looking for the most cost-effective solution for man-on-the-street type interviews. Would be exclusively using manual focus to achieve the depth of field (bokeh) effect for my documentaries. Another videographer I contacted uses and recommends a 35mm f/2 prime. Would you agree?

Interesting how the reviews seem to indicate a minimal performance gain over the 1.8, if at all. however, I guess if I sell my 1.8 and offset the cost of this I'm willing to gain a better build and another f-stop for $200.

dogmeat said:   Sorry to disagree, but a 80mm prespective is a great portrait lens, but not the best for a fixed focal length general purpose lens. I think you'd be better off with a 18-50mm to work in that range (or even longer). This is a great lens, but not a great all-around lens.

LexTalionis said:   AmishBoy said:   Would this be a good choice for street level video work with the T3i?

Yes, I don't see why not. I however, prefer to shoot with older manual focus lenses fitted with a focus gear puller. The one I use and can be had on eBay about about $50 is the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4. The only issue is you have to have it converted and this is how I did that: http://www.motleypixel.com/forum/index.php/topic,608.0.html


He just said street level work, that leaves a lot a leeway on specifically what he wants to accomplish. Fast 50mm glass is pretty popular for certain shots. I don't think you'll find many zooms in any semi-pro or pro DSLR outfits; in fact, see how many cine-specific lens models you can find out there that are zoom compared to prime?

hammer45 said:   Interesting how the reviews seem to indicate a minimal performance gain over the 1.8, if at all. however, I guess if I sell my 1.8 and offset the cost of this I'm willing to gain a better build and another f-stop for $200.

You will get twice AF speed with the USM which is HUGE! Also, there are more diaphragm blades = smoother OOF highlights. Lastly, the build quality between the two is VERY noticeable...I also hated the skinny knurled focus ring of the 50/1.8.

hammer45 said:   Interesting how the reviews seem to indicate a minimal performance gain over the 1.8, if at all. however, I guess if I sell my 1.8 and offset the cost of this I'm willing to gain a better build and another f-stop for $200.
I believe what people say is that the difference in IQ is minimal. (I don't own either, so I can't attest to anything personally.) As to other attributes, I believe Lex has the right of it in his post.

For those of you who want to unload your 50mm F/1.8, I listed mine on Amaz0n at slightly lower cost than everyone else. It was sold within an hour literary. It might not be the most bang for the bucks, but if you are looking to sell quickly, it's an option.

LexTalionis said:   hammer45 said:   Interesting how the reviews seem to indicate a minimal performance gain over the 1.8, if at all. however, I guess if I sell my 1.8 and offset the cost of this I'm willing to gain a better build and another f-stop for $200.

You will get twice AF speed with the USM which is HUGE! Also, there are more diaphragm blades = smoother OOF highlights. Lastly, the build quality between the two is VERY noticeable...I also hated the skinny knurled focus ring of the 50/1.8.


The biggest difference to me is focus accuracy. The 1.8 is not terribly accurate. I've found you can sometimes focus it multiple times and still have it move slightly each time, until you get it spot on. No such issue with the 50/1.4.

Oh, one more note on this lens. In really low light (a few lumens) a filter will most like cause a green colored artifact. If you're in ultra low light, be sure to check the image preview religiously - that green reflection is really hard to photoshop out. Take that filter off and it goes away.

On the plus side, you can take pictures with only three lit candles on a birthday cake - without a flash.

It makes me wonder how much better the 1.2 is.

mannyv said:   Oh, one more note on this lens. In really low light (a few lumens) a filter will most like cause a green colored artifact. If you're in ultra low light, be sure to check the image preview religiously - that green reflection is really hard to photoshop out. Take that filter off and it goes away.

On the plus side, you can take pictures with only three lit candles on a birthday cake - without a flash.

It makes me wonder how much better the 1.2 is.

<Sigh> ... makes me wish I had a F/F. With a crop, the rough equivalent is either a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 ($439 on Amazon) or Canon 28mm f/1.8 USM ($449 on Amazon). Do either of those ever get on sale near $300?

AmishBoy said:   Can you link to the $299 lens on B&H? I'm seeing $399.

Add to cart to see $299 price - I purchased from B&H and saved over $25 on CA sales tax from Amazon.

Lowest price ever. Couldn't resist... Green OP!

I'm in for one. I ordered from Amazon because I am a prime member and overnight shipping cost me just $4. Yeah I could have saved CA tax, but oh well!! It was between the 50mm 1.4 and a 100mm.

have one and it is an awsome lens. the 1.8 is an decent budget starter lens, but it does feels like a light plastic toy. the 1.4 is faster, quieter, doesnt feel like a cheap toy and takes great pictures. great find op

LexTalionis said:   hammer45 said:   Interesting how the reviews seem to indicate a minimal performance gain over the 1.8, if at all. however, I guess if I sell my 1.8 and offset the cost of this I'm willing to gain a better build and another f-stop for $200.

You will get twice AF speed with the USM which is HUGE! Also, there are more diaphragm blades = smoother OOF highlights. Lastly, the build quality between the two is VERY noticeable...I also hated the skinny knurled focus ring of the 50/1.8.


The bokeh is definitely nicer on the 1.4, here's a comparo:

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 vs F1.8 MK II

Yes, a 35mm fixed is a good choice. It equals out to about a 50mm lens. For many years, before zoom lenses were good and cheap, most SLRs came with a 50mm lens. It the most handy fixed length lens if you can only have one lens in the bag.

AmishBoy said:   dogmeat said:   Sorry to disagree, but a 80mm prespective is a great portrait lens, but not the best for a fixed focal length general purpose lens. I think you'd be better off with a 18-50mm to work in that range (or even longer). This is a great lens, but not a great all-around lens.
I am making my first foray into DSLR videography and just picked up the T3i deal from Amazon. I know the lenses I got with it aren't what I need for my intended purpose, and am looking for the most cost-effective solution for man-on-the-street type interviews. Would be exclusively using manual focus to achieve the depth of field (bokeh) effect for my documentaries. Another videographer I contacted uses and recommends a 35mm f/2 prime. Would you agree?

Thanks in for one just in time for family gatherings.

AmishBoy said:   dogmeat said:   Sorry to disagree, but a 80mm prespective is a great portrait lens, but not the best for a fixed focal length general purpose lens. I think you'd be better off with a 18-50mm to work in that range (or even longer). This is a great lens, but not a great all-around lens.
I am making my first foray into DSLR videography and just picked up the T3i deal from Amazon. I know the lenses I got with it aren't what I need for my intended purpose, and am looking for the most cost-effective solution for man-on-the-street type interviews. Would be exclusively using manual focus to achieve the depth of field (bokeh) effect for my documentaries. Another videographer I contacted uses and recommends a 35mm f/2 prime. Would you agree?

The 35mm f/2 is a great lens, and it'll be a reasonable effective focal length (56 mm) on the crop body. Here's a site that has really good reviews of Canon lenses in general:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-35mm-f-2.0-L...
Another I'd recommend for your purpose is the 28mm f/1.8 (44.8 mm effective focal length)
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-28mm-f-1.8-U...

For those of you with a crop camera, I highly recommend the Sigma 30mm to use as a standard lens. You will have fun with this 50mm, but you will use the Sigma much much more and it has similar quality. I'm also reading that 40mm users are complaining about having too much zoom on their APS-C cameras.

People love the "nifty fifty" because it is a standard focal length. That is not the case on a crop camera.

See the Sigma 30mm here:
http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-30mm-Canon-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0007U...

I notice this is still $299 and have been researching for a few days. I don't pretend to know a lot about dslr's. I have a T2i with the 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses but can't seem to find out how well this fits in my arsenal. If some experienced users can help out a greenhorn, I'd really appreciate it! Perhaps some recommendations on a decent macro lens as well.

JVEC said:   I notice this is still $299 and have been researching for a few days. I don't pretend to know a lot about dslr's. I have a T2i with the 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses but can't seem to find out how well this fits in my arsenal. If some experienced users can help out a greenhorn, I'd really appreciate it! Perhaps some recommendations on a decent macro lens as well.

Take your 55mm lens, set it to 50mm of zoom. Walk around taking pictures at that length, and see if you like the level of zoom. If yes, and if you ever shoot in low light, then buy the lens because it will help you in those situations. I think what you'll find, however, is that on your crop body it has too much effective zoom to be a walk-around normal lens (50 x 1.6 = 80mm), and not enough zoom to be a true telephoto. I had a 50 that I never used on my crop body because of that, but the moment I went full frame I started shooting at 50 more.

wahoo2x said:   JVEC said:   If some experienced users can help out a greenhorn, I'd really appreciate it! Perhaps some recommendations on a decent macro lens as well. I had a 50 that I never used on my crop body because of that, but the moment I went full frame I started shooting at 50 more.

I too have a Crop Body Canon and have this lens as I remembered how great 50mm was on my EOS film cameras, but I find that 50mm is too long for a walk around lens on this Canon. It only comes out of the bag when I really need that 1.4 Aperture, but then I still have to figure out how to compose what I want to shoot. You may want to look at the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (it goes for about $439) as a replacement for this lens on a xxD or a Txi body.



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