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Thread: 50mm F1.8 Prime, against 18-50mm F2.8

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    50mm F1.8 Prime, against 18-50mm F2.8

    Not trying to be a tight arse, but if I want to start shooting people in a "semi-professional modeling situation" with the view of looking to start a small side business, am I going to need the Nifty?

    I dont want to be that person in the local shopping centre, snapping away with a 50 or 85mm prime at kids all day.

    I'm looking at the usefulness of the prime compaired to the tele lens, I used my Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 the other night at a shoot, trying different shadowing and flash angles on a female model Taken on a beach in WA from 5.30pm - 9.30pm, which took some great shots. It gives me the ability to move, but with a more netural setting, I.E possed in a studio set up, would the Nifty or the 85mm be my friend.

    Any body using this sort of set up, and if you have some posted pics somewhere that I could see would be greatly appreciated, to hear/see your feedback and ideas.

    With the aussie dollor still nice and strong, i'm keen to move on with a lens if needed.
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    The Canon 50mm 1.8 is a very mediocre piece of glass. See: http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/415-canon_50_18_ff And the bokeh for your Sigma 17-55mm is much better. The only advantage is that the 50mm is a bit faster and will get you slightly better separation from the background than at F2.8. But - again - then that background should not try to generate a bokeh... And any fast lens has its drawbacks and limitations at wide open.

    If I were you: try to get started in this business with your current lens and when it takes of you can always go for a 50mm prime but than of better quality (like the Canon F1.4) if you haven't got the money for an L lens.

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    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    I have the canon 50mm 1.4 prime and 85mm prime. I use the 85mm a fair bit. but for some odd reason the 1.4 is a lid on the canon film camema - what a tragic waste .... I must go and find it. I don't have any Sigma gear. Generally, doing portraits, for people like "reps" who need a head and shoulder, I use the 85mm canon. If this was your only lens, in a studio, you would need a long distance for a body shot, so I would hang on to the Sigma for sure.
    Berni

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bercy View Post
    I have the canon 50mm 1.4 prime and 85mm prime. I use the 85mm a fair bit. but for some odd reason the 1.4 is a lid on the canon film camema - what a tragic waste .... I must go and find it. I don't have any Sigma gear. Generally, doing portraits, for people like "reps" who need a head and shoulder, I use the 85mm canon. If this was your only lens, in a studio, you would need a long distance for a body shot, so I would hang on to the Sigma for sure.
    How effective is the extra F.4 over the standard Nifty, have you had the chance to shoot both and compare? It's a fair bit more expensive in the glass stakes, but is it worth that much extra ?

    As to the 85mm, not sure I understand what you mean by,(but for some odd reason the 1.4 is a lid on the canon film camema - what a tragic waste .... I must go and find it)
    And yeap, the 85mm has got that down fall for me with having to move away from a subject. There is two many choices, just looking to start out with some portratiure/studio shots, so not real sure what to get.

    Thanks Berni.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vk2gwk View Post
    The Canon 50mm 1.8 is a very mediocre piece of glass...
    Is this true? It's hard to believe that Canon could stuff up a 50 f1.8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    Is this true? It's hard to believe that Canon could stuff up a 50 f1.8.
    jim,

    Have you had any experience with said topic ? Looking for all CC whether good or bad.

    Cheers

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    The Sigma should be fine if you keep it at the 50mm end while you work on portraits. Portraiture does not require low distortion in the manner of architecture.

    OTOH I would also suggest an 85 or 100mm lens such as the Canon 85/1.8 or Canon 100/2 to get nice close ups without getting so close that perspective distortion comes into play or the subject gets uncomfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arg View Post
    Canon 85/1.8 or Canon 100/2 to get nice close ups without getting so close that perspective distortion comes into play or the subject gets uncomfortable.
    Cheers Arg, have heard and read good things about the 100mm F2, will look into it a bit more.

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    I've got a Nifty 50 on my 7D that i believe is great value for money. Well worth the small investment. Check the net for a range of reviews.

    Just my humble 2c worth though.

    Regards,
    Martin
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    jim,

    Have you had any experience with said topic ? Looking for all CC whether good or bad.

    Cheers
    No experience of the lens in question, but Canon make good lenses and the 50 f1.8 is pretty old tech. Most manufacturers have these lenses well and truly worked out, and the lenses tend to be very good.

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    Canon 7D, 550D, 1N HS, EOS 88, 17-55 2.8, 18-200mm, 10-22mm, 28mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 28-105
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    I disagree that the 50mm is a mediocre lens optically. This is an unscientific comparison, but is indicative:

    This is the $120 50mm f/1.8 wide open at f/1.8, 100% crop:



    This is the $6500 200mm f/2L IS at f/2, 100% crop:



    Go figure!

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    Thanks pollen, appreciate the feedback.

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    I'd also disagree that the 50mm 1.8 is a mediocre lens, and for the price I think its one worth having in your bag even if you end up using it very rarely. If you end up using it alot you will quickly work out if you need to shell out for the 1.4 or an 85mm - and if you've used it alot you will have also determined the $ viability of spending the extra on a better lens.

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    whoever slams the canon 50mm f/1.8 clearly has no idea what he is talking about. yes, it's cheap, yes it has fewer aperture blades than is common in more modern lenses and it is almost entirely made of plastic. Though when you stop that lens down to f/4 and it will perform almost* identically to a Leica Summilux-R 50mm f/1.4 ASPH which is one of the greatest 50mm lenses of all time. The canon 50mm f/1.4 as expensive as it is offers better construction but from a Image quality perspective, it isn't hugely different from the f/1.8 lens.


    *unfortunately the fact that it has fewer aperture blades also means that out of focus highlights will be rendered as hexagons instead of nicely rounded points of light, and the corners might not be quite as sharp as the Leica lens and the bokeh probably wouldn't be as nice. - you do get what you pay for... the Leica lens I mentioned fetches prices upwards of 3K on e-bay. It is incredibly sharp at f/1.4, By virtue of the Aspherical lenses used in it's construction.
    Last edited by Othrelos; 10-12-2010 at 12:44pm.

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    Thank you for that info, the 3K is a little out of my price range, It was more or less<Do I need a Prime 50> as to my F2.8 tele, I think I will get the Nifty Fifty, for the price, like every one has mentioned and for the extra stop. The added advantage of the 85 or 100 mm is also appealing, so I'll just have to try a few I feel.

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    aperture diaphragm blades

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    aperture diaphragm blades
    some people use the term Aperture, some use the term diaphragm. Personally I prefer aperture, for two reasons

    1: Because it's the term I have been using for the past 15 years.

    2: I have never, ever, heard someone say "stop your lens diaphragm down to f/2.8."

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    The aperture, or the hole that the light passes through, is created by the blades of the diaphragm, the diaphragm is the mechanical part that creates the aperture.
    Last edited by MarkChap; 10-12-2010 at 4:56pm.
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    Pedantically aperture is the opening of the diaphragm measured as a ratio of the area of that opening to the lens focal length.
    (a 50mm lens at f/2 means the aperture is has a 25mm diameter, and at f/4 12.5mm)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaphragm_%28optics%29

    The terms are often used interchangeable when talking about the blades,
    but the more technically accurate term is to refer to diaphragm blades (which control the size of the aperture).
    Last edited by Kym; 10-12-2010 at 2:28pm. Reason: fixed maths
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