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Thread: 50mm 1.8 or 1.4

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    50mm 1.8 or 1.4

    Hi everyone,

    I am just wondering what your thoughts were on these 2 lenses. For the amazing price, I was thinking about the 1.8 but a few people have suggested that the 1.4 would be the better way to go. Any owners care to share their pearls of wisdom?

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    Depends how much you want to spend. I had a 50 1.8 once, and recently bought one for my brother. The lens is very small and is not solidly built, but this is not a problem if you are careful with the camera. I would not just throw it loosly into your bag like you can other lenses, as the lens may get damaged.
    This was my first wide aperture lens, and i found it worked well, it did everything that I expected from what it is.
    The 1.8 is quite cheap also, and I got a grey one new for $112, when the second hand price is about $100.
    1DIII, 5DII, 15mm fish, 24mm ts-e, 35L,135L,200L,400L,mpe-65mm
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    i personally went for the 1.8 mainly for BFYB, haven't had an issue with it.
    Its returned some exceptional shot as has my 18-200mm

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    I went for the 1.4 because it is better build quality and it also will be able to use my existing 58mm filters. I got it for $383 delivered. Its even cheaper now days.
    Canon 500D.....EFS 18-55 - EFS 55-250
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    I had a 1.8 but for low light action shots the focus is too slow. Get the 1.4 as it has the faster USM focusing and still a relative cheap lens.

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    I have both. I brought the 1.8 because like most, I could not resist the cheap price for the image quality it delivered.

    It was only a short love affair. I soon became disenchanted with the pentagonal shaped highlights it gives and hunting in low light.

    I bit the bullet last year and upgraded to the 1.4. I can tell you I have not regretted spending the extra money, I love that lens. It is really not that much sharper above say f4 but geez, it is well worth 4 times the cost for all the other benefits if offers. I've since given the 1.8 to my son.
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    If you are using a full frame that I will go for the 1.4 because of the more visible DoF differences between 1.4 and 1.8 on a full frame sensor. Otherwise just go for the 1.8 but make sure you tested a few copy in a shop before you make your purchase.

    I owned both and I really hated the 1.8 because I have obtained myself a soft copy. I then upgraded to the 1.4 then changed to the Sigma 1.4 instead, and never look back. Until I can afford a 1.2L, I will stick with my Sigma.

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    Thank you so much for the replies. It is definitely something worth thinking about more. I have a 450D. Might have to go and search some photo comparisons. Thanks again.

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    Hi there. I have the f1.8. It all depends what you want to use the lens for and how much you are going to use it. For the price there is no worries if you only use it once in a while. Great for single portraits. As I only use one lens now I found it a bit long on a crop body and ended up with the Sigma 30mm f1.4. This never leaves my camera body.


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    I got the 1.4 because I wanted a fast lens - all my other lenses were f4 zooms at the time - and this was by far the cheapest way to get f1.4. Though it's not a huge difference between this and f1.8 in terms of speed, and though the 1.8 is a bargain if you're really tight for dollars, it really is cheap and nasty construction wise and I would much rather have something better built.

    The image quality is very good and the speed of it, coupled with a 5D11, means that I can shoot in almost complete darkness if need be. The build quality is just OK to my eye & hand - nothing like an L lens, but that's what you get for ~$400.

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    Reading all of the above I just ordered a 50mm 1.4 from DWI (with Australian Canon warranty...) for (incl. freight) just under $400. Looking forward to receiving and testing it. I read the reviews on the interent and the pentagonal bokeh spots that LJG mentioned put me off. So decided to spend slightly more. Would have preferred the 1.2L but....for the dollars.

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    I bought the f1.8 because it was insanely cheap and I had read good reviews. I love the pictures is takes but if you have the money and want better performance in terms of speed, go the f1.4 because if I had a couple hundred bucks more I would have, too. Oh, also, I have the Canon 450 EOSD too - I love it :-)

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    1.4 will be my next purchase, looks like a fast cheap and fun lens.

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    i have a 1.4 on my 7D and love it! but then, i'm a huge fan of shooting wide open. if the price difference isn't an issue get the 1.4.

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    was thinking about the 1.8 but might save up for a few more months and get the 1.4, thanks heaps...

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    I went with the 1.8 after the same agonising decision you're going through! I figured it was only 120, i was a little short on money at the time, and i didnt even know if i would use the lens a lot. Now that i know i do use it, when i have the money, i will be upgrading to the 1.4- i dont think its a bad thing going with the 1.8 - its a fantastic little lens, but the 1.4 is only worth the money if you know you're going to use it often. Beautiful picture on the 1.8 good luck! let us know what you choose

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    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    I have a 50mm F1.4 that I bought some time ago and put on my film camera. It has been sitting there ever since....I think there is a some Konica film in the camera!! It gets back to asking what you commonly do with your camera. More often than not my lens is hunting children's faces at family functions and it is like papparazzi ... maybe "kiddirazzi" - you have to keep your distance to allow them to behave a bit more naturally. So what a waste! Maybe I should try real hard to find the body cap!
    Berni

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    Last September I wrote an article on my blog about the 50/1.8 II. I once owned it and later sold it. I never owned the 50/1.4.

    I've reproduced my article here; hopefully this will help you.


    Overview of the “Plastic Fantastic” Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II


    The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, known as the 'Plastic Fantastic' or the 'Nifty Fifty', is a very popular lens, and for good reason: it's fast and cheap.

    I used to own one of these, but I later sold it. I have no need or desire for a 50mm lens, as the focal length doesn't appeal.

    However, given the enormous popularity of this lens, I think it's worthwhile to point out what's good about it, as well as what's bad.

    Anyone considering purchasing one can take these simple facts into consideration.

    What's Good?

    1. It's light.
    2. It's small.
    3. It's fast (as in wide aperture).
    4. It's sharp.
    5. It's inexpensive.
    6. On an APS-C camera, it provides classic portrait framing.

    What's Bad?

    1. Its barrel and mount is plastic.
    2. It has no distance gauge.
    3. It has no ultrasonic focus motor.
    4. It's slow to focus, and noisy, too.
    5. The focus ring is awkwardly positioned and small.
    6. It has a five-bladed diaphragm, producing unappealing pentagonal bokeh.

    What the lens does provide is a lot of bang-for-buck. It's ridiculously inexpensive for what it delivers. Of course, if one wants a fast 50mm lens and can live with the negative aspects I've itemised above, it's worth having. Even if the lens turns out to be unappealing after all, it won't be an expensive learning exercise.

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    I own neither, but have tried both. I borrowed the 1.8F from a friend when the POW had 50mm theme, but never submitted. It worked great, but I found it noisy. It was great using such a small, light lens compared to my everyday 35-70mm 2.8L, you don't feel like you are imposing as much when you take pictures on the street.

    I briefly try the 1.4F while in the duty free of a airport. It much quieter. My choice when I'm ready to buy. The Duty free was $500, went online in the airport can could see i could buy it for $400.
    Mark
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    If you will mainly use it in manual focus, it's a great bang for your buck.
    But, if you rely on autofocus, this is not the lens for you.

    I have the 1.8 and find that I can only use it on a tripod and using manual focus.
    The auto focus is very slow and in low light, you can often miss a shot entirely because of the time it takes to focus, if it can.

    The mount is also a delicate plastic and it's easy to break off a tab or 2 if you aren't gentle with it.

    If I were you, I'd save up for the 1.4.
    I know I am!
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