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Thread: Hankering for a EF 50mm f1.4

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    Hankering for a EF 50mm f1.4

    I've been hankering for a EF 50mm f1.4 lens for around a year now. I do own the f1.8 lens.

    My questions are - Is there a real noticeable difference between the two?

    Is it usably sharp at 1.4 ? I know the build quality isn't great and I know there are rumours of a MKII (everytime I buy a lens a later newer model is released).

    I would use the lens for indoor shooting of my new grandson a lot.
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    I have a 50mm f1.4 and I love it!

    The build quality of the f1.4 is far superior to the f1.8 and has the USM motor which the f1.8 doesnt.

    You can get some great shallow DOF shots wide open, but I have found the lens sweet spot is around f2.8 - f3.5 though.

    I think where the f1.8 shines is the quality of the bokeh which is a tad better than the 1.4, also when shooting wide open the bokeh has the hexagonal shape to it.
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    Emma

    Avoid shooting with a 12 gauge shotgun. Use a Canon instead.

    Canon 5D, Canon 7D, 50mm 1.4, 18-55mm, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC, Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, 580EX Speedlight. Facebook

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    Thanks Emma

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    Emma summed it up nicely .

    Started with a 1.8 and quickly moved to the 1.4 as I really enjoy the 50mm prime.

    I'll happily sit it on 1.4 @ ISO 6400 and get shots that give me a .
    AKA Sean

    Canon 5D MKII - 24-105L - 70-200 F4L IS - 70-300 IS USM - 28 1.8 - 35L 1.4 - 50 1.4 - 85 1.8 - 100L Macro - 200L 2.8II - Tamron 17-35 2.8 - Sigma 150-500 - 430EX - and a stack of other bits and pieces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triptych View Post
    where the f1.8 shines is the quality of the bokeh which is a tad better than the 1.4, also when shooting wide open the bokeh has the hexagonal shape to it.
    Is this correct? I would have thought the 1.4 would have better bokeh with 8 blades compared to the 1.8 with 5 blades.
    Canon 50D - Zuiko 28/2.8 50/1.8 100/2.8 - Tokina 11-16/2.8

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    i love my 1.4 and have never had a problem with shooting wide open (which i do alllll the time). if you feel like you're using your 1.8 to its limit then upgrade. the build quality has never bothered me either, it's always felt solid to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triptych View Post
    ... also when shooting wide open the bokeh has the hexagonal shape to it.
    I don't understand that. I don't have either lens, just qurious because it doesn't sound right.

    Why would the bokeh have a hexagon shape when the lens is wide open? If the lens is wide open then the aperture is perfectly circular and not affected by the aperture blades, their shape or number. Some times there is optical vignetting which affects the shape of the bokeh at the periphery of the image. Is that what you are seeing?

    JJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    I don't understand that. I don't have either lens, just qurious because it doesn't sound right.

    Why would the bokeh have a hexagon shape when the lens is wide open? If the lens is wide open then the aperture is perfectly circular and not affected by the aperture blades, their shape or number. Some times there is optical vignetting which affects the shape of the bokeh at the periphery of the image. Is that what you are seeing?

    JJ
    Sorry, got my shapes wrong....Octagonal shaped bokeh as shown here


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    Quote Originally Posted by triptych View Post
    Sorry, got my shapes wrong....Octagonal shaped bokeh as shown here

    I don't have exif view software so I can't see the exif but is that wide open or stopped down even half a stop?

    JJ

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    The 1.8 is flimsy with a very small and hard to get at focus ring which is so narrow it's hard to adjust.
    The auto-focus is slow and very noisy too.
    I worry about the plastic mount, as I reckon that one good knock, and you'll tear it off.

    However, you can get very good shots out of it, but if I had my time over, and I don't really use the 50mm very often, I would have bought the 1.4 insteadof the 1.8
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    I don't have exif view software so I can't see the exif but is that wide open or stopped down even half a stop?

    JJ
    Sorry, for some reason photobucket strips the EXIF data, that was taken a few months ago, i'll try and find the info.

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    Just one more thing.
    The reason I don't use my 50mm much is that I find for indoor shooting, that my 28mm is more useful on my cropped 60D.
    If you are taking a lot of indoor shots of your grandson, maybe a 35mm or a 28mm may be more suitable for your uses.

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    Ausphotography Regular Tricky's Avatar
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    My EXIF viewer says f/3.5 Interesting bokeh...
    Richard
    Canon 5D4 | 11-24 f/4 L | 24-105 f/4 L| 100-400 L II | 85 f/1.2 L | 100 f/2.8 L macro | MP-E 65 f/2.8 macro | 1.4x | 580EX2 | MT-24 Twin Lite | Manfrotto | Photoshop CS5


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    I agree with Bennymiata, I would go a 35mm or 28mm on a crop body, im looking at both of these too.

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    Warning: the 50 f/1.4 needs careful handling. The focus motor is delicate.

    Mine required a new motor simply because I stored it on its front cap. This is not uncommon.

    I now store it on its side or sitting on its camera mount end. No probs.

    Aside from that, highly recommended when the 50 f/1.2 is out of your reach.

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    Warning: the 50 f/1.4 needs careful handling. The focus motor is delicate.

    Mine required a new motor simply because I stored it on its front cap. This is not uncommon.

    I now store it on its side or sitting on its camera mount end. No probs.

    Aside from that, highly recommended when the 50 f/1.2 is out of your reach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    I don't understand that. I don't have either lens, just qurious because it doesn't sound right.

    Why would the bokeh have a hexagon shape when the lens is wide open? If the lens is wide open then the aperture is perfectly circular and not affected by the aperture blades, their shape or number. Some times there is optical vignetting which affects the shape of the bokeh at the periphery of the image. Is that what you are seeing?

    JJ
    Triptych is right.

    Certain lenses have certain characteristics of bokeh and shape ie. the Canon 50mm 1.8 - as demonstrated in that photo posted. That is considered to be a harsh bokeh and not creamy smooth which is more appealing.

    The 50mm 1.4 has smoother bokeh as it has more aperture blades and renders bokeh less harshly. Also, the 1.4 is not a true USM ring type lens, but uses a micro motor instead, which can be prone to breaking. Such as holding onto the barrel whilst trying to focus and then rotating it the opposite direction.

    Explanation online 'The more the number of aperture blades, the less defined the shape of the aperture and specular highlights in terms of polygonal properties. Prior to the auto lenses coming into vogue, many lens manufacturers used aperture blades in excess of 12, to be able to maintain as round an opening as possible at all stops'.
    Last edited by JM Tran; 18-06-2011 at 11:46pm.

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    That was actually taken with the 50mm f1.4 JM Tran.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triptych View Post
    That was actually taken with the 50mm f1.4 JM Tran.
    then I would expect even harsher bokeh with the 1.8 Sorry I was looking at the 1.8 samples on the net whilst writing my reply and it just took over my memory.

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