Forgotten in its old age

by Aditya

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55

No, you don't. In some circles of photography, the 50mm has reached almost cult religion status. It seems to solve everything from focus problems to technique stagnation to global warming. Ask a question about photography, and chances are, someone will recommend a 50mm lens as the solution ("I want to take images of the space station crossing the sun" "The ...


44

Having used both lenses I'd say no it's not worth the upgrade. The f/1.4 version is two thirds of a stop faster, which means where you'd use ISO 800 before you'd theoretically be able to use ISO 500. That sounds good, however that's only in the centre of the frame, the corners get significantly darker wide open. I rarely use mine wide open so for me there's ...


38

Most standard because: 50mm on a full frame is said to give a natural field of view. 50mm is apparently an simple focal length to design On a your crop sensor, it is 75e, while the 35mm is 52.5e. Thus, the 35mm lens will be closer to "normal" Reasons why most photographers may choose the 50mm could be to use it for portraits on crop sensors. 75e is a ...


23

Many photographers (especially those with full frame sensors or 35mm film cameras) opt for a 50mm prime lens because it is considered 'normal', i.e. not wide-angle or telephoto. Because these lenses are so popular, they are also produced on a relatively large scale, which also makes them cheaper than other lenses of the same speed. With that said, there is ...


22

I personally have the 1.8 and my friend the 1.4. Obviously the 1.4 is much better build quality and fairly better optically, but the 1.8 is a bargain and still a good lens as long as you don't plan on throwing it around. Also more easily replaced if it breaks. Both give pleasing pictures and both will be better in low light than your current lens... but.. ...


18

Possibly - but the real answer lies in whether you find yourself limited by your current lenses in available light and portrait situations. Two stops is a lot of shutter speed and DoF, but I rarely find myself shooting my Sigma 50mm wide open at 1.4. Not because its too soft (its still plenty sharp for me there), but because the depth of field is so narrow ...


18

At 50mm on your 18-55, the max aperture is f/5.6. On the 50mm f/1.8, the max aperture is - obviously - f/1.8. It is perhaps not immediately obvious, but f/1.8 lets in 10-12 times more light than f/5.6. That is the difference between shooting at 1/10 second shutter speed (which is absolutely a no-go for moving subjects) and shooting at 1/100 (which is a ...


17

Rachael, it sounds like your aperture is set to a wide aperture (low f-number), allowing lots of light in, but at the expense of a very narrow 'depth-of-field'. This creates a thin slice of focus where anything before or after is blurry. Let's assume you're 2 feet away from your subject when taking a photo with your 50mm lens. Most common SLR 50mm lenses ...


15

What you are seeing in the photo is a specific type of lens flare known as ghosting. It is an inverted and reversed reflection of the brightest highlights of the scene. If you were to draw an x and y axis intersecting in the center of the photo, then the bright light on top of the building just left of the vertical axis is reflected the same distance below ...


14

Fast (in terms of allowing light in) Cheap (compared to most other lenses - hence good starter) Portable (the 50mm is a tiny little beastie that doesn't add much to your SLR) Sharp (the reduced number of elements and size means this lens is super sharp) Bokeh (it's well recognised that because of the shallow DOF and the blades, that the 50mm produces ...


12

Have you considered the Sigma 50/1.4? That's definitely the lens I would get if I were starting over. Neither The Sigma and Canon 50/1.2L were out when I bought the 50 f/1.4 so it was an easy decision. Firstly it's worth stating that the 50 f/1.4 is an excellent lens by most standards. However it is soft, and defecty (lots of lateral CA in highlights, ...


11

There are two main reason why there's little chance we're going to see 50mm IS lens in the near future: 50mm lenses tend to be very simple and therefore cheap. Complicating its design with an image stabilizer group would push the price significantly higher, while the added benefit of IS wouldn't be that high at 50mm focal length. If you want an expensive ...


11

The 50mm 1.8G is a great lens. But there isn't going to be a huge difference in image quality using any of the 35mm or 50mm primes. I don't think anyone but you can really answer which one is more suitable for you. There may be some situations where you can only get so close, or so far, to frame your shot, and one focal length or the other might limit you ...


10

The 50mm F/1.8 is certainly best suited for portraits. Its bright aperture lets you shoot in lower light and allows for much more background blur as seen in classic portraits, because it separates the subject from the background and tends to remove distracting elements. Honestly, I would not use the other one for anything. Getting a poor lens is the easiest ...


10

Imagine you have an FX camera (or old film camera) with a 50mm lens, and take a picture. Then in post processing, you crop out the edges. You would still have an image with the same perspective of the 50mm lens, but by cropping you've effectively zoomed in on the subject/middle of your image. This is basically what happens with a cropped sensor. Same ...


9

That is a question for Canon. Honestly, I would not expect them to answer anything about their reasons or plans for not doing something. What you may note is that there are very few prime lenses with stabilization. If you look across ALL major brands, there are only 20 of them among 213! One would assume the base logic is that prime lenses have wider ...


8

I own both and possible focusing issues aside the decision on which one to use comes down to two things. If I want to shoot in low light and I don't want to use a flash then the 50 f1.2 is the obvious choice, that extra half stop is the difference between blurred people and not. If I want to have faster (not better) AF then the 50 1.4 is the obvious ...


8

You're right that 50mm on an APS-c is long for group shots but that's part of the reason I'd recommended it. Being restricted like that forces you to be more creative. If you've come up from compact cameras it can be hard to get over the idea that everything should zoom. Good photography is all about compromises, you often have to compromise on the ...


8

This is known as purple fringing. It is occurs because you have a region of very high contrast. It is normal that this occurs in extreme cases but better lenses show less of it. The good news is that software like Lightroom have tools to deal with this automatically. The Lightroom tool in particular handles not just purple fringes but other colors due to a ...


8

At f/1.8 the depth of field is very small - any movement (of subject or camera) between focusing and taking the shot can push the subject out of focus - so you want to take the photo as quickly as possible after focusing and don't use the "focus and recompose" technique - not at f/1.8 The auto-focus on the 50mm f/1.8 is very slow, if the camera is set up to ...


7

If you're really sure you'll mainly be doing portraits, then the 50 1.8 is a good choice. But considering your beginner status, you might find you don't like portraits and actually prefer landscapes, for example. Where the 50 1.8 is obviously limited in focal length but better quality, the 18-55 will be much more flexible. Given that the 50 1.8 is ...


7

No you don't The number one reason for a beginner to get a 50mm lens is that on Canon and Nikon (don't know about other brands) the 50mm f/1.8 is cheap (the Canon 50 1.8 is the cheapest, smallest and lightest lens they make) - so it's a cheap introduction into the world of fast primes and it's so much better than the kit lens. You already have a 40mm and a ...


7

The 50mm f1.8 (or the 'nifty fifty' as both this example and Nikon's version are often known) would be a great step up for portraits from the kit lens, regardless of low-light or not. In other words, it's a good first portrait lens AND works well in low light. I got one at Christmas last year, and have very much enjoyed learning how to shoot differently ...


7

Focusing manually, even with an optical viewfinder*, is very tricky to do accurately. Film SLRs tended to have a split prism which allowed more accurate manual focusing, as AF lenses and bodies weren't as common back then. The split prism broke an out of focus element horizontally, allowing you to achieve accurate focus by aligning the two halves of the ...


7

Back in the 35mm days, the 50mm was the default lens focal length. It was believed that it allows for most shooting styles with some compromise. That assumption was based under the dominant aesthetic of the time (60's and 70's IIRC). In the 80's, consumer cameras (such as the Olympus Trip) came equipped with a 35mm lens. This made it easier to use them in ...


7

For an outdoor wedding, it sounds like you should be crossing the golden hour near the end, but still have strong light. The bigger trick will be the angle at which the sun goes down. You will want to shoot with the sun behind you if at all possible. The fact that the wedding is outdoors is actually advantageous to your cheaper camera as light levels ...


6

Matt's analysis can't be beat, so I won't argue with the science. Having owned both lenses (shot with the 1.8 for 3 years, then moved to the 1.4 for the past 4) I have to say that the 1.8 is the best value for your money. However I did find the focussing speed and build quality of the 1.4 worth the move for me. I don't mind a bit of softness when shooting ...



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