Canon 50mm f/1.4 vs 50mm f/1.8

Discussion in 'Canon' started by David Geesaman, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. The difference between these lenses in price is large, but aside from
    that extra bit of speed, what else is there? How much of a difference
    is that?

    I'm a relative beginner, and I'm looking for a very fast and affordable
    lens to use for available light indoor situations, sometimes with motion.

    Until I can afford the 70-200mm f/2.8L, I need *something* that will
    have more speed than the kit lens so I'm not completely locked out in
    low-light situations.

    David Geesaman, Jun 11, 2005
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  2. David Geesaman

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    1.4 vs. 1.8 is two-thirds of a stop.

    The 1.4 may be a better quality lens than the 1.8, but the 1.8, in all
    probability, will be better than anything you've used before anyway.
    I'd say go with the 1.8. It'll be much cheaper. At some point you may
    feel that you need what the 1.4 has to offer, but if so, that will come
    at the point when you're not a relative beginner any more. There is no
    sense in spending the money for the 1.4 unless you really know you need
    Jeremy Nixon, Jun 11, 2005
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  3. David Geesaman

    Musty Guest

    I have the 50mm f1.4 - it is a cheap lens @ $310. Why did I get this over
    the f1.8?

    - USM
    - Build - this lens has some weight to it
    - Has much better bokeh : this is critical for a fast lens IMO
    - Has better coatings to correct undesirables
    - f1.4 DOES make a difference. When in Av, going from f1.8 to f1.4 increaes
    the shutter speed by close to 2x. Even if it means, you will go from 1/30s
    to 1/50s, this is enough to be the difference between blur and sharp.

    Unless you are on a very tight budget, I would say go the f1.4. BTW I have
    the 70-200mm f2.8LIS and the colors/contrast of the 50mm are very close.
    This is one of canon's sharpest lenses, and you will see it used for many
    camera body tests - after all it was good enough to put on the 1Ds MkII on

    Musty, Jun 11, 2005
  4. Thanks for the input.

    I think I'll get the $75 version, since I'll also be using it in very
    dusty conditions and I may ruin it.
    At the least, I could sell it on eBay/etc for $50 and upgrade.

    David Geesaman, Jun 12, 2005
  5. David Geesaman

    Todd H. Guest

    Then you want the f/1.8. For the money, you won't find a sharper or
    faster lens, that's for damned sure.

    The f/1.4 really just buys you more light and a much cooler looking
    lens. There might be some sharpness to be had there as well, but if
    affordable is part of your equation, the f/1.8 is damned hard to beat
    for bang for the buck.

    Though I'm sure there will be f/1.4 owners out there justifying their
    purchases on this thread. :)

    Best Regards,
    Todd H., Jun 12, 2005
  6. David Geesaman

    Musty Guest

    Yes, its cooler looking!!! ;-)

    I will actually admit that I _prefer_ not to buy "funny" looking lenses. For
    some bizarre reason, the feel(eg weight), style and ergonomics of a lens are
    very important to me (obviously lower priority than imgae quality) - but it
    does affect my decisions. My other reasons relating to image quality are
    stated in my original response.

    Musty, Jun 12, 2005
  7. David Geesaman

    Musty Guest

    I meant Musty (hehe) - and no, thats not my "feminine side" coming out.
    Musty, Jun 12, 2005
  8. David Geesaman

    Steven Toney Guest

    Some how Play "Musty" for me just doesn't ring quite the same - LOL
    Steven Toney, Jun 12, 2005
  9. David Geesaman

    Frank ess Guest

    My therapist wants to talk to your therapist.
    Frank ess, Jun 12, 2005
  10. David Geesaman

    ericm1600 Guest

    Go with the 1.8. If you have to ask and there's a doubt, go with the
    cheaper one. You most likely won't find $200 worth of differences.

    The 1.4 is nice. I have it. What does it offer over the 1.8? Full time
    manual focusing. More aperture blades...tends to make the out of focus
    areas somewhat smoother. Oh, and an extra 2/3 stop. Those are worthwhile
    to me.

    I'd also suggest borrowing a 70-200/2.8 if you can before buying it.
    Wonderful lens. Gets tiresome to lug around after a while. I got rid of
    mine in favor of an 85/1.8, 135/2, and 1.4x tc.
    ericm1600, Jun 14, 2005
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