Pin sharp clarity with fast lens!!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Simon, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Simon

    Simon Guest

    The f1.4, 50mm Canon lens costs about 4 times as much as the f1.8 50mm
    lens. Is this increase in cost accounted for by the difference in speed
    ONLY or are there other advantages as well?

    Would either or both of the lenes produce images capable of pin sharp
    enlargment to A4 size.

    All the best.
    Simon, Dec 29, 2003
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  2. Simon

    Double D Guest

    Hey Simon. These lenses are two of the sharpest lenses in the EOS lineup.
    The 50mm focal length gives a normal perspective and it is the least
    expensive to manufacture as a prime. Both of these lenses are as capable
    producing tack sharp 8X12s as any other Canon lenses. Other factors will
    include film and whether or not you use a tripod. For the extra money,
    you get a little extra speed and better build quality (metal lens mount
    vs. plastic) with the 50/1.4. And the 1.4 has USM so it has a better
    focus system. Photodo gives the 50/1.4 a 4.4 score and the 50/1.8 a 4.2
    score. These scores are both excellent.

    Check out these reviews:

    Double D, Dec 29, 2003
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  3. Simon

    DJ Guest

    If you can handle a 7MB ftp download the following file may convince you about
    needle sharpness. Taken on my 300D.

    DJ, Dec 29, 2003
  4. The following example was taken using the EF 50 f1.4. The A4 print is superb.
    I've also done A3 prints on my Epson 1270 and these too are sharp and full of
    detail. See my website for other examples - this example is listed near the
    end. I also have the f1.8 MK II which is almost as good, but somewhat noisier
    when focusing. (The f1.4 suffered an injury during the Xmas break and now needs
    a new focus mechanism.)
    Malcolm Stewart, Dec 29, 2003
  5. Simon,

    Both lenses are capable of fullfilling your requirements. The F1.4 has been
    designed for speed and as a consequence of that, when used at full aperture,
    there will be a trade off in quality at the edges. To produce high quality
    negatives you are going to be using the finest and slowest film, this means
    slow shutter speeds so will need to use a tripod and cable release and,
    importantly, you will be using a small aperture to increase depth of field.
    Buy the F1.8 version and spend the saving on film.

    ChurchYardYew, Dec 29, 2003
  6. The advantages to the 50/1.4 are numerous, but minor. Slightly sharper,
    better "bokeh", brighter viewfinder image.
    The 50/1.8 is probably the second best lens in the Canon arsenal. It's far
    better than any affordable zoom.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Dec 29, 2003
  7. Simon

    Don Stauffer Guest

    You'd be surprised how much more glass is in an f/1.4 lens compared to
    an f/1.8 :) So you are paying for more glass, more polishing and such,
    and a more difficult design.

    Now, by pin sharp, what size pin are you talking about?
    Don Stauffer, Dec 29, 2003
  8. Simon

    Simon Guest

    Many thanks for this info. I'm busy digesting at the moment as there's
    a load more info for me as well. Excellent link and information. Many
    thanks, DD.

    Simon Page.
    Simon, Dec 29, 2003
  9. Simon

    Simon Guest

    I don't know if this picture is actually "that" sharp BUT it is a
    wonderful picture for colour, skin tones, lighting and, most of all,
    the girl's expression. One of those never to be repeated moments I
    would guess!!

    Simon Page.
    Simon, Dec 29, 2003
  10. Simon

    Simon Page Guest

    This is truly a stunning picture. It would be fantastic to see it as an
    uncompressed TIFF or such like as I'd love to see how much detail is
    picked up in the brick work. Was the original as a JPEG or TIFF? If is
    was a TIFF, could you Zip it up and send it to me full size?

    Many thanks,
    Simon Page, Dec 29, 2003
  11. Simon

    Simon Page Guest

    Oh yes,

    This is EXACTLY what I've been after. Many thanks David. Some one who
    knows what they are doing, producing an accurate and exhaustive test
    with great comparison photos that you can actually SEE the difference.

    Wonderful page. Thank you again.
    Simon Page, Dec 29, 2003
  12. Simon

    jean Guest

    jean, Dec 29, 2003
  13. Simon

    S. Cargo Guest

    I've never use the f1.4, but I've seen one. I own an f1.8 and it does provide
    great photos.

    As far as the cost goes between them.. The 1.8 has less glass, and no USM
    (which the f1.4 has).. The construction of the f1.8 is VERY cheap. It's all
    plastic. Even the camera mount isn't metal.

    It really looks cheap... but works well.
    S. Cargo, Dec 29, 2003
  14. Simon

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    In this case the f1.4 is noticably sharper. Four times sharper? That is your
    decision. I'm happy with the 1.8.
    Tony Spadaro, Dec 29, 2003
  15. Sorry, what I posted is straight out of the camera i.e. no processing in
    In the camera I saved it as a large file (6MP), coarse jpeg setting. You're the
    second person to ask for details in the bricks. I don't think there is any
    worth seeing, as the bricks are of a new, very smooth finish variety. I must
    remember to have a close look, next time I visit the area. Perhaps worth
    mentioning is that I only rarely use RAW, as the slight gain in quality doesn't
    seem worth the effort for my "style of photography". I do have some 37MB 16 bit
    TIFFs from a session designed to test the EF50 f1.4, and it didn't disappoint.
    However, I have just checked the TIFFs versus the jpegs at 100%, and there are
    more examples of jaggies on the TIFFs than on the extracted jpegs. (I need to
    re-convert the RAW files and this time turn off the mild sharpening that was in
    operation during the conversion process. I'm still learning...)
    [I'm on a dial-up connection, so burning a CD would make more sense than running
    out of time on "Anytime".]
    Malcolm Stewart, Dec 29, 2003
  16. Simon

    jriegle Guest

    I'm not familiar with the 1.4 version of the Canon as I am with the Nikon
    and Pentax, but I found the Canon 50mm f/1.8 to be disappointing in
    comparison with the Nikon and Pentax versions. The Canon does not sharpen up
    near the edge as nice as the others. This is true of the older Canon 50mm
    with metal mount as well. The Canon also appears to have stronger barrel

    As far as the Nikon and Pentax 1.4 go, they show loss of contrast wide open
    and tests I've seen of the Canon and others are similar.

    jriegle, Dec 29, 2003
  17. Simon

    jriegle Guest

    I hope not. It is sharp, but it is not up to the Pentax 1.7 or Nikon 1.8 in
    terms of overall image quality.
    jriegle, Dec 29, 2003
  18. Simon

    Simon Page Guest

    Actually, I was looking for a TIFF straight from the camera with no
    processing but if your on a dial-up, please don't worry, I was just

    Many thanks so far, it's all becomming a lot clearer now :)
    Simon Page, Dec 30, 2003
  19. The EF50 f1.4–EF50f1.8

    I think the main adantage of the 50 1.4 over the 1.8, is at apertures
    below f2.8. especially at 1.8.
    The build quality of the 1.4 is much better than the 1.8 and the 1.4 has
    FTM USM but cost $289.95 while the 1.8 cost 69.95 at B&H.

    Group: Date: Mon, Dec 29, 2003, 11:03am (CST+6)
    From: (Simon)

    The f1.4, 50mm Canon lens costs about 4 times as much as the f1.8 50mm
    lens. Is this increase in cost accounted for by the difference in speed
    ONLY or are there other advantages as well?
    Would either or both of the lenes produce images capable of pin sharp
    enlargment to A4 size.
    All the best.
    AnOvercomer02, Dec 30, 2003
  20. Simon

    DJ Guest

    Oh well, I'll just keep on trying :). I don't actually know how sharp "that"
    sharp is. Viewing at 100% on a CRT will, I think, always show up imperfections,
    but as frequently stated in this ng that's equivalents to blowing it up to 3-4
    feet wide. I do believe that pic could be printed out at A2 size (say 16"x20")
    and still be amazing (cute little girl aside) .. later ... I just did do an A4
    section out of the file resampled to 58cm high and yes, it still looks very
    good. Drat, now I'll have to buy an A2 printer!

    DJ, Dec 30, 2003
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