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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Canon 40 mm 2.8 vs 50 mm 1.8 vs 50 mm 1.4
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01/17/2013 07:59:57 PM · #1
1) Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM @ USD200
2) Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II @ USD100 (I own it)
3) Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM @ USD400

Any thoughts how these lens compare and how they would behave on a FF? Video performance? Portability? Bokeh?

As my 6D is coming closer I am considering purchasing 1) or 3)

Many Thanks,

T

01/17/2013 08:53:17 PM · #2
Also any thoughts on 100 mm 2.8 IS L vs non L / IS? I owned the non L one. Is the new one worth the double price? Also I found a second had non IS at USD400.

Thank you
01/17/2013 08:55:07 PM · #3
The 50mm f1.8 is a great cheap lens until you buy the f1.4 and then you think it's a cheap plastic trinket.
01/17/2013 08:57:47 PM · #4
Originally posted by Tiberius:

Also any thoughts on 100 mm 2.8 IS L vs non L / IS? I owned the non L one. Is the new one worth the double price? Also I found a second had non IS at USD400.

Thank you


Good question... I guess the answer depends on how you will use it. For general use, the IS would seem useful, but for macro, I have never really wanted/needed IS. Heck, the vast majority of my macro work is done with flash. In those cases where I'm shooting outdoors and using natural light, or predominantly natural, subject motion is more a problem than *my* motion, and IS does not help with that. Is the IS version optically better? From the published data, I'd say yes. Double the price better? I dunno.

Message edited by author 2013-01-17 20:58:17.
01/17/2013 10:24:19 PM · #5
Well, you mention video, and the 40 2.8 was built specifically with video in mind (ergo STM), so I'd lean towards that. It's also tested very well optically and is so diminutive in size there's hardly an argument against bringing it. But, it is 2.8 vs 1.8/4, so there's that to consider. Depends upon what sort of product you're going for and what sort of conditions you'll be shooting in. It's also wider, but I find I like that sort of focal length myself.
01/17/2013 10:59:12 PM · #6
I'll also mention that the 50mm 1.8 is a geared focus so for video it's going to make a hella loud racket.
01/18/2013 08:49:36 AM · #7
Seems like I am going to sell the 1.8 add a bit if cash and get the 2.8 40mm, then later get the 1.4 50 mm.

As for the 100 2.8 Macro, I will sell the Tamron 28-75 2.8 and the Tokina 12-24 4.0 and see some second hands.

Other opinions?

Thank you all

Tib
01/18/2013 09:57:29 AM · #8
personally i'd get the L version of the 100 macro, i've got it and it performs amazingly... incredibly sharp, quick focus and rumored to be one of the best lenses ever produced by canon....
01/18/2013 10:17:55 AM · #9
I have all 3 - 40, 50f1.8 & 50f1.4.... It's a long story but my kid uses the 50f1.8 and 50f1.4 & 40 are very different uses for me. The 50f1.8 I have always hated.... glass is nice but rest is crap and you can forget about focusing. The 50f1.4 is good and well worth the extra but that 40 is just amazing and I use it on the body when I want a small P&S type of camera. 40 is very sharp and more consistent then the 50f1.4 and the only reason to pick the 50f1.4 over it is for under f2.8.
01/19/2013 11:51:40 AM · #10
I have both the 40mm F2.8 and 50mm F1.8. They are both great lenses. I really didn't need the 40mm but I wanted it. 50mm F1.8 is a must have for indoor shooting I like to do. The 40mm is only $150 on Amazon.

As far as portability, yeah the 40mm is a pancake, but really do you even notice the 50mm? As far as the F1.4, I could never see spending the money for half a stop. Maybe the build is a little better but I don't need that either.

If you are looking to add 1 or 3 I would add 1. It is fun, cheap and sharp.

Message edited by author 2013-01-19 11:54:35.
01/19/2013 02:05:18 PM · #11
Originally posted by mrchhas:

personally i'd get the L version of the 100 macro, i've got it and it performs amazingly... incredibly sharp, quick focus and rumored to be one of the best lenses ever produced by canon....

I absolutely agree. Stunningly good lens.
01/19/2013 02:41:20 PM · #12
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Well, you mention video, and the 40 2.8 was built specifically with video in mind (ergo STM), so I'd lean towards that.


I believe the T4i is the only camera that can use the focus ability of this less for video AF, otherwise it will just be quieter. but then again the 6D may take advantage, i'm not sure)

Originally posted by Zeissman:

As far as the F1.4, I could never see spending the money for half a stop. Maybe the build is a little better but I don't need that either.



the auto focus speed is night and day, most people who upgrade to the 1.4 do so for much improved AF and better (non pentagonal) bokeh.

the 1.8 is a sweet little lens, but i was just missing too many shots by the time it finally focused.

personally i like the 50mm focal length on a full frame, granted you notice a bigger difference between the two on a crop, i dont know how well the the 40 performs wide open but the 50 at 2.8 is pretty sharp.

edit, the 40 is pretty sharp wide open and compares to the 50 at 2.8 visual comparison

Message edited by author 2013-01-19 14:50:00.
01/19/2013 11:31:55 PM · #13
I owned both the 100's.
Going to the L version, was an interesting step. The differences are as follow...

I loved the L"S colour and contrast. Much more pop. Sharpness was excellent, but no major difference. The IS did help, to steady the viewfinder. Even more so when at macro distances.
My only complaint is the ca. With the original 100mm, I needed no ca adjustment. I remember having to adjust images to correct it. Leading to ocational sharpness loss. Not major, but enough that it bothered me.
For me, When I do finally get back a macro, it will be the 180mm. Hopefully by then, the 180L is macro...
Much better boken, working distance and subject background, separating, capabilities. ahhhhh.....
01/30/2013 09:54:58 AM · #14
i just got the 50mm 1.4 (canon) in the mail after a night of drunken amazon.com'ing it... and lo and behold it's soft. like, really soft. and missing focus... like a lot. and i'm thinking I should have stuck with the old 1.8. is this normal for the lens or should I send it back?
01/30/2013 10:24:52 AM · #15
Originally posted by mrchhas:

i just got the 50mm 1.4 (canon) in the mail after a night of drunken amazon.com'ing it... and lo and behold it's soft. like, really soft. and missing focus... like a lot. and i'm thinking I should have stuck with the old 1.8. is this normal for the lens or should I send it back?


If you are testing it wide open, focus is absolutely critical. It sounds like it may be missing focus. If that's the case, and you have no way to perform adjustment (not sure if that's an option on your body) then yes, I'd return it.
Test focus carefully. Set for center point only to ensure you are focusing where you think you are.

ETA: It's really the combination of body and lens that matters. For instance, focus on my 50/1.4 was unreliable at best on my old Canon 10D, but on the 5D it is pretty much dead-on. The 10D did not seem to have problems with other lenses, so it was not just a body problem. This is one reason why you see micro-adjustment capability on modern bodies.

Message edited by author 2013-01-30 11:02:36.
01/30/2013 10:43:52 AM · #16
The noise of 1.8 is horrible.

I ended up with the 40mm 2.8 Very happy.

01/30/2013 11:53:19 AM · #17
@kirbic yeah i used the center spot and it was wide open with 1/800 shutter speed so little chance of hand shake, they all seemed to miss focus pretty bad. i'm going to do some other tests tonight or tomorrow when i have time. i also used live view mode to see if i could nail manual focus on a tree 30 meters away and did, spot on. autofocus on the same tree shot 3 meters closer to me. strange, though, to be that off, no? especially with plenty of light?

the whole reason I bought this thing is for that extra light capability over the 1.8 and the apparent increase in sharpness and AF speed. at this point the plastic 1.8 wins hands down. I'm sure you're right about the body making an important difference but unfortunately i've got this and that's it.
01/30/2013 07:20:27 PM · #18
here's what i'm talking about. these shots were taken just before work was starting so i didn't have time to compose or anything i was looking for good opp's for DOF and bokeh...but i wasn't drunk or so hurried that i couldn't operate the camera. i've taken screenshots of them inside aperture with absolutely no editing not even in camera changes.

first seems missed focus:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1051793.png

second seems missed focus:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1051794.png

third, 100% crop that seems to be locked on focus-wise, but for me, not sharp.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1051796.png this is ISO 800, f/1.4, 1/60.

am I incorrect here or is something wrong?
01/31/2013 10:15:01 PM · #19
Originally posted by Tiberius:

The noise of 1.8 is horrible.


Do you mean the motor?
01/31/2013 10:18:48 PM · #20
the last seems good to me for 100% but the first two definitely are not focusig where the red box is. Looks like it is focusing on other points.

Originally posted by mrchhas:

here's what i'm talking about. these shots were taken just before work was starting so i didn't have time to compose or anything i was looking for good opp's for DOF and bokeh...but i wasn't drunk or so hurried that i couldn't operate the camera. i've taken screenshots of them inside aperture with absolutely no editing not even in camera changes.

am I incorrect here or is something wrong?
01/31/2013 11:22:38 PM · #21
Originally posted by Zeissman:

Originally posted by Tiberius:

The noise of 1.8 is horrible.


Do you mean the motor?


Yes
01/31/2013 11:38:09 PM · #22
I hope you enjoy the 40mm as much as I do mine.
02/01/2013 12:05:35 AM · #23
I have to say that is awesome, and definitely good value.
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