pennyharlie's reviews

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Weight, Image Quality, Low Price
    Build Quality, Noise, Sturdiness

    This is the standard lens (at least for full-frame / becomes moderate tele on APC-C). It is small and delicate. And with f/1.4, it is the cheapest "light capturing giant".

    50 mm are suitable mainly for torso or full body shots. For pure head shots, it is not appropriate so much because it leads to slightly visible distortion (although this can be corrected in PP). The greater the distance to the subject, the smaller this problem becomes. But let's be honest, with the 50mm lenses, generations have photographed everything before the appearance of zoom lenses; and it is still the standard. With a fixed focal length, one is forced to think more about composition. Since you can not zoom easily, you have to move around the subject in the viewfinder.

    Primes are unbeatable in terms of light intensity, but you cannot use this in every picture. In principe, primes are weaker in terms of resolution , sharpness and chromatic aberrations at your maximum aperture. Therefore one must close the aperture if absolute quality is desired. From f/4 on this lens becomes even better. In extreme low light situations you can use the maximum aperture of f/1.4 because resolution , sharpness and chromatic aberrations are not that visible in such ambient anyways.

    It has a metal mount (as opposed to the 1.8 version that uses plastic) and eight aperture blades (important for nice round shapes in the bokeh) . Micro USM (no ring USM would be even faster) with FTM (full time manual, you can set the focus manually at any time) , which is not common in itself. In contrast to the 85mm lens , it is a bit more noisy and a little bit slower.

    However, with an aperture of f/1.4 this is a "light giant". The focus moves inside the "tube" of up to one centimeter. Luckily the front element does not move, so you can use polarizer flters easily. The Lens Hood ES- 71II is not included.

    You will find no better quality lens for the Canon in this price range. The only about 1 /3 stop faster than the 50mm f/1.2 that is almost four times more expensive.

    I've used all three 50mm lenses from Canon. The f/1.8 is just cheap and fun, no regrets, but not serious enough. The f/1.4 is good for enthousiast amateurs - amazing image quality and a decent lens! The f/1.2 is for those that can acually earn money with what they do, otherwise it's just too much money for the differene in image and bokeh quality. | |

    reviewed November 15th, 2015 (purchased for $410)