Canon 50mm f/1.8

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by tylerwind, May 1, 2007.

  1. I was thinking of buying the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens and wanted some feedback on
    it. I will be using it for portraits and sports (I realize that it is not a
    telephoto so is not a tradition "sports" lens but I want to use it for high
    school baseball games at night...I can get right up to the fence near the
    batter where 50mm will work just fine--the extra speed is what I'm really
    after) How sharp is this lens for portraits? Do you guys think it will fit my
    purposes? FYI, I currently have the following lenses for my XT: Tokina 12-24
    f/4, Canon 100mm MACRO f/2.8, Canon 35-80mm f/4-5.6(?), and Canon 75-300 f/4.5-
    5.6. Thanks for all the help!
  2. Do a search - this has been discussed hundreds of times and yes, it is sharp and will work fine for you
  3. If you have a few more bucks, consider the Canon 85mm F1.8. It's a nice lens for sports ...indoors and low light. I also have the 50mm F1.8 and it's a great value and will also fill your needs if you can get close enough.
  4. If you can, get a used version of the MK1 version (~$150) with metal mount and distant scale. That version feel and (IMHO) focus better. Optically the two versions are the same. At a higher price, the EF50/1.4 is another option. BTW: The EF100/2 would have been better for what you want to do then the macro at f2.8.
  5. I agree with Ray. I have the 85mm f/1.8 and it's an awesome lens. Super fast and sharp. Even better is the 135mm f/2 L. It's my sharpest lens for sports. Come on Tyler. You're a doctor, spend a few bucks and get some good glass. ;)
  6. This was my favorite lens on my 35mm film camera. I still use it quite often on my XTi, but definitely for different purposes now, because of the crop factor. It's great for portraits, and can even show more imperfections in your subjects than they may prefer, but sharpness is not a bad problem to have. Can't comment on its use for baseball, other than I think it would be too short a focal length for most shots.
  7. I use the 50mm f1.8 for portraits (on an XT.) It works very well.

    I use the 85mm f1.8 for portaits much more (on the same XT.) It's better, especially because of the greater control over DOF.

    Both lenses focuses quickly; in case you're wondering, much faster than the 100mm macro.
  8. Maybe I got a bad copy, but I never much cared for my 50mm f/1.8. I used a friend's MK1 and I agree it is much nicer, but also slower focusing.

    Wide open, the 50mm f/1.8 I had gave me nowhere near the same performance as my 85mm f/1.8. They were absolutely in different leagues.
  9. Don't know what your crop factor is but I would go with an 85 f/1.8.
    Don't you want the best sharpness wide open plus reduced depth of field.
  10. Good answers, guys...thank you for taking the time to provide them. I will consider the other options you guys had listed. To answer a few questions and respond to some comments, my 100mm f/2.8 MACRO was actually bought to be a MACRO lens...I just let it double as a good lens for portraits, sports in low light, etc. I'll look into the 85mm. I don't mind the extra money but my only thought was that since I already have a 100mm lens that is pretty wide/fast (the f/2.8), that I might get more use out of the 50mm since the 85mm would be fairly similar to the 100mm. I do see though that the extra 35mm would increase background blur.

    Oh yeah, Will...I am a surgeon but I'm also currently a RESIDENT! (ie-making the least money of anyone who posted on this thread) Give me 4 years and (knock on wood, God willing) I'll be able to buy whatever lens I want! Heck...I'll even buy you one too for all your help! :)
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Doc

    I have the 50mmF1.4 and the 85mm F1.8 and use them on a 20D (x1.6 sensor)

    I shoot a lot of sport (not B Ball) but a similar, both lighting and subject distances (swimming / poolside, gymnastics etc).

    I find the 85mm gets more use than the 50mm, and I am looking at getting the 135mmF2L later for a bit more reach at F2.

    A test for you, to see which knee is broken:

    Take your Canon 35 to 80mm to a game and shoot from the viewpoint you anticipate you can acquire on a regular basis.

    Shoot the first half at FL 50mm ONLY and the second at FL 80mm ONLY: you will soon know which is a better useable FL.

  12. In that case Tyler, I want the 400mm f/2.8 L. LOL
  13. William--Thank you for your remarks, which as always, are very logical. The reason I knew the 50mm would be ok is from my experiences shooting the same locations last year with my much (MUCH) slower lenses...when I looked back most of my compositions were at 50-65mm, although I could probably find plenty of space to use the 85mm. I'll re-review my shots and do a little more experimenting.

    Will--Don't worry, my eye is on that one as well. My youngest brother will benefit most from that purchase as he'll be playing high school football when I finish residency and finally get the means to buy it. I'll be sure to order 2 of them and ship one to my buddy out West. :)
  14. Tyler,
    In case you are still checking this. I have no experience with the 85 1.8. However, I do have experience with the 50 1.8 and I think you will run into focusing problems in low light with moving subjects. I have tried using this in low light and it focuses to slow for me, I missed the shots. I had better luck with my 70-200 f4 L. Get the lens with the USM, if it is action shots that you seek in low light.
  15. Thanks Aaron...I'll definitely take that into consideration. I am very appreciative of your input!

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