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Old Oct 24, 2012, 9:29 AM   #1
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Default Getting my t3i today. Please clarify something.

I was set on adding an additional 50mm 1.8 lens For $107
But I see there is a 50mm 1.4 for $389. What is the difference between these two lenses and is it worth the extra $300?
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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The difference is the 2/3 stop of extra light that can come through the 50/1.4 that won't get through the 50/1.8. ... plus the smaller depth of field the larger aperture will give you.

The nice thing about the 1.8 is that it will teach you about shooting in available light and with shallow depths of field, without setting you back too much. After having used the 50/1.8 for a while, you will know whether you want or need it. Right now, you don't have the slightest idea (which is why you're posting the question.)

Just get the 50/1.8 to start with.
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Last edited by TCav; Oct 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 1:44 PM   #3
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the build quality of the 1.8 isn't great, but i never had any problems with mine, and it took nice pics in low light. if you comfortably have the additional $300 to invest, want to shoot in low light and you're comfortable shooting with a 50mm prime, i'd go for the 1.4, but the 1.8 will do a nice job, too.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 1:52 PM   #4
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The f/1.8 allows plenty of light in and offers plenty of depth of field options- the 1.4 will allow more light in (all else being equal) but will have a very shallow DOF in doing so... maybe too shallow for anything other than very specific applications.
The 1.8 is very good value and I'd start there....
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 3:14 PM   #5
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We have both lenses, the 1.4 would often have a weird ghosting thing going on in low-light concert situations and now pretty much refuses to auto focus at all in low-light.

However, our 1.8 is still going strong. It's a bargain, go buy one today!

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Old Oct 26, 2012, 10:21 AM   #6
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The 1.4 focuses far more quickly and quietly than the 1.8, and as it has USM you can actually override it manually without breaking the lens. If you move the focus ring on the 1.8 at the same time as the AF motor is working you can break the lens.

Sharpness is roughly equal.

I personally find the bokeh (i.e. the quality of the way the lenses draw the OOF areas of the picture) to be fairly good on the 1.4 and utterly hideous on the 1.8.

The build quality of the 1.4 is far better than the 1.8, however the AF motor on the 1.4 is known to fail more frequently.

I didn't like the 1.8 at all when I owned it, but I use the 1.4 as my main lens on my 5D2.

For me personally the 1.4 is definitely worth the extra money. YMMV of course.
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Old Oct 27, 2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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Agree with everyone else, but just to add:

The focus ring on the 1.8 is skinny and flimsy to the point of being nearly unusable, so if you're hoping to do manual focusing that might be an issue (I returned mine for that reason; places like Amazon and Adorama have a generous return policy.) And yeah, the bokeh is noisy.

Have you considered a used 1.4?
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