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Old Aug 14, 2007, 2:13 PM   #1
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Anybody use this lens? I am new to DSLRs and was thinking on picking this up vs the55mm (nifty fifty)lens.
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 4:01 PM   #2
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I have both the 50mm and 85mm. Which is a better fit (or if either one is) depends entirely on how you intend to use it. When you talk about buying a prime lens, it's criitical to get the appropriate focal length for your intended use.

Now, in general the 85 is sharper and focuses faster (maybe one of the fastest focusing lenses in canon's arsenal) and has better build quality. But then it costs aboutt $300 more than the 50mm.

This is not to say the 50mm is a slouch - it's a tremendous bargain. Still pretty sharp.

So, it really comes down to what you intend to shoot with the lens - 85mm might be too long for your needs (or it might not be long enough - in which case you need to consider 100mm or 135mm 2.0 lenses).

Bottom line? What do you intend to use the lens for?
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 6:18 PM   #3
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I'm with John, the 85 is a fantastic lens and I love the sharpness of it as well as the great focus speed. I don't use the 50mm much as the 85mm but it's good to know it is there when I want the extra width. As John has asked what do you want to use the lens for as this will make a big difference?
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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I have the EF 28-135 IS USM lens I was going to get the 85mm as a second lens.
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 8:04 AM   #5
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Cyberf828 wrote:
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I have the EF 28-135 IS USM lens I was going to get the 85mm as a second lens.
No offense, but the question remains: a second lens for what purpose? Whether it's your second or fifth lens doesn't change the fact - what you intend to shoot will determine whether the lens is a good fit for your needs.

Let me give you an example. Lets say you want to take photos of your friend's band as they play at various venues. And let's say you're going to be right in front of the stage. Which prime lens is the right choice depends on the types of shots you want. If you want wider shots of the whole band, you need something like a 20mm lens. Full body shots of a single performer - maybe the 50mm. Head/torso shots - 85mm So even in that one instance the proper lens choice differs depending on what types of shots you want to take.

Or let's say you intend to take photos of a daughter at school plays and you have to sit in the chairs. It's extremely possible 85mm isn't going to be long enough for your needs. Remember, the 85mm 1.8 was originally designed as a portrait lens - it is only designed to focus precisely up to 20 feet. And once inside that 20 feet it's difficult to get an entire adult in the frame. So really, it's intended use is for portrait shots - torso and head.

So again, what do you want to use the lens for?

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Old Aug 16, 2007, 9:15 AM   #6
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John,
Are you referring to the 50mm 1.4 or 1.8? This is a lens I'm currently looking to purchase.

Thanks

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Old Aug 16, 2007, 9:29 AM   #7
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KcR wrote:
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John,
Are you referring to the 50mm 1.4 or 1.8? This is a lens I'm currently looking to purchase.

Thanks

It depends on which post of mine you wish to refer to. I own the 1.8. But my post regarding proper focal length would apply to either the 1.4 OR the 1.8

Comparing the 1.4 to the 1.8 - the 1.4 is sharper, better built, quicker to focus. But it's $300 vs. $70.

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Old Aug 16, 2007, 4:35 PM   #8
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JohnG wrote:
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Comparing the 1.4 to the 1.8 - the 1.4 is sharper, better built, quicker to focus. But it's $300 vs. $70.
... Also the 1.4 (at least my copy) has a serious case of CA problem in bright light

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Old Aug 16, 2007, 9:02 PM   #9
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NHL,

Do you use the 1.4 much? Just curious how much use you've had for a 1.4 lens as opposed to a 1.8.
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Old Aug 16, 2007, 11:32 PM   #10
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I must admit not much @ all - My hobby has changed somewhat from mostly Studio works to almost all Wildlife lately, my older 85mm f/1.2 (read slow AF) has seen even less action as it sat now in the original box...

The last time I used the 50 was to take this picture (notice the blue fringing in all the high contrast areas?)... At 300mm f/2.8 for example, the 120-300 has a much shallower DOF and also better perspective than the 50 (or the 85 for that matter) for portrait outdoor!


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