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Old Aug 26, 2009, 1:15 AM   #1
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Default Low light lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM or Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II?

I'm considering either a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II or Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM for low light shooting with picture quality about that of a human eye in the dark. Now, apparently the maximum aperture of the human eye is f/2.1, so it would make sense to get the f/1.8. Would f/1.4 or larger be overkill?

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Old Aug 26, 2009, 2:00 AM   #2
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I always thought the human eye had an f-stop of around f3.2.

I guess it could go as wide as f2.1 if you were smoking an illegal substance. :-)

Do you have a particular reason for wanting the f-stop to be the same as the human eye?

The thing is that we have a VERY powerful optical processing engine on board, and it can do wonders with what is frankly some very poor hardware.

http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta...esolution.html
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 4:03 AM   #3
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f2.1 or f3.2 depending on whether measured by outgoing or incoming light.

The reason I ask for an f-stop of about the human eye is to film in low light situations such as Disney dark rides which have lighting conditions optimized specifically for humans. Haunted Mansion in particular is one of the hardest rides to film due to its lighting.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 7:25 AM   #4
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Film or photograph?

For photography I think you're probably barking up the wrong tree.

If NC is correct our eye manages about ISO800, so just adjust your exposure accordingly. And of course that is the MAXIMUM aperture of the eye, not the continually adjusting aperture in real viewing conditions.

But what shutter speed will you choose? We have a processor that works more like a continuous video stream.

I'm also not at all convinced that any parallels (even correct ones) you draw will make for visually interesting video or still photographs, because you will be viewing them on a monitor or prints under completely different viewing conditions from the original ride.

I would suggest you forget about worrying about the human-eye equivalents and concentrate instead on getting visually interesting output.
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