Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon Lenses

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 13, 2010, 2:00 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 104
Default Canon 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 USM

So, here's something I've been pondering. For the price the 50mm can't be beat, so I want to get that as I'm sure to get plenty of use out of it. However, for other uses, the 85mm seems like a great choice especially for it's length, wide aperture, and AF. I'm wondering, do I wait on the 50mm and take the $100 or so I would spend on that and save for the 85mm, then get the 50mm later (if I still find i need it)? Or, do I get the 50mm now, since it's so inexpensive, then get the 85mm later?

I definitely think I'll be getting both at some point, I'm just curious what seems to be a better immediate choice.

Decisions, decisions...
fbords is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 13, 2010, 2:15 PM   #2
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

It's a hard one to answer, but recently I've been using my 50mm f1.8 more than the 85mm. It will depend what you are wanting to shoot.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 13, 2010, 2:18 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 104
Default

My first thoughts are that since I'm still fairly new, I should stick with adding the less expensive and see if i need the additional range. I have the kit 18-55mm and 55-250mm, so shooting further shouldn't be too much of an issue unless I'm indoors.

I'd just hate to spend the money on the 85mm and end up not using it as much as I had originally thought. These 2 lenses in particular seem to hold their resale value quite well. I can't even find used ones for much less than I could buy new.
fbords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 13, 2010, 2:25 PM   #4
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

As you have good ranges covered what are you wanting to do with the lenses as they lend themselves to slightly different situations.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 13, 2010, 2:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 104
Default

portraits mostly. However, I seem to think that in some cases, the 50 wont be long enough. I guess it's better to spend $100 to realize you need more lens than to spend $400 only to realize you didnt need that much.
fbords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 13, 2010, 2:50 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

That is one school of thought.

I have both lens also, and like using primes over zooms in general. And I do use the 85mm a bit more for the portraits aspect. The 50mm, I then to use it as a land/seascape portraits lens more with the wider angle.

Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 13, 2010 at 4:16 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2010, 9:35 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 112
Default

I struggled with this one too! I went with the 85. So glad I did! It has enough zoom for where I am shooting I still want the 50mm....but that will be a wee bit down the road once I figure this one out...
spinning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 16, 2010, 1:20 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
algold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 369
Default

50mm f/1.8 can produce very good images when you nail the focus and it's very sharp from f/2.2 and up. The biggest problem of this lens is its build quality and an inconsistent AF, especially in low light. If you don't really need a f/1.8 lens, the 60mm f/2.8 macro is a much better value and it gives you a true 1:1 macro as well. 85 is a bit long indoors, but its a great lens apart from the strong CA wide open in certain situations.
algold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2010, 9:47 PM   #9
Member
 
Mark Uhde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kalispell, Montana
Posts: 29
Default

I have both lenses. Both are great. The 85mm has excellent bokeh - the bokeh is extremely pretty and joy a joy. Thus, for portraits I do recommend it over the 50mm. However, on a crop body, 85mm is definitely more than a little too long for my tastes. The 50mm is a much more comfortable working distance. In my opinion. That said I use the 85 more, and I live with the working distance specifically because of it's beautiful bokeh.

Here's a set of pictures taken with the 85mm lens so you can look at them.

http://flickr.com/gp/comicexpressions/1s2AaV

I love that lens
__________________
More of my thoughts and opinions on can be found on my blog. I also like to post my photos on Flickr. Smilez, Mark.
Mark Uhde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2010, 3:45 AM   #10
Super Moderator
 
peripatetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599
Default

I hated the 50 f1.8. It has terrible build quality, horribly slow and inaccurate AF and the worst bokeh of any lens I've ever owned by some margin.

But it is SHARP and cheap. So there you go.

I've recently sold my 50 f1.2 L and gone back to the 50 f1.4. The L is superior in most respects: colour, bokeh, AF, build quality. But it's HEAVY and obvious and the 1.4 (this copy) is certainly a bit sharper than the L (my copy) and no focus shift.

The main reason though was the weight and the fact that on a 5D2 it shouted "big professional lens over here". With a 50 f1.4 on my 5D2 my camera looks a lot less professional than an entry-level DSLR with a mid-range zoom. Nice and stealthy and not too heavy. If I do get round to ditching my 24-105L in favour of the 28 f1.8 then I'll be down to a reasonably compact outfit again.
__________________
My gallery
My X100 blog

Last edited by peripatetic; Jan 30, 2010 at 3:48 AM.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:23 PM.