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Old Oct 31, 2005, 3:30 PM   #1
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I'm looking to get a 50mm prime for the 20D, and wondering if the 1.4 lens is worth the extra cost over the 1.8. Other than the faster aperture, USM, and better build quality, does the 1.4 have other strengths? To put it another way, will it produce better images than the 1.8 version even when comparing both stopped down a bit?
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Old Oct 31, 2005, 7:26 PM   #2
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probably not...

another thing is that the f/1.4 has more light fall off than the 1.8

two goods things it has over its cheaper bro is better bokeh and flare control.
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Old Oct 31, 2005, 9:14 PM   #3
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More light falloff? Hmm... just wide open, or in general? I wouldn't mind the things that were wrong with it at apertures larger than 1.8, since the other lens obviously can't achieve those apertures at all. But if the more expensive lens is inferior at any apertrue smaller than 1.8, that sours the deal.

On the other hand, the better bokeh is something to consider, since I'll be using this lens for portraits and other situations where I want background blur. The 1.4's better bokeh results from having 8 diaphragm blades instead of 5, right?
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Old Oct 31, 2005, 11:25 PM   #4
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correcto...


and mistake on my part... at f/1.8 the ef 1.4 has LESS light fall off than the other.
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Old Nov 1, 2005, 9:03 PM   #5
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Does anyone else have an opinion on this?
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 4:26 AM   #6
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UrbanPhotos wrote:
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Does anyone else have an opinion on this?
They are not very sharp wide opened - i.e. check the black curves. The f/1.4 (which I have) is even less so than the f/1.8 according to the MTF:

f/1.4: f/1.8:


Other than bragging right on the f/1.4 (which you have to pay for), the f/1.8 is a give away...
-> At f/8 (blue curves) they are both about equal with a slight edge at the corners for the f/1.8 :idea:


Are you looking for low-light exposures or shallow DOF?
You can't beat an f/1.4 for low light; However a wide aperture tele, such as the 120-300 f/2.8 EX, has a paper thin DOF which is even shallower than my 85mm f/1.2L for outdoor portraits (and also sharper wide opened too).
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 7:34 PM   #7
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I have the F1.4 and if I did it all over again, I would probably have bought the F1.8 lens, and used the money I saved towards buying another lens.
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 12:26 AM   #8
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I decided to go with the 1.8. I did some impromptu testing in the store (shooting boxes at angles to see if the focus was accurate), I decided I was holding a good copy. What really sold me on the lens is this picture of the person who literally sold me the lens. He took a call while I was messing with the lens, and I snapped this candid at 1.8 (ISO 200, 1/50 sec... I have a steady hand )



The bokeh is a little weird, as I expected. But who's going to notice that without looking specifically for it? Not enough people to justify paying 4x the price for the 1.4!

Portraits, especially of the available-light candid variety, are one of the main reasons I wanted a 50mm prime, so I think this little "plastic fantastic" will work fine.
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 10:13 AM   #9
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Is the bokeh weird in your original image, or just the one posted here, which is under 200K in size?


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Old Nov 11, 2005, 6:11 PM   #10
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I'm talking about the text on the boxes above his right shoulder. I imagine it would have been smoother with the 1.4. And yes, it looks that way in the full-size image.

Don't get me wrong-- I'm happy with the lens.
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