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Old Feb 22, 2006, 9:35 AM   #1
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I have just bought my wife a Rebel XT, along with the canon EF 28-135mm IS USM lens, and she loves it .. only had it for two days, but she has taken 200+ photos!

I now want to get her a good portrait lens. I am looking at the Canon EF 50mm USM or the EF 50mm f/1.8 II , and would appreciate any feedback on these lens. Is there another lens that I should be looking at; maybe a third party one? She will be taking pictures of the kids, mainly in-doors, using ambient light, or under standard room lighting.


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Old Feb 22, 2006, 12:13 PM   #2
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The 50mm 1.8 is definitely the least expensive route to go - it has very high quality results and gives you 1.8 which will give you some nice subject isolation. The 85mm 1.8 is a better option for head shots or outdoors where you have more room. But indoors, unless you have a good amount of space, the 85mm is going to be a head-shot type of lens.

Which lens depends on how serious your wife wants to do portrait work. The 85mm will yield better results but is more restrictive (due to longer focal length) on the situations you can use it in and costs around $360. The 50mm 1.8 costs around $70 and will give greater flexibility but won't give quite as good background blur.
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Old Feb 22, 2006, 12:30 PM   #3
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The only real concern I have over the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is that it is plastic, and may not stand up to the test of time .. but at $70, its cheap to replace.

What about the 50mm f1.4 lens? Is the extra money worth it? Can you really use this lens at f/1.4 with Rebel XT?
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Old Feb 22, 2006, 2:58 PM   #4
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I own the F1.4 and if I did it over again I would save money and get the F1.8.

I wouldn't worry about the robustness of a plastic lens unless I was a pro slinging the kit bag forty hours a week.

For amateur use, those plastic lenses hold up just fine.

Actually, for indoor use, something like a Tamron 17-35 F2.8 lens is a smarter choice.

The 17mm wide end is useful in confined quarters.

With the 50mm, she'll find herself squishing against back walls trying to get a wider angle view.

With the 17mm, you can take a pictures of a group of kids from five feet away.

The F2.8 is helpful for indoor where the lighting is low (natural light) .

-- Terry


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Old Feb 23, 2006, 12:36 AM   #5
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The 50mmf1.8 is so small it will miss a lot of bangs and so compact that I suspect it will stand up better than a lot of metal but much longer lenses. The front element is recessed a long way and is very difficult to scratch too.
You can buy four, smash a couple up with a hammer to see how resilient they are and yet still have a spare lens and some extra cash over getting one of the other lenses.
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Old Feb 23, 2006, 3:58 PM   #6
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Yep, at $70 each, smashing two or three would be fun... now, I wish there was a 30mm or even wider lens in that price range...
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Old Feb 23, 2006, 8:15 PM   #7
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RowanP wrote:
Quote:
What about the 50mm f1.4 lens?
I don't know anything about the f/1.8, but I have the 50 f/1.4 however (mostly for the USM)

Normally I don't notice this, but when I shot this lens comparison sometime back with the 50mm, the f/1.4 showed considerable CA in bright light:


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Old Feb 23, 2006, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Actually, for indoor use, something like a Tamron 17-35 F2.8 lens is a smarter choice. The 17mm wide end is useful in confined quarters.
I think wide angle lens ARE good for indoor "confined quarters", but I remember reading somewhere that for portraits, especially solo and head shots, it is better to use lenses with more reach as subjects appear skinnier. I read that when you use wide angle lens on head shots, people's noses could appear wider than it really is, compare to the rest of their face.

I don't really know how accurate that is, and I suspect a 35mm and a 50mm wouldn't have much difference, but it's something to keep in mind. Of course, with the Rebel XT, 35mm is similar to 50mm in 35mm format.

Obviously if you're taking pictures of a group of people on a party, it's better to go wide.
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Old Feb 24, 2006, 1:31 AM   #9
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I've always read that a good portrait lens should be around 80mm. If you put a 50mm on a Rebel, 20D, 30D or any other camera with the same size sensor then that will be about 80mm.

Terry has a good point about the wider angle in tight spaces but the wider angle will not flatter your subject. The longer lenses tend to flatter your subject.

Of course, if i am wrong then I'm sure someone will let us know:-).

We are also looking at getting the 50mm 1.4 but I may end up getting the 1.8 and if it doesn't fit my needs I will upgrade to the 1.4 later on. If it does fit my needs, I just saved about 250 dollars.

Dave
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Old Feb 24, 2006, 2:04 AM   #10
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Saying that a 50mm lens will be like an 80mm lens due too the crop factor is rubbish.

A50mm lens does not have the same angle of view as an 80mm lens. For portraits you need a minimum of 80mm
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