Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:32 pm

All times are UTC

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:47 pm 
I have just purchased a Canon 50mm f1.8 MK11 lens and I must say - straight out of the box it has delivered fantastic results.

Although I am over the moon with it - I do have mixed feelings. The main reason for this is; I had invested in a Canon 17 x 85, Canon 55 x 250 and a Sigma 70 x 200 lens, and although the 50mm doesn't have the wide angle feature of the 17 x 85 or the zoom capacities of the 55 x 250 and the 70 x 200, and doesn't have the build quality or professional look and feel of any of them. It still delivers more with very little effort with a higher percentage of good working shots.

I must add I am not a professional photographer but a graphic designer
and frequently need to use professional photographic images for the work I produce - which does give me an idea of what to look for in good images.

So my question is: What can I use my other lenses for? Whilst to match the sharpness of the 50mm they generally need to be placed on a tripod and it's still questionable even with the assistance of the tripod whether they can match the nifty fifties image quality.

In short the 50mm cost me £55 whilst the others have a combined cost of around £1400!!!!

Can someone please put up an argument for the benefits of the other lenses above the 50mm as I'm finding it quite depressing.[/b]

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:59 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9886
Location: UK
Hi rtguest,

May I offer you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forums.

Not sure whether this more properly belongs in the Canon forum but as there's an element of a review I'll leave it here for now and see how the thread develops.

I have the EF 50 mm f/1.8 II and, like its Nikkor counterpart, it's a huge amount of lens for the money. As for your other lenses, it seems to me that you can achieve the same flexibility by selling one of your telephoto zooms. Which one is up to you, of course. The key to retaining the other two is that word 'flexibility. I doubt you'd want to get rid of them even it were only so that they could be used for family and holiday snaps.


Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:34 pm 
Hi rtguest,

I think the reason why you get better results more easily from the 50mm is simply because it is a normal prime lens. You have 1 focal point, so composition is less complicated then with a zoom lens (where you spend too much time adjusting the focal length as opposed) and you also end up spending more time on lighting and such. Also, the vast aperture increase means you get faster shutter speeds at lower ISO sensitivities.

Having said that, the 50mm 1.8 II is a great lens, only the bokeh and autofocus could be better. But that's asking a lot from a <£100 lens.

Usage of (tele) zooms requires you knowing exactly what you wanna shoot. That's why some people advocate learning the trade on primes before going to zooms. Learning composition, lighting and exposure is, as stated above, easier with a prime. Once you get familiar with that, you can more effectively use zoom lenses. Your 70-200 or even the 55-250 are great lenses for (candid portraits), far away moving objects, etc.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:30 am 
Hi Shonen,

Being quite new to photography that's something I hadn't considered. And what you say regarding Primes makes senses.

Going back to the 55 x 250, I found this to be a fantastic lens as it captured great images consistently (although my abilities limited it somewhat). I did however submit a few images to two stock libraries (istockphoto and fotolia), and although most were rejected I was over-the-moon when fotolia accepted one of them. These shots were all from the 55 x 250 and was not only the first time I had used the lens but also the first time I had used any camera properly.

Also I find great composition a little different from what I'm used to. As originally coming from an illustration background compositions were more about balance and symmetry, whereas great photo compositions are viewed a little differently.

I discovered this from 2 great books I purchased written by Scott Kelby. I just love the way he explains things for the mere novice.

The Sigma 70 x 200 I know is a great lens but going back to what you were saying about needing a little more knowledge to get the best out of these lenses is especially true with this one compared to the 55 x 250. As I noticed I get around 10% of shots which are workable compared to around 70% from the 55 x 250. Although not knowing enough about lighting is all dependent on what the natural elements are giving me. So as you can tell I'm a bit haphazard in my approach.

But thanks for sharing your knowledge as it has given incentive to develop my knowledge to get more out of my other lenses.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:14 am 
Also prime lenses tend to be sharper. The 50 f1.8 is tack sharp at f5.6, as are many other lenses when stopped down.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:29 am 
Hi Zerimar,

I wasn't aware of the optimum performance of these lenses. Is it just stopping down that makes the difference or simply operating around f5.6?

Also does anyone know the optimum performance of the other lenses I have? (Is there a focal point range where they operate more comfortable in) Or am I talking rubbish).

I also have a Canon 55x250, 17x85 and Sigma 70x200 (latest macro version).

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:45 am 
Generally, a lens is sharpest in the middle of its aperture range.

In the case of the 50/1.8, it's sharp at f/2.8, very sharp at f/5.6-8.0, and diffraction should start around f/11-16.

At f/1.8, it's not great in any way. It's not rubbish, though.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:37 pm 
I own one as well and for the money it's a great deal. In hindsight I wish I would have bought thef 1.4 for the metal mount and better feel.

 Post subject: EF 50mm 1.8 II
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:48 pm 
I also just purchased this lens and am amazed at the low light images I'm able to capture without flash. This was the main reason I purchased it, and at just $89 it is the least expensive EF lens I own. You just can't beat it for the price. True, the build is a bit plastic and the autofocus a little loud, but still worth the investment.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:00 am 
This beloved 50mm f1.8 being my only lens was a great deal but the problem with 50mm is that its around the equivelent of what your eye sees, the problem with that is you cant the ultra wide 18mm look that or the telephoto look of 200 all you get is what the ordinary everyday eye can see. i'm not saying its a bad lens but don't let it be your only... for long.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:12 pm 
It's an amazing lens for the price, although I returned it - exactly BECAUSE I liked it so much - to buy the 1.4 USM :)

On the topic: Your other lenses certainly have their purpose - while the 50mm is a great lens, you will be having real problems when shooting landscapes - thats where your 17-85 comes to use. Same story with sports or in zoos etc: you will need a tele, or it will just be impossible to get close enough.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:58 pm 
I am dead chuffed with mine, its ability to shoot in low light, and get thank wonderful bokeh, for a small cost, is just great! I recommend it as a must have for any canon d-slr owner, or even the f/1.4 version, which has much better build quality, if your pocket is deep enough.

Just remeber with the f/1.8, treat and serve it well, and it will do the same back, don't and it won't!

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group