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Canon 50mm f1.4 versus Canon 50mm f1.8


trivets12 10 1.3k
2 Aug 2006 9:10AM
I've been looking at these two lenses and would be grateful for your advice/opinions between the two?
Looking at them on paper it seems such a small difference between 1.4 and 1.8 but the price is a big difference. I would be using it primarily for wedding portraiture, and good background blur is quite important.
Is the extra expense going to show in the final print as, afterall, the end result is what matters the most?
Thanks for your help,
Trudy

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JohnHawthorne 9 1.7k 5 Scotland
2 Aug 2006 9:15AM
The 1.4 is much better built and is more likely to last longer and more able to withstand knocks, etc. The price difference you pay is going towards the build quality more than the final result.
JohnHawthorne 9 1.7k 5 Scotland
2 Aug 2006 9:19AM
Oh, and have a look at the lens reviews on Photodo - check here
deviant 10 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2006 9:19AM
The 50mm f/1.4 has better build, faster focus and Gaussian lens elements for better distortion correction. I tried them both before opting for the f/1.4 version.

The blur from the f/1.4 is also excellent. An example from a wedding is here. (Magicboy's wonderful grandmother!)
An important feature from your point of view might be the metal mount of the F1.4 as against the plastic mount of the f1.8 lens, as you may be changing the lens frequently.

jas
trivets12 10 1.3k
2 Aug 2006 9:55AM
Do you mean that the metal mount may cause more damage or that the plastic mount may wear out quicker, Jas? The lens will be mounted on a 20D or 350D.
Trudy
deviant 10 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2006 10:01AM
Very true. Was also a deciding factor for me so I should have mentioned.
D
u08mcb 10 5.8k
2 Aug 2006 10:18AM
1.4 has more aperture blades than the 1.8 so less angular out of focus highlights
2 Aug 2006 10:26AM
I mean that the plastic mount is more likely to wear - become sloppy in fit etc.

The metal mount is more durable and will be a better, more consistant fit.

jas
onewildworld 12 696 4 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2006 10:33AM
Jas makes an interesting point about the metal vs plastic mount - certainly you'd assume the metal is stronger (which it probably is, but that doesn't mean the plastic is weak) so let's assume this is the case and that the plastic mount is likely to break more easily.
For the price of the 1.4, you could replace the 1.8 lens almost three times if you had to before meeting the cost of the 1.4.

That said, I own a 1.4 version as I wanted the extra stop for low light shooting.

Both lenses are very good. The main descision should be whether you want the extra stop for low light work or not. Oh, and whether you want to spend the extra money or put it towards something else you might need....!

Dave
deviant 10 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2006 10:44AM
As it's for weddings I'd slightly disagree with the above.
In f/1.4 version.

Pros:
Image quality is better due to the two gausian elements.
Focus is faster due to ring USM and has full time manual
Bokeh is better due to 8 diaphragm blades not 5
Less light fall off
Less flare
Better colour

Cons:
More expensive
Slight barrel distortion compared to f/1.8 version
(Correctable in PS CS)

Info is detailed here with examples
conrad 10 10.9k 116
2 Aug 2006 10:46AM
The 1.8 is rather noisy.
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
2 Aug 2006 10:55AM
I guess it all depends on your budget.
F1.8 is good enough for me.
whippetrider 11 465
2 Aug 2006 10:55AM
The 50mm F1.4 has the older style USM. It is quicker and quieter that the F1.8 but it does not have full time manual and the barrel still extends during focus.

Jeff
trivets12 10 1.3k
2 Aug 2006 11:03AM
Thanks, everybody, for your advice. Much appreciated,
Trudy

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