Canon 50mm f1.4 USM


#1
Hi,
i am currently a 50D user using Tamron 17-50 f2.8. i would like to ask if the canon 50mm f1.4 fits in the bill for low light events such as in a ballroom setting or my current setup is sufficient.

Thanks in advance
 

pattanct

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#2
it really depends on what you shoot, 50mm is good for low light but very tight for 50D.
 

Jun 4, 2012
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#3
Just my two cents, Tamron 17-50 f2.8 should serve you just nice.
For the 50mm f1.4, sometimes you might need to walk closer to your subject to get the shot.
Bring a flash unit and perhaps a longer focal length lens to cover situations where you might need to shoot further away.
Hope this helps.
 

SkyStrike

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#4
Depending on what you are shooting, (if) let's say, group photo in a ballroom environment, (imo) Use a flash (if possible), it will serve you better than a new lens. Using just ambient lights, you may run into scenarios where your subject's eyes (or even whole face) is in the shadows if you are not careful.
 

May 4, 2013
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#5
I would think the prime would be capable low light.. but I don't have the f1.4.. I have a f1.8, I m only into photography as a hobbyist and I tried using the prime on two wedding occasions(I have the f2.8 as well) I am just shooting for fun and I find the f2.8 is be just fine with flash and the zoom really helps. the 50mm is a little too narrow to capture more details but the images have never disappoint given the conditions were right; I have given up using primes for wedding cause its just too troublesome. personal experience says the f2.8 is more useful but honestly.. both lens will do the job so long as u know what u r looking for in ur photography.
if carrying more stuff is no issue, I would use the primes when I have the space to move around like pre-event cocktails or I can move around feely for ceremonies and the zoom is better if I have limited movement, the down side being I might need the flash; dis-courage using of flash in event cause I believe ur flash might affect the professionals while they are taking the pics.
 

Mar 30, 2013
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#6
I think the 17-50mm would actually suffice with additional flash light or bumping ISO a bit higher. 50mm is a bit too far and not very versatile so many encounter some problems when shooting.
 

#7
thx guys for your invaluable advise. Guess i will stick to my Tamron.

currently when shooting in indoor with the use of external flash unit, the group photos always turned out pretty dark. Is there something wrong with my settings?

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5NSzKFHBTPATEZibDRJUUdEQXM/edit?usp=drive_web
 

tecnica

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Dec 26, 2004
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#8
thx guys for your invaluable advise. Guess i will stick to my Tamron.

currently when shooting in indoor with the use of external flash unit, the group photos always turned out pretty dark. Is there something wrong with my settings?

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5NSzKFHBTPATEZibDRJUUdEQXM/edit?usp=drive_web
Where are you aiming your flash at?

The flash seemed to be able to light up the table but not strong enough to hit the human subjects.

Increase the flash power and try again.
 

Jun 4, 2012
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#9
thx guys for your invaluable advise. Guess i will stick to my Tamron.

currently when shooting in indoor with the use of external flash unit, the group photos always turned out pretty dark. Is there something wrong with my settings?

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5NSzKFHBTPATEZibDRJUUdEQXM/edit?usp=drive_web

Which flash unit are you using?
The power of the flash does not seem sufficient to cover the distance to the subject.
You might want to tilt up the flash unit head to bounce the light so as to provide adequate lightning.
Do also use a diffuser to get a softer lightning.
 

Oct 27, 2010
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#10
Been using tammy 17-50 2.8 for sometime i would say it's sufficient enough, even for some situation i only rely with internal body flash. I would not really recommend 50mm on crop body especially if you require some good shot.

You don't require to purchase additional lens, but should you want, I will suggest you to pick Sigma 30 f1.4 instead (closest price to Canon 50 f1.4), it's more proper on crop size sensor, I don't use Sigma 30 f1.4 myself, but I believe you will enjoy beauty of prime and large aperture lens.

Just my humble opinion ;)
 

Octarine

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#11
thx guys for your invaluable advise. Guess i will stick to my Tamron.
currently when shooting in indoor with the use of external flash unit, the group photos always turned out pretty dark. Is there something wrong with my settings?
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5NSzKFHBTPATEZibDRJUUdEQXM/edit?usp=drive_web
Doesn't really look as if flash was used or there is something wrong with flash settings and flash direction. Why would any other lens help here? :dunno: Anyway, let's have a look at the EXIF.
Portrait Mode: why that? For such conditions the best way to work is Av or M. Learn about exposure, then select the settings. Don't let the camera think for you.
ISO 400: too low for such conditions, use at least ISO 800, manually set.
Evaluative Metering: With this setting the camera will consider the entire area of the image, including some of the lights in background. Use a setting that focuses on the center part of the image. (See manual for options).

Keep in mind to make test shots and adjust the exposure. The bright table cloth will reflect much more light than the people behind, the flash metering will be thrown off by that.
Regarding your Canon 50/1.4: Have you heard about the DoF effects of wide open aperture? Your image reveals this already when you look closely at the faces. With f/2 it will be worse and none of your family members will accept any technical excuse. Because every mobile phone can do it.
I would suggest you read the basics of exposure again (Newbies Corner), use this to learn in daylight. Abandon Portrait Mode and the others, P, Av, Tv and M is what you need to take control.
Read up about the basics of flash photography with Canon: http://www.photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/ (Some terms and some things are a bit different than Nikon and other brands.)
Use your manual as well to compare modes and settings.
 

Last edited:

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#12
Be careful if you shoot at f/1.4 - don't forget depth of field.
 

catchlights

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#13
thx guys for your invaluable advise. Guess i will stick to my Tamron.

currently when shooting in indoor with the use of external flash unit, the group photos always turned out pretty dark. Is there something wrong with my settings?

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5NSzKFHBTPATEZibDRJUUdEQXM/edit?usp=drive_web
simply you don't understand the basic of exposure.

you need to understand how the camera meter works,
in this photo, one third of the photo is white table cloth, and it is so near to the camera, so the meter get fooled by this.
since you don't know, just rely on the camera auto exposure, that is what the camera give you.
even you use a 5DMK3 will have simialr results,
if you think using a fast lens without using flash will be better, No, you still don't know how the camera meter work,
most probably you will still shooting in auto exposure mode, in end everyone still face dark dark in the photos.


sorry to say; better camera/lens/flash can not save you.
 

catchlights

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#14
just look at the photo you post, the flash effect is too little, and do you notice the down light cast on the lady standing at the right? if you shoot with ambient light only, most of the people will be face black black with shining forehead and noise tip. or some part overexposed some part underexposed.

FYI, shooting with ambient light only is so much harder then shooting with flash, when using flash, you can get decent photos almost any time, all the time, but without flash, in situation as such, you can't do anything except asking your subjects to rearrange themselves or photoshop it.

when someone tell you can use fast lens for low light indoor shooting, but if you don't understand the fundamental of photography, relationship between aperture and depth of field, shutter speed and motion, color balance and ambient light, etc. you will still get problematic photos here and there.

when some one tell you can do a ceiling bounce, but if you don't understand the fundamental of flash photography, you still won't understand how this thing work,
5 meter ceiling you will still go and bounce,
your subject is one meter away you also go and bounce,


so the bottom line, just go back to the basic of photography, a new piece of gear is not the solution.
 

Mar 14, 2013
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#15
simply you don't understand the basic of exposure.

you need to understand how the camera meter works,
in this photo, one third of the photo is white table cloth, and it is so near to the camera, so the meter get fooled by this.
since you don't know, just rely on the camera auto exposure, that is what the camera give you.
even you use a 5DMK3 will have simialr results,
if you think using a fast lens without using flash will be better, No, you still don't know how the camera meter work,
most probably you will still shooting in auto exposure mode, in end everyone still face dark dark in the photos.


sorry to say; better camera/lens/flash can not save you.
Hi catchlights, just to check; for the canon system, simply shooting in manual mode will resolve this problem right? ( if shooting in av/tv the meter will underexpose due to the white cloth if im not wrong?) i think this is an important learning point! cheers :bsmilie:
 

catchlights

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#16
Hi catchlights, just to check; for the canon system, simply shooting in manual mode will resolve this problem right? ( if shooting in av/tv the meter will underexpose due to the white cloth if im not wrong?) i think this is an important learning point! cheers :bsmilie:

so what if you are using manual mode, what is your reference pointing of getting the right exposure?


if you UNDERSTAND What is exposure, UNDERSTAND how the camera metering works, you can use ANY mode still can get the results you want.
 

Last edited:
Mar 14, 2013
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#17
so what if you are using manual mode, what is your reference pointing of getting the right exposure?


if you UNDERSTAND What is exposure, UNDERSTAND how the camera metering works, you can use ANY mode still can get the results you want.
i see...i'll read more about this. thanks
 

Octarine

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#19
Hi catchlights, just to check; for the canon system, simply shooting in manual mode will resolve this problem right? ( if shooting in av/tv the meter will underexpose due to the white cloth if im not wrong?) i think this is an important learning point! cheers :bsmilie:
The brain must be behind the viewfinder. A camera can only do certain simple tasks (metering, calculating figures) much faster than humans - but you behind the viewfinder must decide whether the result makes sense or helps to get the desired result.
Using Manual exposure mode only "disables" the ambient exposure functions, the flash exposure functions (TTL) remain active and you need to consider and manage this.
 

Blur Shadow

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#20
Hi catchlights, just to check; for the canon system, simply shooting in manual mode will resolve this problem right? ( if shooting in av/tv the meter will underexpose due to the white cloth if im not wrong?) i think this is an important learning point! cheers :bsmilie:
Switching to manual mode means using your wits and skills to solve the problem.

Whether the problem is solved is another thing.