Canon 85mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.4 for walkabout?


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Mar 24, 2006
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#1
Hi there,

I'm new to Clubsnap. I'm looking for a fast prime lens that's ideal for walkabout, cos I like shooting candid shots (and portraits) of people. I also want something that's good for low-light situations, cos I also take a lot of indoor shots, especially of big gatherings of people. Currently I have a Canon 18-55 kit lens.

I know the Canon 85mm f1.8 and Canon 50mm f1.4 are around the same price, but I'm wondering which is the better option for the kind of photography I mentioned above? Would greatly appreciate your input, thanks a mill! (Pls note, my budget is below $800!!)
 

Mar 24, 2006
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#4
Hmmm, I never considered the 35mm f2.....thanks for planting it in my head!
 

Denosha

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2003
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#7
I too think a 30-35mm would be the best for walking around. 50mm is a tad too long on 1.6x crop for that pupose IMO. The 35L is probably the best 35mm AF lens you can buy for Canon but the asking price puts a lot of people off (S$2080 from CP) especially since it doesn't even have "exotic" glass like UD/S-UD or flourite elements. However, the value is in the results and it delivers that by the bucketloads. A recent review: http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_35_14/index.htm

Funny thing about his CA test though. The more he stop down, the more CA there is. =^/
 

lsisaxon

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2004
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#9
shutterbeetle said:
Hi there,

I'm new to Clubsnap. I'm looking for a fast prime lens that's ideal for walkabout, cos I like shooting candid shots (and portraits) of people. I also want something that's good for low-light situations, cos I also take a lot of indoor shots, especially of big gatherings of people. Currently I have a Canon 18-55 kit lens.

I know the Canon 85mm f1.8 and Canon 50mm f1.4 are around the same price, but I'm wondering which is the better option for the kind of photography I mentioned above? Would greatly appreciate your input, thanks a mill! (Pls note, my budget is below $800!!)
If you shoot a lot of indoors, the 50/1.4 or 35/2 might be good because of the fast aperture.
Since you already have the 18-55, what you can do is discipline yourself by using, say, only 35mm or 50mm on a shoot and see which focal length you would prefer. If you think 35 is too long, then you can try 28 or 24, if you think 50 is too short, then you can go for the 85.

This exercise would probably help you make a better decision.
 

Mar 24, 2006
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#10
It's funny how posting a message can bring you the simplest, sanest solutions from you guys....Shooting with my kit zoom at just 24, 28, 35 and 50mm to see which focal length suits me better is probably the best idea I've heard. Honestly, if my current zoom was a tad sharper and faster, I wouldn't even be looking around for something else.

But I'm interested in this Sigma 30mm 1.4. Know where I can get more info about it?
 

StreetShooter

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
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#11
I agree the Sigma 30mm f1.4 is an amazing lens. Sharp at f1.4, creamy bokeh, isolates your subject very well. Gives you the "normal" perspective of 50mm on a full frame. The lens is quite heavy, but if you like a solid-feeling lens, this is the one for you. Cost is slightly over $800.

A good compromise would be the Canon 28mm f2.8. Small and light, quite sharp, natural colours, almost the same perspective, and cheap. I got mine secondhand for about $200.
 

The Oracle

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2005
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#12
shutterbeetle said:
Hi there,

I'm new to Clubsnap. I'm looking for a fast prime lens that's ideal for walkabout, cos I like shooting candid shots (and portraits) of people. I also want something that's good for low-light situations, cos I also take a lot of indoor shots, especially of big gatherings of people. Currently I have a Canon 18-55 kit lens.

I know the Canon 85mm f1.8 and Canon 50mm f1.4 are around the same price, but I'm wondering which is the better option for the kind of photography I mentioned above? Would greatly appreciate your input, thanks a mill! (Pls note, my budget is below $800!!)
If you like to shoot candid, my preference is 85mm as due to crop factor, it will somehow be around 100mm, depending on the typee of camera u using also. Since most of the time you are outside and candid shoot usually shoot at further distance so 85 is a better range without people noticing you.

If you are consider the canon lenses i can give you good prices.
 

lsisaxon

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2004
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#13
shutterbeetle said:
It's funny how posting a message can bring you the simplest, sanest solutions from you guys....Shooting with my kit zoom at just 24, 28, 35 and 50mm to see which focal length suits me better is probably the best idea I've heard. Honestly, if my current zoom was a tad sharper and faster, I wouldn't even be looking around for something else.

But I'm interested in this Sigma 30mm 1.4. Know where I can get more info about it?
http://www.sigmaphoto.com
 

Snoweagle

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2005
14,002
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Pasir Ris, Singapore
#14
If only have to choose between these 2, i'd say the 85mm one for full frame cams and the 50mm one for cropped sensors. But it really depends on the individual on how wide or tele you want. Some may use the 50mm on a cropped sensor to make it like a portrait lens and the 85mm one for more tele. Likewise for FF users, the 85mm one for portraits type and the 50mm one for a standard lens.

But if i were to recommend a walkaround lens, the tamron 28-300mm or the canon 28-135mm.
 

Sep 12, 2004
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#15
shutterbeetle said:
Hi there,

I'm new to Clubsnap. I'm looking for a fast prime lens that's ideal for walkabout, cos I like shooting candid shots (and portraits) of people. I also want something that's good for low-light situations, cos I also take a lot of indoor shots, especially of big gatherings of people. Currently I have a Canon 18-55 kit lens.

I know the Canon 85mm f1.8 and Canon 50mm f1.4 are around the same price, but I'm wondering which is the better option for the kind of photography I mentioned above? Would greatly appreciate your input, thanks a mill! (Pls note, my budget is below $800!!)
I would get the 35/2 instead for $800 and below. Otherwise, the 50mm will make a better walkaround prime (personally i use the 35L)
 

Razor54

New Member
Jan 10, 2006
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#16
The Oracle said:
If you like to shoot candid, my preference is 85mm as due to crop factor, it will somehow be around 100mm, depending on the typee of camera u using also. Since most of the time you are outside and candid shoot usually shoot at further distance so 85 is a better range without people noticing you.

If you are consider the canon lenses i can give you good prices.
I second the 85mm, considering the fact that you mentioned about 'walkaround' + 'portraits' + 'CANDID' + 'Prime' = 85mm f/1.8

For me, my walkaround with a prime will be my 50mm. But if you factor candid in your portraits, you would definitely appreciate the extra 35mm on the 85mm prime (it's one sweet & sharp lens + excellent bokeh). Believe me, I sometimes still get the stick from my candid subjects, even with my 200mm!!!:sweat:

If you're too busy to run around town for the best prices, check out with Oracle, his prices for Canon are pretty good too.:thumbsup:

Good Luck....:D
 

Stoned

Senior Member
May 7, 2004
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#18
85mm is a little long on a 1.6x and is suited more for head and shoulder or face portraits when used with the 1.6x DSLRs. I would recommend the 35/2 as it isn't too tele, as others have, due to the price and reasonably fast aperture. Oracle is selling it new at 430. The 50/1.4 is also a very good choice but with a field of view of 80mm for a 1.6x DSLR, I feel personally that it's way too tight for general purpose usage. The Sigma 30/1.4 is also a very very good consideration but bear in mind it can ONLY be used with 1.6x DSLRs and doesn't follow you up if you ever upgrade to a 1.3x or 1.0x body.
 

Snoweagle

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2005
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#19
Stoned said:
85mm is a little long on a 1.6x and is suited more for head and shoulder or face portraits when used with the 1.6x DSLRs. I would recommend the 35/2 as it isn't too tele, as others have, due to the price and reasonably fast aperture. Oracle is selling it new at 430. The 50/1.4 is also a very good choice but with a field of view of 80mm for a 1.6x DSLR, I feel personally that it's way too tight for general purpose usage. The Sigma 30/1.4 is also a very very good consideration but bear in mind it can ONLY be used with 1.6x DSLRs and doesn't follow you up if you ever upgrade to a 1.3x or 1.0x body.
Agree...the 85mm on a 1.6x body becomes a 136mm lens which is similar to the 135mm one for tele portraits.
 

happyham

New Member
Nov 4, 2003
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#20
Snoweagle said:
Currently my walkaround 'all-in-one' lens is my 28-300mm. Gd value for money ;)

May I know where you got it and for how much?
 

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