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Equipment New Lens: Nifty Fifty or a 28mm Wide Angle?

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by mookboy, 13 Mar 2007.

  1. mookboy

    mookboy BRAAAAAAP

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    I'm slowly building up my lens selection on a budget, simply as I'm still not sure where I want to plough big money into yet and which area is going to be my focus (pardon the pun). Started with the 400D 18-55mm kit lens, added a Canon 28-80mm USM lens from eBay shortly after. Now I've snapped up the ubiquitous Sigma 70-300mm APO off a mate for an even ton, to give me more reach.

    I'm gonna have a spare bit of cash later this month, and I want to again add something modestly priced to flesh out my collection further and give me some additional shooting options. Now I've had my eye on the Canon f1.8 50mm lens for ages based on the good things many people say about it (based on it's titchy pricetag), and I could add a few extra bits to go with it (maybe a grip) with the money left over.

    Or, I could buy the modestly priced (but again positively spoken about) f2.8 28mm wide angle from Canon for around the £150 mark.

    I need help making my mind up. Any clues? I'm mainly into outdoors photography, so would the 50mm be a bit useless? Anyone else buy the 28mm? I'm still learning so excuse my ignorance.
     
  2. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    28mm is not wide angle by any stretch of the imagination at nearly 45mm on a 1.6 crop body. The 50mm 1.8, i find to be a bit odd as a focal length and is over rated imo, i rarely use mine, but the 1.8 aperture can be useful.

    The only focal range that is really missing from your range is 10-20, which leaves you with the sigma 10-22 or canon ef-s 10-22. but both are really out of your price range.

    I'd consider what you need in another lens, rather then just getting another lens for the sake of it?
     
  3. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    What kind of outdoor photography do you do? If you prefer landscapes and such, I might recommend the 50mm lens. I have one and it is, by far, my favorite lens. I use it most often, partly due to the f/stop, but mostly because I love the image quality I get.

    If you prefer wildlife photography, I might recommend and extender for your long lens, to help you get that much closer to the animals. A dedicated 400mm or 600mm lens will cost an arm and a leg, but an extender might be more within your budget.

    However, since you already have a pretty decent range of lenses, perhaps you could consider a flash unit (on-camera flashes just don't cut it). A lot of people think they don't need one for outdoor photography, but you never realize how handy a good flash can be to add some fill light to an otherwise shadowed subject. Also, for wildlife photography, a good flash will help get that all-important catch light in the eyes.

    Just my 2¢
    -monkey
     
  4. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    The 50mm 1.8 is great if you love playing around with DOF or find yourself in lower-light situations often, but I think it's a little over-rated (mostly because of the very cheap-feeling build). Takes great shots though, no denying that.

    Somewhat OT, but how do you like that Sigma? You're talking about that one that runs about $150, right? I'm thinking of picking one up since I could use a decent zoom lens, but if it only takes trash shots, I'd obviously rather not spend the cash on it.
     
  5. RTT

    RTT #parp

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    Everyone should have the nifty anyway ;)
     
  6. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    I don't see why, other then the fact it's so cheap. The focal length really doesn't lend its self to anything in particular on a 1.6 crop body. The build is shocking (expected for the price), the autofocus motor is offensive (also expected for the price) and it's not as optically spectacular as everyone goes on about.

    The only thing in it's favour is f/1.8 and that is exciting for all of 15 minutes.
     
  7. ajack

    ajack rox

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    Couldn't agree more, I had a piss around with olv's for about 10 mins and I just couldn't get the hang of the focal length at all, it just doesn't feel right. It's certainly not gonna be on my wishlist anytime soon.
     
  8. Jamie

    Jamie ex-Bit-Tech code junkie

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    I have to disagree with you nifty fifty bashers.

    Whilst at University I found myself in a position where I could take photos of bands that visited during the gigs. I was usually able to get pretty close to the stage so I needed something that was fast (f/1.8), didn't cost a small fortune (I was a student!) and was small and light.

    It was an obvious choice and it did the job superbly. I had lots of fun snapping away with very little light that I just couldn't have done with anything else in the price range.

    It's also a great lens for photographing pets, people and can also double up and a really cheap macro lens when coupled with 50mm+ of extension tubes.
     
  9. mookboy

    mookboy BRAAAAAAP

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    I wish I could afford a more expensive lens in the same bracket, but the 50mm 1.8 seems too much of a good bargain (a similar opinion can be gottne from many, many people elsewhere). Admittedly most of the lens' users do say it's not the greatest made thing ever, but feedback on image quality and usefullness suggests it's well priced and worth a try (I have tried one and I liked the results).

    In regards the use of one as a makeshift macro lens, do you have experience doing this as it's something that interests me.
     
  10. Jamie

    Jamie ex-Bit-Tech code junkie

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    I've seen the results which are very impressive for such a cheap lens. I will be trying it when I pull my finger out and order some tubes. I've currently got the sigma 150mm macro which is a 1:1 macro lens so with tubes I get close to 2:1.
     
  11. scq

    scq What's a Dremel?

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    The build quality isn't THAT bad. It's not like it's made of paper. Of course it's bad relative to other lenses, but it's usable and cheap enough for you to not feel as bad if it ever does break.

    It still is my favorite lense despite having loads of others. The sheer cheapness of it, and sharpness is amazing. Normally, people pay huge premiums just to get F/2.8, but for ~$100, you get F/1.8!

    50mm (80mm on 1.6 FOV) is perfectly usable and makes a great portrait lense. My only complaint with the 50mm F/1.8 is the lack of USM and a bad MF ring. Aside from that, there are no complaints for the price.

    When stopped down to F/2.8, I have yet to find a single Canon lense (L or not) that is as sharp.
     
  12. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    The 50mm F1.8 is a fantastic lens. And it is soo bloody cheap. So it is really a must have for any Canon shooter. I don't use mine that often, but I still love it.

    Personally, I don't think 50mm is a very good focal length on a 1.6x crop, so I would probably not buy a more expensive lens in this focal length. I use it alot for close-ups, with some nice background blur. But I can imagine that it works very well for portraits on F2.8.

    The built quality is poor though, plastic all over. The MF is rubbish. But what do you expect for 80euro?

    The main reasons I bought mine are:
    - CHEAP
    - F1.8
    - fits in between 17-40 and 70-200
    (in that order)


    L
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2007
  13. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    bollocks. the 50mm will never match my 70-200 L for sharpness, colour reproduction and image quality, it's just not going to happen.

    well., i say that, i'll do some test shots later and post a comparison
     
  14. shroom

    shroom What's a Dremel?

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    I use my 50mm f1.8 II for 90% of all the photos I take. I've had it for nearly two years now and I would be crippled without it. Its sharper than my sigma 15-30 wide angle and possible my canon 70-300 IS. The image quality really is what everyone goes on about, and I highly recommend it, especially over a wide angle.

    And for those who aren't used to the focal length, the reason that 50mm is commonly recommended is for two reasons. First, it represents a happy medium between telephoto and wide angle. Minimal distortion, good angle that means you aren't barreling or fisheye-ing too much, and keeps a medium distance between you and a subject. Not too close, not too far. Secondly, 50mm coupled with a 35mm frame gives you the same angle of perception that you get with the human field of vision, making what you can focus on with your own two eyes, and what you can focus on with your camera, somewhat equal (give or take macro distance).
     
  15. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    Sorry but that is simply not true unless you have a full frame camera and since the OP has a 400D, the 50mm will be the equivalent of 80mm. It's just an odd length, not long enough for portraiture, not wide enough landscapes or urban. The only time I use mine is for still life shots. It's not bad at anything (again, considering the price) but then it isn't great at anything either. Usually I can't be arsed to argue about it because it's so cheap it's not worth it, but I really don't see what is worth raving about and certainly wouldn't recommend one to someone who already has two lenses that cover the 50mm range.
     
  16. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    uh, actually 50mm --> 85mm is perfect for portraiture :S - canon sell the 85mm 1.2 exactly for that reason! (i have taken my best portraits with it...)
     
  17. ab1385

    ab1385 What's a Dremel?

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    What about the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8? Much more versatile and still a fast, sharp lens...
     
  18. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    I prefer 70mm-100mm, you don't have to get so close and the subject is far more at ease.
     
  19. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit Modder

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    Stalker
     
  20. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    What? Stalker is 1600mm...

    Anyways, I'd say pick up the 50mm 1.8. For the price, it's fantastic, but it IS a pretty cheap lens (and, again, the build quality also feels cheap).
     
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