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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:55 PM

Anyone have the Canon 50mm 1.8, also called the "nifty fifty"?

With my budget, I can't really afford the 1.4, but the 1.8 looks well-reviewed, at least on Amazon.

I only want to buy one lens at the moment, but also under consideration is a 55mm - 250mm.

I really enjoy photographing food, so I think the 50mm is more suitable. ETA that I have a Canon T3i.

Any advice or suggestions?

Thank you!

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Reply Anyone have the Canon 50mm 1.8, also called the "nifty fifty"? (Original post)
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 OP
ManiacJoe Jan 2013 #1
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 #7
Sherman A1 Jan 2013 #2
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #3
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 #8
Earth_First Jan 2013 #4
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 #11
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #5
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 #9
Island Blue Jan 2013 #6
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 #10
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #12
BuddhaGirl Jan 2013 #14
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #15
usregimechange Jan 2013 #13

Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:26 AM

1. The nifty fifties are nice but

they are an odd-ball length on a cropped sensor. You might be better off with a 35mm f/1.8 depending on your shooting style and subjects for a "normal" lens.

However, for your food shots, a 50mm might work quite well on your T3i.

Assuming you have something like a 18-50mm kit lens that came with your camera, set your lens at 50mm and 35mm and see which length works better for you.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:40 PM

7. thanks!

I'm leaning toward the 50mm 1.8, after more consideration.

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:31 AM

2. I have one

bought simply because the price was right. I like it very much for low light.

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:05 AM

3. It's nice for portraits

and in low light.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:43 PM

8. thanks! I was able to try out a friend's this morning, and love photos that I got

n/t

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:43 AM

4. FWIW I think you'll get more out of the 55-250...

I have a 50/1.8 and the amount of times I've used it (portraits; I have photographing people) I can count on both hands.

Great lens to have in a situation where you need it; I just find it's horribly under used for the price I paid.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:51 PM

11. I'm hoping to get both lenses at some point, but leaning toward the 1.8 for now

thank you!

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:51 AM

5. I'm not a Canon guy, so I can't help you specifically with this lens

I do have a lot of Nikon lenses which generally compare well to Canon.

I don't know that a new lens is going to help you much with food photography. Lenses tend to perform best in the middle range of their aperture extents. Most lenses will perform their best as far as resolving power goes when stopped down one or two stops from the maximum aperture. With food photography, the subject generally doesn't move and you can put your camera on a tripod to keep it from moving. As such you can select any aperture setting you like in just about any lighting condition. Even kit lenses will generally perform very well at their optimum aperture setting. For food photography, if I had to choose between the 18-55 and the 50/1.8, I would probably pick the 18-55 because it focuses much closer and covers more focal lengths.

If you want to improve your food photography, the best way IMO is to focus more on lighting. Food photography is all about the lighting. You don't even have to invest that much, if anything. Learning how to strategically place desk lamps and modifying that light source in different ways with cardboard is a great way to do it. Building your own light box is also fun and cheap to do and will improve food photography immensely.
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2009/06/food-photography-made-easy-lunch-box.html

If you want to buy a fast lens for other types of photography, a fast lens in the normal to short telephoto range is a great thing to have. They don't take up much room or weight in the camera bag, and there are all sorts of situations where they come in handy.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:46 PM

9. thanks for the link and your info!

Good points to consider

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:47 PM

6. I have one and I love it.

I do however, have several other lenses so I don't use it a great deal. On the other hand, it was the only lens that my brother owned for a couple of years, so he shot with it 100% of the time and created some incredible images with it. He recently upgraded from the 1.8 to the 1.4 and told me that he regretted his decision to do that - he actually prefers shooting with the 1.8.

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Response to Island Blue (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:50 PM

10. interesting that your brother preferred the 1.8 over the 1.4

thanks for the reply!

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:42 PM

12. If you are primarily using the lens in the f/4 or smaller range...

I'm not sure there's that much improvement with the 1.4. You are paying 3 times more for 2/3rds of a stop which you aren't using. It's mainly an advantage for those who want a higher degree of subject isolation at short distances and favor large aperture settings. If you shoot a lot at night, many large aperture lenses suffer from excessive coma at wide aperture settings. I'm not sure if this is the case with Canon's latest 50/1.4 but it's very typical for fast normal lenses unless they are specifically designed against this aberration.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:33 PM

14. Yes, the 1.4 is $200 more than the 1.8

The photos I've seen taken with the 1.8 are really good, with nice bokeh.

Not sure what "excessive coma" is?

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:59 PM

15. Coma is an optical abberation that mostly applies to telescopes

However, for those who take a lot of night photography it can also be an issue. It's basically an abberation that causes off axis points of light to look like comet trails. The Nikon 58/1.2 Noct is a rare and highly sought after lens which corrects for coma, but is otherwise a less than stellar lens for daytime use. Most other fast lenses need to be stopped down to correct for it, which somewhat negates their value for such photography.

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:48 PM

13. That's a portrait lens, want to shoot macros, get a macros lens

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