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Old 11-30-2006, 01:15 PM
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branley branley is offline
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Default Prime Lens

I've heard a lot about a 50mm f1.8 prime lens, can anyone tell me why everyone raves about them and what they're best used for please?

Regards

Stephen
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

I think it is the Canon 50mm f1.4 USM version that they rave about rather than the f1.8 and non-USM version. But I'm sure the latter is good for the price though I haven't used one.

Click the link below and scroll down and read reviews on both lenses:

http://photo.net/equipment/canon/

Hope it helps.

Biplav
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

Thanks Biplav, I'll check it out.

Regards

Stephen
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

No,no that's the f1.8 that people rave about. That's just because it is as good as the f1.4 optically for the 1/4 of the price of the f1.4. Off course it's plastic build and it is not USM but honestly that doesn't really bother me. I use it on my 5D and I take 90% of my pictures with it.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

Thanks guys, but I still don't know why everyone seems to rave about them. Why are they so special?
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

The reason they're popular is that they offer excellent image quality for the money. Also some people seem to enjoy the pain of using a fixed focal length ;)

Second advantage is that they're useful in low light, as f/1.8 means a lot of light gets into the lens - of course the corollary is that depth of field is minimal at that aperture. However it does make it easier to see to focus in low light...
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

Agree the 50mm f/1.8 is excellent value for money.

However some like me find it too long when mounted on camera with the 1.6 APS-C conversion factor, I found out it was inconvenient to use in market situations or night photography of buildings without tripod so I also bought a 24mm f/1.8.
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

Now I understand, thank you both for your advice and info, it's much appreciated.

Regards

Stephen
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

You've got the answer in the title of the post: because it's a prime lens.
And these have 2 major advantages (compared to zooms):
- better optical quality
- they are faster/ can be used in low light conditions due to low f / aperture/ number

And among prime lenses these with 50mm are the cheapest ones - so you can get the best price/quality rate - and not only in case of Canon but in other systems as well
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Old 12-02-2006, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Prime Lens

That's generally true, it's not always the case...

I've seen bad primes, and I've seen more than a few good zooms.

Whilst some zooms are slow, there are usually f/2.8 zooms available for most situations - and not all primes are fast, there are a number of f/4 prime lenses for example.
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