50mm f/1.8 lens vs. 50mm f/1.4 lens I was planning to buy the 50mm f/1.8 lens since it's been recommended and is affordable. Would it be foolish to buy this one now and then buy the 50mm 1.4 later? (I read on another board that one should "go straight to the 1.4 if you can afford it".) I'm very new at this, so I don't know much about the difference between them. If it's silly to own both, maybe I should bite the bullet and just get the 1.4 now? Thoughts?
asked by K. Mann on December 23, 2009
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The image quality of the 50mm f/1.8 is as good as the f/1.4.
What the f/1.8 lacks is build quality and has a 5 blade aperture.
What the f/1.4 lacks is ring type USM focusing.
For a lens that has all of this, look at the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens
So I'd recommend you get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens now, and get the Sigma when you need and can afford a better lens.

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_50_1p4_c16/
Tom Martin answered on December 23, 2009

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I own the 1.8, and the ghosting and refractions are absolutely terrible at night. Probably poor lens coatings; which probably is one reason they can sell this for 1/4 the price of a good 50mm! Anyway, for $80 I'm glad I bought it because even if I read this type of review I still would want to try it myself; but I'll be getting the 1.4 as soon as I can. By the way, I compared the 1.8 and 1.4 at the store here.. Don't think that ".4" makes much difference? The f/1.4 aperture has about TWICE the area of the 1.8; it looks like all glass; the 1.4 is just amazing. See my pic.
GearGuy answered on March 16, 2010

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I have owned both the 1.4 and the 1.8 and both are great. The 1.4 has beautiful color rendition and the bokeh is very nice. The build is solid, and the USM gives you fast auto-focus and the ability to do full-time manual focusing. That being said, the 1.8 is just amazing. I picked one up used for about $50, having sent the 1.4 out for repairs, and was blown away by the quality and responsiveness of the lens. It is very light and there is an indescribable quality to the pictures produced that the 1.4 does not have.

The 'plastic fantastic' is currently selling under $100 so by all means get it. You won't regret it and if you ever need the extra 2/3 stops then you can upgrade to the 1.4.

However, one big caveat. I have dropped both lenses on concrete and the 1.4 survived with minimal damage. The 1.8 sadly, did not.
Esteban Sanchez Leenheer answered on November 2, 2010

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Go for the f/1.8. I own it and it is incredibly sharp for such an affordable price. I don't see any reason to buy the 1.4.
Gabriel G. Nunes answered on December 23, 2009

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Anonymous, I would just get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens, as you kids get older you'll want a slightly longer lens for gymnasium sports, plays, concerts, etc. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens is ideal for that. No use spending a lot of money for a 50mm.
Tom Martin answered on March 31, 2010

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Hello, I'm new to DSLR, and pretty much a novice. I really like the images I see taken with this lens, and would love to play around with it. My question is, is this lens compatible with a rebel xs? I see that this is a pretty old version lens, and a lot of people seem to use this lens with xt. I know I sound ignorant, but any help will be appreciated!
Maliha Mannan answered on September 2, 2010

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My husband wants a macro lens (looking at the f/2.5) but uses the camera mostly for baby pictures. He's also new to photography. In this case, would you recommend the f/1.4 or the f/1.8? Thanks.
Anonymous answered on March 31, 2010

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Yes, this lens works fine with a Rebel XS.
Tom Martin answered on September 3, 2010

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Thank you so much!
Maliha Mannan answered on September 3, 2010

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STUMP says: Looking for a good lens for indoor sports (basketball) any input would be helpful on which lens would work in low light situations...

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Tom Martin answered on June 9, 2010
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