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Old Dec 8, 2012, 01:38 PM   #1
IKBest
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Lens selection advice 1.4 or 1.2?

I'm a semi pro Videographer/Photographer. Last year I bought into the DSLR video trend by buying a Canon 60D. I have the kit lens that came with it and I later bought the cheap 50mm 1.8. I loved the focal length and DOF that it brought and I'm ready to upgrade to either a Zeiss Planar 50mm 1.4 or a Canon 50mm 1.2L. I've read that the Zeiss is quite sharp but I love the big aperture of the canon. Thoughts?
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 02:24 PM   #2
Policar
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Neither is significantly sharper than the 50mm f1.8 at the same stop (maybe scientifically you can tell the difference, but for video no way and for stills it's purely academic--serious), just faster and with better bokeh. I'd get the 50mm f1.4 Zeiss for video (better focusing ring) and the 50mm f1.2 for stills if those are the only two choices. Imo, neither is even remotely worth the money unless you have a lot to spend and/or already own a full complement of primes, especially with the 50mm f1.4 Canon, which isn't that great either, for $300 now. For video I'd get a 17-55mm (or 17-50mm Sigma) zoom before a faster 50mm (to be fair, I can't stand the focal length on APS-C because I think it requires too good an eye for composition as the flat but not orthographic-feeling sense of depth requires an amazing eye for composition to use well, which I lack), but I am not a professional, just an advanced amateur (?) at this point. Or get a bunch of old manual focus lenses and adapters for video.

The 50mm f1.4 Canon is $300 now and the 30mm f1.4 sigma is $350. Those plus the kit lens and an 85mm f1.8 Canon would make a great set for video for the cost of either overpriced fifty on its own. Unfortunately a super speed UWA is not available for crop; that would complete the set.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 09:52 PM   #3
hsuthard
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If you've only had the 60D for a year, I'm curious what other lenses you have. I agree the 50mm 1.4 for $300 is a great value, but if I had money to spend and already owned the 1.8, I'd probably consider other choices. The one lens I especially miss that wont work in my full frame 5D is the Ef-S 10-22mm.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 11:02 AM   #4
IKBest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsuthard View Post
If you've only had the 60D for a year, I'm curious what other lenses you have. I agree the 50mm 1.4 for $300 is a great value, but if I had money to spend and already owned the 1.8, I'd probably consider other choices. The one lens I especially miss that wont work in my full frame 5D is the Ef-S 10-22mm.
I have the 18-135 kit, the 50mm 1.8 and the 17-40L
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 04:30 PM   #5
Policar
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The 17-40mm L isn't very good on APS-C. Trade down to the 17-50mm Sigma (or up to the 17-55mm IS canon) and skip the expensive 50mm. The difference in performance is almost zero, it's pure ergonomics. If you must upgrade your 50mm (primarily for the better focus ring and bokeh, I'd say it's maybe worth it) get the 50mm f1.4 Canon at $300 and the 30mm f1.4 Sigma--a way more useful focal length anyway, imo--at $350.

That said, if you have a FF camera and love shallow focus the 50mm L makes sense of course. But it's a waste on crop where you're working against a 1.6 stop deficit (so it "feels" like an 85mm f2.2 or something--just get a used 5D Mark II and an 85mm f1.8 at that point). Or if you want to rent your gear to clients and they love reading Zeiss the Zeiss is worth something.

For portraiture 85mm (on APS-C) is a better focal length anyway.

Last edited by Policar; Dec 9, 2012 at 04:56 PM.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 08:59 AM   #6
ctyhntr
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Have you considered renting? I took a quick glance at LenRental.com. They have both lenses available as rentals.

Some people may argue that renting is just throwing your money down the drain. LensRental.com has the Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for $34 for 5 days. FWIW, that rental fee is just a dollar or two shy what I paid in sales tax this weekend for my new 85 f1.8.
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