Canon 50mm f/1.4 rumors

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by duncanapple, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. duncanapple macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi all -

    So I may have jumped the gun on my signature below - I ordered a canon 50mm 1.4 prime from amazon over a month ago. The end of the window of time that they gave me as a delivery date is this Friday, and it still hasn't even shipped yet. I was googling this lens, and it seems there are rumors circulating about a possible replacement for this lens? Granted its so close to the (four times as expensive) 50 f/1.2L, I cant imagine what else they could change other than making it a ring type USM vs the micro USM. Has any one else here heard rumblings or have any reason to think the current iteration is on its way out? I wonder if this is true, if amazon will be getting any more, and even if so, do I want it if a new one is coming out?

    The lens more than meets my needs (I am an amateur, the 1.2L is overkill $$ wise) though the one bad thing about the 1.4 I have read is the auto focus breaking over time. Not sure if this is widespread, or if this is one of those deals where the small .0000001% of people affected is just very loud about it (like many apple "defects" lol).

    So my questions;

    1. New 1.4 coming? Thoughts?
    2. When was the current 1.4 released? How long is the typical refresh cycle for canon (ex apple tends to update iphones annually, laptops 2x a year, etc)
    3. Durability of the micro USM vs Ring type USM

    Thanks!
     
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    You cant compare the 'refresh rates' of computers, cameras, etc with those of lenses. A lens is a piece of glass that focuses light according to the fundamental laws of optics; those don't change. Now, a particular lens may have particular characteristics that make it subjectively 'good' or 'bad', but it doesn't need to be refreshed at the same rate as electronics, where the rate of change is enormous.

    That said, I'd love to see a new 50/1.4. The current iteration of this lens is a good performer; better on all fronts than the 50/1.8, but not nearly as good as the far-more-expensive 50/1.2L. More importantly however, the Canon 50/1.4 is not nearly as good as the only-slightly-more-expensive Sigma 50/1.4, which may be eating at sales of the 50/1.4.

    I do think it's time for a refresh of this lens; modern USM would be great, as would improved bokeh performance (via rounded aperture blades, I imagine). Basically, take all that is good in the Sigma 50, add Canon-level AF performance, and keep the price the same, and Canon would have a winner.
     
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I highly doubt there will be an upgrade anytime soon. And I think Canon only releases new cameras/lenses in the spring and fall.

    Micromotor USM is pretty much just a silent version of the old motor. Ring USM is just faster. I would think the motor failures come from pushing the front of the lens inward when it's extended, like at MFD.
     
  4. duncanapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I hear you there - I wasn't trying to suggest that these things are refreshed regularly... I just meant was there any sort of pattern to the way Canon does this - even if its every 10-15 years. But it sounds like you are saying there is no pattern at all, its infrequent, and basically is done as needed (which isnt often).

    @ toxic, Good tip on the pushing on the front element - I don't really care about speed, I am more concerned about a fairly expensive lens breaking well before it should (taking the above into consideration, in that a decent lens should last a long time).

    The only reason I am curious if a refresh is imminent is b/c of the lack of stock. Is this normal for canon lenses?
     
  5. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #5
    Some canon gear is extremely popular, like the 5d II and the 135L. Both are constantly out of stock.
     
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #6
    Well I do hope the new 1.4 will have a new USM, better optics and I dunno but I want it to be 77mm filter! (If I'm correct, I know Canon L has a de facto standard on filter sizes) :)
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    #7
    Any chance that the rumored 50 f/1.4 might be an EF-S lens?
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    Given that 50mm is the "standard" lens for full-frame cameras (it's really a mild tele-photo on crop cameras that can accept EF-S lenses) I'd say there is very little chance of it being an EF-S lens. I also very much doubt it'll be a L lens: they have the f/1.2 for that.
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Nope, I give it a 0% chance, if Canon would release an 50mm equivalent for an EF-S, then it will be a 35mm I think (Nikon 50mm for APS-C mounts), but I highly doubt it. Why you want a 50mm to be an EF-S nway?
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    #10
    If the new 50 f/1.4 is supposed to be a replacement for the existing one, then yeah, make it an EF lens. However, I think the percentage of APS-C users vs. full-frame might make Canon think about a nice, fast, prime EF-S lens.

    As for a "standard" lens, I'm not opposed to them making an EF-S 35mm lens either.

    Why would I want an EF-S 50mm, you ask. Well, I might be mis-guided, but it's a little bit of selffishness.

    I would like a 50mm lens that is relatively fast, but have it be designed for the camera that I use, namely an APS-C (XTi). I'm guessing that if they design it from the ground up, they could make it perform better at low-light AF (I've read where the 1.8 and even the 1.4 don't AF well in low-light). And being EF-S, they could keep the price lower or improve the build-quality.

    If they made an EF-S 50mm f/1.4 USM, I'd be all over it. Throw in IS, and I'd be first in line. Maybe I'd be the only one in line, but oh well.

    ft
     
  11. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #11
    If you look at sales of non-kit lenses I imagine that the percentage swings quite a bit as most people who buy a basic DSLR just use the kit lens and are happy with it. If they do buy another lens it tends to be a zoom, not a prime. As lenses are expensive to develop Canon would want to maximise their sales so would keep it as an EF lens. Why exclude the full-frame market, especially as these people are more likely to buy primes? An EF-S 35mm f/1.8 is more likely within the next couple of years. As for IS I don't see it as needed at these sort of focal lengths.
     
  12. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    #12
    I do realize the business considerations, but for FF users, they have the current 1.4 and the 1.2L to choose from. If development of new 50mm is so expensive, then why do it at all when the current ones are fine. OK, maybe a 50mm f/1.4 Mk II would be welcome by FF users ... I'll concede that point.

    I'm just thinking that there are many many many APS-C users out there that are beginning to get serious. I know I'm one of them. I have no desire to go FF, unless FF becomes the standard for dSLRs. So buying EF-S lenses don't scare me. I guess I'm assuming that an EF-S lens could be engineered to work optimally with APS-C cameras, plus it could be cheaper (or the same price with better build) and lighter.

    I do notice that Canon has one EF-S prime, the 60mm f/2.8 macro. I hear it's a great lens. Was there a particular reason that Canon chose to go EF-S on that lens?

    I agree that IS isn't required at 50mm, but it doesn't hurt (other than price). Having IS on a 50mm would allow for lower shutter speeds, or lower ISO when shooting in sub-optimal lighting indoors. I'd say that's a good reason for having IS.
     
  13. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Many of Canon's other lenses have been out of stock for months now with no indication of when they will get new stock (e.g. 24-70 f/2.8L)
     
  14. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #14
    there is absolutely no reason to make an EF-S 50mm. first, there's the 50/1.8, which DOES focus correctly if anyone bothers to learn how to, and this is an unusual focal length to focus research on. an EF-S ~30mm or ~21mm would make sense because these are (well, were) widely-used focal lengths, though i doubt an EF-S 35 will ever come out since there's already the 35/2, and a cheap, fast ultra-wide prime would probably still be too expensive for an intended consumer market.

    second, EF-S lenses only exist if there is no other equivalent in the EF lens line. the 18-55 takes the place of the 28-90, 17-85 for 28-135, 60 macro for 100 macro, etc.

    and it doesn't seem like Canon will ever bother putting IS in non-telephoto primes.
     
  15. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #15
    That lens has regularly been I'm stock at b&h. I don't think it's like the nikon equivalent in it's popularity.
     
  16. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #16
    you can't really judge the popularity between the two...only thing anyone knows is that they're both popular.

    i get the impression Nikon just keeps a low stock on its high-end lenses. Canon's been doing the same with all its lenses (essentially) since the economy went to the gutter.
     
  17. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #17
    Well, I know one thing: B&H either ordered more 5D IIs or Canon is making more of them now, because they've been in stock for over two days now. Usually, a few hours is enough to wipe them out again. Even the 135mm was in stock for a couple days (out of stock now). The 135 seems to always be out of stock.
     
  18. amoda macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Okay, first off, I don't have experience with the 50mm f1.4.

    I own the 50mm f1.8, and I really hate it aha. The pics are great an all but it's too "cropped" on a non-full frame camera (I also own an XS). It's completely dependent on what you want to do with it of course.

    If you haven't, I'd suggest setting you kit lens to 50mm and looking through the view finder while doing the sort of things you'd do with the 1.4. I definitely didn't do that and paid for the mistake (thankfully, not too much).

    I bought a Sigma 30mm f1.4 and it's been a total joy.

    Cheers.
     
  19. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #19
    Don't get enamored with the EF-S lenses just because you have a 40D or XSi or whatever. As toxic points out, they definitely serve a purpose which is to fill the gap for crop sensor cameras where an equivalent EF lens won't work. And because the optics don't need to cover the area of a full size of the sensor, they can be made at less cost.

    The EF-S 10-22mm wide angle lens on a crop sensor body approximates what you'd shoot with an EF 16-35mm on a full sensor body. They make the EF-S version because there's not an EF 10mm you could use (or could afford if they did make one). So the EF-S lenses are sized for crop sensor bodies similar to a lot of the standard EF lenses that you'd see on full sensor or 35mm film cameras.

    The fly in the ointment is that the physics of the optics don't really change. While the EF-S 60mm macro lens will shoot a similarly sized 1:1 picture on a EOS Rebel that you'd get with the EF 100mm macro lens on a full frame body, you'll need to have the end of the lens almost twice as close to your subject to pull that shot off with the 60mm (3.5") compared to the 100mm (6").

    So definitely buy the EF-S lenses where you need to. (I love my 18-200mm!) But don't buy them exclusively just because you have one of the digital Rebels. You'd be missing out on a lot of good lenses if you did.

    As far as the 50mm f/1.4 lens, that is an amazing lens that works great in low light (or with fast motion in good light). There are wider lenses, but I don't know of anything better from a cost/benefit standpoint. I have one that I use for shooting pictures of my kids indoors without a flash, but I also have the wide 18-200mm when I need to really zoom out. I agree that a 50mm isn't probably the best first lens for a digital Rebel (which is why the cheapest kit lens is the EF-S 18-55mm).
     
  20. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #20
    Me too, but I've been wondering should I also buy Canon 135mm f/2 now or wait (forever?) for mark II
     
  21. duncanapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Well, I had been weighting what lens to buy for awhile. I kept telling myself 50mm would be fine on the crop body (after playing with the focal length on my kit lens) b/c I really wanted the speed of the 1.4 lens vs the EF 35mm's f/2.0. Between this and wondering about the durability of the non ring USM... I went really crazy and just ordered the 35mm 1.4L. Obviously I threw myself into an entirely different price point, but I think the 35mm will be a lot better for general photography on my rebel. Unfortunately it doesn't get the lens in my hands any sooner lol... it too is backordered (sheesh canon!). This time I bought via adorama.

    I was trying to plan my buys for an eventual move to full frame, but i own a crop body NOW, the crop bodies will be here for awhile, and even if I do move to full frame much further down the line, this lens will still serve as a semi-wide angle option. I don't really need any features the full frames offer, I just didn't want to be stuck if all cameras ever went that way. Buying good EF glass protects me even if I do decide to sell it ever (and I prob wont).

    Anywho, thanks for the help. I hope that lens gets here soon, I am pumped!
     
  22. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #22
    I think you made a wise decision. I'd never get a 50mm for a crop body now. It's a much-diminished focal length on a crop body, though probably a bit less so on a Canon than it is on a Nikon, because the 1.6 pushes it a little closer to the magic 85mm mark (80mm, to be specific). Ironically, Canon's 1.6 crop factor puts the 35mm a little further away from the 50mm mark than the Nikon 35mm.

    Regardless, the Canon 35mm 1.4 is a superb piece of glass and you'll be well served by it. The main reason I continue to be tempted by Canon is because I think I am by nature a prime shooter, and Canon's lineup of prime lenses is excellent (Nikon has some older lenses at key focal lengths). I've seen work done with the 24mm 1.4, and it is remarkable. Just high quality all the way around. Same for the 135L. A great photographer I know of does most of his work with just three lenses on his 5D Mark II (the 24 1.4, 50 1.2 and 135 2).

    Congrats on your purchase :).
     
  23. duncanapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Thanks - I hear you on the primes - looking at examples of what they can do with the right skills makes them hard to resist - the low light ability is especially appealing to me.

    I understand some will question why I didnt do something like a 24-70 2.8L for less money that covers more ranges... but to me the 24mm still wasnt "wide" on a crop, and 70 wasn't exactly super telephoto. Most pics I take are indoors (need speed) and I can zoom with my feet so to speak. So I would end up in that middle range anyway. I can see myself adding a 70-200 L of some sort (2.8 or 4?) down the road, but this 35mm will give me a change to finally start getting into this as a hobby. The kit lens is pretty restricting when it comes to low light, brokeh, etc. I felt like I had cheap tires on a ferrari lol.

    Anywho, thanks again. I wonder how long of a wait I am looking at? 1 month? 2? More?
     
  24. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #24
    some Canon lenses currently out of stock on Amazon and appear to have been that way for a while...

    EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
    EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
    EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM
    EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
    EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM (listed as currently unavailable)
    EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
    EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

    something in it? probably not but still makes for an interesting list given most of these had been in stock almost all the time not too long ago.
     
  25. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #25
    I'd look mainly to B&H, Adorama, KEH and 17th Street Photo, along with other vendors like Roberts over in Indiana, which has prices that match B&H's. Amazon relies on an assortment of vendors for much of its more expensive merchandise, and some of the prices are phenomenally marked up. The Canon 5D Mark II has regularly been listed at several hundred to even a thousand dollars over its retail price at the above vendors over at Amazon.
     

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