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Primes on a 7D. Which would be your choice?
Old 05-19-2014   #1
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Smile Primes on a 7D. Which would be your choice?

Hey guys,

I'm currently having a major dilemma with two of the prime L series lenses for my crop body.

For my needs, I have narrowed it down to two lenses, the 50mm 1.2 and the 35mm 1.4.

I currently have a 50mm 1.8, but want to take the next step with my photography. I would be using it mainly to take photos of my family and pets, and friends on our adventures. I also want to have the flexibility to just chuck it on and wander into the city and take street photography. I have a 15-85 lens that will cover the rest, but I really want a prime for that "wow" factor.

Now for the curve ball. I have a 35mm film camera with a 50 1.4 fd lens attached. I also have a TLR rolleiflex on the way from KEH.

Based on this knowledge and your experience with both lenses, which lens would YOU chose to add to my current collection and hopefully avoid repetitiveness along the different formats.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 05-19-2014   #2
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I've used the 50 1.2L on my 7D, and I'd recommend the Sigma 30 1.4 instead of the Canon 35. The Sigma has high IQ and is more compact.
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Old 05-19-2014   #3
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Have in mind that the 50/1.2 is a character lens, not a technically brilliant lens. You take it if you like that special look and pure sharpness and good borders is not your primary goal. On good point of using the 50/1.2 on a crop body is, that you crop away the weak borders but also some of the character aspects.

Sigma produces nice lenses but they still have problems to produce products with consistent quality. The amount of lenses going back because of focus problems is said to be quite high. If you get a good one, then the 30/1.4 is really good and sharp. The ART lenses of Sigma are optically in another league and the 35./1.4 is way better than the Canon 35L. Advantage of the Canon is that you don't have to play focus-roulette.

The best small lens in that range for me is the Canon 35/2 IS. Small, good quality and it has an IS (I like that).
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Old 05-19-2014   #4
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I would be spending my money on a 6d or 5d. The 50m f1.8 is adequate for use on either.
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Old 05-19-2014   #5
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I'm not recommending you immediately go full frame as I gather your 7D is new, and probably the best crop body out there. Your current lenses as well as those you chose as options are all ff-capable, or course. Also, the 7D is probably a better action camera than a 5 or 6 for most people.

I often see folks wanting to get more serious about their photos, and decide that means a more serious spend on lenses - primes. The reality is the 50 1.8 is so similar in rendering to the others that it's really about build quality to me. The 1.2 is for low light, or so they say, although you can crank up the ISO on a 7D and gain the partial stop over your 1.8 - the real deal is how it renders subjects at full aperture. Get whatever you like, just don't expect the gear makes you more capable instantly. Personally, I favor wides - probably wider than 35, especially on a crop body.

My main point - the 50 1.8 on a 7D is a great combination, capable of some very serious photos at any level, including the "next" one, whatever that may be.
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Old 05-19-2014   #6
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The 35 1.4L becomes a very expensive normal lens on the 7D and the reason to buy it is lost on APS-C, IMHO (as a fast 35mm wide for FF)
There's always the Sigma 30 1.4 and 35 1.4s

The Canon 28 F1.8 would be my pick, as it'd compliment your 50 1.8 well
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Old 05-19-2014   #7
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For what it's worth, I have shot a lot of APS-C and FF and have come to realize that 50mm is a bit too tight on APS-C. I though that the 35L was the perfect lens for APS-C. Keep the 50/1.8 also?
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Old 05-19-2014   #8
Kostya Fedot
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50L on cropper is wasting of money.
But I like my 100L on my 500D.
Never even tried my 50L on it.
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Old 05-19-2014   #9
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I found Canon's 24mm f/1.4 L to be enormously useful both on my 20D, and later on my 5D2. Really a fine lens.
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Old 05-19-2014   #10
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It seems you have enough money - use it wisely.
50mm on crop is not that convenient, but for the same price as the lenses you mentioned, you could get the (old) 24/2.8, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 - or replace that 24mm with the 28/1.8. That way you've get your basics covered with more then capable lenses. I own that 24/50/85 combo and it is great!

If your looking for just one prime, take a look at the 24/1.4 II, besides those 35/30/1.4 lenses.
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Old 05-19-2014   #11
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I don't have a Canon, but I love the 35mm focal length on my crop sensor Nikon camera (D2x).
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Old 05-19-2014   #12
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I wish Canon did a 15/30/60 f2
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Old 05-19-2014   #13
FA Limited
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i suggest the new IS primes, 24 2.8, 28 2.8 or 35 2.0
the updated forumlas are sharp, the IS is an extra bonus if you don't mind the slower aperture. best of all the price is more reasonable than the L primes.
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Old 05-19-2014   #14
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I don't even own a DSLR, but it seems the main question here isn't which lens but which focal length - 35 vs 50 is a huge difference. I wouldn't consider a 50mm for wander around lens on a crop sensor body at all, 50mm on APSC makes a nice portrait lens but is frustrating for much more and besides you have one already. For me personally good walk around APSC focal lengths begin at 18mm and end at 35mm, FA limited's suggestions will probably fit your bill.
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Old 05-19-2014   #15
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I had the old 35/f2 on my 7d and it was my main lens. I liked the focal length so much, i decided to buy a 35/f1.4L. A very versatile combo with great image quality, but also big and heavy.
If you ever see yourself wanting to shoot a fast semiwide in the future, i suggest to change to fullframe and a 50/1.4 or 85/1.8, because that segment is lacking on Canon APSC. Otherwise, consider the 35/f2 IS and by any means keep the 15-85, which is a really nice rig with the 7d!
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Old 05-19-2014   #16
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Some mentioned to get the 28/1.8. From what I've seen you can't really use 1.8. Usable aperture starts at 2.8 or 3.5. So you'd better get the 28/2.8 IS that's way better at 2.8.
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Old 05-20-2014   #17
j j
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In your position I would keep the 50mm despite the low-quality build because the optics are great, the 80mm equivalent field of view and f1.8 make for great portraits, and selling it will gain you very little money. I would add a longer portrait lens such as Canon's 80mm f1.8 or 100mm f2.

If you really want to replace the 50 why not try the Canon 60mm macro or Tamron 60mm f2? The 90mm equivalent is great for portraits and you have the bonus of macro capability. Again, I would keep the 50mm anyway as it is so cheap.

I use the old version 24mm f2.8 as my wide standard (38mm equivalent fov) on my crop SLR. It's cheap and it's nice.

Your zoom is a good lens. It should cover most of the rest of your needs.
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Old 05-20-2014   #18
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When I put my Canon APS-C kit together about 11 years ago I decided on primes but was on a budget (so no L lenses :). I still have and use the same set of lenses (I'm on my second 50mm f1.8). Now on an old 30D, but I started out with a D30. As you might guess from my ancient DSLR I don't print large nor much so take the below with more than one grain of salt.

20mm f2.8 I've used this lens a lot - the field of view works well for me. It is not as sharp as one could have wished for, though. Good build quality (for a non-L).

28mm f2.8 The old 80s(?)/90s model. Haven't used it much over the years, but now the field of view grows on me.. :) Seems sharp enough on a 30D, but might not hold up on newer cameras.

50mm f1.8 Plastic crap build-wise but optically certainly good enough for my 30D. My first one lasted 9 years. And I did buy a second one.

85mm f1.8 Very nice both optically and build-wise (well, it's not an L) but long - I don't use it that often.
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Old 05-20-2014   #19
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Instead of the 50 1.2 buy the 35 2.0 (roughly a 50mm on your 7D) and with the extra money you can buy an X100S for street shooting.
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Old 05-20-2014   #20
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I'd go for either the 50/1.4 or 35/1.4. The 50/1.4 is as good if not better than the 1.2 at the expense of half a stop(ish). I had and sold the 1.2 which was too soft at full aperture and replaced it with a 1.4 - much better.

If you ever anticipate moving to full frame and go for a 35 lens buy the 1.4L - I have both this and the 35/2 and the 35/2 is not in the same league on full frame as it has soft edges and corners. The 35/1.4L is an excellent all-round performer as far as I am concerned.
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Old 05-20-2014   #21
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I love the 50mm 1.2 its a great lens, but not on a cropped body already said.
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Old 05-20-2014   #22
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Another vote here for the 35IS. Unless you really need the extra stop for action, the IS allows hand-holding at ridiculously low speeds. It's definitely usably sharp wide open and on a crop body most of the vignetting is cut off. I have a 7D and the 35IS balances superbly on it.

I grew up shooting with a ~50mm on SLRs, but when I got a D70 I found it an uncomfortable FL - too tight to be a true walk-around but not quite there as a short tele.
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Old 05-21-2014   #23
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I would say the 50mm 1.2 is sharp wide open as much as a 1.2 lens can be, but you need a body with micro focus adjust to get the best out of it.
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Old 05-31-2014   #24
Ben Blacket
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Look through the exif data of all your photos taken with the 15-85 and see which focal length you use the most.
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