My first DSLR as I stated in another blog post where I talk about my gear; was a Nikon. Then I moved to Fuji and then I landed with Canon (and I’m planning on staying because I’m loving it).
Talking strictly about my Canon gear. I used to have only one lens; Canon’s 50mm 1.4.
Nowadays it’s a different story because I have the best boyfriend in the world. And after hearing me complaining non-stop that my 50mm 1.4 was too tight for certain situations and that I really needed a 35mm. He gave me for my 25th birthday back in August; a Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART lens. He’s a keeper, I KNOW!
So maybe I’ll make a review on this one in the future. And also a comparison between the two? I don’t know, we’ll see, we’ll see…
Back to the main point; my beloved 50mm 1.4.
I’ve read in a lot of photography blogs, and photography Youtube channels that this 50mm 1.4 was the first lens of a lot of photographers. And I really understand why.
It has amazing quality. It’s really well built, very sharp, fast, it goes down to 1.4 (which is WIDE). It’s light and it isn’t that expensive either. Especially if you compare it with its not-so-twin-brother the 50mm 1.2L lens.
The only problem I would say I have with the 50mm 1.4 lens. Is its inconsistency with the focusing. Out of 5 photos, 2 may be missing focus. And it isn’t user error because I’ve read about this issue from way more experienced photographers than me.
But this isn’t really a big issue for me because I tend to take several pictures at the same time. Not in burst mode, but I do take many just in case something like this may happen.
The image quality of this lens for the price and the built explains why is one of Canon’s most famous lenses outside the L world. (For those of you who may not know this; the L series lenses are the high-quality, professional and REALLY expensive Canon lenses = the famous red ring lenses.)
I find the 50mm 1.4 a little soft at 1.4. Sharp at 2. And very sharp starting at 2.8 <.
I love to shoot wide open (1.4 in this case). But there are times where if it isn’t the harsh light, it’s just that it isn’t the look I’m going for. And those times I shoot at 2.8, which is an amazing sweet F-stop for this 50mm 1.4.
Since it was the only lens that I used to have. I shot everything with it. But I find it particularly exceptional for portraits. It’s still “wide” enough for you to get in some of the background, but not so tight as an 85mm. Which is another famous focal length for portraits.
I personally don’t like the compressed look of telephoto lenses for portraits. Quite the contrary, I really enjoy the wider look. Even if it’s a little distorted. I find it gives a little extra something to the photos. It may be my fashion background speaking because I love fashion photos when shot at 24mm or 35mm. LOVE.
That being said, even though I don’t typically enjoy the compressed look. I do really love a good bokeh. And for all of you bokeh whores out there, this 50mm 1.4 creates the most beautiful bokeh balls at 1.4.
Another small issue with this lens, since its very soft at 1.4. In the beginning, I thought I was getting out of focus images because of that. But it turned out that I had to make in-camera micro-adjustments because it was back-focusing a little bit. After the micro-adjustments, even though it is still a little soft at 1.4, at least it was correctly focusing now!
I’ll leave you with a variety of my favorite photos taken with my beloved 50mm 1.4 (from portraits to landscapes).
Please let me know in the comments if you’ll be interested in a review like this for the Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART lens. And also if you would like a comparison between the two.
Furthermore, if you have any specific questions regarding the 50mm 1.4, don’t hesitate to shoot them in the comments section!