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Another Lens Question

edited July 2012 Posted in » Canon T2i Forum
I'm looking at purchasing a new lens for my T2i. I'm going back and forth between the Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 and the Canon 85mm EF f/1.8 USM and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. I've heard that if you're going to spend the money, go ahead and go for the 1.4. However, I am intrigued by the 50mm 1.8 and the 85mm 1.8 as well. I know the 50mm 1.8 is much cheaper than the other two, but am I sacrificing quality for money?

I'm just a hobby photographer, but am often recruited to "bring your camera" at events to grab candid portraits and such. I like taking pictures, whether it be landscape, nature or people.

By the way, I just discovered your website and am bookmarking it for sure. Great tips and it's super easy to understand.


  • edited August 2013
    I would like to know this too. I was looking at the first two lenses you mentioned as well, mainly for portrait shooting and such. One of the other threads on this sight suggested saving for an "L" lens. I'm not sure what that means or if that would be smarter.
  • edited July 2012
    @emilymore I did some googling about L series Lenses. Found this ( )

    "Canon L lenses are top quality pieces throughout the line. They typically have wide apertures (fixed throughout the zoom range for most L zoom lenses). Canon L lenses share a rugged build quality. The build quality combined with wide minimum apertures usually result in Canon L lenses being heavy.

    The image quality of the Canon L lenses is generally as good as it gets. Contrast, sharpness, color, bokeh (background/foreground blur quality), flare, CA (Chromatic Aberration), all are excellent. Full Frame camera body owners will especially find L series lenses to be (on average) significantly sharper toward the edges of the frame compared to lesser lenses.

    In general, Canon L series lenses focus fast. The wide maximum apertures (smallest number) and fast, quiet USM motors (Ultrasonic Motors) enhance focusing speed. The Canon 85mm f/1.2 L USM Lens and the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM Macro Lens are two exceptions to this rule. "

    I'm now intrigued about L series too, though as they're top of the line they are also more expensive. I'm new to the DSLR game and it's a little overwhelming sometimes.
  • edited July 2012
    Thanks julieb. I feel totally overwhelmed too. I am really enjoying it, but I wish I had more money to spend!
  • edited August 2013
    Hi there.
    The lenses you are considering all give excellent quality. The 50mm F1.8, also known as the nifty fifty, is great for low light shots, but its build quality is not as good as the 50mm F1.4.

    However, unless you feel like chucking it around a field, the F1.8 will give you good service and great shots.

    As for L series lenses, we all wish we had one don't we? Yes you get top quality glass and good build quality in exchange for extra weight and a lot of cash. It is a mistake to think that better equipment makes you a better photographer. Ansell Adams once took a series of photographs with a simple fixed focus lens camera to prove this very point. As he said "the most important part of a camera is the 12 inches behind it".

    If you browse the web, you can find many top notch photo samples taken with reasonably inexpensive lenses. Sure, if I won the lottery, I would probably blow a wad on some L series lenses but that is after 50 years as a hobby photographer making do with what I could afford.

    At the moment I am using the Canon EF-S 15-85mm as my general everyday lens. It is great for landscapes, portaits and nature work, but if I'm working indoors I revert to my nifty fifty.

    So Julie and Emily, you pay your money and you take your choice.

    Happy shooting,
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