Well I have been enamored with my Canon 7D. I have used a variety of lenses and been amazed at the quality of stills and HD video the camera is capable of. I recently decided to pick up some prime lenses.
I began with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 for a mere 100 bucks, you may be able to find cheaper used. A nice fast lens. You can check out my low light film shot with this lens below.
Now as good as this lens appeears to be, I was very disappointed by the build quality. Well you pay for what you get, the focus ring is all but usless becuase of its location and it extreme slim design. Frustrated, I began to look for a replacement …
Enter the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM.
Just holding the lens you can feel the difference in build quality. The 1.8 felt like it could be easily broken, unlike the 1.4 which feels much better in your hands. The focus ring is more easly accessible and not as thin as the f/1.4. The lens features an Ultrasonic focus that can be manually overridden, a simply fantastic and must have feature especially in low light situations. The lens may only be slightly faster than the 1.8, however it is optically superior justifying the higher price tag. The f/1.4 has a beautiful depth of field creating beautiful foreground/background blur.
While shooting stills on my 7D, the image quality was outstanding , providing exceptional color and sharpness. It is a great lens for shooting portraits.
When shooting video this lens proved to be a much better lens. Not only is the lens better optically, but the better build provides a wider focus ring situated on the barrel. This is a very nice advantage over the 1.4, especially when it comes to critical focusing. There is a switch on the lens that allows you to switch from auto focus to manually. However, you can easily just manually focus immediately without having to switch, a great bonus at this price range.
The 50mm f/1.4 is a much better lens than the 1.8, and well worth money. I recommend spending the extra money on it, you won’t regret it. It is become quickly one of my favorite prime lenses for my 7D… until I can get the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4.
**Update to see a film shot with the 50mm f/1.4 click HERE
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