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help picking out lenses

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
trying to figure out how much i need to save up.

i have already decided that i am set on getting a 50 1.4 to upgrade from my 1.8

i want to get a telephoto prime but dont know what to get i wanted to get the 135 but i dont know what that whole soft focus thing is and the lens seems really old and doesnt have USM. i would like to have the 135L but for the price i cant afford it

just curious what else is out there that are solid telephoto primes that have USM or equivalent feature if not canon. IS is not important and dont need anything longer than a 200 which i wouldnt fully need something that is quite that focal length
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post #2 of 17
im guessing you want to use this as a long portrait lens so the tamron 90/2.8, sigma 105/2.8 or canon 100/2.8 are nice. i think the sigma and canon has usm (or hsm).
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post #3 of 17
If you've never shot the Canon 85mm f/1.8, you have no idea what you're missing. It's a great length on APS-C (close to a 135mm on film), ridiculously sharp (even reasonable wide-open for those dim, across-the-room shots) and won't break the bank. It's my favorite lens in my bag, and I often find myself stepping WAY back just so I can use it. It's that good. The 100mm f/2 is close, but I thought it was a tad long on a crop, and returned it a week later.

As an alternate suggestion, don't buy the 1.4 50mm. It's really..... not much better. For a whole lot more money. Take that money and do something else with it, like putting it towards the 85mm or stepping down to the 35mm f/2 for a more "normal" walk-around.

edit: Don't convince yourself that you need USM -- it's a great feature, but absolutely not essential unless noise is a major concern. Every Canon prime I have/have used focuses very quickly, with or without USM.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub50hz View Post
If you've never shot the Canon 85mm f/1.8, you have no idea what you're missing. It's a great length on APS-C (close to a 135mm on film), ridiculously sharp (even reasonable wide-open for those dim, across-the-room shots) and won't break the bank. It's my favorite lens in my bag, and I often find myself stepping WAY back just so I can use it. It's that good. The 100mm f/2 is close, but I thought it was a tad long on a crop, and returned it a week later.

As an alternate suggestion, don't buy the 1.4 50mm. It's really..... not much better. For a whole lot more money. Take that money and do something else with it, like putting it towards the 85mm or stepping down to the 35mm f/2 for a more "normal" walk-around.

edit: Don't convince yourself that you need USM -- it's a great feature, but absolutely not essential unless noise is a major concern. Every Canon prime I have/have used focuses very quickly, with or without USM.
The difference isn't just about the noise of the mechanism. USM lenses focus much faster, hunt less, work much better in low light, and have full-time manual focusing. The difference is especially noticeable when shooting in high speed continuous mode and AI servo. I've used both the 50/1.4 and 50/1.8, and there's no comparison. The 1.8 focus hunts in low light and is fairly unreliable. And non-USM Canon lenses are cheap, low-tier and/or older lenses with worse build quality, so there's little point in considering them for an upgrade.

To the OP, you might consider hanging on to you 50/1.8 and putting all your budget into a nice tele prime. Don't bother with the 135/2.8 soft focus, it's a dated lens to say the least, and the EF mount doesn't really have "golden oldies" like Nikon, Minolta, et al. Newer lenses are better (of course there are exceptions, but usually because Canon hasn't updated the lens and that's all there is).

Like sub50hz recommended, the 85/1.8 might work for you, depending on how much reach you need. But, if you can manage to stretch your budget, the 135L is a phenomenal lens, even on a crop sensor. At the same price point, there the EF 200/2.8L, which, despite being a lens from Canon's film era, is still a sharp lens.
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks yall. yea my biggest issue is that my 1.8 hunts for focus rather violently too lol slamming back and forth sometimes in bad cases. and i missed some awesome basketball shots because of that while in servo, although when it is on its A game its sharp for its price. i might go to the store a try out a 85 1.8 and the 135L which would take some saving up for but i am a fan of that focal length for sure. and yea im looking for a nice long portrait lens as well as just slowly building my primes so i can have a wide, normal, and tele
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
The difference isn't just about the noise of the mechanism. USM lenses focus much faster, hunt less, work much better in low light, and have full-time manual focusing.
Yes, I did forget about the full-time manual focus, which is indeed a great feature.

Quote:
And non-USM Canon lenses are cheap, low-tier and/or older lenses with worse build quality, so there's little point in considering them for an upgrade.
This is a little elitist, don't you think? Lots of Canon primes have excellent IQ for reasonable prices, and assuming that everyone has large sums of money to spend on equipment seems rather ignorant. I know lots of posters on this forum are teens with wealthy parents backing their hobbies, but for the rest of us, the nominal difference between lenses at enormous price premiums are simply not justifiable.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
The difference isn't just about the noise of the mechanism. USM lenses focus much faster, hunt less, work much better in low light, and have full-time manual focusing......
i dont think "hunting" has anything to do with USM vs micromotor, its more to do with the 1/2 stop more light that hits the AF array, with that said it also helps that USM can focus back and forth alot faster.
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub50hz View Post
Yes, I did forget about the full-time manual focus, which is indeed a great feature.



This is a little elitist, don't you think? Lots of Canon primes have excellent IQ for reasonable prices, and assuming that everyone has large sums of money to spend on equipment seems rather ignorant. I know lots of posters on this forum are teens with wealthy parents backing their hobbies, but for the rest of us, the nominal difference between lenses at enormous price premiums are simply not justifiable.
It's not elitist, it's a fact. And I didn't say an L lens and/or spending a ton of cash was the only way to go, but recommended in line with what the OP was considering, so I don't see how you're drawing this elitist conclusion. If he were getting his first DSLR, it would be different, but he is upgrading after all.
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub50hz View Post
This is a little elitist, don't you think? Lots of Canon primes have excellent IQ for reasonable prices, and assuming that everyone has large sums of money to spend on equipment seems rather ignorant. I know lots of posters on this forum are teens with wealthy parents backing their hobbies, but for the rest of us, the nominal difference between lenses at enormous price premiums are simply not justifiable.
I don't think it's elitist. GoneTomorrow said that USM lenses have better build quality, not IQ, which in fact they do. I've used both the 50mm f/1.8 and f/1.4, and while both have very similar IQ (bokeh aside), the f/1.4 definitely autofocuses faster, hunts less, and has better build quality than the f/1.8.

I've missed a fair amount of shots on my old 50mm because of the slower AF motor on it.

And from what I can gather from misc posts over the months I've spent on here, only a few members are actually the "teens with rich parents" you've mentioned. A lot of people on here are those with their own jobs/careers, with a few like myself who are putting themselves through college.

Besides, it's not elitist what GoneTomorrow said. Everything he said was true, factual, and worth noting. The non-USM lenses are slower than the USM lenses, and I've noticed they perform worse AF-wise in low light. Also, since non-USM lenses are also Canon's entry-level lenses, they tend to have worse build quality as well. These are all points worth nothing because they're all cons the lenses have compared to USM lenses. Now if this is relevant to the OP is up to him to decide, but since this is a multi-hundred dollar purchase, I think it's better if he knew all the facts. Besides, it's not as if GT said something like "Lol only noobs use non-USM lenses because they take bad pictures". Now that'd be elitist.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by r31ncarnat3d View Post
Besides, it's not elitist what GoneTomorrow said. Everything he said was true, factual, and worth noting. The non-USM lenses are slower than the USM lenses, and I've noticed they perform worse AF-wise in low light. Also, since non-USM lenses are also Canon's entry-level lenses, they tend to have worse build quality as well.
I suppose I should have bolded what I was referring to, which was his "not an upgrade" stance on non-USM lenses.
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