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Canon 18-55 Is II, 50 F/1.8 II Or 35 F/2?  
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6155 times:

Firstly, apologies for the umpteenth thread concerning my lens woes.

Having tried and discarded a micro 4/3 camera (EPL-1) for my 'through-the-fence' shooting dilemma, I've now short-listed the above three lenses. It's taken the best part of 6 months but at least it's getting better!

The 18-55 is of course the most versatile, and comes in at a very reasonable GB£109. I'm not sure however if the front element rotates during focus, which would be detrimental to its usefulness. It's also a whopping (!) 58mm filter thread, compared to a cheeky 52mm for the other two.

The 50mm prime is only £74, which seems a no-brainer to me. If I don't use it though, it's a waste irrespective of cost. I like the filter thread (very useful for poking through fences), and the front element doesn't rotate. Add to this the claimed astounding image quality and this is at the minute the clear favourite.

The there's the 35mm; also with a 52mm front element. Wider angle, over double the price of the 'nifty-fifty' and I'm unsure as to whether the front rotates during focus.

Thing is, I'm not sure what the most useful focal length of the two primes is. I know I can't expect anyone to jump into my shoes and guess for my local airports, but which would you guys find yourself using more - 50mm or 35mm (for everyday aviation stuff).

Cheers and happy new year.

Karl

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinevishaljo From India, joined Aug 2006, 468 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6140 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
there's the 35mm;
.......and I'm unsure as to whether the front rotates during focus.

Definitely not an IF (Internal Focussing) lens so Yes the Front Element should rotate just like on the 50 1.8



I'd say go with the 35 f2 else 18-55 II, everybody has a 50 1.8


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9783 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6133 times:
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Quoting vishaljo (Reply 1):
Yes the Front Element should rotate just like on the 50 1.8

The review I just read stated that the front element does NOT rotate on the 50 1.8:

http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/16...ef-50mm-f18-ii-test-report--review

It does rotate on the 18-55 IS Mk II, however, if it's the same design as the Mk I.

The reviews I've read for the 18-55 IS Mk I place it quite high on the image quality scale. For the price, it's a great value. I've certainly taken many photos with mine; any shots of mine on A.net that are wide(r)-angle are taken with it. Note that mine is a Mk I, not a Mk II, but I don't think the overall design changed much (if at all). It's certainly not the most solid-feeling lens in the world, but optically not bad.

EDITED to include link.

[Edited 2011-12-30 19:14:21]


"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2887 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 6105 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
for my 'through-the-fence' shooting dilemma

What sort of fences are you shooting through? Can you not just use your 24-105 f/4 L? I have the same problem as you have from several spots at BLK and other airport, but can use the 24-105 through most of the fences, palisade or wire mesh. I even use the 50-500 at times! You need to be careful where you place the front of the lens to make sure you don't do any damage and avoid having the fence in front, but it's certainly do-able and I've rarely missed a shot because of it. If all else fails, the 50D has Live View and although the focussing can be hit and miss, you can put the camera in the air and take shots over the fence if need be. There are ways and means other than buying several camera or lens combinations only to find that none of them meet your requirements.

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
Thing is, I'm not sure what the most useful focal length of the two primes is. I know I can't expect anyone to jump into my shoes and guess for my local airports, but which would you guys find yourself using more - 50mm or 35mm (for everyday aviation stuff).

Only you can answer that one really, it's a how long is a piece of string type question. I need from 10mm to 500mm+ at BLK so it's really an open ended question that only the person using the equipment can answer. It depends where you are using it, what you are using it for and what you are trying to achieve.

Happy New Year,

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinedendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 23 hours ago) and read 6103 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SCREENER

Karl

The design of the 50mm lens is as simple as can be, not a lot of glass, not a lot of elements and it is as sharp as a razor (I have the 1.4 which is very similar in design, just a bit more glass and a bit heavier) It feels tiny alongside any of my other lenses. I have used it for portrait on a 1.6 crop and it is great, though too sharp to be flattering. The sharpness for those who are more used to using zooms comes as something of a shock but they are not a robust feeling lens, plastic (but the 24-105 is largely so too).

If you can get a used Mark 1, it will probably be about the same price as a new Mark 2, but it does have a metal bayonet and optically identical.

I don't use mine a lot, but the results are stunning.

I did once have the 18-55, a Mark 1 and it felt flimsy though optically it was not bad at all for the price. That will be more versatile but for sharpness, they are in different leagues. 50mm 1.8 would be my choice and if you don't like it, sell it - the risk is minute

Mick Bajcar


User currently onlinevishaljo From India, joined Aug 2006, 468 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 21 hours ago) and read 6082 times:



Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):
The review I just read stated that the front element does NOT rotate on the 50 1.8

I speak from experience as i own one  Smile

_______ Left: Lens focused to Infinity ____ Right: Lens focused to MFD (minimum focus distance)


[Edited 2011-12-31 04:35:10]

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 6066 times:

Quoting dendrobatid (Reply 4):
if you don't like it, sell it - the risk is minute

Yeah, that's true!  

I don't use the 24-105 with a filter as the image degradation is actually visible to the eye. Therefore I'm not willing to try and stick it between the mesh of perimeter fences. That's why the three lenses above are so attractive; and none of them cost too much (£200 at most).

I think I'll just try the 50mm prime from Amazon and see how I go with that. I can always return it and opt for another lens if it's no good.

Quoting vishaljo (Reply 5):
I speak from experience as i own one

Vishal, I know the lens extends during focus, which isn't a problem - however as Vik mentioned it doesn't appear to actually rotate the front element.

Thanks for all the replies.

Happy new year!

Karl


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2887 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 6057 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 6):

I don't use the 24-105 with a filter as the image degradation is actually visible to the eye.

What do you need the filter for? Protection of the lens? As long as you're careful you don't need one. I've been doing it with mine for going up for 2 years and have never had a problem. The end element on the 24-105 is a little exposed without the lens hood, but as long as you're careful it's fine. It's not like you need to physically push the lens through the fence, just allign it so you can get the frame you want. Longer focal lengths are easier than wider focal lengths, but as long as you're careful, you should get what you need to without shelling out on more gear that may not meet your requirements anyway. I'll be putting some photos taken through a wire mesh fence at BLK next week sometime, you wouldn't known how they were taken unless you knew the spot. The wire mesh is about 2 inches square, it wasn't a problem even when using the 24mm end.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 6046 times:

Thanks Darren, however I'm nervous about damaging expensive gear so investing £74 is better for me than having to pay for a new L lens if by chance I do damage it. I can be clumsy so the risk is too great.

Plus the 50mm is really small so will be good for places like EMA. If it suits me I may then look at the 35mm.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlinejohnkrist From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1399 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5996 times:
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Vishal, isn't the fact that everyone has one a testament to it's greatness? I thought photogrpahy was about getting good images, not having a unique camera bag  
I will get the nifty fifty this year for sure. I miss my old Minolta 50mm 1.4 so much...



5D Mark III, 7D, 17-40 F4 L, 70-200 F2.8 L IS, EF 1.4x II, EF 2x III, Metz 58-AF1
User currently offlinetrvyyz From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1369 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5902 times:

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 6):
I don't use the 24-105 with a filter as the image degradation is actually visible to the eye.

The quality with the filter on it will be still better than the 18-55.

The 50mm1.8 is a different animal, it is a very good normal lens. it is good for different kinds of photography, just using for aviation would be limiting it.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5825 times:

Thanks for all the replies guys. I took the plunge yesterday (well; not really a plunge...) and ordered one from Amazon for £73.70.

I'll let you know how I get on with it.....

Karl


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5564 times:

Well folks, took my new toy for a spin this morning out at MAN. On a side note I reacquainted myself with Paul Markman, which was a good thing as it's been a while and I'm terrible with faces! Anyway....

Nice, crisp, clear morning (day in fact) for once so headed straight to the 23L mounds (which to those unfamiliar is very close to the action, with 50mm being fine for anything A320 size and larger). Opened the aperture right up to f/4.0 to begin with. Impressive for such cheap glass, however on a big screen the difference between centre sharpness and edge sharpness is noticeable - although to be fair it's not massive.

Once at f/4.5 it improves greatly, and at f/5.0 I couldn't see any difference in sharpness across the frame. Very sharp indeed, by the way!

Didn't notice any poor colour/contrast as has been mentioned, so I'm extremely happy with my £73 purchase - and even more so because I got a good copy first time!

Karl


User currently offlinejohnkrist From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 1399 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5555 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Congrats on a first Karl, I've been lucky with all my gear so far  


5D Mark III, 7D, 17-40 F4 L, 70-200 F2.8 L IS, EF 1.4x II, EF 2x III, Metz 58-AF1
User currently offlinejaktrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5376 times:

Been testing the 'nifty-fifty' a little more this week. I tried it out at f/1.8 and was just wondering if it's supposed to be so poor wide open? Aircraft shots are virtually unusable - however I was never planning to open it up that wide for aviation so I'm just curious.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently onlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5375 times:

When would you need f/1.8 in aviation unless for detail shots or low light/distant?
Spence



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlinejaktrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5374 times:

That's my point. I'm just curious....

Karl


User currently onlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5368 times:

OK. What do you mean by so poor though? Is it soft or wasn't you prepared for the DOF?
Spence



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlinejaktrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5367 times:

I used a flat, uniform subject so DOF wasn't an issue. The image was just incredibly soft (blurry).

1/1250th shutter and one-shot AF so movement and/or OOF shouldn't have come into play.

It's no big deal but every review has said that - although softer - results at f/1.8 are perfectly usable. I take that with a pinch to be honest though as portratis (for example) often require a certain softness.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently onlinespencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5363 times:

I suppose the fact that it's £74 would come into play somewhere (not always so but obviously here it has), or maybe Karl.....you need to look at another copy! Hahaha couldn't help myself sorry...
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2887 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5363 times:

Quoting jaktrax (Reply 18):
I used a flat, uniform subject so DOF wasn't an issue. The image was just incredibly soft (blurry).

I wouldn't be so sure Karl. 50/1.8 has a very shallow depth of field so you need to be super accurate on your focal point or you'll have a lot of the photo out of focus. This is perfect in some situations, but probably irrelevant in aviation use unless you want to isolate the background completely from something. You can't really apply reviews where they've used it for portraits. As you mention, portraiture normally wants a degree of softness and quite often requires a wide aperture and shallow DOF. Aviation is a little different! What's it like stopped down for aviation use? If that's all you're using it for, it's wide open performance doesn't really matter.

Quoting spencer (Reply 19):
or maybe Karl.....you need to look at another copy!

I resisted the tempation to say that!

Darren



[Edited 2012-01-22 08:14:25]


Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinejaktrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5344 times:

I'm pretty sure it's a cracker of a copy - for aviation I opened it up to f/4.5 and it performed brilliantly. You know what I'm like........

Karl


User currently offlinechris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5303 times:

Bah F1.8 gives too much depth of field!!!

I shoot my 50 @ F1.2!!! Now that's low DOF!  



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 730 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 5281 times:

Quoting jaktrax (Reply 18):
I used a flat, uniform subject so DOF wasn't an issue.

Perhaps, but even the slightest front or back focusing would come into play, as would of course any miscalibration between body and lens (which at the price, is perhaps not surprising).

Having said that, this isn't really what the lens is designed for (which I guess is why Canon produce the 1.4 and 1.2, intended to be used wide open - though I'm not sure the 1.4 is much better).

I don't really use mine for "technical" shots, but that wide aperture is really useful for concerts, street photography, parties etc. where an extra stop can be a life saver and critical sharpness is perhaps less important.

I think it is possible to get over concerned with technical perfection - most people don't look at an image that closely. If you do start looking at some of the iconic photos over the last century, you'll find most have some technical issue - grain, blur, levels etc. Sometimes a case of not seeing the wood for the trees!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
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