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Old 01-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
sdshutterbug
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Canon 50mm f/1.8 AF on Dark Rides/Low Light

Hello All,

I've been really debating lately whether or not to purchase a Canon 50mm lens. I owned a 50mm f/1.7 lens when I shot Sony but when I switched to Canon I went for a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 because sometimes the 50 was too close. Anyways, I can't decide if I want to sell the Sigma for the 50 1.4, so I was thinking of just buying the 1.8 to go with the Sigma. I am worried about the AF hunting a lot in the dark, for example on dark rides. Anyone have experience with this lens that can tell me how well the AF does in these situations? My Minolta 50mm 1.7 lens was useless to AF in the dark.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:07 AM   #2
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[QUOTE=sdshutterbug;47202960]Hello All,

I've been really debating lately whether or not to purchase a Canon 50mm lens. I am worried about the AF hunting a lot in the dark, for example on dark rides. QUOTE]

My experience with this lens (on a 30D and Xsi) is that it focuses ok in low light (like the skeletons in Pirates) but in really low light (like Peter Pan) it hunts and is too slow to focus. This lens is an old design and does not have ultrasonic focusing.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Second what Bob said. I had the 50 1.8 with a Canon XSi a few years back. I got some decent shots, but nothing wow-worthy. Probably that was related to my ability more than anything. It is a nice lens to have, but it will depend on your camera and ability regarding how great your shots will turn out.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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This could be a really bad/dumb question...but wouldn't switching to MF solve your AF issues?
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
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There's a reason this is Canon's cheapest lens. I looked through Lightroom last night to see if I could find a few sample photos to post. The first thing I noticed is that I don't use this lens often. In fact, practically never.

I had a few photos from POTC that were OK, but nothing I'm particularly proud of. Focus isn't great on either of the two shots taken from the boat, and these are the best of the batch.


Caribbean Treasure by BirdsOfPreyDave, on Flickr


Caribbean Treasure by BirdsOfPreyDave, on Flickr


Pirate Skeleton by BirdsOfPreyDave, on Flickr


Caribbean Canon by BirdsOfPreyDave, on Flickr

If I had it to do again, I'd probably save myself the $100 and put it toward a better lens.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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Focus using IR beam from speedlite

If you have an external Canon speedlite you can disable the flash, but use the IR beam produced by the speedlite for focus.


-Paul
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdsOfPreyDave View Post
There's a reason this is Canon's cheapest lens. I looked through Lightroom last night to see if I could find a few sample photos to post. The first thing I noticed is that I don't use this lens often. In fact, practically never.

I had a few photos from POTC that were OK, but nothing I'm particularly proud of. Focus isn't great on either of the two shots taken from the boat, and these are the best of the batch.

If I had it to do again, I'd probably save myself the $100 and put it toward a better lens.
those pics were shot at 1/8, 1/15 at f1.8 - not the best settings for that lens!
Next time try increasing the ISO for a faster shutter speed and shoot at a smaller aperture, say at least f2.0

The 50mm 1.8 is a sharp inexpensive lens (only $60 used) but indoors I generally prefer a wider focal length


here's one with the "nifty fifty" - not at WDW but more of a portrait type shot

Canon Rebel XSi (450D)
50mm 1.8
f2.2


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Old 01-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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I have and love my Canon 50mm f/1.8. I think it's the best bang for your buck lens Canon makes. However, it is a little long on a crop sensor and the AF does hunt like crazy in some low light... the kind of low light that's murky with no contrast and difficult to manually focus in as well. But if there's a lot of contrast or a good brightly lit area it focuses pretty well.

50mm f/1.8 on my Canon 50D.


And non Disney... Hand held on my 50D
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the information! I jumped on a pretty good deal on eBay, so I'll just have to try it out for myself, but it sounds like it won't be a replacement for my 30mm.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdshutterbug View Post
Thanks for all the information! I jumped on a pretty good deal on eBay, so I'll just have to try it out for myself, but it sounds like it won't be a replacement for my 30mm.
you'll likely use the 30mm more indoors but the 50 is good for portraits and other things.
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