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Old 28-08-2012, 12:04 AM
Rob_K
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Canon 50mm lenses

For the last few years I've been using a 55-200mm Sigma lens (Canon fitting) at 55mm for a widefield nova search. It's a cheap lens with a fair bit of aberration but the images are pretty good if I use it a couple of stops back from wide open (F/5.6 as opposed to F/4.5).

The 'pros' who use DSLRs often use a Canon 50mm F/1.2 lens but that's so far out of my price range that it's not even funny. Even an F/1.4 (available new at a little under $400) is a fair bit more than I'm able to spend.

Just wondering if anyone owns a Canon 50mm F/1.8 lens, and has used it for widefields? I'm looking at shooting with something a bit faster and would be interested to hear how it performs on starfields at F/1.8. Or how many stops back it needs to get acceptable images. Or whether it gives acceptable images at all! Price is right at just under $100 on eBay. Of course I know only too well that you get what you pay for, and you can't expect Rolls Royce performance from a VW beetle!

Thanks.

Cheers -
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Old 28-08-2012, 04:51 AM
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CapturingTheNight (Greg)
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I love the F/1.8. I'm currently using it to do a whole sky (well, at least what is visible at various times of the year for my location) panorama project. You do need to stop it down quite a lot to get sharp stars right to the corners. For example: F/2.5 http://greg-gibbs.deviantart.com/art...epro-317071198 - stars still showing elongation at the corners.
F/4.5 http://greg-gibbs.deviantart.com/art...ross-296353826

Hope this helps.
Cheers
Greg
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Old 28-08-2012, 07:28 AM
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RB (Andrew)
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The 50mm-f/1.8 is great for the price and from what I've seen it's a fantastic bang for buck lens.
I just picked one up and can't wait to try it.
For me the money to spend for a 1.4 or 1.2 is a waste given the other lenses I have.
So for me the 1.8 is excellent value for the performance it gives.

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Old 28-08-2012, 07:35 AM
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Fabulous little lens Rob, and there is a 30mm one similiar - love them both.
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Old 28-08-2012, 07:50 AM
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Consider Canon 50mm FD f1.4 SSC- it could be found for well under $100 on ebay, but it needs a bit of modification to fit on EOS camera (and avoid distortions that would be introduced by "official" adapter with optical elements to shorten it. It is awesome at F4, worth every penny and effort.
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Old 28-08-2012, 07:58 AM
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Octane (Humayun)
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Rob,

I have one that I'm using as a lens cap on my EOS 1V.

Happy to lend it to you.

Let me know if interested.

H
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Old 28-08-2012, 08:03 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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I love my Nifty 50.
I stop mine back to at least f4.5 to get sharp stars almost across the board then. (my particular lens is prone to bad coma on the top left hand side otherwise)
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Old 28-08-2012, 08:31 AM
Rob_K
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Thanks all for your comments, seems like it might be worth a try. And thanks Humayan for the offer, very generous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
Consider Canon 50mm FD f1.4 SSC- it could be found for well under $100 on ebay, but it needs a bit of modification to fit on EOS camera (and avoid distortions that would be introduced by "official" adapter with optical elements to shorten it. It is awesome at F4, worth every penny and effort.
I saw the FD lenses on eBay Bojan and wondered about modification. Thanks for the link!

Cheers -
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Old 28-08-2012, 09:15 AM
Chris.B (Christopher)
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I have the nifty 50 and love it. Yes needs to be stopped down a lot for astro work. I use it for low light sports events and works a treat. I would like to get the 1.4 one of these days.

I'm not sure the FD will reach infinity when used with an adapter on an EF camera. I have a Minolta adapter and play with some nice prime lenses. However they are only any good for macro as they are too far out to reach infinity.
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Old 28-08-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris.B View Post
I'm not sure the FD will reach infinity when used with an adapter on an EF camera.
They will, provided adapter is active (with lens(es),
But they introduce their own distortions, and they are expensive.. so that's the reason for modification
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Old 30-08-2012, 05:27 AM
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CapturingTheNight (Greg)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octane View Post
i have one that i'm using as a lens cap on my eos 1v.
lol
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Old 31-08-2012, 03:48 PM
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pluto (Hugh)
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I too love my 50mm f1.8.
I have used the Canon 50mm f1.4 a couple of times on my 5DmkII and also on a friends 7D and I really wasn't impressed. It was soft even at the centre at f1.4 and wasn't sharp all over until at about f3.2-f4. It also had the worst CA I've seen on a Canon EF lens. For astrophotography, where fast/quiet focus is irrelevant, I would prefer my f1.8 any day. Maybe the particular lens I used was broken...?
I've also used the Sigma 50mm f1.4 and it was pretty good, if I needed a 50mm better than my f1.8 I'd probably get that.
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Old 31-08-2012, 04:10 PM
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technofetishism (Nick)
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With regards to the canon 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8 on any camera modified for wideband imaging/infrared filter removed.

The f/1.4 has a very noticible IR hotspot in its design compared to the f/1.8 which was the lens ive done about 95% of all my terrestrial IR stuff with.

Cant comment on the f/1.2 as i dont own it or know anyone who does.
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