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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #1
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30mm 1.4 vs 50mm 1.4

Wanted to check and see which you guys think would be a more versatile lens for low light conditions at weddings. I am looking at either a 30mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.4 and currently use a Canon 60D, so I do have the APS-C size sensor. Thanks.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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I have both (by Sigma), and I use them somewhat interchangeably. My recommendation would be the 30mm because the 50mm on a cropped sensor is pretty tight, not necessarily wide. It fully depends on what your doing. For me, I bought 4 new sigma lenses (and an extender) for the price of 2 canon L lenses. Of course some will argue such things as bokeh, sharpness, etc.. But I find them extremely sharp.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jeff Brewer View Post
Wanted to check and see which you guys think would be a more versatile lens for low light conditions at weddings. I am looking at either a 30mm 1.4 or 50mm 1.4 and currently use a Canon 60D, so I do have the APS-C size sensor. Thanks.
I would go with the 30mm on the 60D. The 50mm will be too tight..especially on the dance floor.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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I personally wouldn't consider either of them to be "versatile". Both have very a specific use and tricky razor thin focus below f2.

My purchase decision would be based on what other lenses I have in my bag.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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I've used the 50 1.4, 50 1.2L, and ended up buying the 28 1.8 (but regret it now) for both photo + video on a 7D.

I'm thinking that I'll eventually sell the 28 1.8 and either get a 50 1.4 or 135 2L (or wait for the rumoured 135 1.8L)

50 is MUCH better than 28 (or 30) on a crop sensor for dances. I have to get way too close with the 28 to frame the way I want. Even with the 50 1.2L and shooting at 1.2 all night I didn't have much trouble with focus as long as I stayed back a reasonable distance so the focus range is a large enough to fit the couple.

28 or 30 may be equivalent to normal on a full-frame sensor, but the optics result in you having to get closer to get the same shot.

I LOVE the 50 1.4. Its bokeh is beautiful, it's sharpness is better than my 24-70 2.8L, and I find it to be just the right focal length for most applications on a 7D (becomes a nice portrait lens at an equivalent 80mm FF). I've also read poor reviews of the Sigma 30 1.4.

Here's an example of the 50 1.2L It was the only lens I had that day, so almost every single shot is with it (some HV30), including low-light dance shots. I don't know why the embed has those black lines all of a sudden... Should fix that, but it's way back on our blog now anyway.

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Old February 11th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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I have a sigma 30mm 1.4 and a canon 50mm 1.4. They both have different purpose in different situation.

The sigma 30mm is for APS-C sensor, and the canon 50mm is equivalence to 80mm on APS-C. The 30mm is very useful in a small room because it captures a wider angle with a nice DOF. Sometime I even use it on a glidecam with no problem.

For the 50mm, it is better to use it on a monopod, tripod or shoulder mount. I use this lens in a crowded room whereas I can't get too close to the bride and the 50mm on a APS-C able to bring them closer.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tim Gilbertson View Post
I LOVE the 50 1.4. Its bokeh is beautiful, it's sharpness is better than my 24-70 2.8L, and I find it to be just the right focal length for most applications on a 7D (becomes a nice portrait lens at an equivalent 80mm FF).
Is that the Canon or Sigma 50 f1.4 you have and love Tim? Do you have all Canon lenses or some Canon and some Sigma. I had heard that some of the Canon's focus-ring may not be as smooth for pulling-focus in video shoots as the Sigma's focus rings. If you could give me the benefit of your experiences i'd be grateful. thanks.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #8
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If you're planning to use 1 lens on the reception with 7d, then definitely get the 50mm. 30mm will get you too close to your subject during reception.

30mm on 7d would be great fit for prep stuff where you can generally be closer to your subjects.

My 2 cents
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Old February 19th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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I was talking about the Canon 50mm 1.4. I honestly have little experience with Sigma lenses, but I'm alway really impressed by their build quality. It seems usually to be the optics that are at fault, if there ever is one. From my experience I'd say the Sigma lenses at this level are smoother in terms of focusing.

There's a little too much play in the Canon 28mm 1.8 focus ring by my standards (compared to L), and I'm fairly certain the 50mm 1.4 is the same. But it's fairly minor, even for video focusing.
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