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Do I need a 50mm prime lens?

Bitman
Contributor

Fairly new to photography. I bought the Canon R6, with the 25-105mm F4 L lens. I also have the 70-200 F2.8 L.

Do I need a 35 or 50mm prime in F2.8 or 1.4?   

6 REPLIES 6

wq9nsc
Authority

My 50mm f1.4 is far from my most often used lens but it is a lens I wouldn't be without.  It is also the only non-Canon lens I use, I didn't care for the Canon 50mm f1.4 and after two trips to Canon for repair, the first under warranty, it got replaced with a Sigma Art 50mm f1.4 which I like more.  Hopefully the RF version of the Canon 50 f1.4 is better constructed as are most of Canon's other lenses.

 

The 35mm f1.4 is also a useful lens but if you are only buying one of the two, I think the 50mm will be on your camera more.  Zoom lenses are versatile and convenient but there are times when a fast prime is the best choice.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

kvbarkley
VIP

I would use the zooms for a bit and them decide:

Is the zoom just too darn heavy in some situations?

Is 50 or 35 a focal length you use often?

Do you need a faster lens for some situations?

 

ebiggs1
Legend

The obvious is of course you do. Smiley Wink You need both!  Seriously you don't really need either. You have the most commonly required zooms already. I suspose you can make a case for a faster lens then the fast primes would be the choice.

 

"...if you are only buying one of the two, I think the 50mm will be on your camera more."

 

I disagree with that. I would prefer the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art. It is a fantastic lens, perhaps the sharpest lens made. Highly versitle and of all my, albeit few, primes left in my lens inventory, it gets used the most.

 

I also own the unique ef 50mm f1.2L. If you have to have a 50mil it is the one to get. I sold my Sigam 50mm f1.4 Art to buy the Canon 50mm f1.2L. Of course that is my personal opinion others may not and don't see it that way. Truth is I almost never use it. It is my enjoy myself have a good time shooting some great subject lens.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Lxa2009
Apprentice

I have the 70-200 L and I have the 50mm 1.8, what I came across was the other day my friend showed up on a Harley Tricycle and wanted me to take photos, it was difficult to fit in without walking way back to fit her into the photo. My wide angle 10-18 was at home and I was upset that I didn't have that with me.

jrhoffman75
Legend

@Bitman wrote:

Fairly new to photography. I bought the Canon R6, with the 25-105mm F4 L lens. I also have the 70-200 F2.8 L.

Do I need a 35 or 50mm prime in F2.8 or 1.4?   


The advantage of buying a prime lens is generally smaller size and a larger aperture for better low light capability. Primes can also have better image quality since there is less compromise in design compared to a zoom lens. 

The disadvantage is there is only one focal length. You need to zoom with your feet. That isn't always possible. 

You have L-series lenses, so the image quality difference will be less, and if you aren't looking at L-primes it may be nonexistent. 


Buy a roll of gaffer tape (it doesn't leave a sticky residue). 

Set the lens zoom to 35mm and tape the zoom ring setting. Spend a period of time taking images. Do you like the results? Do you feel limited by only having an f/4 aperture?

 

Repeat after setting the lens to 50mm. 

 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

Tronhard
Authority

@Bitman wrote:

Fairly new to photography. I bought the Canon R6, with the 25-105mm F4 L lens. I also have the 70-200 F2.8 L.

Do I need a 35 or 50mm prime in F2.8 or 1.4?   


It seems glaringly obvious to me to ask what subjects you shoot! 

 

Lens focal length and other factors (like max aperture) have a strong relationship to the type of subject.  If you shoot mostly street photography a 'normal' field of view and fast aperture might be a benefit, but if you are going to shoot a wide range of subjects you are fine with the 24-105L IMHO.  

 

 


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
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