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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-14-2013

canon ef 40mm f/2.8 stm vs 50mm f/1.8

Hello everyone. Great forum. Got my first DSLR last week and it came with two lenses 18-55 and 75-300. I still feel like I need a good old fashion 50 mm for indoor and portrait use. I was about to order 50 then I saw there is a new 40mm pancake. After looking at 40mm in the store, I liked it better as far it being a bit wider view, smaller lens. What would be this group recommendation? I am not by any means pro photographer so little subtle differences most likely will not make any difference for my use. Is $50 more for 40mm worth it?

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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-14-2013

canon ef 40mm f/2.8 stm vs 50mm f/1.8

Hello everyone. Great forum. Got my first DSLR last week and it came with two lenses 18-55 and 75-300. I still feel like I need a good old fashion 50 mm for indoor and portrait use. I was about to order 50 then I saw there is a new 40mm pancake. After looking at 40mm in the store, I liked it better as far it being a bit wider view, smaller lens. What would be this group recommendation? I am not by any means pro photographer so little subtle differences most likely will not make any difference for my use. Is $50 more for 40mm worth it?

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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-14-2013

Re: canon ef 40mm f/2.8 stm vs 50mm f/1.8

Sorry wrong forum.
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,371
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: canon ef 40mm f/2.8 stm vs 50mm f/1.8

[ Edited ]

Although you didn't specify what camera you bought the kit lens tells me it's a 1.6 crop body SO the lenses will act as though they are longer than you are thinking. The 50 will act like an 80 mm lens & the 40 will act like it's 64 mm's. If you are used to a 50 on a conventional SLR you'll need to look for something in the 30-35 mm range. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: canon ef 40mm f/2.8 stm vs 50mm f/1.8

[ Edited ]

Both are good lenses for the low cost.  The 50mm is f/1.8, which is more than twice as wide an aperture vs. the 40mm f/2.8.  This means the 50mm will shoot with the same settings at half the light that the 40mm would need.  It also means that the 50mm will have a shallower depth of field, and thus be a bit better at doing that artsy-looking thing where you make the background blurry and the subject popping out of it.  Also, as Cicopo points out, 50mm on a crop is equal to 80mm full frame, which is (almost) within the "ideal" portrait range of 85mm to 135mm.  The 40mm, equal to 64mm on full frame, is a bit shorter than the ideal portrait range. 

 

On the other hand, 50mm CAN sometimes be a little too long, and not wide enough.  And the 40mm pancake does feel just a bit less fragile tha nthe 50mm does.  If you prefer the 40mm length, and especially if you don't do a lot of portrait-y shots, then maybe that is your lens.

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎02-08-2013

Re: canon ef 40mm f/2.8 stm vs 50mm f/1.8

[ Edited ]

If you care about cost a lot, then get the 50/1.8. The 40/2.8 is nice but nothing beats the 50/1.8 in terms of value-for-money.

If you care about low-light photos without a flash, then get the 50/1.8. If light isn't a problem, then get the 40/2.8. This is the most important difference between these lenses: Get the 50 for low-light, otherwise prefer the 40.

 

 

If you care about bokeh (background blur), get the 40/2.8, it's much better. The 50/1.8 only has a 5-blade aperture so the bokeh isn't good unless you only shoot wide-open. The 50/1.8's 5-blade aperture sometimes may be good for artistically rendering night lights in the background (to make them 5-pointed circles instead of real circles).

 

If you care about size, then get the 40/2.8: it's as small as a lens can get. The weight is the same.

and if you care about autofocus noise, then grab the 40/2.8, it's quieter.

 

No need to get a lens hood for the 40/2.8, but you may want one for the 50/1.8 ($30 more or so).

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