Thursday, August 23, 2007

Testing the New Lens

Canon 50mm f1.4 lens @f2.0

I have some friends in photography who are meticulous with testing and keeping records on lenses, film and other equipment. I hate testing so my methods are anything but scientific. Still I have this new lens, a 50mm f1.4 lens and it is the fastest lens that I have used. I needed to figure out how much would be in focus if I used f1.4.

Canon 50mm f1.4 lens @f1.4

During research while I was trying to decide whether or not to buy the lens I had read that the f1.4 aperture wasn't sharp and that you had to use the 2.8 aperture to get a good picture. What I found is that at 1.4 you get vignetting around the edges and that the depth of field is so shallow that you probably can only use it for stationary subjects, you should have the camera on a tripod and use manual focus. You have maybe an inch DOF when you are in close to the subject. The slightest movement and you are no longer focused on what you wanted to be sharp. I expected the narrow DOF but I think the vignetting that you can clearly see in the 1.4 image is more troublesome because it affects all images at any distance taken at 1.4 aperture.

However, it looks to me like the 2.0 aperture (the top image) is very usable. In both of these images I was handholding the camera and focusing (or trying to focus) on the stamen in the prominent gladiola. But in the lower image I must have moved just a smidgen after focusing so the sharp point is on the bud. Overall, I'm liking this lens. I like the 50mm viewing angle. I like the size of the lens. I love the background blur at f2.0 and f2.8. Yes, I'm happy with my purchase.


pitchertaker said...

I have to go get another drink... Billie is "testing"......


Billie said...

Hey, pitchertaker, say hello to Margaret for me.

pitchertaker said...

Actually I was talking to her father, Jose.