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Old 11-07-2011, 16:48   #1 (permalink)

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Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

HI EVERYONE, I KNOW I HAVE NOT POSTED FOR A WHILE, BEEN BUSY WITH DOMESTIC ISSUES.

I WANT TO TAKE SOME SHOTS OF OUR GRANDDAUGHTERS, THEY ARE IN A SCHOOL PLAY, WHICH IS BEING PUT ON AT A LOCAL THEATRE.

THE PROBLEM IS, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE A FLASH AND THE ONLY LENS I HAVE IS A TAMRON 18 - 270 MM WHICH WILL NOT BE ANY GOOD IN LOW LIGHT WITHOUT A FLASH.

I AM CONSIDERING EITHER A CANON 85MM F1.8 OR A CANON 50MM F1.4, I HAVE RULED OUT THE CANON 50MM 1.8 AS I DON'T LIKE THE SOUND OF THE BUILD QUALITY.

CAN ANYONE GIVE ME ANY HELP AND ADVICE, AS TO WHETHER EITHER OF THESE LENSES WOULD BE SUITABLE IN THEATRE LIGHTING.

MANY THANKS
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Old 11-07-2011, 17:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

If reach is important, such as being seated further away from the stage, I would go with the 85mm. Your 7D iso should handle the lighting from the stage very nicely. The easy way for me would be to find the happy settintgs as soon as I could. Shoot a couple of pictures in TV mode with auto ISO and watch the settings from the camera. You could go any route from there once your in the ball park. The F/1.4 will out perform the F/1.8 but I think your lighting will hold up to the f/1.8 with out a problem.
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Old 11-07-2011, 17:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Good to see you back on the forums Woody

Hamacting shoots a lot of stage shows, so it might be worth looking at some of his stuff. I suspect that it might not be too different from shooting gigs too.

I've not shot this type of photography, but I think the 85mm f1.8 would be a good one to choose - unless you are going to be very close to the stage.

You could cover all bases by hiring a 70-200 f2.8 and that would also give you flexibility as to where you can shoot from.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:36   #4 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

THANK YOU BOTH VERY MUCH FOR YOUR REPLIES. I AM THINKING I MAY HAVE TO GO FOR 50MM 1.4, AS I THINK I WON'T BE ABLE TO GET BACK FAR ENOUGH TO USE THE 85MM 1.8.

I WISH I WAS IN THE POSITION TO BUY BOTH OF THESE LENSES, BUT I CAN ONLY CHOOSE ONE. I HAVE LOOKED IN SEVERAL PLACES TO SEE IF I COULD FIND THESE LENSES SECOND HAND, BUT NO LUCK, SOME I HAVE SEEN ARE NEARLY AS DEAR AS NEW ONES.

MANY THANKS
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:00   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

The 50mm f1.4 is not cheap

Better to hire?

Edit: Having said that, Warehouse Express have them for under 300

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...ae47b10cceb357

I thought they were much dearer than that.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:19   #6 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

THANK YOU GRAHAM, I HAVE ALSO BEEN LOOKING AT THE SIGMA 50MM 1.4, IT IS DEARER THAN THE CANON, BUT SEEMS BETTER BUILD.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:15   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Good to see you Woody.

How far away will you be from the stage ? Do you know yet ?

If far back then hiring as graham suggested something with more reach would be an idea. Bear in mind tough they may be heavy if you get a larger fast prime.

Other option is if you can use manual focus to get an older FD mount prime (or m42) with a EOS-FD or whatever mount you use. Maybe cheaper.
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:59   #8 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

HI CHRISA, STILL UNDECIDED AT THE MOMENT, WILL NEED TO GO TO THE THEATRE AND SEE THE LAYOUT AND POSSIBLE PLACES TO STAND TO GET SHOTS FROM.

THE ANNOYING THING IS, I HAVE A 50MM 1. 4 FD, WHICH I USED YEARS AGO WITH MY CANON A1, UNFORTUNATELY I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO USE MANUAL FOCUS, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN IDEAL WITH AN ADAPTOR.

MANY THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
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Old 12-07-2011, 16:43   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Shame about that, the 50mm would of been good. Another thought, if you have a local store you with them in stock I'd go in and ask to try the lens out. Then you'd get an idea on the build quality of all. If further back I'd go with the 85mm out of the 2 choices. If you can get into the theatre in advance you could take your existing lens along to see what reach you need.
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Old 14-07-2011, 15:39   #10 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

I DECIDED TO GO FOR THIS LENS, YES DEARER THAN THE CANON 1.4, BUT I THINK IT IS BETTER BUILT AND COMES WITH LENS HOOD AND CASE WHICH CANON DOES NOT, THEREFOR WOULD WORK OUT ABOUT THE SAME PRICE, IF I HAD TO BUY A HOOD AND CASE FOR THE CANON.

Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - Canon Fit (310954) - Warehouse Express

I HAVE TRIED A FEW SHOOTS WITH THIS LENS AT DIFFERENT SETTINGS AND IT PERFORMS VERY WELL, SO FAR VERY PLEASED WITH IT.

I HAVE NEVER SHOT IN LOW LIGHT, WITH A DIGITAL CAMERA AND NO FLASH BEFORE, SO I AM A BIT CONFUSED AS TO WHAT ISO SETTING I SHOULD USE, COULD ANYONE GIVE ME ANY ADVICE ABOUT THE ISO IN LOW LIGHT PLEASE.

MANY THANKS AGAIN
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Old 14-07-2011, 16:01   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

If the stage lighting is half decent, you might find that you will not need to up the ISO much or at all. On Nikons there is an auto ISO feature that will raise the ISO if the lighting level falls and your settings would affect the exposure, and you can also set limits at either end of the scale to keep the ISO within your preferred parameters. If your 7D has this feature it would be worth using it. If not, maybe you could do some practice shots. Would they let you do this on a rehearsal? If not perhaps some shots indoors will give you at least a guide as to where you need to go.
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Old 14-07-2011, 16:26   #12 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

THANK YOU GRAHAM. I THINK THE 7D HAS THIS FEATURE, I WILL HAVE TO CONSULT THE MANUAL.

MANY THANKS
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Old 14-07-2011, 16:58   #13 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

GRAHAM, I CAN ONLY FIND A SETTING THAT INCREASES THE ISO TO 12800, I CANNOT FIND ANYTHING IN THE MANUAL ABOUT AUTO ISO INCREASE IN AV MODE
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Old 14-07-2011, 17:11   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Just Googled Canon 7D auto ISO and got a lot of hits. Someone said look at page 63 in the manual. Apparently there is a built-in limit of 3200 according to some, where others say that there is no limit
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Old 14-07-2011, 17:19   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Found this in Rob Gailbraith's review of the 7D

Rob Galbraith DPI: Canon announces 17.92 million image pixel, 8fps EOS 7D

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The sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400 in 1/3 step increments, plus H (ISO 12,800). The Auto ISO range is 100-3200. It's not possible to choose a maximum aperture or minimum shutter speed in Auto ISO
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Old 14-07-2011, 17:20   #16 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

THANK YOU GRAHAM, THE MANUAL SAYS ISO IS 100-6400, BUT THERE IS A SETTING TO INCREASE THE ISO TO 12800, I ALSO DID A SEARCH AND LIKE YOURSELF, HAVE HAD SOME VERY DIFFERENT ANSWERS / VIEWS

MANY THANKS AGAIN
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Old 14-07-2011, 17:31   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Woody that 12800 ISO rating is an extend ISO setting. It's not worth using (pics are not clear / very noisy) I'd turn the extended ISO Off - meaning your camera goes only up to 6400 ISO.

Grahams on about setting the camera to auto ISO where the camera chooses the best ISO setting.

I think from top of my head you can do this by changing the ISO setting on the Canon Cameras to A. Use the ISO setting dial on top of camera (at least that's where it is on my 50D).

This is instead of 100, 125, 200 - where you fix the ISO.

Then using AV or TV mode the camera will up / lower the ISO automatically to suit conditions (eg get better shutter speed).

Other Option is to manually change ISO to something like 800, 1600 yourself. Have a play indoors and you should be able to see what's easier for you. Can easily switch depending on the shutter speed you get at theatre. That's the real key - you really want 1/100th or above hand held on the 50mm depending how steady you can grip the camera.
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Old 14-07-2011, 17:32   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Some people say that it is only available in manual mode

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By changing to the M mode, you can just set it to "A", like on other EOS models with ISO automatik.
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Old 14-07-2011, 17:35   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Thanks for helping out Chris Not overly familiar with Canon.
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Old 14-07-2011, 18:58   #20 (permalink)

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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

CHRISA, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR EXPLAINING THIS TO ME, I WILL BE DOING THIS LATER. I THINK THE AUTO ISO COMPENSATOR, THAT GRAHAM MENTIONED, IS ONLY ON NIKON CAMERAS, FROM WHAT I HAVE READ, CANON HAVE NOT INTRODUCED THIS FUNCTION ON THEIR CAMERAS YET.

SO TO RECAP, I TURN THE DIAL UNTIL "A" IS DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN / VIEWFINDER, OTHERWISE TURN TO 800 OR 1600 ISO

CHRISA THANK YOU AGAIN YOUR HELP AND ADVICE IS MUCH APPRECIATED

GRAHAM, THANK YOU ALSO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR HELP, AGAIN MUCH APPRECIATED
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Old 14-07-2011, 22:53   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOODY View Post

SO TO RECAP, I TURN THE DIAL UNTIL "A" IS DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN / VIEWFINDER, OTHERWISE TURN TO 800 OR 1600 ISO
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Yep that's it. I don't think Canon is quite the same as Nikon on the ISO front just yet.

Really just play around with the ISO to get a decent shutter speed. Keeping the ISO as low as possible to get a sharp shot is your best bet. I use AV mode mostly myself and "A" is available in that on my 50D.

Don't know what shooting mode you use. But I'd go with AV then at least you control the aperture, and can see in the viewfinder/screen the shutter speed you get a various ISO settings and can work out if you're going to get a reasonable shutter speed for your lens.
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Old 31-07-2011, 22:02   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

I will vote for the canon 85mm f1.8, this lens will amaze you by the result.

Good Luck...
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Old 03-08-2011, 15:27   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Canon 85mm f1.8 v canon 50mm f1.4

No I think you've taken a wise decision with buying the sigma 50m 1.4
It's results are better then the canon or nikon and with plays of the kids, you're never that far away. I've found that my nikon 85mm is to close by to get good pics.
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