New Camera: Canon 5D and the 50mm f1.4

So I finally made my decision and bought a new/used Canon 5D from a fellow KC photographer named Mike Varel (www.mikevarel.com). Funny how small the world is: I posted a listing on Craigslist stating I was looking to buy a used 5D, and Mike emailed me to say he was looking to sell his, and when I googled his name and found his website it turned out he shot the engagement photos of a co-worker of mine.

I was relieved to close the deal with somebody I shared a common acquaintance with, both for peace of mind and convenience. He had only bought the camera this past Novemeber and used it really for one destination wedding, but had decided to upgrade to the 5D Mark 2 at some point so that was why he was selling the 5D. So I basically got my hands on a practically brand new Canon 5D for an amazing bargain.

So of course the camera is great, but I also decided to rent a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens to see if it would be worth it to upgrade from my 50mm 1.8. With the full sized sensor on the 5D I have been able to find far more use and convenience with using a 50mm prime lens. In fact, I’ve owned the 1.8 for five years now, since I got my first Digital Rebel in ’04, but the 1.6 crop factor proved stifling and it basically sat stuffed in my bag with very little use, but the 5D has enabled me to truely discover the value of a prime lens. But I also began to discover the limitations of the 1.8, including the harsh bokeh and ESPECIALLY the poor, flat colors. Of course, it only cost $90 so it has that going for it, but I wanted to know if the 1.4 would be worth the $400 price tag (the 1.2 sells for about $1500…um, no).

The answer to the 1.4 was yes, definitely. There is no contest between the 1.4 and the 1.8. I fell in love with the 1.4. I’m also considering the 85mm 1.8 as another prime lens, as well. It’s interesting that after five years of shooting with a dSLR I’m finally coming around to primes. Here’s a shot I took over the weekend with the 1.4 rental:


I just love how sharp the lens makes the subject and the beautiful bokeh (background blur). However, it seems this is quite a popular lens and therefore sold out in at least one local store, so getting my hands on a copy to buy might be challenging…

UPDATE: February 24th. I bought one 🙂 I am now putting up my 1.8 for sale on eBay, as well as my Sigma 10-20 wide lens that I will not be needing anymore.

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