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Do you own a 50mm lens?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Nope, Senator. I had a 50mm f2, so the f1.8 that followed it a year later was my first fast lens. :) Perfect generalisation!

    Cheers, Oly
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  2. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    And possibly a bendy 45mm for good measure......that's higher on my "would be nice to have" list than a 50mm at the moment.

    Took my 65mm for a nice walk today at a nearby wildlife reserve I just found out about. It's looking forward to getting lots of use again this year in my new-found beastie paradise :)
  3. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    No Canon 50mm f/0.95 then Nick? :)
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    No, would quite like one for fun. :)
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't object to a Nikon f1.2 and when I had Olympus kit their 1.2 would have been nice but I rarely use the 50 AF f1.4 so hard to justify another.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I must realised that I do - for my Bronica! All the advantages of the 50 mm focal length with a much bigger field of view !
  7. alindsay

    alindsay Well-Known Member

    About twenty. All the Yashica MLs from f/1.4 to f/2, with duplicates, in both CY and YAF. CY Planars f/1.4 and f/1.7 with duplicate, Yashinons and Tessars in M42, Canon EF, Nikon E, Olympus, Takumar, some R/F. I've re-discovered the 50 of late, and realised how much I like it.
  8. alfbranch

    alfbranch Well-Known Member

    I own a Zuiko 50mm f1.8 but only because it came with the 35 mm SLR I bought I do not get the hype about them myself.

    A 24mm or a 21mm would be more use.
  9. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    When it's all you've got, you make the most of it.

    We're no longer in that position, so a lot of the affection for the 50mm strikes me as affectation. The claim that a 50mm is better for sharpness than modern, medium range zoom lenses is, I think, open to question, as is the insistence that you need a fast fifty for available light work.
  10. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I have a modern standard zoom, a Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5, and a cheapo Canon 50mm MkII. The Sigma is very good giving more than acceptable sharpness and resolution, especially when stopped down a stop or more. The 50mm follows a similar pattern but the faster aperture does mean that the 50mm is sharper at f4 than the Sigma - which is wide open at 50mm. Stopped down by a stop or two brings the Sigma closer but at the same apertures the 50mm still just has the edge.

    Compared to a lens like the 24-70 F2.8L it's very likely there's nothing in it, indeed the zoom could even be better, but since it's several times the price of the nifty fifty one might say 'so it should be'...

    For low light work it may be less of an issue for those with digiboxes that are noise free at 6400 ISO but if, like me, you're still working with one(s) that get rough at 800 then a fast aperture can still make a difference.
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    For interchangeable lens cameras, at least (there may be others):

    Leica: 50/3.5 Elmar, 50/2.5 Summarit* (Frances's really), 50/2 Summitar (cracked)

    Voigtlander: 50/2.5 Color-Skopar

    Zeiss: 50/1.5 C-Sonnar* (Leica fit) 50/2.8 Tessar (Contaflex)

    Nikon: 50/2*, 50/1.8 manual, 50/1.8 AF*, 45/2.8

    Pentax: 50/1.4, 50/4

    Exakta: 58/2

    I used to have lots more but decided over the years that I didn't need them (Summar, Xenon, original Summarit, Summicron, more Elmars, Xenon, 1,2 Canon, Nokton, Micro-Nikkor...) The ones I have now are either lenses Frances or I use all the time (asterisked above); or the only 50s (or thereabouts) I have for the system in question; or not worth the effort of selling. Then there are at least half a dozen other fixed 50s for 35mm and several 50s or thereabouts for other formats (47-58, mostly Rodenstock and Schneider, for 6x7cm and 6x9cm).

    So, yes, I do have 50s. But WHO originated the ghastly phrase "nifty fifty" and why do people keep using it? I mean, it rhymes, but it has absolutely nothing else to recommend it. My own suspicion is that it originated with a partially literate "journalism graduate", probably in the USA, who tried to compensate for a complete lack of knowledge by creating a disgustingly memorable little rhyme.


  12. MartyG

    MartyG Well-Known Member

    Because Nifty Eighty-Five doesn't sound as good and plastic fantastic sounds cheap.

    I've got quite a few too - the Pentax f/1.7 is probably my favourite of these.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  13. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Try: "Survive with an eighty five".

    Contains just as much meaning and rhymes as well.
  14. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I think most of the hype comes from countless folk on here who aver that a prime lens is superior in quality to a zoom lens (although I suspect many of them would be hard-pressed to discern the difference in their normal output) and, perhaps more worryingly, by the "experts" in the printed pages of AP and other magazines who repeatedly make the same claim.

    And, of course, the fact that the AP editorial gurus choose to feature a Weekly Poll topic on the subject merely reinforces the notion.

    That is the hype. The attraction of the 50mm then arises from the fact that, for the major marques, it is ridiculously inexpensive (typically under £100 for a new lens) and, in reality, quite amazing value for money if the purchaser has a regular use for it.
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Well, yes, if your "normal output" is the internet or small prints, you'd be very hard pressed to tell the difference. Equally, if you're making big prints, or cropping, preferably after shooting at optimum aperture on a tripod, then a prime simply WILL be better.

    Look at it this way: the best zooms are now very good indeed, but not all zooms are the best zooms. A top-flight zoom will beat a mediocre prime. Primes are however a lot easier to make, and if you want maximum quality, a top flight prime will beat a top-flight zoom. By the same token, a medium-quality prime is likely to beat a medium-quality zoom, and will cost a lot less as well.

    There's no real "hype" involved. As you say yourself, 50mm primes give amazing quality for very little money. Along with speed.


  16. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Which is, I strongly suspect, 99.999% of the market for cameras today and, indeed, for the past 50 years.
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I own two, and would have owned three if a multi-lens, multi-camera, Exacta kit had not been pinched. I own an m42 Pentax super f1.4 Takuma purchased with a Spotmatic ll and a Nikkor f1.4 AF purchased with a Nikon F90. I still use the Nikkor with a D800, D7100 and D300. Of those three cameras I use it on the D300 most; Like the D300 camera it is on the expendable list.
    Should it be expended then I would buy a Sigma replacement unless Nikon gets their act together and sells a suitable competitor to the Sigma. Nikon's present 50mm f1.4 AF-S is good enough for me but it isn't really up to scratch for someone who is more discriminating. If they really are so keen on full frame then they need a standard 50mm that is very good and affordable to buyers of their cheapest full frame camera.
  18. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member


    I would have hoped that. for contributors to this Forum, the percentage would have been somewhat lower. But perhaps not.

    Sometimes your own words will come back to bite you on the bum.

    In a recent thread I suggested:

    To which you replied:

  19. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I'm in remarkably dense mode this evening.

    Are you saying I've been inconsistent?

    If so, I plead "kind of, not really, perhaps, not guilty".

  20. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    Yep. I've got one for the Nikon, the Pentax, the Canon (FD mount), the Minolta, and half a dozen or so in M42 mount. The Fujinon one is technically a 55mm, but who's counting?

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