Few days ago I found a great deal in an Indonesian camera e-shop. A three month rarely-use second hand Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 at its best; like new, hood includedd, high quality UV filter, and still on warranty until next November with an amount off around 25% from its new price. From the very beginning I would like to state that I actually don't like to talk about gears. But I think this might be helpful for anyone who are considering to purchase a Canon normal lens, whether its the 50mm f/1.8, 50mmf/1.4, or the expensive 50mm f/1.2 L.
When the package arrive the first thing that I notice is the build quality is much better than 50mm f/1.8 that I used in the last few years. Yesterday, when I was on the way to Bukittinggi, I give it a try in a real shooting situation. The autofocus is faster (thanks for the USM) and felt slightly more accurate at wide open. However, it felt a bit softer wide open. So I decided to stop it down a little bit to f/1.6. And the result is noticeable.
I don't like shopping for gears unless I really need them. In this case, I think 50mm f/1.4 is my best bet for the future (field of view in 50mm is one of my favorite). It's a stop faster than 50mm f/1.8 (I usually use this much cheaper lens in f/2.0 since the focus is horribly innaccurate and softer at f/1.8). So I hope this lens will expand my shooting possibilities in lower light situation. A quick fact, the color & contrast almost identical between the f/1.4 and the f/1.8. So if color is the only consideration, you can depend on the Ef 50mm f/1.8. Stop it down to f/2, and go on shooting.
What? A 50mm f/1.2 L? I don't ever think about it.
I will keep you posted for the future report.