Close
Close
Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1
    tinusvdb is offline :-)
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    39

    Default Canon 50mm f1.8 II Tips

    I recently purchased a Canon 50mm f1.8 II lens to use on my 500d. I started off with big expectations as I have only heard good things about using these lenses, but find that I battle to get good shots. I generally use my camera on aperture priority. Please give me some tips on how to use this lens to its full potential. Some "DO's" and "DONT'S" if you will. What apertures to use for different kinds of scenes etc.

    Thanks
    Tinus van den Berg
    Canon 500d
    18-55 IS
    55-250IS
    EF50mm f1.8 II

  2. #2
    inkista's Avatar
    inkista is offline Gear Geek Girl
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    San Diego CA, USA
    Posts
    11,155

    Default

    Ok, here are mine:

    1) Only use the lens wide open (at f/1.8) if you really really HAVE to. Stopping down the lens to f/2 or f/4 will make the lens sharper, and give you more DoF to work with. Don't worry, you'll still be blurring out the background. Using f/1.8 is an extreme. The lens's sweet spot is f/4-f/5.6.

    2) You probably still have to increase the iso if you're shooting inside the house without flash. Don't worry, it' s a big sensor. iso 800 won't hurt as much as you might think it will.

    3) Try using a single AF point if you're having trouble locking focus where you want it. Telling the camera where to focus is better than letting the camera choose. Make sure you get AF confirmation before hitting the shutter button. Focusing is more critical when you have a thinner DoF.

    4) Remember the 1/focal_length rule. This lens doesn't have IS. Your shutter speed should probably be at 1/60s or faster to eliminate camera shake if you're handholding. And that assumes you know how to hold your camera (don't laugh. Every time I go to the zoo I see at least a half dozen SLR shooters who have it wrong).

    5) Aim for an area of high contrast (ideally a black-meets-white edge that's sharp). The autofocus works better with high contrast than with low.

    6) Don't forget you don't have to use this lens to get a blurred background. You can stop this lens down to f/16 for landscape or street shooting, too.
    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

  3. #3
    tinusvdb is offline :-)
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    39

    Default Thanks

    Hey inkista,

    Wow, I did not expect such a good response so soon. Thanks very much, I will try keep all of the above in mind when I shoot again.

    I have put my 18-55mm kit lens back in the box to force me to try figure out the 50mm, as the wide angle of the kit lens is very tempting and I keep switching back to it.
    Tinus van den Berg
    Canon 500d
    18-55 IS
    55-250IS
    EF50mm f1.8 II

  4. #4
    tinusvdb is offline :-)
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    39

    Default Exposure

    I have found that I need to underexpose about 2/3 stops, do you have to do anything like that ?
    Tinus van den Berg
    Canon 500d
    18-55 IS
    55-250IS
    EF50mm f1.8 II

  5. #5
    NewGirl13's Avatar
    NewGirl13 is offline dPS Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lawton, OK
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Very helpful tips! I've been shooting with my 50mm a lot lately and I'll definietly be implementing some of that advice.
    Canon 450D
    Canon 18-55mm | Canon 10-22mm | Canon 70-300mm | Canon 50mm

    "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words." - Ansel Adams

  6. #6
    enfox14 is offline :)
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    18

    Default

    I also just got this lens and my biggest problem is remembering to move back far enough so that I don't cut off the top of my subject's head. It is difficult to do in small rooms. For example:

    IMG_2043

  7. #7
    inkista's Avatar
    inkista is offline Gear Geek Girl
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    San Diego CA, USA
    Posts
    11,155

    Default

    Yeah, that's what people mean when they say that a 50mm lens is long on a crop, or too long on a crop body for portrait shooting indoors. It all depends on your personal preference in terms of working distance. You might be more comfortable with the EF 35mm f/2, EF 28mm f/1.8 USM or Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM instead, but all of those lenses are more expensive than the 50/1.8 II, which is why they typically don't get recommended to a newbie who isn't sure a prime is for them.

    I keep hoping Canon will eventually come out with a $200 EF-S 35mm f/1.8 USM lens for crop shooters, like Nikon did.
    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic GX-7. flickr stream and equipment list

  8. #8
    V8Demon's Avatar
    V8Demon is offline I heart Drag Racing
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I currently have my SECOND copy of this lens as I was a bit clumsy one evening and shattered my first one.

    While the current copy I have is very sharp I feel my first copy was better; especially wide open.


    For example; this is a wide open hand held shot with my first one....


    Camera Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS
    Image Date: 2009-04-17 13:55:36 (no TZ)
    Focal Length: 50.0mm
    Aperture: f/1.8
    Exposure Time: 0.0003 s (1/3200)
    ISO equiv: 200
    Exposure Bias: +0.67 EV
    Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto)
    White Balance: Manual
    Flash Fired: No (enforced)
    Orientation: Normal
    Color Space: sRGB
    GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
    -- 05 Mustang GT-Whipplecharged !! -- 87 5.0 Trick Flow Heads & Intake - Custom cam - many other goodies - 3100Lbs http://www.flickr.com/photos/v8demon/


  9. #9
    tinusvdb is offline :-)
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I would have expected the background to be completely blurred ? When I shoot at 1.8 the dof is REALLY shallow. I mean If I remember correctly the photo below was taken at f/4 and the background is blurred a lot.

    IMG_5936
    Tinus van den Berg
    Canon 500d
    18-55 IS
    55-250IS
    EF50mm f1.8 II

  10. #10
    V8Demon's Avatar
    V8Demon is offline I heart Drag Racing
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Focus distance plays a factor in DOF.
    -- 05 Mustang GT-Whipplecharged !! -- 87 5.0 Trick Flow Heads & Intake - Custom cam - many other goodies - 3100Lbs http://www.flickr.com/photos/v8demon/


Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in