50mm Portraits

I have always had a love-hate relationship with my Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM. On the one hand it is razor sharp in the right conditions with buttery bokeh and a large maximum aperture. On the other hand, as one of Canon’s older lenses in the lineup, the build quality isn’t fantastic, they are prone to mechanical failures and I’ve found the auto-focus (the older micro usm motor)  inconsistent, even when selecting an AF point. I have often found myself swapping to the EF-S 60mm macro as I found it more comfortable on the lens, with quicker, better autofocus, very sharp stopped down and with superior build quality.

After some conversations with Stephanie Belton she inspired me to persevere with the 50mm, ditching the flash I often used with it and upping the ISO to compensate. In the past I’ve been reluctant to push the ISO too high, mainly through experiences of using 400/800 film and higher sensitivies on my old 350D which often made the images unusable, but actually they are very usable on modern D-SLR’s.

So over the easter break I tried to keep the 50mm on as much as possible, for general walk around use and when inside. I also took out the batteries from my Speedlite to remove the temptation to use it!

You can see some of my favourites above, taken throughout the week and you can see the rest in my gallery

Next mini project – 50mm x 50mm Portraits shot at 50mm?!


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