Saturday, February 2, 2013

Canon 50mm f/1.4 vs Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (Kit Lens)

Hello there,

These are actually the only two lenses that I currently own. First, the kit lens that came with the camera and I've had the pleasure to add the notorious 50mm f/1.4 to my possession very recently.

Until I got my Rebella, I had absolutely no clue about digital DSLR and barely anything about photography. But acquiring Rebella forced me to do more research, which led to new discoveries and broaden my understanding about photography. I honestly wished I had done a bit more research prior to getting my camera but that's ok because I'm still pretty happy about it.

So the big difference between the two is the aperture. On the left the 50mm f/1.4 has a much wider opening, which allows more light to come through. This makes the lens perfect for low light situation.
The 50 mm f/1.4 is also a prime lens, which means that it has the same focal length. Whereas, the kit lens is a zoom lens that gives you a range of focal length. It is more versatile.
Why would anyone want a fixed focal length you might say? Well, they are faster and deliver better picture quality. The only problem is you'll have to move around with them.
I wasn't too thrilled when I first tried out the 50mm f/1.4. Don't get me wrong, the picture quality is outstanding but because I am using a cropped sensor camera, taking photos indoor wasn't easy. I always find myself stepping back. Minimum focusing distance for the 50mm f/1.4 is 45 cm or 1.5 ft.
Another nice thing about the 50 mm f/1.4 is that it creates a really nice bokeh.
The built quality on the 50 mm f/1.4 is also much nicer and sturdier. The kit lens is light and has a plastic mount. 

Bottom line is the kit lens is good for general shooting. It's a bit slow at focusing so it works best for still life. Doesn't perform well under low-light. Sharpness and picture quality is average to good.
The 50 mm f/1.4 is ideal for portraits and low light situation. It produces greater image quality though it doesn't have the versatility of a zoom lens. If you love the blurred background effect, this is the lens for you. Maybe inconvenient for indoor shooting, especially on a cropped sensor.

With that being said, I am now debating on which lens to purchase next. I'm considering a wide angle lens or a zoom lens with a wide aperture.

Let me know if you have any questions.


  1. Thanks for this post! Perhaps I shall consider the 50mm for my next lens option. I already love the bokeh and image quality difference my pancake gives compared to the kit lens so I'll probably really love the bokeh from the 50mm :D

    I've been trying to figure out what cropped sensor camera means. Could you maybe explain it?

    1. On a cropped sensor, the view on the 50mm is a bit magnified, which is why I find it a bit inconvenient for indoor shooting. A cropped sensor camera is a camera that has a smaller sensor therefore you can fit less into the frame. All the Canon Rebel are cropped sensor. Full frame cameras are usually used by professionals and are much more expensive because they have a larger sensor. You can read more about it here

  2. have the same ones :)loove your latest addition lense!


    1. Thanks. May I ask what other lens you use? I'm just curious as to which one people generally prefer to use.

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  4. Nice blog! ;))