If you’re a frequent reader of the site then you’ve probably seen at least a few of the “What’s in My Bag” posts. Today, we are going to take a quick look at the gear that I (Mike Pouliot) am using at the moment. If you’re like me, then you spend lots of time researching equipment before pulling the trigger on a new “toy”, so feel free to post any questions you may have about the gear that I’m using in the comments section below.
If you’re a Canon or Nikon shooter, you have a pretty vast selection of lenses to choose from. Most people tend to gravitate towards lenses that are made by the same manufacturer as their body. When I first started shooting, I looked like a walking advertisement for Canon…they should have been paying me. Over time, I found that third party products can be just as good or better than the “brand name” products. Over the past year or so, I’ve developed a curiosity with Zeiss optics. I love the build quality and the attention to detail. The Distagon 35mm f/1.4 is truly a wonderful lens, but it’s out of most hobbyist’s price range. Luckily, Zeiss’ Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 is less than half of the price of its 35mm cousin.
So can the 50mm hang with the rest of Zeiss’ products? Let’s find out.
Regardless of what you shoot or what brand of equipment you use, almost everyone owns or has owned a 50mm prime lens. The 50mm focal length is very close to what our eyes actually see so it feels natural to use this lens. But I think the number one reason most people own a 50mm is they are an amazing value. Both Nikon and Canon make wonderful 50mm f/1.8 lenses for less than $125. It’s crazy not to have a 50mm at that price! My 50mm basically lives on my 5D, I hardly ever take it off. If you’re like me and you’re constantly using your 50mm lens, you’ve probably thought about upgrading your cheap 50mm to something faster, more solidly built and something that can produce nicer bokeh. Enter the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM.
My first lens review with The Phoblographer was on the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. I truly enjoyed shooting with that lens and if I was in the market for an 85mm prime, Sigma would get my money. An 85mm lens is great for portraits but I, like many other people, find 50mm to be a more useful focal length for everyday shooting. Luckily for me, Sigma offered to lend me the 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM to test out. If this performs as good as its 85mm sibling, my wallet may be lighter by the end of this review. [click to continue…]