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Old 12-16-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
ariamac
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Should I buy a 50mm f/1.8 OR photopass?

I'm going to WDW next month solo!! And I need to decide between buying:

a 50mm f/1.8 lens (I'd finally be able to decent night and dark ride photos!!! )

or

photopass (since I'm going solo, this should come in handy).

Both these options cost the same but I don't want to splurge on both. I know the lens will come in handy in the future but photopass allows me to actually be in some pictures!! Is it unreasonable to ask every photopass person I encounter to take some photos of me with my own camera?? (If I do forego photopass).

What would you do if you were me?
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Last edited by ariamac; 12-16-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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Not unreasonable. I would definitely get the lens and give your camera to the photo pass photographers. That's what we always do, and it's never been a problem!
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
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I'd go for the lens myself. But then I never buy the photopass.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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I would also have the same thought about going for the 1.8 lens. I have only had 1 pp take a bad pic with my camera.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:27 PM   #5
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50mm and hand it to the PP guy?

In many instances you don't have the ability to back up that far, not even close.

The 1.8 50mm is dirt cheap, I can see why so many people put it in their kit. However, I am glad I listened to others and didn't buy it for the trip. Way too long of a reach for taking pics at PP range.

I got a f2.8 17-50 Sigma OS lens (yes, at 599 it's 6 times the price) but I used it so much. I also got amazing shots without a flash and some great ride photos too.

Obviously a few rides, like HM, the 2.8 lens was next to useless but I knew that going into it. I'm not sure the 1.8 at 50mm would hav ebeen any better though. It's not fast enough, especially not at the shutter speeds you'd need for a 50mm lens range.

Given my recent (3 weeks now) visit and having PP+ and my T4i with a f2.8 lens, I'd say skip the PP (unless you want the + part) and get the better lens, just not the f1.8 50mm.

As to PhotoPass, my T4i, strait out the camera and not even with any post processing were head and shoulders above anything the PP people did.

Seriously, I took handheld shots of my family in front the townhall area where the nutcracker set up is, side by side with the tripod mounted camera and my pictures were all sharp and clear, properly exposed wife and kids and the castle and the wreaths and the nutcrackers and the photopass pics are barely passable.

I'm going to complain tomorrow and see what I can do about atleast a partial refund (considering I did get meal and ride photos because of the +), the quality of pictures were average, to worse, to horrendous.

FWIW, I did have the PP guy use my camera too a few times. Again, the PP people with my camera, did fine (I already set it up for them, so that's not saying much), using their cameras? Awful.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:11 AM   #6
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If you are looking for a lens for the dark rides, you might find the 50 a little tight on an APS-C camera. I usually recommend something in the 30-35mm range. I use the Sigma 30 f1.4 which currently sells for $439 @ B & H.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:18 AM   #7
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You can always do a photopass share. There is a Facebook group dedicated to setting up shares. We just did one and it worked out wonderfully. Probably wasn't needed since I love to take pictures, but we did get a few great ones with me actually in the picture, too! LOL It was only $20 and the lady in charge of our group will send me a cd with only our family pics on it. That way you can have the best of both worlds
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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I'd personally go for the lens (and unlike the other posters on here so far, I DO purchase PhotoPass on every trip). I agree that handing your camera to the PP photographer with a 50 mm lens may pose some practicality issues, however this is not the only lens you are taking with you, I assume.

I do not have the 35 mm and although I found the 50 mm a bit tight in some dark rides, it was fine for parades and most other situations for me. It would depend on the kind of shots you are looking for. I love my 50 mm, however I do find it a little soft wide open and tend to shoot at a max aperture of F2.2 - 2.8 for the most part.

I do think however, to cover a wider variety of situations that you would do better taking the advice of those who suggested the 35 mm, which will give you a little more flexibility. I don't own a 35 mm and have not felt the need to purchase one, but if it's your only 'fast' lens, this may give you a bit more bang for your buck, even though it is slightly more expensive.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:42 AM   #9
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thank you everyone... and no I do not plan on giving my 50mm to the pp to take a photo, I am bringing my kit lens (18-55mm). I am planning to use the 50mm to night time pics around the park (not particularly of me), dark rides, parades, etc.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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I agree with others on no PP. I just don't like the quality I of their pics. I do agree that 50mm on rides is right. The sigma 35mm is a great lens like another said. That would be great for both rides and parades and then crop in. Have to careful when wide open on the 50mm cause the dof is so small. One small move off an area when in tight will blur out what u might need. Going wider when taking pics say during a parade if able to get wide wont be as much of an issue. And that's if u can even get back enough to get wide enough.

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:40 AM   #11
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I agree with others that the 50mm can sometimes be tight, but when also considering the price, it's a great value.
Personally, my 50mm/1.7 is my favorite portrait lens.
It is useful on Disney dark rides, though you will be a bit too tight for some shots. Still, it will let you get plenty of good shots.
And it will be an ok focal length for outdoor nighttime shots.
I have the Tamron 17-50/2.8, but I prefer my 50:1.7 unless I really need to go wide.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 mentioned is an awesome lens.

But I'm going to address the 50mm on a crop camera on rides. Is it tight at times? Yes. But it's totally workable if you know what you're going in with. It's what I use most of the time. The one place I do find it just a little long to the point where it's unworkable is at character meals because you just can't back up in some of those places.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:31 PM   #13
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I agree in that the 50 is tight on some rides for crop sensor cameras. But for under $200 you cant go wrong. I used to use the 35 f1.8 for a D5100 and thought it was great indoors but rather short outdoors for isolating my DD's without being in their faces. On my last WDW trip I think I used the 35 FL for less than 100 shots out of ~2000 shots. I usually used my 17-50/2.8 or Rokinon fisheye. I just love the widestpwidest possible for Disney.

For nighttime shots I would prefer the 18-55 and tripod over the 50 anyday.

Last edited by HPS3; 12-17-2012 at 06:33 PM. Reason: left out a sentence
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #14
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Personally I would go for the lens, rather than spend money on PP. I just do not find the quality of the PP pics to be remarkably average.

I do agree with others regarding a 50mm lens and dark rides. It is possible to take some decent dark ride pictures with a 50mm lens...however, it will require you to "anticipate" your shots. If something unexpectedly pops up in your line of sight, you might find your self unable to compose the shot to your liking.

During my last trip to Disneyland I used 14-24mm, 24-70mm, and even a 70-200mm lenses on various rides. The 70-200mm was possible in large dark rides like Pirates of the Carribean. I could anticipate my shots in advance, and frame the shot to my liking.

So it is possible to use a 50mm and have some success...simply understand that sometimes you may find things a little tight and be unable to get the shot you want.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:26 PM   #15
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Get the lens.

The PhotoPass photographers will be confused by a prime lens, but just explain to them that it doesn't zoom (you'll have to do this most times) and they'll have to step back.
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