|fuji x-pro1 via http://gizmodo.com/5874060/fujis-gorgeous-x+pro-1-pictured-in-all-its-metal-glory|
The fuji x-pro 1 camera is expected to start shipping around the end of March, and although $1700 is not cheap (body only—around $600 more per lens), it's about $5300 less than a Leica M9—the dream that is absolutely out of reach for my budget. Not that it's in the same league. For one thing, the fuji x-pro 1 is not a full-frame sensor. But it does have that classic rangefinder styling, a sensor that supposedly pushes it into Canon 5D Mark II quality, hd video, etc. etc. I'm not a tech blog, so I won't even try to go into specs. For that, I recommend dpreview's thorough preview. My point is that this is the most exciting new street photography camera (at least that's what I'd use it for) since the fuji x100.
But can I justify getting a the fuji x-pro 1 when I already have a Canon 5D Mark II? I'm trying to convince myself that I can't. Hence, the re-direct. I usually carry around a 24-70L lens (my favorite) and a 70-200L lens. They're such versatile lenses that I have never bothered to get a 50mm lens. But suddenly it seems like the perfect solution to stave of the higher-end cravings. If you don't already have a decent 50mm lens, watch this video (this guy has the best camera videos on Youtube):
For me, the idea of getting a lens that is less bulky, well suited to street photography, and fast (i.e. low f-number) at a good price, might be the perfect redirect. Getting a new lens is almost like getting a new camera. I could go cheap:
50 mm f1.8 II for only $118. Out of more than 1,800 reviews on Amazon, it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. The pro/con boils down to "sharp, fast, inexpensive" vs. "great images, poor build quality." Some say it "feels like a toy" (I'm sure that the all-plastic construction doesn't help much). In some ways, the "toy" aspect, which extends to high susceptibility to flare, might be a plus, if you're going for that look.
50mm f1.4 USM for $399. A lot users report that it is not very sharp when it's wide open, but once you get to f2 it looks great. You may have to go up to f2.8 to get a really sharp picture without soft edges, which is kind of frustrating when you thought you were buying f1.4. dpreview gives it a "highly recommended" rating. More comparisons (with images) between the f1.8 and f1.4 at photo.net
Finally, there's the much more expensive option, the 50mm f1.2 L. But at $1500, it defeats my purpose of getting something new without spending too much. Although it's superior (it had better be at that price) in most ways, it is apparently not as sharp as you would expect.