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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1204041 Apr 18, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.57
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.93
8.71
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_

Specifications:
Standard lens featuring superb quality and portability. Two high-refraction lens elements and new Gaussian optics eliminate astigmatism and suppress astigmatic difference. Crisp images with little flare are obtained even at the maximum aperture.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 50mm 1:1.4
Lens Construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 46
Focus Adjustment: Overall linear extension system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.45m / 1.5 ft.
Filter Size: 58mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.9" x 2.0", 10.2 oz. / 73.8 x 50.5mm, 290g


 


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mmphoto
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Registered: May 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, sharp and an incredible value. I am really pleased withe the quality of the faster aperture images.
Cons:
only that everyone wants to borrow it.

If you do not yet own a prime lens, get this lens. On a FF camera it is a fantastic walk around lens. On a 20D it is a great lens for portraits. We have run tests against L series zooms like the 24-70 @ 50mm and there is no contest in the way the images punch off the frame @ 2.8. Add to that extended aperture range and you find yourself getting risky natural light shots that were never a possibilty with the zooms. Favorite lens in my kit and it rarely comes off. If I have another kid, I am naming him or her "fifty one four".

Sep 27, 2005
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sino408
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Registered: Dec 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 903
Review Date: Sep 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: USM (only micro-USM), fast, metal lens mount, depth of field scale/distance scale.
Cons:
slightly soft wide open

I was getting sick and tired of my 50mm 1.8 being so ridiculously soft when wide open to the point that I decided to buy this lens to see if the 1.4-1.8 would help. Since I am able to afford this lens, I figured there's nothing I can lose. Now I wonder why I didn't buy this lens earlier.

The lens actually "looks" better than the picture you see on top. It's very robust compared to the 1.8 version. It has a true focus ring that is coupled to a distance/depth of field scale so it makes focusing much easier. The metal lens mount also helps with the durability.

The lens is relatively heavier than the 1.8 version - bigger glass is required to make the aperture bigger. The lens also has a bayonet hood mount, though the front element is recessed deep into the lens to the point that I think simply using your hand to shade the lens will be sufficient. I haven't tested out any ghosting or flaring but from what others have said, it's expected to be better than the 1.8 version.

I would say get one and test it out to see if you personally like it. I should've made the purchase earlier. I'm selling my 1.8 right this moment.


Sep 23, 2005
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amsdesign
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Registered: Sep 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp past f/2.5, quiet, moderately fast USM, nice weight, great bokeh.
Cons:
Not very sharp at f/1.4, AF could be a bit faster.

I just bought this lens yesterday, and I definately recommend this lens to anyone who wants a good lens and wants one relatively cheap. At 1.4 this lens has such a small DOF it is really hard to get things in focus, especially when you are trying to focus on something small, I think I would need to use a tripod if I wanted to get the best image possible.

The thing that really blew me away about this lens was when I set it to f/5.0 and shot in low light, the image was so sharp I could barelly believe my eyes! It was incredible, I put the image on my computer screen and it looked as if I was actually seeing through my camera lens, I cant explain it. Again, this lens is PERFECT for anyone on a budget.


Sep 22, 2005
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xmattkx
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5034
Review Date: Sep 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, Wide, Nice build quality
Cons:
Expensive for a non-L, slower USM than ring-type USM lenses

I had this lens when I first got my 20D, then I sold it to purchase a 50/1.8 and some other stuff... Well, I have since returned the 1.8 and picked this one back up. The result are so sharp, and @ ISO 400 on my 20D it allows for spectacular shots without a flash.
This is probably my favorite lens in my bag and it's my only non-L!!!!


Sep 13, 2005
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 366
Review Date: Sep 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb colour, excellent in every way.
Cons:
None at all.

I use this on my trusty old D30. I do a lot of photography in dimly lit recording studios for website and magazine use and this lens is superb in these conditions. It's the best lens that I've used so far and is well worth the money. If I could have just one lens this is it.



Sep 7, 2005
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klam
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1694
Review Date: Aug 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Tact sharp and excellent color., at f/2.0 this lens is very very sharp. Pretty compact and light. The cheapest f/1.4 lens you can buy I believe. Micro USM is decent, it focuses quiety and has full-time manual override, but doesn't seem quite as fast as Ring USM. Excellent portrait lens for 1.6x crop cameras. Better build than the other Canon 50mm primes.
Cons:
Fairly expensive, when compared to its cheaper sibling the 50mm f/1.8, which is a good performer nonetheless. On 1.6x crop cameras, this lens is effectively has an 80mm lens FOV, which makes it tight for indoor use other than portraits/people shots.

I previously had the cheaper 50mm f/1.8 II sibling and probably never thought of the day I would trade up for the f/1.4 version. In some ways I am glad I did, and at other times I'm not quite sure why I blew the extra money.

The problem is that the f/1.8 is a fine lens and for $70 USD its hard to beat. Yet, for some reason or another I ended up buying this lens at $275 USD even though the f/1.8 gave me good results.

I began being very fond of quiet and fast USM focusing, which was obviously the first knock against the f/1.8 lens. Although this lens does not have a full Ring USM system, it is unique in that it is one of a few Canon lenses utilizing the Micro USM system. The exception being that this lens has a full-time manual override, unlike the other Micro USM lenses. For all intensive purposes, it is exactly like Ring USM, though slower I find.

Optically this lens is a beauty. Wide open it is not superb, but will allow you to get some really narrow DOF or low light shooting. At f/2.0 this lens really starts to pick up and sharpness is fantastic. Color richness and contrast are also superb, and on par with output from "L" lenses.

Compared to the cheaper 50mm prime, this lens also utilizes a 8-blade aperture, giving smoother bokeh (out of focus area). A minor detail but nice.

I believe this lens is sharper than the 50mm f/1.8 from f/1.8 to f/2.8 -- and of course can be used below f/1.8 down to f/1.4. Above f/2.8 it becomes hard to discern the differences in sharpness between the two 50mm primes. One area where the 50mm f/1.8 falls behind is in color. Colors seem richer and more contrasty with the 50mm f/1.4.

On a 1.6x crop camera, the 50mm lens effectively becomes a lens with an 80mm FOV. This makes it tight for indoor shots other than people/portraits. For people/portraits this lens is excellent. I love using it primarily for capturing people/portraits at social gatherings, parties, dinners, etc.

Even though this lens is comparatively more expensive, I have no hesitation in recommending it. It really is an excellent lens. However, if you don't mind some of the 50mm f/1.8's well-documented flaws you will be just as happy with the $70 USD 50mm f/1.8.


Aug 31, 2005
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marco3334
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Registered: Jul 22, 2003
Location: N/A
Posts: 5
Review Date: Aug 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: bokeh, ultra sharp, better construction
Cons:
can't think of any

After doing some test shots at the camera store, I never let it off my camera. My new walkaround lens.

Aug 29, 2005
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johnhopkins
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Registered: Aug 17, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 59
Review Date: Aug 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp from f/2.8, USM, FTM, Bokeh, Good portrait lens on 1.6x digital, light weight, cheap.
Cons:
Not really usable at f/1.4. Soft at f/2.

I did a series of tripod-mounted test shots recently at 50mm with the 50 f/1.4 against the Canon 24-70L, Canon 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 DG. Perhaps not surprisingly the 50 f/1.4 was sharper than all the zooms, but I was surprised how well it performed even against the 24-70L. The 50 f/1.4 was as sharp at f/2.8 as the 24-70L at f/8 (its sweet spot). The JPEGs produced with the prime were ~5% larger than the L-series zoom at any given aperture between f2.8 and f/8 (the gap narrowed at f/11 and was gone at f/16) and this difference in file size was visible to the eye as extra detail.

The performance of the 50 f/1.4 against the Canon kit zoom lens was even better and against the Sigma it was simply no contest.

Centre sharpness at f/2 is OK but the edges are soft and the colour and contrast is going. I would not want to use this lens at f/1.4.

I got his lens for its low-light performance and it delivers outstanding results at f/2.8 in a lightweight and low-cost package. The sharpness from f/2.8-11 is a sensational bonus and I would strongly recommend this lens to anyone.


Aug 25, 2005
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m3elmo
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Registered: Aug 16, 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, worth of being "L" sharp. USM, FTM
Cons:
harder to master this lens with the shallow DOF. but that's not the products fault now is it!

Very good lens, and the sharpest in my bag. For the money it's an excellent value. The background blur is fantastic on this as well. At F1.8 you can take pictures in very low light settings, although the AF will hunt a bit. Build quality is good as well.

Aug 20, 2005
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coolbobo
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Registered: Mar 5, 2005
Location: China
Posts: 2
Review Date: Aug 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Full-time manual focus although you don't really need it as it focuses bang on every time,
Cons:
None

close to "L" in quality, great for portraits assuming it is effectively 80mm (50mm x 1.6), solid colours, light weight

Aug 15, 2005
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bret
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Registered: Nov 11, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 72
Review Date: Aug 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $310.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small and light weight. Fast. Sharp. Able to create shallow depth of field.
Cons:
The front element extends out when focusing.

It is only a little wider than what my eyes see, so it is very easy to anticipate and frame a shot. Cheap f/1.4 for low light use. The autofocus works fine.
I haven't seen much of any chromatic aberation, even when shooting at trees with the sun in the background.


Aug 13, 2005
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M-E-P
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Registered: Jun 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 939
Review Date: Aug 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, Sharp as a tack, Light weight,
Cons:
none

this is a fantastic Lens. this Lens LIVES on my camera for most of my shooting when I'm not working (Kids Sports). I have shot some great candid portraits with this lens. Nice Bokeh and GREAT DOF. there should be one of these in EVERY camera bag.

Aug 12, 2005
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smpetty
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Registered: Feb 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1542
Review Date: Jul 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: tack sharp, L-quality images at a bargain price
Cons:
none

Just got back from the Bahamas on a family trip. I took my best lenses including mostly L primes from 24 to 400mm. I used all of the lenses and took boatloads (pun intended) of photos. When I sat down to review the images, I was blown away to find that the 50 f/1.4 was as a rule sharper and better in color and contrast than it's "L" 24mm and 35mm cousins. The pictures from this lens were simply perfect, even wide open. No CA, no softness, just perfection.

This lens (along with the Canon 85 f/1.8 and the Canon EF-S 10-22) is a must buy bargain from Canon. Highly recommended!


Jul 31, 2005
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Pell
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Registered: Apr 26, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1594
Review Date: Jul 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, Light, Decent Build Quality, FAST, USM Motor, excellent for the price. Almost L quality.
Cons:
None! Simply perfect.

I bought this lens used, and had read reviews on this site about its sharpness @ 1.4 . Well, they were right, but the sharpness @ 1.4 is still quite good. It wouldnt make ANY difference on a 4x6 print. Only pixel peepers would really have a problem with it.

This lens is small, fast, and built well. The images themselves are excellent, the bokeh is gorgeous. The only thing I noticed, is wide open below F2, the Purple Fringing can get bad. (on extreme contrasy highlights) . Otherwise its perfect for the price you pay.


Jul 29, 2005
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makron
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Registered: Jun 30, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 399
Review Date: Jul 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Nice background blur or bokeh. AF is adequate. Sharp from f2.8 onwards.
Cons:
Soft at f1.4 and CA is present.

I love the perspective of the 50mm lens on a 1.6x crop camera (20D).

AF: Low light focusing is OK. I didn't experience any excessive focus hunting in low light condition. Focusing speed although not as fast as the L or ring type USM lens, it's however, fast enough for my purpose ie. Candid shots.

Sharpness: Soft at f1.4 and f2. CA also present at these 2 apertures. But lens get significantly better from f2.8 onwards.

Built: No complaint here. Well build for a plastic lens.


Jul 25, 2005
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TFischer
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Registered: Oct 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 29
Review Date: Jul 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: f/1.4, sharp, great for low light situation, size and weight
Cons:
Somewhat difficult to attach with "fat" fingers. Focusing ring feel little loose.

This is great prime lens for many shooting situations but it really shines in low light (f1.4). Perfect for indoors pictures when flash or speedlite can not be used. I get 90% success rate with 20D, ISO set to 800 or 1600 with f/1.4. Great AF and sharpness even when wide open. For once I like the lens hood too Smile

Jul 5, 2005
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1204041 Apr 18, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.57
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.93
8.71
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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