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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Reviews Views Date of last review
349 541278 Feb 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $127.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.88
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_

Specifications:
This is the lightest EF lens of all at a mere 4.6 oz. (130g). Compact and high-performance, standard lens. Its Gaussian optics provide sharp delineation from near to far focusing distances. The color balance is excellent for a standard lens.


 


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Iceberg54
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Registered: Nov 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Oct 19, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: cheap
Cons:
cheap build, soft wide open , Af is a joke

The build is really cheap . It's soft wide open, but usable , better at 2.2 . But the Af is really a joke , it's hit or miss and it doesn't seem to matter how good the lighting is.
I've had a few copies , but the outcome has been the same for all of them. Sure it's cheap , but that doesn't make it a great lens.


Oct 19, 2010
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Dave_EP
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Registered: May 13, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1286
Review Date: Sep 28, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: It's Cheap.
Cons:
Soft, massive barrel distortion. The manual focus ring is not smooth and is right on the front of the lens.

I had one of these a couple of years ago, and remember it being better than this. I just recently came back to Canon from Nikon (for the video features) and the cheap Nikon 50 completely blows this one away, in build quality and IQ. Shame, because this is one of the most recommended lenses.

I took mine back and swapped for the f1.4 instead.


Sep 28, 2010
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kevandmel
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Registered: Sep 6, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $99.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: lightweight,compact and sharp.
Cons:
None. I can't see the fact that it's plastic being a con....c'mon its 100 bucks.

At this price as long as it mounts on my camera it’s worth it. The fact that it works as well as it does....icing on the cake.

Sep 7, 2010
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defleppard
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Registered: Aug 21, 2010
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 13
Review Date: Sep 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: great IQ, sharp, cheap
Cons:
for this price?? none really

you can't go wrong with this lens

Sep 1, 2010
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Snopchenko
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Registered: May 18, 2010
Location: Russia
Posts: 2099
Review Date: Jun 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: + sharp + compact + bright
Cons:
- pentagons in highlight bokeh - awful build quality

Seriously, this is one of the best Canon lenses. It's sharp, it's bright and it's lightweight / compact.

The only real downside is build quality. Mine got broken twice from falling onto something hard and had to be repaired the second time. Nevertheless, it still continues to provide sharp pictures.

Not a real downside, but I find myself using this lens only rarely since I got a 1D Mark II N. It has become a little short for facial portraits and many shots end up in no man's land between the wide angle and telephoto / portrait (just as I'm using this lens in between 17-35 and 70-200 zooms). But that's just my style of shooting, I guess.

I got it out again for the recent Cirque du Soleil shooting session. It's amazing that this little dude got me a few great shots over both L lenses I won.


Jun 26, 2010
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1710fx
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Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $105.00

 
Pros: Very sharp
Cons:
Plastic

For this money this is a sharp lens.
For twice this money I got two that both fell apart.
The front element disengaged completely from the body (and I am rather careful with my equipment).
So the next 50mm will be something else.


Jun 24, 2010
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ajitpalsingh
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Registered: Jan 27, 2009
Location: India
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $85.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp and cheap; value for money;
Cons:
Autofocus is very noisy; manual focus ring is not very practical;

Except for the optics (which is thankfully made of glass), every thing in this lens is plastic, even the mount. But no matter how cheap it may look and feel, the end results are mind blowing. Suitable for portrait and general purpose photography on a 35mm body, this lens can put others in its class to shame.

Few close shots I took on a cropped sensor Canon body 40D
http://www.photographybyajit.com/Tabletop/index.html

Ajit.


Apr 29, 2010
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haringo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Apr 24, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: CHEAP! Good quality, fast and small
Cons:
none - for the price you can't beat it!

I own the 50 1.4 and used to own the 50mm 1.2.
This is the BEST lens for the money! You can get it under $100 one ebay.

AF is fast maybe a little noisy but this lens is under $100!!! Come on!
I used to take this lens everywhere! It is so small and so convenient. Also, you don't scare away people with this lens. Once you own it you'll take it everywhere in your bag! It is always ready to be thrown on the camera when needed. You don't even need to carry around a flash. You can take pictures with it in very low light without a flash.

At 1.8 it does show vignetting. It gets much better at 2.8, and f4 looks the very best.
You can see some samples in my blog: http://www.haringphotography.com/blog/
How about the 50mm 1.4? Is it worth the upgrade from the nifty fifty 1.8? To tell you the truth it is worth to upgrade. There is not much price difference but the quality of the 1.4 is much better.



You can see tons of sample images on my website: http://www.haringphotography.com/
Some of them are so good I even put them on the main page.

Of course, prime lenses are not quite as flexible as zooms. If you don't like running and moving around, well, than this lens is not for you...

I hope it helps!


Apr 24, 2010
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beeber00
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Registered: Jul 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 741
Review Date: Feb 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, price, weight, fast, sweet.
Cons:
?

Ive had this lens for 2 years and Ive never left a review on it. That might be because Ive been having a blast using it.

This lens can be purchased for 100$ shipped:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12142-USA/Canon_2514A002_Normal_EF_50mm_f_1_8.html

This lens has more reviews than most of Canon's lenses. Why? Its simple: most people own this lens. Why do most people own it? Because its just THAT good.

Until youve used one, youll never know how good it is. Its fast. People say the AF is slow and noisy. These people probably only use lenses that cost more than 900$. I think the AF is fast. You can hear it, but it wont fckin cause birds to fly away like a bomb or something.

The focus ring works. You gotta hold it right, but it works. Yea, it doesnt have that large focus rings that the privileged lenses do, but hey, you might not even use it that often (focus works nice for me).

If you own the kit lens (any kit lens) and are looking to buy your first lens, this is the winner. Ive personally got 5 people to buy this lens after their kit lens and it really opens their world into photography. If you just started, you CANNOT go wrong with this lens.

Im not a ditsy butterfingers. I dont carry bricks in my camera bag. The build quality is not an issue. Its plastic, but isnt that why they call it the 'plastic fantastic'?

F1.8 shows vignetting. So does 2.0. It gets better at 2.8, and f4 looks the best.

Dont spend 300$ more on the 50mm 1.4. Not when you have this option. I would say go for it if you break stuff easily, yea.

10/10 favorite lens.


Feb 11, 2010
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ajt36
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Registered: Dec 15, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 459
Review Date: Feb 9, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $99.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive; very good IQ
Cons:
Build quality; No USM; front element focusing

I've taken a lot of great pictures with this lens, so it has more than paid for itself in terms of "photographic" satisfaction. If you are an amateur and want to get away from your kit lens, this lens is the place to start IMO. Yes, it is plasticky and cheaply built. Yes, it has a front focusing element. Yes, it has a non-USM motor. Yes, it hunts in low light and wide open sometimes. BUT, in 8 out of 10 shooting situations, it'll work and you'll get a great shot.

Maybe the Canon or Sigma f/1.4s are better... I don't know. I've never used them. Unless you are a pro or very serious about IQ, I don't know if they are 3 - 5 times better. If you can afford them... by all means get one of them. But you will get nice photos with this lens that I doubt you will say "Gee I wish I had a f/1.4 when I took that photo!".

If you break it, so what? Buy another... though in the year and half I have owned mine, I have dropped it at least twice and it still works fine. If you ever think you absolutely NEED the extra 2/3 stops, then upgrade, and sell this lens... or keep it as a back-up.



Feb 9, 2010
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cjwhitsett
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Registered: Mar 18, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 434
Review Date: Dec 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, sharpness
Cons:
Build, occasional focusing issues, on a crop body (350D) it's a little longer than would be ideal

Portrait shooting isn't exactly my top photographic priority, but I still wanted something that could serve me reasonably well for portraits. 90% of the time, it's this lens.

Yeah, the build quality isn't good, but as long as you're not in situations where you can't be somewhat careful, I think this lens will be fine, even though it is something of an unnecessary stress to have to be a little extra protective.

Focusing is sometimes tough at wide apertures, but this has as much, if not more, to do with my ability to use the lens and nail focus EXACTLY where I want it than it does with the lens itself.

Were it more expensive, my rating would be lower mainly due to build quality, but at the price point, something's gotta give. Again, just be a bit more careful with it.


Dec 13, 2009
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David Baldwin
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Registered: Jun 28, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2829
Review Date: Nov 26, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Price, light weight
Cons:
Disappointing optical performance on a 5D2. Build Quality poor. Focus ring difficult to use even if you have small hands. Unhappy with my purchase frankly.

Not impressed with image quality on full frame. Canon can do better than this lens.

For example I've owned the relatively cheap Canon 35/2 and loved it even on the demanding 5D2, thought this 50mm would be as good. Its not.


Nov 26, 2009
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CyranoB
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Registered: Nov 8, 2009
Location: France
Posts: 8
Review Date: Nov 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price.
Cons:
Build quality. AF.

Let's face it for this price you won't get a better portrait lens. It's a must have for any photography starters on a budget. It'll allow you to take pictures you just cannot take with your standard kit or even most zoom lenses.
Got it for a year, once I got more serious about my new hobby I updated it for the 1.4 model, sold it for the price I bought it.

It's very cheaply built, doesn't always focus correctly, and manual focus is more or less useless, so anybody who's got some extra hundreds in his pocket is better of going directly for the 1.4 version directly. But still a nice starter lens to fall in love for prime lenses.

Some examples:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/3578779708/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddie_pick/2778382587/


Nov 8, 2009
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jprs
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Registered: Aug 6, 2009
Location: Thailand
Posts: 5
Review Date: Sep 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Stunning image quality, brightness, portability
Cons:
cheap build, noisy aufo-focus

I recently purchased a DSLR: Canon 1D Mark 3 which put me into the 'poor-house'... could only afford a cheap beginner lens to get started as I was broke.

Anyhow, buying this lens I wasn't really expecting much but when married to my Canon body I was absolutely amazed with the stunning picture quality.... the sharpness. Bold colors.

Bokeh isn't too bad either but when taking pictures in high contrast areas you'll see that the background appears to be a bit 'choppy'.

I haven't noticed any chromatic aberration in my many thousands of snapshots even in high contrast environments. The Auto-Focus is not always spot on and my keeper rate i'd say is about 85%.

Of course the build quality isn't great. It rattles and feels very cheap. Makes you wonder if this was manufacturerd on a "Toys-R-Us'' assembly line but what does one expect for this price ?

If i accidentally dropped this lens and was to become unusable, i would certainly go out and buy another one.

All in all, for the price I'm very satisfied with the quality of the pictures. Sharpness is most important to me, brightiness and portability. This lens rewards in all those categories.

I'm very pleased with this lens.

Phil



Sep 20, 2009
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nickjohnson
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Registered: Sep 15, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 719
Review Date: Sep 19, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: price / performance fantastic, cheep
Cons:
a little too cheap – needs better build.

Common to all reports

This is my attempt to give something back to the forum members who have provided this wonderful resource. I found much here that helped with my lens selection. So over the last 1 to 2 years here is what I used – all on a pair of 5D bodies. (My comments will be subjective and personal. I will try to avoid saying anything that cannot be read in the spec sheets).

17-40 L
24-105 L IS
70-200 f4 L IS
180 L Macro
400 f5.6 L
50 f1.8 mkII
Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX

50 f1.8 mkII
Comment
I got this because I wanted a light, fixed FL walk around lens. The lens delivered IQ higher than all reasonable expectation. But …. I stupidly put a lens hood on it. DO NOT make the same mistake. When the inevitable knock happened the hood exerted more leverage than the flimsy plastic construction could stand. I tore the front off the lens.

I bought cheep and I had to buy twice to replace. The replacement is a Sigma 50 f2.8 Macro EX


Sep 19, 2009
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ersatz
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Registered: Aug 24, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 222
Review Date: Aug 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap, lightweight, wide aperture, did I mention cheap? Acceptable sharpness, bokeh, contrast.
Cons:
Cheap build quality, poor AF speed and accuracy

Many tout this as the nifty fifty or the fantastic plastic. I've been able to purchase this lens new several times for $75 and for the price I am willing to forgive some of its flaws.

It's an inexpensive and good introduction into primes and wide aperture lenses. And the 50mm focal length is fairly versatile too.

Wide open the lens is quite soft. Center sharpness is acceptable at 2.8 and quite useable at f/4. I don't find corner sharpness acceptable until at f/8 even on a crop, but especially on a FF body.

Now, let's talk AF, it's terrible. It's slow and hunts in low light. And I find its accuracy to be horrible as well, maybe only one quarter of the shots are in focus. Sometimes it will slightly back focus or sometimes front focus but half the time it just gives up entirely and what the AF was trying to focus on or if it just decided to give up completely. Unfortunately, the manual focus ring is not FTM focus and is small an located at the very front of the lens. It's quite difficult to use reliably, unlike it's mkI predecessor.

The build quality leaves much ot be desired. It's cheap thin plastic nad if you drop the lens it will likely break. On the plus side I've found the AF motor to be more durable than its 50mm 1.4 counterpart. But that's due to the inherent flaw in design of the USM AF on the 1.4 lens.

Bokeh is acceptable, especially wide open. But closed down and you'll notice the aperture blades as they produce a pentagon effect.

Contrast and color reproduction seem muted or washed out. Colors aren't nearly as vivid as the 1.4, again likely due to cheaper elements.

So, why did I rate this lens so high given all it's flaws. Well, cost is a considerable reason and the pictures can still be quite useable, well the keepers that happen to be in focus, anyways.

But I feel that it's flaws can also discourage some and turn them off to low aperture or prime lenses, which would be a shame. And should you really like low aperture primes you'll certainly want to upgrade from this lens. Like I said, a cheap foray but also a frustrating one at times.

I think in the long run you are better off going with the Canon 50mm 1.4 right off the bat. It's a better lens in many regards though again not without its flaws. I've routinely found them used or refurb for $250USD, and while it's certainly a vast price difference at least in terms of percentages, I think it's quite worth it.

In retrospect I really should reconsider my ratings as it probably should be much lower. But again it was cheap and let me get my feet wet in primes and low apertures. And the keepers were good enough and furthered my interest hence the purchase of better lenses. That, and I'm not really sure what to expect from a $75, or now $100 lens. For the price it probably is a great value, though I place a greater importance on metrics such as IQ, AF speed and accuracy, etc. Price being only a secondary factor, not that I'm fabulously wealthy and can afford nothing but L-glass.


Aug 24, 2009
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
349 541278 Feb 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $127.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.88
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_


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