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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

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Reviews Views Date of last review
71 190202 Jun 18, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $223.53
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.14
9.57
9.2
ef_50_25c_1_

Specifications:
A superior-performance lens offering excellent optics and focusing from infinity down to one-half life size (0.5x). Its nine-element design features a floating optical system, which ensures top-notch performance even at close focusing distances. Light and compact, it functions beautifully as a general-purpose normal lens. The optional accessory Life Size Converter EF enables focusing down to life size (1:1), and actually increases working distance - very desireable in close-up shooting.


 


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drzhao
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Registered: Feb 17, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 41
Review Date: Jun 18, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, low cost,
Cons:

This lens is amazingly sharp. It's as sharp as my 24-70mm II 2.8 if not sharper. When sharpness counts and bokeh doesn't matter, this is the lens to get. I don't have a 50mm 1.2L, but comparing images I've seen, the sharpness is definitely in par. Fantastic for museums and art galleries.

Jun 18, 2014
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chets954
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Registered: Aug 9, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jul 5, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Sharp, nice color and contrast, cheap, small, consistent autofocus
Cons:
Noisy AF (macro), tiny focus ring, Bokeh very busy, hunts in low light

Excellent IQ. Very sharp. Great Colors. Highly recommended.


Jul 5, 2013
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Gunzorro
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Registered: Aug 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 6464
Review Date: Sep 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing IQ at a bargain price!
Cons:
Older EF lens design: slow, noisy AF, tiny focus ring.

One of my favorite Canon lenses. Superb IQ from 1:2 to infinity. Plenty fast enough to use as a general lens. Loved the look on a 1D-series 1.3X crop -- great for detail shots and vignettes.

The AF is a bit creaky, but it is precise and that's what counts in my book. I want keeper shots, and this lens supplies them.

Of course it would be nice if it were updated and had IS, but he cost would go up to $700 then, instead of the pleasing $200 it can be found for used or refurb.


Sep 26, 2012
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LeoJan
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Registered: May 26, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 23, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice color and contrast, cheap, small, consistent autofocus, a sun cap not necessary, keeps it small.
Cons:
Bokeh ugly very busy, vignetting

Amazing lens, sharp wide open, insane sharp from F4.0. Usable until F16. I bought this lens second hand for 100 euro, like new.

I was hoping this little lens would be a standard lens, with the possibility of 1/2 macro. The vignetting on my 5D mark II is heavy, but correctable. Not a big problem, sometimes even beautiful. But the big disadvantage for me is the bokeh. I simple do not like it, never smooth. So I still take my Sigma 50 mm F1,4 with me, witch deliver very smooth bokeh. But a little big.

But for the money a bargain and if you are looking for a cheap lens witch can deliver very very sharp photo's with nice colar and contrast. The build quality is comparable with the much more expensive Canon 50 mm F1.4, a lens witch I never liked.


Mar 23, 2012
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sehdata
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Registered: Apr 22, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 20, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: So incredible sharp at 2.5 - cost near nothing from new
Cons:
no what so ever

My favorite lens at alle time on both crop and fuldframe - i always carry this lens together with my 28 1.8 and 85 1.8 - on my trip to urban cities around the world -
I use to have a EF-S 60 mm but need one i could use on both full frame and crop therefore i tried this one and feld in love with it - color is stunning - sharpeness is incredible and I'm i love with the sound of the old focus engine - its just fun

get a copy of this before it vanish -



Feb 20, 2012
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RobertLynn
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 11513
Review Date: Aug 30, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. Affordable. 1:2 macro capabilities right out of the box. Ability to buy adapter to make it 1:1. Close focusing distance.
Cons:
Slow focusing (it's actually not that bad). Must buy adapter for 1:1 (I think there's other macro options for 1:1 rather than buying a dedicated adapter and a lens for it).

This lens is incredibly sharp at f/2.5. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't actually expecting an incredible lens. I was previously using a 50 1.8 and tubes for my detail shots...no wonder I had to stop down. That was a terrible combo. With this, I can shoot f/2.5 and the subject isolation is out of this world!

This lens is an incredible value, and I'm exceedingly pleased with my purchase.


Aug 30, 2011
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joho35mm
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Registered: Jun 1, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: VERY sharp, accurate focusing, good color rendition, lightweight but sturdy, inexpensive
Cons:
Loud focusing, sometimes hunts in low light



Jun 1, 2010
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highway0691
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Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Sharp & compact
Cons:
Poor colour

It might be just my copy but I do feel this lens is overrated. Although it is very sharp I find the colour very harsh esp on skin tones which seem very cold, contrasty & white balance is out very often. Converted to B&W or sepia toned works well to escape the colour issue. Focusing in low light is maddening, I will probably buy abetter macro befor too long.

May 29, 2010
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misterphil
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Registered: Jan 14, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 367
Review Date: Feb 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp and light. Well priced.
Cons:

A great 50mm choice with the added benefit of 1:2 macro ability.
Although an older design lens it offers good sharpness and contrast. Its a keeper even if one day I buy a dedicated macro L lens. Highly recommended.


Feb 4, 2010
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dwainasaurus
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Registered: Jan 22, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 22, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Sharp when not wide open. Mechanically well built. Affordable for a macro.
Cons:
Wide open not as sharp. If focus misses, it hunts for a long time.

This lens isn't horrible. But it wasn't a good fit for me.

When I was using this lens for my lens review site I also had the original EF 50mm 1:1.8 on hand. The Compact Macro gives up a full stop of speed compared to the 1.8. My testing also seemed to indicate that the EF 50mm 1:1.8 was sharper at 2.8 than the Compact Macro. Both of these 50's are well built (Remember, I had the original metal mount 50, not the current 50mm 1.8 II). But the 1.8 is shorter and more portable. Focus performance was good unless it missed focus in low light. It was a long wait for the Compact Macro to run through it's long range.

In one image I was surprised to see a mild flare. That image was the exception.

Maybe if I did more macro work, having the Compact Macro would make sense. But if I was serious about macro work, I would look to a more serious macro lens.

Sorry Canon, this one isn't my cup of tea.


Jan 22, 2010
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Fatal Sweets
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Registered: Nov 5, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very light and small.
Cons:
Slow on focus

very nice little toy, the colour are great. Also clear focusing and IQ.
can use as marco and portrait shoot.
Over all LOVE it.


Nov 5, 2009
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Cadaver
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Registered: Dec 2, 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 464
Review Date: Jul 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, light, sharp, very nice bokeh
Cons:
no complaints

This lens has decent sharpness wide open. Once at 3.2 it is VERY sharp. Easy to use, small and fun. The cost of the new and used ones are real bargains. I don't think many folks know how sharp a lens this is, plus it a macro. I know it doesn't go down to 1:1, but for most macro uses, its certainly enough. The bokeh is better than I thought it would be, which is great for portraits. But mainly its just a great everyday walkaround lens.

Jul 9, 2009
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slide
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Registered: Jan 31, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 16
Review Date: May 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $239.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good quality overall. Light weight, easy to use.
Cons:
If you are used to USM lenses, this focuses less quickly and with more noise. It's better than most other non-USM's though.

Perhaps quality varies from sample to sample with this lens as it seems to others. My one seems to be a very good one. From the first time I tried this lens, I was surprised almost to the point of being shocked at how good it was compared to what I was expecting from a roughly $200 new cost lens. I've not seen the quality of this lens exceeded in any lens costing anywhere near it.

The lens is decently sharp at 2,5 and once at 4,0, it's terrific all the way up. I have successfully used this in macro shots as well as general 50 mm use on my FF camera.

If given a choice between saving some money and the f 1.8, I'd go with this lens. If it was between this and the f 1.4, it'd depend upon my choice of low light or macro. I also think my example is better than the f 1.4 I had for a loan a while back.

Personally I'm very pleased with this lens. As my new 5d2 can shoot high ISO's well unheard of only a short time ago, the roughly 1.4 stops from here to the f 1.4 isn't relevant to my needs where the macro is of great use.

Of course, if you can have it all, then the 100 mm or 200 mm macros with the 1.2 are the way to go. For us, who are on a budget, this lens does a heck of a lot.


May 24, 2009
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photo1a
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Registered: Feb 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 480
Review Date: Aug 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: I have had this lens for more than two years and have used it for macro, portrait and landscape. I use it more for portraits than I do for marcro, and am very happy with it. It is tack sharp and gives good color rendition.
Cons:
Noisy when focusing, slow to focus.

This is a good utility lens at 50mm. It is good for macro, although I get better results using other prime lenses with extension tubes. I use this lens more for portraits and landscapes. If you want to travel light, and 50mm works for you, this lens is versatile. It is very sharp and has good IQ. The build is OK, but not robust.

The drawbacks to the lens are its slow focus, and the inability to go from close focus to distance focus quickly. For example, if I focus on something very close, then want to focus on something at a distance, I must focus on some intermediate object -- typically my hand -- to get the lens "started" on the way to a distant focus. The lens is not quick focusing, so it would not be good for action pictures.

Overall, for stationary objects, I think that this is a very good lens for the price.


Aug 9, 2008
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bighead88
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Registered: Feb 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 36
Review Date: Feb 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, fast focus, great Macro (for a 1:2-half life size), focus to infinity. light, metal mount, cheapo, don't have to buy hood...
Cons:
noisy, slow when shoot macro mode,

it will satisfy your need for Macro shots, the ring feel very losen when use in AF. I use it with my 20D and I might use it as a walkaround-in- the park for a while.

till I save more $$ for the 100 macro 1:1 life size


Feb 23, 2008
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bogatyr
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Registered: Aug 10, 2003
Location: Norway
Posts: 638
Review Date: Feb 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: The contrast, color rendition and sharpness are all on an exquisitely high level in this lens. The "old"design makes it possible to actually focus to infinity when using manual focus, something which is a lottery with USM lenses.
Cons:
None.

This build quality of this lens is very good, and way better than the 50mm 1.8 which cannot be recommended because of its plastic mount. Its build is also better than that of the 50mm 1.4 USM because the latter does not have proper USM, but Micro USM which uses small gears that wear out and is prone to breakage if subject to falls and blows. In contrast, the AFD (Arc Form Drive) motor of the 50mm 2.5 is more durable, and the mount is of sturdy metal.

I feel that the Canon EF 50mm 2.5 Compact Macro is underestimated. Apart from the 50/1.2 L which I have not tried at the time of this writing it is simply Canon's best 50 mm lens, and it may well be superior to the 1.2 version for all I know. After all it is optimized for flatness of field and high sharpness, even if it lacks the extreme speed of 1.2.

Its optical performance, which is first rate, makes the 50/2.5 Compact Macro a brilliant choice for the photography of artwork like paintings, drawings, sculpture and everything you can imagine. I use it to take pictures of Sonja Bunes' art, and I simply feel happiness when she tells me how other artists marvel at the quality with which the images of her art is presented.

Of course it is also a top-notch lens for various forms of nature photography, both macro and other types of photo.



Feb 2, 2008
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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
71 190202 Jun 18, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $223.53
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.14
9.57
9.2
ef_50_25c_1_


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