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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1204869 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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William Austin
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Registered: Sep 30, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very fast focusing, sharp, compact
Cons:
none

I got this lens and the Canon 10-22mm for documentary and street photography, I wanted something light and compact but sharp and fast focusing, the 50mm f1.4 fits that bill dead on, the 10-22mm and 50mm combo works very well for me.

IQ from the 50mm f1.4 is pin sharp at f2.2 and up but I've not really use it at wider than f2.2 so I don't know what it's like at 1.4, but I didn't buy it for that anyway.

I've had both the Canon 50mm f1.8 MK1 and the Canon 50mm f2.5 macro as well, out of all 3 the 50mm f2.5 macro was the sharpest but it was too bulky and very slow at focusing.

If your in the market for a good cheap 50mm lens then this might just be the one for you

used on Canon 30D & 40D


Sep 13, 2007
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Review Date: Sep 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small size, little weight, good image outputs
Cons:
Build could be a little better, comes without a hood

It is a very good lens, bokeh is much better than in 50 1.8. At f2.0 it produces a very creamy stuff in the background like here http://szche.ru/index.php?showimage=11 but against very bright background it produces a quite awful thing, so use it wisely Wink

It gets very sharp from 2.8 and provides a good contrast and quite acceptable from 2.0. Mine had no back or front focus. The only bad thing i can say about it is the focusing ring, it feels like a large piece of glass wool got under it when you spin it…


Sep 5, 2007
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1880
Review Date: Sep 3, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: See two reviews down
Cons:
See two reviews down

I have spent a bit more time with this lens and I am increasingly impressed!

My initial doubts were unfounded in that my focussing technique was the problem - focussing at 1.4 has to be spot on as the DoF is so shallow it's easy to get it wrong - get it right and this lens is sharp from 1.4 (with some USM) to exceptional sharp by 2.8...really really sharp. I did the comparison with my fd equivalent (B+W Ilford FP4 film) and sharp as that lens is this version is sharper.

I am still more than happy with build quality, focussing speed etc...it's not a 'L' grade lens build wise but (like my 1.8 85mm) it's a decent bit of kit.

The down side really is that I bought it to use for portraits on a 10D and I don't think I will use it that much as I'm not really a shallow DoF person ( this lens might change that) and at my usual studio aperture (around f8) my 28 - 128 is pretty good and more flexible! And for head shots the 85mm 1.8 is unbeatable.

But I don't think I will be selling it for some time yet!


Sep 3, 2007
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wiyum
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Registered: Oct 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Maximum aperture, build quality, image quality, size, weight... pretty much everything. Even the price is reasonable.
Cons:
Maybe not 3 times better than the 50mm 1.8, to justify 3 times the cost

I've had this lens for a little over two years and I love it. On my film body it is a perfect walk-around lens, and it is an ideal portrait lens on my 20d. I've been consistently impressed with the image quality. It is built very well, just shy of the L-quality that I've reserved the "10" rating for. I couldn't be happier.

The question, I guess, is if I'm that much happier than I'd have been with the 50/1.8, at a third of the price. The build quality, certainly, is vastly better. The extra half stop is nice... not essential, but nice. I haven't shot with the 50/1.8, so I couldn't compare IQ, but I couldn't ask for much more from the 1.4. Some users have need for quiet autofocus, so the USM is another advantage for those users. In the end, I'm glad I spring for this lens, but as good as I hear the 1.8 is, I think there's a case to be made either way.

As a final note, I have the hood and normally use it, but I haven't noticed a huge benefit on this lens, unlike my 28/1.8 where the hood has made a huge difference. I'm all in favor of hoods, but if you're budget-strapped and on the fence, you can probably get by without it most of the time.


Aug 26, 2007
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1880
Review Date: Aug 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well made for its price bracket...exceptionally sharp at f4 plus
Cons:
Seems soft wide open (particularly when compared to my 85mm) and needs some skill to get decent results.

I was in two minds about buying this lens after some of the comments here but I am a T90 user as well and have the excellent FD 1.4 lens so I felt this must be better! To be honest, now I'm not so sure; it seems harder to get a good result; but to some extent I put that down to the shallow DoF and the need for critical focussing (on my 10D) which seems less of a problem with the manual focus T90 / FD lens.

After some considerable experimentation I found that (for some reason) images on the monitor looked soft (at f1.4) but they sharpened up amazingly with a decent dose of sharpening...providing I had focussed on the right spot. From about f2 the results were very decent. from f4 as sharp as any other lens I own...apart from the 70 - 200 L f4, which seems to be in a class of its own.

The more I play with this lens the better I like it. I'm not willing to do a studio shoot with it yet (I actually bought it as a '85mm' for my Canon 10D) but I'm getting there. I will probably use it on my EOS 3 very soon which will be interesting as I can make a more direct comparison between it and the FD f1.4 I own - if anything interesting crops up I will add another review.

PS: There have been several moans about noise during focussing etc compared to USM. People are being picky in my opinion; focussing is swift, accurate, and virtually silent. USM lenses might be better..but the difference is effectively meaningless in the real world...out there in the field, so to speak!


Aug 21, 2007
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jayceooi
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Registered: Jul 23, 2007
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jul 25, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: $284.00

 
Pros: Fast, light, good for portrait.
Cons:
None for the moment.

This first lens that I have. It is great. Just started to play with it. It is not wide enough on 1.6x crop body. Check out these link for the photo quality.

Butterfly Farm at Cameron Highlands, Pahang

Kok Lim Self Plucking Strawberry Farm at Cameron Highlands

Cactus Valley at Cameron Highlands, Pahang

Cactus Point at Cameron Highlands


Jul 25, 2007
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HMZRHS
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Registered: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 62
Review Date: Jul 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast good for Low Light and Potriats
Cons:
None
Jul 19, 2007
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Vincent Armato
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Registered: Jul 15, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very light sensitive. Good price for the lens quality.
Cons:
Build quality could be better.

A great lens for the money!

I used to use my 50mm f/1.8 'plastic fantastic' and was fairly pleased with it. The bokeh and loud, slower focusing wasn't too pleasing however so I decided to upgrade.

The 50mm f/1.4 is VERY sensitive to light...I love it! It is my go to lens for natural light conditions, particularly inside and in the evening outdoors.

Another handy use for this light sensitivity is fast shutter action shots when there is adequate lighting. Yes, you have a fixed length, but you can stop the action is a split second with adequate lighting conditions while staying at an ISO of 100 or 200. This gives great sports shots if you can place yourself in a key spot....for instance home plate shots in baseball.

The bokeh is stellar....very smooth for the price of the lens. The autofocus speed is quite adequate for most situations.

It is exceptionally sharp for me at f/2.0 or higher, but still adequately sharp at f/1.4. Sometimes I find a touch of sharpening with a good software package can really help if you want better sharpness and you need the shallower depth of field and more sensitivity to light.

The portraits are fantastic with this lens - definitely the lens I go to when I have a setup shot condition and I want the absolute best color, clarity and smooth background.

I also like the small and unobtrusive size of the lens.

If you are thinking that you don't need this lens because you are carrying an L zoom lens that covers the focal length, remember that this will outperform the L for sharpness at f/2.8 and most importantly can carry you into much smaller DOF and light sensitive scenarios.

Get it! It's a great value if you can't afford the 50 or 85mm f/1.2 L lenses.

- Vince


Jul 15, 2007
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Jim Schemel
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Registered: Oct 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4945
Review Date: Jul 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: All that the others have said i agree with. Would just like to add, when this lens is on your camera it is very inconspicuous, it draws very little attention to you or your camera.
Cons:
None at this time

I agree with all the other positives that have been mentioned about this lens.I would just like to add that i have had my DSLR(10D) for just a little over 2 years now.I started with the 28-135 IS, the 75-300 IS the famed 28-70L the 200 Mark II(very good lens) and also the 17-40L(Also a very nice lens).I am the happiest with my pictures from my 10D once i put the 50 f1.4 on it.The pictures that now come out of my camera are amazing.The focus is spot on.And my copy is sharp from 1.4 on, at about 2.0 its excellent and after that it just gets ridiculously sharp.Colors are very good.Just have to tweak the contrast a bit for personal taste.
-Jim


Jul 1, 2007
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LotsToLearn
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Registered: Jan 12, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 434
Review Date: Jun 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small and light. Great for low/available light.
Cons:
Small and light.

Although I haven't used my copy a lot, I've found it to be a great little lens when I have. At times I found it a little long on my 1.6x 20D for how I was using it but now that I've upgraded to a 1.3x I'm going to try it out some more and see if I can get better framing.

My copy has provided sharp results even wide open. It also produces accurate colours. I love the DOF it can provide.

I joke that it's a plus that it's small and light but also a con because I have large hands and so I like things to feel heavy and/or sturdy in my hands generally. I guess it's kind of hard or not necessary to make it of much more solid materials since it's so small anyway.



Jun 4, 2007
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Mariano E
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Registered: May 1, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 54
Review Date: May 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, even at 1.4, fast AF, nice feel all around.
Cons:
None

It has exceeded my expectations. I read there were some backfocusing issues and that it gets soft at 1.4. My copy is very sharp at 1.4 and the focusing is all ok, not to mention fast and accurate AF. It's a great lens, especially considering the price.

May 20, 2007
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sohet
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Registered: Feb 22, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 54
Review Date: May 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp wide open. Could be just my copy. Colours and contrast are good.
Cons:
Uses micro USM.

Surprisingly very sharp wide open. This is my second copy. The first was a direct opposite. It was fuzzy at f1.4.

Very nice standard view with the 5D. I would recommend it for FF users. It's a cheap alternative to the 35L and 24L for low light stuff.

Shot on a 5D wide open at f1.4 http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/417400160_7cd751cb5c_o.jpg

Shot on a 1D wide open at f1.4.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/205/494575286_6a7e9014c6_b.jpg


May 14, 2007
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Adam Woodyatt
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Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 620
Review Date: May 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Value for money low light lens
Cons:
None

I love this lens and have had great results both inside and out on a 5D. Having read all the reviews, I am glad I bought this and not the 1.2L regardless of the saving.

May 12, 2007
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Chris Brinlee
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Registered: Nov 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 852
Review Date: May 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f/1.4 Max Aperature, Size, Weight, Build Quality, USM
Cons:
CA at high ISO/ Long Distance/ Low Lighting

This was the 3rd lens that I purchased. I have been using it since July 2006 and have been very pleased. It performs extremely well in low lighting and is my primary lens for shooting concerts (http://krisbphoto.smugmug.com/Music). The USM is fast and sharp; you can do a lot with f/1.4.

May 9, 2007
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Braeden Rogers
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Registered: Jan 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1457
Review Date: Apr 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Weight, 1.4 aperture, color contrast, price
Cons:
None with my copy

My 50 1.4 is absolutely golden. Nothing negative to say about it what so ever. Even at 1.4 it is dead on sharp (not sure if I just got a excellent copy). Extremely good for night time and very low light situation photography. On 1.6 crops makes for an excellent portrait lens as well. On top of it all only runs for about 300$ not bad for the amazing pictures that come out of this lens. I would recommend this lens to anyone!

Apr 17, 2007
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pziasd
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Registered: Dec 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 576
Review Date: Apr 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price and speed
Cons:
Backfocus issue

I bought this lens new from Adorama and I decided to test this lens to see if this copy would have a focus problem that seems to plague other owners...and yes...my copy has focusing issues too. Instead of sending it back to Adorama for an exchange I sent this lens to Canon Factory Service Center, I also sent a CD with the test photos I took...this lens was soft from f1.4 to f2.8, beyond that it got sharper. The diagnosis from Canon was that it did have a focus problem and it was corrected electronically, the electronics were tested and the lens cleaned...not that it needed cleaning since it was NIB. I'm expecting delivery tomorrow afternoon and I'll test it again to make sure it has really been fixed.

Apr 4, 2007
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1204869 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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