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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
387 1165436 May 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $320.79
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.93
8.73
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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rok3
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Registered: Feb 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $195.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: My copy is extremely sharp above 2.0 and gives a usable image all the way down to 1.4. Light, small, decent build quality.
Cons:
No hood included. Seems to over expose on my Elan 7N a bit but is spot on on my EOS 3. *shrug* Haven't noticed this with other lenses.

Lives on my EOS3... sure it's not as convienient as a zoom lens but being able to shoot with almost any available light is worth it. Plus it makes me consider the composition of the scene more than a zoom does. Love this lens.

May 7, 2006
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bebonham
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Registered: Oct 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 18
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: price, sharpness, speed, size
Cons:
it's not lux like an "L" lens. Hood is extra.

After about 1 year:

One of my favorite lenses to use. I normally keep it on my camera when I travel around with it because it is light and small.

It is very good in low light if you don't have anything below f2.0 which rules out pretty much anything more telephoto than 85 f1.8. Of course it is less telephoto than 135 2.0 and bokeh can be somewhat similar in intensity (some qualities are different though) due to its wide 1.4 aperture.

It is very fast to focus, good at small apertures, so it is equally as good at isolating something as it is at keeping almost everything in focus as would be needed in a landscape.


It is easier to use at shutter speeds below 1/60 sec (I've had success with 1/30 sec with some luck even using an APS sensor) because of its small size. I don't think there is a faster lens that is smaller and weighs less in canon's line-up. This is very important when not using a tripod unless you are made of iron.

I have not used the 50/1.8, but you can use the 1.4 and 1.6 and they are both different from each other and the 1.8 aperture settings of this lens.

I have started replacing my slower lenses, and if you are planning on having a nice collection of canon lenses someday, than this one will never be replaced. This lens is perfect for what it is.


May 2, 2006
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zanussi
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Registered: May 1, 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh, sharp at 2,0, weight, built quality
Cons:
Ca at 1,4 and not so sharp

Nice bokeh, good built quality, not so big in size. Little noisy, Af is fast enough... max. apperture 1,4 it makes me happy Smile

May 1, 2006
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snowboard9
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Registered: Apr 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $264.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wonderful brokeh, very fast AF and sharpness ; well built
Cons:
No hood. It's really offensive that canon does not include a hood with this premium priced 50mm lens. I guess they know they can sucker another $30 out of a fair number of buyers for this type lens.

I purchased this lens refurbished from Canon. That was the only reason I bought the f/1.4 instead of the f/1.8.

However, I'm glad I did. The USM, twice the light vs f/1.8 and full time manual turned out to be mor important than I thought. The other reason is that the 50mm focal length is perfect for my indoor picture taking which is virtually all portraits - this is a keeper lens. Finally, I am just thrilled with my Canon 30D and would have been disappointed to attached a cheap f/1.8 lens to it.

Bottom line is, if you know you like 50mm and will use if often, just buy this one instead of the cheap f/1.8 (never seen it but I hear it's badly built).


Apr 30, 2006
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tellingthm
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Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 337
Review Date: Apr 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: iq, f/1.4, size, value
Cons:
not ring usm

Image quality is what you'd expect from Canon's best "normal" lens. Colors look like L glass, images are sharp, just the right amount of contrast.
f/1.4 is nice and fast. AF speed is pretty good, although not quite up to snuff as lenses with Ring USM (we're talking fractions of a second here, though).
If you don't shoot with the 50mm focal length all that often and/or money is tight, I'm not sure I'd recommend this lens over the cheaper 1.8 versions. But if you do, or if you want 2/3 stop faster, far better build, faster and MUCH quieter AF, and slightly better images, go for it. It's hard to make a bad 50mm lens these days.


Apr 28, 2006
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comradeTJH
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Registered: Apr 20, 2006
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 20, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Fast, nice bokeh, small
Cons:
not usable at 1.4, EXTREME vignetting on fullframe :-(

Im not sure if it's just me but this lense has an EXTREME vignetting on my D5 - rendering it virtually unusable for me :-(

Apr 20, 2006
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Ahamed Iqbal
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Registered: Apr 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 360
Review Date: Apr 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, Very fast, Very quiet focusing, Compact, Very sharp, Nice close focusing distance
Cons:
Fixed focal length

This was my first USM lens and one I used to cut my teeth in photography. A great starter lens as on a full frame camera (film, 5D) it is the normal view of what you see.
The optics are excellent and I've used this lens in all sorts of situations.
Great depth of field with the large aperture as well.
On a 20D this ends up being a very fast 80mm lens which is great for portraits.

Would highly recommend this lens as a general use, walkaround lens. The small size and weight make it easy to carry.



Apr 19, 2006
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f_o_t_o
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Registered: Jan 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very very sharp at 2.0, 1.8 isn't bad, 1.4 ehhh. Excellent lens!
Cons:
focus ring is a bit loose

I mainly bought this lens for my 20D indoor low light stuff like parties, bands at nightclubs, etc. And while 1.4 is a bit soft, it's sharp at 1.8 and superb at 2 or higher-and I mean supurb. I was very impressed at the image quality, contrast at a $320 price point (from B&H). I bought the hood for around $25. I find this lens on my camera the most, namely because of compact size, very good build quality--except that the focus ring is a bit loose, but not too bad, and the image qualtiy under both good and low light conditions. I'll probably start using it as a portriate lens as well.

I considered the 1.8, but the build quality is so much better with this lens--and a larger focus ring with USM, it was easy to justify the $220 or so more.

As you would expect this is a very fast lens, so it's well suited for taking indoor shots. I have not noticed any issues with light fall off, CA or any other anomalies found in "lower cost" lens--using L glass as the price standard.

If you are looking for a general purpose lens that excels with low light, landscapes, night shots, I highly recommend the 50m 1.4 lens. Knowing what I know now, I would definatley buy this lens again.


Apr 4, 2006
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chavallos
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Registered: Dec 28, 2005
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good build, extra sharp at f/4, useful f/1.4, compact
Cons:
mine was not a good copy, took 7 weeks to fix AF

I give 9 just because this lens has reputation of "bad copy lens". After long 7 weeks of fixing it's perfect. I used it all the time and my other perfect lens (85mm f/1.8) is not used at all any more, and I'm thinking to sell it. As far as testing, I did normal AF lab testing of shooting lines at 45 degree, and after the fix it's very-very good. I took the only lens to Paris trip and made 600 shots, a lot of street photography and some night photos. I do not have any problems and would recomend this lens to anybody.


Apr 4, 2006
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Cristian DM
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Registered: Apr 3, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, Fast, VERY SHARP evenly across the frame, great control over Depth Of Field
Cons:
no FTM, I would pay more for improved build quality (still, it is far better than the F1.8 version)

If I look at my galleries, I find my best photos were taken with this lens.

Slightly soft but usable at F1.4 (as expected); SHARP at F2 and VERY SHARP from F2.5 and up. Frankly, I could say that from F2.5 and up there is no improvement in sharpness. Much better than zooms (even L ones) in the corners of the frame.

Good contrast and color, some CA at large apertures in demanding conditions (as expected).

Great lens for portrait (on a 1.6x body) and low light. If you need control over DOF look no further.


Apr 3, 2006
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muevelonyc
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Registered: Nov 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 178
Review Date: Apr 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp lens (Better than my L zooms)!, Fast AF, fast lens: shoots in almost any tiny bit of light, beautiful bokeh, ideal portrait lens on a 1.6X crop sensor, for it's price best bang for the buck for sharpness/speed
Cons:
Lack of Macro capability (easily fixed with tube extensions), AF although very fast sometimes misses when open wide due to shallow DOF (not a big deal though), hood not included

Bought this lens and it quickly became my favorite lens of all time. It's sharper than my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens @ 50mm f/4. Sample photos of my comparison available here:
http://www.accessphoto.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5123&pid=57325&st=0

For the price, it's one of the sharpest lenses out there I've encountered. Also at this speed, it can take some insane hand held photos with barely any light. I've taken some insane night shots handheld with this lens.

Also note that on a 1.6X crop sensor (300D/350D/10D/20D/30D) put the equivalent of 80mm on it. With such a shallow DOF, it's an ideal portrait lens for those cameras.

Also note that wide open when shooting close up the AF may have a hard time getting a correct focus. You'll need to help it a bit at times, but this is more of a function of such a shallow DOF so it's somewhat expected. (check the posts on the 50mm f/1L which is nearly impossible to get AF to focus properly).

While the lens lacks macro capability, adding Kenko tube extensions jacks it up to an insanely sharp macro lens. Unfortunately you can't leave the tube on since it won't focus except for close ups. Wish this came with a hood, but for $300 how could you go wrong? Smile

This lens will spoil you, and will make you wish that all your lenses were this fast and this sharp.


Apr 1, 2006
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HomeBrew
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Registered: Mar 23, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Cheap..... 1.4. Small, and light. http://www.pbase.com/shabookie/obituary__3406 I shot the whole series with the nifty 50. I think its a great starter prime for sure.
Cons:
I think I might have had a bad product. It was very slow to focus. When I switched it to servo, it would make a clanking type sound. I could actually feel the movement of the lens. So So soft at 1.4. It really started to rock around 1.8. I traded this lens in and got a 35 1.4L. I would think about getting another one some day.



Mar 23, 2006
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sskoutas
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Registered: Feb 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3170
Review Date: Mar 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $319.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: razor sharp, very fast, great IQ, usually quick AF (see negatives too), great bokeh, reasonable price, very good in low light Great portraits...
Cons:
AF, though usually quick, seems to struggle to find targets some times.

The positives speak for themselves. I'm a P&S shooter that got into digital cameras when they first came out. My 20D is my first DSRL, and I therefore confidently label myself a newbie. This lens makes me look like I'm a LOT better than I actually am. Love it, love it, love it.

Mar 18, 2006
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Multipasser
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Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Location: Belgium
Posts: 23
Review Date: Mar 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good build quality, Very Fast, Silent.
Cons:
Some CA at 1.4. Price tag is 4x higher than 50mm f1.8 (maybe not worth it)

After coming from Olympus Om system I needed to replace my great zuiko 50mm f1.4. So I bought this one.

I was dissapointed that the zuiko's are so much better in build quality, although they are manual focus.

The bokeh of the f1.4 is very nice. Once you have had a fast lens like f1.4 you only want to go faster. Sad


Mar 12, 2006
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Mar 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice little lens. Great for the money.
Cons:
How about a little buile quality and not much quality below 2 aperture.....

Great little lens for the money. Tremendous for what it is. Great for those just learning photography, much better image quality that any kit or $300 zoom. It also teaches you to be creative and use your feet, instead of zooming in and out. When you do image is really outstanding on an absolute basis and obscenely good for the buck. If I were on a desert island with only one body and one lens, this would be the lens. Having said that I would been happy to spend twice as much and had a better build quality and image quality with lens wide open.

Mar 9, 2006
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Hyper_Psycho
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Registered: Mar 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Mar 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $315.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing quality, sharpness, AF speed...
Cons:
None so far...

This lens works wonders with my 20D. I would highly recomend it as I had little or no problems with it. If you want to take amazing portraits this is the lens for you.

Mar 7, 2006
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
387 1165436 May 15, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $320.79
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.93
8.73
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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