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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1203863 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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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: 3173
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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rfernatt
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Registered: Feb 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent sharpness, low light capabilities, lightweight, quiet focus, reasonable price.
Cons:
Focusing seems to be a bit finicky at times, but is probably related to extremely shallow DOF.

I am a newbie to photography, but have been very impressed with this lens. I had previously used a Sigma 28-300 zoom and the 18-55 kit lens on my Digital Rebel which worked well enough for a beginner. However, I recently tried my hand at basketball photography and had a steep learning curve dealing with dim lighting, fast action, etc. I started the season with the DR and the kit lens, but ended the season with this 50mm f/1.4, a 20D and 430EX flash. Needless to say, the number of usable photos increased dramatically. I was also volunteered to make individual portraits and team photos of the players in the league. This 50mm lens delivered some very nice portraits, considering the inexperience of the photographer, of course.

One last word about sharpness - it's addictive. When I only had the kit lens and Sigma zoom to compare, apparent sharpness was one thing. This lens takes it into a whole new ballpark! I've learned that prime lenses like this one can take truly superior pictures when it comes to detail and sharpness. This lens has spoiled me - now I'll never be able to look at sharpness the same again.


Mar 4, 2006
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Krien
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 479
Review Date: Mar 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great optics, sharp and good color rendition, no distortions and f1.4. Very nice blur. Price
Cons:
The USM is a bit noisy and could be more accurate, the built quality is more then sufficient but not up to L standards. The price difference betweem this lens and his slower brother is appalling

I use this lens as a portraitlens on 1.6x and in situations with extremely low light. Overall IMO this lens is a very good performer.

At 1.4 it is noticably less sharp then when stopped down. But when stopped down a bit (f2.2) it becomes incredebly sharp!As stated the USM is a bit noisy and crude, but overall performing sufficiently.

Although the built quality may seem less robust then most L-lenses I own I don't have anything to complain about, it's all within functional requirements and sturdy enough.


Mar 2, 2006
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canonlight
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Registered: Feb 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Review Date: Feb 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast f1.4 aperture, Fairly small and lightweight, USM (albeit micro and not ring), FTM, Good sharpness wide open, Very good by f2, Excellent by f2.8.
Cons:
Construction could be better, Ring USM would be nice, Closer than 18" MFD is better, HOOD NOT INCLUDED (my gripe with Canon).
Feb 27, 2006
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essdog
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Registered: May 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $305.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: This lens is really fast and great for shooting indoors and at night.
Cons:
I feel a little guilty for saying anything about this lens because its amazing for the price, but it hunts a little under certain circumstances.

The quality for the price is great. I set the aperture at f/22 and the pictures that it produces are ridiculous. I'd definitely recommend it.

Feb 26, 2006
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forestwan
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Registered: Jan 9, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp, good colors and bokeh.
Cons:
focal plane shifting

I have to agree that the outdoor pps are sharp and clear using f8, and the indoor pps of the focal plane is sharp enough,

while the problem is that the focal plane is always shifting to the body direction using larger aperture
You can found the bad pp at http://spaces.msn.com/ikeshuwan/photos/

i do not know it is the problem of my 350D/kiss N or the problem of this lens, what should i do.


Feb 22, 2006
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JHaring
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Registered: Feb 14, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: On a 1.6x crop, a very good portrait lens - perhaps THE portrait lens.
Cons:
Not too bright wide open in low light.

I haven't tried every Canon lens, but I think all 20D users should own THIS lens: it's a good focal distance (a 85mm on a 1.6x crop) and for its price, you get a lot of quality. In that respect it must be the cheapest 1:4 lens there is.

In bright sunlight you can use this lens wide open and get a sharp picture with nice shallow DOF; bokeh is beautiful, like the best L-lenses. In low-light conditions, with lower shutter times, it's not tack sharp, but still very good. People only interested in photos and not in photography won't see the difference with the expensive 35mm 1:4 L-lens.

I'm interested in photographing people and faces, and find myself preferring this lens over my 35mm L, mainly because of the focal length. The results are almost always very satisfying. For this price, it can't get any better.


Feb 14, 2006
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rslee
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Registered: Dec 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 57
Review Date: Feb 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness, price, and weight
Cons:
Needed a trip to Canon to get it right.

Initially mine had an issue of CA even in the center. I took it in for a warranty service two weeks ago (I live 20min away from Canon USA.) The Service Detail says "Replaced front lens unit, lens ass'y group, checked projection, lens centering and all funtion to factory specs." This is a long list for a brand new lens! They could have given me new lens instead. However, Canon USA people very nice and professional. I got the lens back in 7 days.

The lens is in perfect working order and it produces super sharp images. I am very satisfied with the result I am getting. I have rated 9 only because it needed the trip Canon.

My suggestion: when in doubt, send it in for a check up!



Feb 10, 2006
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1203863 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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