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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
388 1169533 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.91
8.70
8.8
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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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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kennyahn
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Registered: Aug 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 37
Review Date: Feb 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $319.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color, contrast, razor sharp from f/2.4, bokeh
Cons:
could be built a bit better, no hood included

I started with the f/1.8 II. Then when my friend started photography, I gave my f/1.8 to him and bought another one for myself. Then I made the fateful photographer's mistake of visiting a camera shop where I tried out the f/1.4. I compared the two on my laptop and fell in love with the f/1.4. It is super sharp! And contrary to a couple of the reviews, I find that f/1.4 is quite useable as long as you know what you're using it for. I recommend this lens as a must have without any hesitation.

Feb 7, 2006
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rtrigg
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Registered: Dec 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 248
Review Date: Feb 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast focus, very sharp above f2.0, very lightweight yet built well.
Cons:
Sharpness at f1.4 is really poor.

Price is great for what you get. Even though sharpness at f1.4 is terrible, I would recommend this lens over the 50mm f1.8 since it's built much better, focus is fast and silent, and sharpness is better throughout the range.

Overall it's just what you would hope for from a lens except for the poor performance at f1.4. You aren't going to find any other lens this fast and built this well for anywhere near the price of this lens.


Feb 4, 2006
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mauriceramirez
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Registered: Jul 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2912
Review Date: Feb 4, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: metal mount
Cons:
price, sharpness wide open

There's no reason that this lens shouldn't be ridicuously sharp, it's a 50mm. (The budget Nikon 50mm f1.8 is much sharper.) I recommend saving your money and getting the Canon f1.8 instead.



Feb 4, 2006
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samscott
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Registered: Jan 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $310.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sufficient build from my limited perspective, especially so considering the price. My copy provides relatively good focus even at f/1.4, but you have to know what you're doing there in terms of autofocus points, knowing the handheld shutter speed you're comfortable with, etc. I've recently found it to be indispensable for indoor events when you can get close to the subject
Cons:
It seems to hunt for a while and struggle for a decent plane at times, depending on several factors I'm sure, not all of which are intrinsic to the lens.

The f/1.4 capability of this lens, combined with solid build and very good to superb optics, for only $300, amounts to a no-brainer. This is the lens you'll have on your camera before going to a party or walking down the street. They don't put this lens in so many "new camera" photos without reason. It's a bread/butter piece of glass, for just about anyone in the business, at least those using Canon equipment - one of those "must have" lenses. As far as I know, there isn't an L-series counterpart (specifically 50-mm and f/1.4 or wider). I personally like this length for walkaround very much. I like being able to get within two feet of the subject, if I want, relative to the 85mm f/1.8.

Don't expect the price to drop.


Jan 29, 2006
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Rigardt
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Registered: Dec 15, 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: With odd exception - everything!
Cons:
No lens hood. Focus ring a bit loose

Very happy with the lens. Optical quality is great and focus is reasonably fast and accurate. I am a bit dissapointed with the focus ring that detracts from the build quality in general, but when comparing price to the L's, I guess it is a fair flaw! Would have liked the hood, tough to get them in RSA and have to wait some time for one on order. Other than that - If I had to choose if I would purchase again? Yes, everytime. Lovely lens.

Jan 28, 2006
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tanglefoot47
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14831
Review Date: Jan 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $255.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, colors, contrast
Cons:
None so far

I have owned many 50 1.8's and a couple 50 1.4 but this one I just bought is a fantastic lens I love it.

Jan 22, 2006
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jakobe
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Registered: Jan 21, 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp and crisp when stopped down. Great color and contrast. Small and lightweight (compared with a lens such as 24-70/2.8L)
Cons:
Not useful below f2 or so. Slightly slow "unresponsive" focus compared with typical "L" lenses. Why the .... is not a hood included ?

I was initially very disappointed with this lens when I got it. Why would you buy an f1.4 lens at this price, when the 50/1.8 is available at its ridiculously low price? Yes – to be able to take low light shots below f1.8 of course… Right ?

My experience with a 1DmkII (1.3x crop) is that it is meaningless to use it below f1.8 or so. It is terribly soft and the focus gets overall suspicious. However, after having started to enjoy the pleasure with really fast lenses such as the 35/1.4L and the 85/1.2L, I felt the gap between these awesome lenses and decided to pick up the 50/1.4 again.

As the 35/1.4L is really good even at f1.4 and the 85/1.2L is stunning at f1.2, you get a bit spoiled. However, the 50/1.4 starts to perform nicely at f1.8 and I have finally understood that it is a stellar performer from f2.0. I mean a really good performer, where it really blows away an otherwise good zoom like the 24-70/2.8L.

Bottom line: I would say that the 50/1.4 is really a “50/2.0L”, as it starts to perform according to the expectancy (given the premium over the 50/1.8) at that aperture…


Jan 21, 2006
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LeonD
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 227
Review Date: Jan 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp,fast.I love it.
Cons:
Doesnt transfer distance info to flash,barrel extends a slight bit,doesnt come with a hood.AF while good,is obviously not as good as on L lenses. Tendency to make your meter overexpose in daylight.

An amazing lens,strapped to my 20D all the time,unless i'm doing somethign specific for my 70-200,which i always want to be using.
As claimed by many,this lens is very sharp,although i doubt it is the sharpest in the EF line as many say.It is however as sharp as a "budget" lens can get you.It matches my 70-200 2.8 .AF is very fast,though not true USM,but you still get full time manual focus which i find invaluable to me in low light with larger apertures.AF is faster than 3rd party lenses, slightly slower than L series lenses,as expected.
Some say this lens isn't good at 1.4,they probably want it to perform like F8 does.I find the 1.4 aperture one of the MAIN reasons to get this lens,you need to be careful and place the very small depth of field on the right spot and you can get some great low light portraits.Of course when you dont have to struggle with low light,this thing is insanely sharp at smaller apertures (2.8 and so on).Bokeh is amazing on this lens,build quality is ok.
Some rather buy the 1.8 version which is very much cheaper,im gonna say i had it and theres a reason why,there is no comparison with that thing and this lens.THe 1.8 is slower,not as sharp and has no FTM.I hate it,its like a sharper kit lens,tho it does have a good price.And yes i did have it.
For some reason,this lens doesnt transfer distance to subject for flash photography,and in daylight your meter tends to overexpose with it if youre not careful,its very light sensitive.
Those 2 are my only issues with it.
Amazing everything/portrait lens.Go buy one.


Jan 21, 2006
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
388 1169533 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.91
8.70
8.8
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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