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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
385 1159421 Mar 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $320.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.94
8.72
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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IraGraham
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Registered: Oct 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 622
Review Date: Dec 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Great build, Solid feel, great focusing, pro feel compared to the 50mm 1.8, Good Price.
Cons:
None, I don't know what people are talking about when they complain of build quality????? The build quality of this lens is "L" quality in my opinion. This lens feels solid!

I bought this lens after haveing the 50mm 1.8 for many years. I feel this lens is a huge improvement in terms of build. In terms of image quality, I feel the 50mm 1.8 is pretty close to the 50mm 1.4. Both lenses really give you awesomely sharp photos. i just got tired of seeing the 50mm 1.4 in Canon advertisements on new camera's like the 5D and the 1DS Mark II, I just had to have it! Well it just feels like quality and produces such awesomely sharp photos. Is the 50mm 1.8 as sharp?.............................absolutely. Maybe it's a mental thing, I like my equipment to be the very best. The 50 1.4 is the best, if only by a little in what really counts.........image quality.

Dec 25, 2005
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Antje
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Registered: Aug 18, 2002
Location: Germany
Posts: 6157
Review Date: Dec 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, light, compact, USM
Cons:
Feels a little wobbly compared to L lenses, of course

I mostly use this lens for low light photography, and it makes a great combo with the 20D. My copy focuses nicely and is actually quite sharp at 1.4 - of course the image quality improves when stopped down, but I'm already very pleased with the performance wide open. I made the jump from the 50/1.8 to this one mainly because of the focusing speed, I needed something that's able to track motion a little better. And it delivers. The bokeh is also a little prettier.
Overall, it has been worth the money. I sometimes wish it were built like an L lens, but then, it would also be considerably heavier. As it is, it's a great low light lens that is also pretty inconspicious, especially when used with the great high ISO capabilities of the 20D.


Dec 18, 2005
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Dec 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, fast, sharp, inconspicuous
Cons:
too long for a walk about on a 1.6 crop

Iv'e seen quite a lot of reviews versus the 1.8 and some are pro and some con.

Once stopped down gives very good resolution, but wide open DOF is very narrow and might give appearance of beinbg OOF without good technique. I mention this because Iv'e seen reviews that don't corroborate with my experience with this lens

make sure you get a good copy and that it focusses correctly , some canon lenses don't focus right out of the box

Low points for build quality as it seems a bit 'loose'


Dec 15, 2005
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smac
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Registered: Sep 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Dec 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, compact.
Cons:

Other lenses have come and gone in the 10 years I've had this lens, but this one has always delivered. Thus it's one lens that consistantly is in my bag. Sharp, fast focusing and relatively small. I use this lens a lot and have had no issues with it.

Dec 10, 2005
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felipin
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Registered: Dec 1, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 41
Review Date: Dec 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Not expensive, very fast aperture, great colour/contrast rendition, decent bokeh
Cons:
Why the $%@&! doesn't Canon include hoods for lenses like this one??

This is a great lens. I like shooting indoors with available light, and I also love shallow DOF. I like the performance of this lens even at 1.4. I am really eager to get a 5D and using this lens, at last, according to its nature (it's a bit too large with the 1D M2).
Always in my bag (if not attached).


Dec 2, 2005
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sgtpinback
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Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 52
Review Date: Nov 29, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Sharp. Wide aperture. Full-time MF.
Cons:
AF hit-or-miss. Manufacturing tolerances quite high; no quality control apparent. Lens hood not included.

The first one I bought couldn't take an in-focus shot, even after going back to Canon twice, along with the camera. The replacement I have usually manages to hit the right focus distance, but there's still the odd random OOF shot every now and then.

Anyone who complains about "softness" at 1.4 should do focus tests (with the test setup at varying distances to the camera, since that can make a difference too). In my experience it's plenty sharp if it hits focus.


Nov 29, 2005
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EWPurdy
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Registered: May 27, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 140
Review Date: Nov 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp when stopped down a bit, nice contrast, dreamy bokeh, light.
Cons:
Very prone to CA wide open, prone to causing sensor bloom on blown highlights

This is a very nice lens if you can learn its limitations and how to work around them. Indoors or under soft light this lens produces fantastic results. The lens has some CA when wide open in any scene with a fair amount of contrast. At 1.4, all out of focus highlights in the foreground are purple fringed and out of focus highlights in the background have green fringes. Stopped down to about 2.0-2.8 the CA dissappears and the lens becomes very sharp. Ultimately I decided to return the lens since my 50mm/2.5 macro is just as sharp, and has no CA issues - just buzzy AF.

See these links for sample photos taken at f/1.8 showing the CA:

http://home.comcast.net/~ericnbel/IMG_3565.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~ericnbel/IMG_3531.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~ericnbel/IMG_3526.jpg

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=15855300



Nov 28, 2005
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kufi
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light, fast, low light master
Cons:
Wish it was L quality build

This is a fabulous lens, sharp, nice bokeh, good colors. Have not used the 50 1.8 so can not comment on comparison. On the 20D it is the lens I go to for indoor family, general street and other low light shots at this focal length. Put it in your bag and you will be surprised how often you choose it. Forces you to be much more creative than a zoom.

Nov 22, 2005
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Orangelo
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Registered: Sep 16, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at f/2, impressive from f/2.8 onwards. Excellent portrait lens on a 1.6x sensor. Moderate price. Looks terrific on any camera ;)
Cons:
Not usable at f/1.4, as it becomes too soft and prone to flares / blown-out highlights

I bought this lens knowing literally nothing about SRL photography. I had just bought the Rebel XT/350D kit and thought I needed a new lense since everyone else commented that the EF18-55II was doing a diservice to the camera. This lens was affordable, had a 4.4 MTF grade and, hey! it was the reference lens used to test even the very best cameras in some famous websites! So I could not go wrong with this, right? well, right and wrong...

First thing you should know about this lens is that it's an interiors / available light / night shooting piece of kit. In high light conditions, this lens is more trouble than it is worth. Blown-out highlights are the name of the game. Even under low light conditions you have to be careful with the apperture. I remember some shots I took in the Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford). There were some beautiful white roses in one of the chapels. When I reviewed the shots at home I was horrified. God, those white roses literraly glowed in the dark! The lens is THAT light-sensitive wide open.

And then the DOF... If you are going to buy a super-fast lens first make sure you know how to focus, or at least know what you want in focus. Wide open, a couple of cms are all that it takes to blur things out. I have some portraits in which you can really tell that the nose is focused, while the cheeks are not!

The 50mm focal length becomes 80mm on a 1.6x sensor, making it almost useless for architectural photography, unless you intend to travel to Paris or some other "open-plan" city. Forget places like Lisbon.

So, in sum, I was very disappointed, until I started to understand what I was doing wrong, and started to correct all the problems I had encountered.

This lens has taught me some photography and for that alone it is my current favourite. An excellent portrait lens if you can control the DOF, terrific bokeh if you are a fan of that. And finally, the price. No matter how many times you get it wrong. This lens will eventually give you 1, 2, 10 or 100 wonderful pictures that will alone justify the price you paid for it.


Nov 20, 2005
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incdigital
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Registered: Aug 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 226
Review Date: Nov 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp from 2.8, 1.4 useable if focus is dead on, Much better build than 50 1.8MKII, USM, Size/weight, nice bokeh
Cons:
Foucs ring not silky smooth

The 50 1.4 is a great "normal" lens for any canon shooter. Its one of my favorite photographic tools.

Nov 16, 2005
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chopsam
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Registered: Jan 19, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, light, nice bokeh, nice color
Cons:
not much..

Got this second-hand with still 1 year waranty. I needed a fast indoor potrait lens for my kids, so this lens fit the bill.

The fast apperture allow me to shoot at f2.0, and even 1.8 & 1.4 if I really need to go to that. Sharpness is good, color is good, eventhough it's not on par with my 200 f2.8L, it's good enough for me, in general on par or slightly better then Tamron 28-75 f2.8 that I have.

Autofocus is not as fast as the L, but better then Tamron. Build quality is good enough for me. I owned the 50mm 1.8 before, so this definitely feel more solid then the 1.8.

Focal length is actually very suitable for indoor potrait with the 1.6x factor.


Nov 14, 2005
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jmraso
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Registered: May 25, 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 2229
Review Date: Nov 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: So sharp even at 1.4 that I forget isnīt "L" glass
Cons:
Is not "L" built quality

Again all it matters is the quality of the prints the client pays, this lens just do it.

Jaime
www.jmraso.com


Nov 9, 2005
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terminator
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Registered: Jan 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 273
Review Date: Nov 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $265.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, contrast, f/1.4, USM, build quality
Cons:
expensive (before triple rebate), focus hunts in low light

I got this lens to replace the 50mm f/1.8 II. It is much sharper than 50mm f/1.8 II at f/1.8 and f/2.8! Contrast looks better than 50mm f/1.8 II as well. USM focus is fast - though not as fast as ring USM. I like f/1.4 a lot for low light condition. Build quality is good at this price range.

My biggest complain is the price. Even with triple rebate, it is still a little expensive. Hope the price could be $230 - $250. Focus tends to hunt at low light condition.


Nov 8, 2005
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Sol3535
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Registered: Jun 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Nov 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, light, cheap.
Cons:
None.

Very sharp and very fast. Takes wonderful photos. Can focus pretty close to things. Useable at all apertures. This is my favorite lens.

Nov 7, 2005
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poyorick
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Registered: Nov 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $331.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good quality control, sharp, cheap
Cons:
a bit soft under 2

I am sort of new to DSLR and this was my first lens (I have the kit lens for the rebel xt, but don't use it). The biggest reason for me to buy this particular lens was that it was cheap and that the quality control seemed to be pretty good (didn't hear of many complaints). I figured that, as a novice, I would learn what a good lens is supposed to look like with a concensus good lens and then go from there.

I wanted dearly to buy a third party lens that was "a great deal" if you got a good copy, but ultimately I could not trust my judgement on the matter quite yet.

If you are on a tighter budget than myself (I eat ramen daily) you should consider the f/1.8. I see those going for $70-80 (US). I ended up buy a hood and filter for the f/1.4 that cost $70-80. If I had gotten the f/1.8 I likely wouldn't have bothered with the filter or hood.

Another point to consider was that I got this lens as part of the Canon Rebate saving me another $75 on the camera and $30 on the lens. If it wasn't on the rebate list, I would have gotten the f/1.8.

Sorry I couldn't comment more on the optics or low-light capabilities at this time, but I think my opinion at this point would caryy little weight and might even be misleading.


Nov 5, 2005
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Sala
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Registered: Apr 23, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 14
Review Date: Oct 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpest lens I own, good bokeh, accurate AF (on 20D), lightweight
Cons:
slightly flimsy build, no ring USM

This lens is so close to greatness it hurts. It is optically outstanding - useable at F1.4, sharp at F2 and out-of-this-world sharp at F2.8. If Canon added ring USM and internal focussing this lens would be perfect.

Oct 29, 2005
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
385 1159421 Mar 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $320.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.94
8.72
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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