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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
395 1198472 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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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: 2959
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: 14879
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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Al_10D
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Registered: Dec 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1868
Review Date: Jan 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, supersharp at F5.6, good colors and bokeh.
Cons:
Not a ring USM, does not provide distance info for ETTL-II.

I'd give the lens all 10s if it had ring USM and provided distance info to ETTL-II.

Jan 13, 2006
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Memphis
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Registered: Mar 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 769
Review Date: Jan 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp lens of my 5D, great bokeh and color! Great build quality for it's price range.
Cons:
I really don't have any. It's not an L lens but I knew that when I bought it.

So far I'm very happy with this lens. It's sharp corner to corner on my 5D. I don't think I could have asked for anymore from a lens in this price range.

Jan 7, 2006
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Nezmo
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 231
Review Date: Dec 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $310.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, great bokeh, good build.
Cons:
A lens hood and/or pouch really ought to be included.

I replaced a 50mm f/1.8 II with this lens just recently hoping for faster and more accurate focusing and sharper results and it has delivered. I've yet to use it outdoors but I have used it extensively indoors with an external flash and omnibounce. Hair, eyelashes and skin details are superb and colour and contrast is very good. I've had good results at f/1.4 and superb results at f/2 and slower. My post processing has needed little to no USM on portrait work so far.

FTM focusing despite having micro versus ring USM is a bonus.


Dec 27, 2005
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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: 6183
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: 53
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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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
395 1198472 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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