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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1203972 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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lusitaneo
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Registered: Jan 10, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 64
Review Date: Apr 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Produces gorgeous pictures. Nuff said.
Cons:
I said NUFF SAID!

I often shoot wide open in strong light with this baby. I dont need to but it just magics up an aura around brightly lit objects that's worth gold. I'd say it's worth it's weight in gold... but it's so light it's not saying much - one of the advantages of cheap plastic construction!
I do street photography. Consequently I dont give a gnat's arse about lppm. Once I've put down my photo mags, I get out and shoot what happens.
Beautiful colours, pearlescent bokeh, gorgeous slice-thin depth of field when wanted, light as a feather. Reasonably cheap too so you dont treat it like a museum piece as you do with an L lens. This is a lens you can use & forget about - you come back home, pop yr pics on the 'puter & drop your chin on something soft.
Closest I've come to falling in love with a piece of hardware. After I got this I sold my L's (& my 1.8, it's geeky cousin...!) & started enjoying DOING photography, not thinking about it.
It's a fine-looking little thing as well - not the detailing but in terms of proportion. Not that it matters... but it does! Why do we buy nice clothes after all?
This is it for me, 20d + 50 f1.4. At least until Leica get their finger out their ass & produce a decent piece of digital rangefinder gear. I'm not holding my breath!


Apr 8, 2005
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12833
Review Date: Apr 5, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp from 2.8 down
Cons:
Awful build for 'the best standard lens' that Canon make. Graunchy focusing, plasticky, not A PATCH on the old 50mm 1.4 FD lens

Nowhere near as good as I'd hoped. Bought to upgrade my 1.8 II 50mm as I needed the extra light, this lens is not worth the extra money.

Though a good solid performer, sharp and with goodish quiet autofocus, the build quality isn't much better than a consumer zoom. The focus ring is 'rough' and not easy to use.

As this is the 'best' 50mm Canon make it should be MUCH better.

If you have the other slower 50's, don't bother to upgrade.



Apr 5, 2005
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kodos
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Registered: Nov 12, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, great low light capability (esp w/20D), natural contrast, natural colors. Awesome bokeh.
Cons:
Slightly loose focus ring (why?).

Best quality lens I've owned, and I have the 17-40f4L, Tamron 28-75f2.8, 50mm 1.8, 70-200f4L, 100-400L lenses as comparison. My 50/1.8 never focused correctly in wider apertures. So instead of sending the cheap thing in for calibration, I decided to spring for the 50/1.4 instead. A world of difference for those who have an extra $250+ to spend on this lens. I've shot from f2.0 to f8.0 and noticed how sharp and natural that the shots I've seen from this lens are. A lot of L-caliber lenses have IMHO excessive contrast, and excessive saturation on colors. This lens is the closest I've used that just *nails* it in a natural yet pleasing fashion. I rarely do anything but add a touch of USM to my pictures after using the 50mm, but am always futzing around with the L-lenses in my collection.

I've been setting up a home studio for taking pictures of my son, and I must say that this lens is going to be *it*. Unfortunately 50mm on a 1.6x body is rather long (80mm effective), so I'm going to need some space for full body shots.

The bokeh on this lens is to die for. When I need a blurred out background, this nifty thing is going to be pulled out from now on.

Best lens I own, and cheap (relatively) too!


Apr 3, 2005
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sylphe
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Registered: Apr 2, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 22
Review Date: Apr 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Razor sharp by f2.8, f1.4 possibility, outstanding colors, fast AF with FTM, light and small
Cons:
Soft at 1.4 (no surprise there, but it still usable), flimsy construction.

IMHO, an excellent piece of optic in a crappy package. Everything feel loose on this lense, especially the focussing ring.

By now, with the 1.6X crop dSLR, its not a focal lense I use that much (any portrait photographer would praise it more than me). In the world of the future, when average Joe will be able to buy a full frame dSLR, this lense may come out of my bag to stick front of camera more often.

I wish then to see Canon re-edited this lense - ok, let's dream... - 45 f1.2L !?!


Apr 2, 2005
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B_Lebsanft
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Registered: Feb 26, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, beautiful bokeh, metal mount, excellent lens!
Cons:



Mar 29, 2005
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gerrit p
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: can be used almost wide open, fast AF, exellent quality.
Cons:
none



Mar 18, 2005
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Thang
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Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9514
Review Date: Mar 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, Sharp, and Compact
Cons:
None

I am a zoom guy and this is the only short prime lens I have in my setup. A perfect lens for portrait on a 1.6x crop cameras. AF is lightning fast. F1.4 is a bless. Image quality is simply stunning. I recommend everyone to skip the 1.8 version and go straight to this lens. Yes, it's 3x the price of the 1.8 but the built and glass quality is so much better. I used to own both version I and II of the 1.8 lens. In both copies, the lenses were pretty much useless at 1.8 and sharpness did not improve until f4. With the 1.4 version, sharpness is just awesome at 1.8 or higher. I highly recommend this lens to everyone. It's another must have if one is serious enough with low light photography.

Mar 15, 2005
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Heechee
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Registered: Dec 19, 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 383
Review Date: Mar 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent bokeh, small size, good handling, and good focal length on a film camera
Cons:
Not too usable below f2.0, not a nice focal length on a 20D

I like the 50mm 1.4 on a film body. It's usable as a walk-around lens if you have the time to walk backwards and forwards a lot, and the resulting camera is very small. I tried it on a 20D, but I didn't like the focal length at all.

My 50mm 1.4, when shot with a 20D at 1.4 or 1.8 produces a slight soft-focus effect when viewed at 100% magnification, not good unless used as a special effect.

I bought the lens for the bokeh, which is EXCELLENT. When I want to get a nicely blurred background, I use this lens, otherwise I usually use the 17-40L, both on a film body.


Mar 6, 2005
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c08as2
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Registered: Dec 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 505
Review Date: Feb 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $304.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap, Sharp, fast, light...
Cons:
The Micro USM is a little slow, the focus just doesn't snap. It's a little too long on the 20d.

I've been very happy with this lens so far, yet I am very disappointed with the micro usm. I played around with my friend’s kit lens and was shocked at how poorly the focus is on the 50mm compared to the kit lens. On the positive note, the lens is extremely sharp and the build quality is much better than the f/1.8(for me worth the extra $200). Overall, I'm very happy with the lens and a strong recommendation to any photog.

Feb 26, 2005
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Gil H
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Registered: Feb 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light and fast. Gret for portraits
Cons:
not a zoom...

Worth avery cent, and its compact light size puts it in my bag wherever I go.
Great indoor lens, and I would recomend it if you can afford it, otherise at least buy the 50 1.8II


Feb 13, 2005
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tkjaer
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Registered: Oct 29, 2003
Location: Denmark
Posts: 502
Review Date: Jan 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast focus, sharp, nice contrast and colors, great bokeh, very light.
Cons:
A bit soft wide open

A very good lense for the price. It gets sharp from f1.8 (usable at f1.4 though), and delivers good color and contrast.

It's been my favourite and most used lense ever since I bought it a year and a half ago. It has switched place with a 35/1.4L now though, which has a better build, and is sharper at large apertures.

I'd love for canon to do a 1.2L version of this one though.


Jan 29, 2005
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Photo_lc
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Registered: Jan 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $255.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast USM focus. Very sharp and uniformly sharp. Light weight. Fast f/1.4.
Cons:
A little bit over-priced.

No doubt this is a great lens. For Digital SLR users, this is a must for its F1.4 and 80mm film-equivalent focal length.

However, since I have not fully used its features (like 1.4 and FTM), I sold it to easy my financial status. I have my 50mm 1.8 metal version. The pictures I took from 50mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.8 are not quite distinguishable, for I am not using 1.4 or even 1.8 much. Also the focus speed of the 1.8 (both I or II) are nearly as fast as the 1.4 (but noiser). So for my purposes, it justifies using this 1.8 version by sacrificing a some 1.4 or FTM features. My goal, of course, is to purchase another 1.4 when I have more time to take serious photos. I don't agree that 1.8 version (I or II) front-focuses or back-focuses because I have used both. It is just a matter of a bad sample.


Jan 27, 2005
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cladnin
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Registered: Sep 8, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 150
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, F1.4, size / weight
Cons:
Micro-USM (Loud) - external focusing

Great lens, the noise it produces due to the micro-USM isn't all that pleasing, but will have to do. Tad soft at 1.4-1.8 but that is expected.

Jan 20, 2005
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choiboyogg
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Registered: Jun 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4165
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: absolutely sharp as a tack, very light weight, nice colors and contrast, great shallow depth of field, great in low light
Cons:
build quality is not so great, micro-usm is worthless. it needs true usm like its 85 f1.8 and 100 f2 couterparts.

yes the 50mm 1.8 is cheaper and a great lens but spend the extra on the 50mm 1.4 if you got the dough. although i am not absolutely thrilled about the build quality, it is much better than the 1.8.

if you have a dslr with 1.6x, its a great portrait lens.

buy it and go out and shoot all you can with it.

i guarantee that you will love it.


Jan 19, 2005
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hyunk702
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1087
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $319.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lovely bokeh! This lens is great for low light conditions where you know you will be underexposed. I shoot at night alot and use this nice piece of glass if the situation warrents.
Cons:
Just get this straight, don't try to kid yourself; you will not be using this as your daily walk around lens.

Like I said, don't kid yourself into thinking you will be using this as your daily walk around lens.

You will be using this lens for portrait and in low light situations. It's absolutely the best portrait lens.

Im loving this with people shots. Anything with depth of field or wide portraits = not so hot.


Jan 19, 2005
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backfocus
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Registered: Jan 19, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very good from F=2.0 on, FTM
Cons:
quite soft 1.4-2.0: much CA wide open

its now my third copy of this lens. No. ! and 2 were incredible: AF was absolutely unreliable. No. 3 now is much better: AF hits perfectly in about 90 % of all shots with f=2.0.
Expect quite soft sharpness between 1.4 and 2.0. If you compare it to the EF 50/1.8 I or II, the 50/1.4 clearly wins at f=2.0. Stopped down there is not much difference.

Conclusion:

Best EF-Lens (50 mm) around f=2.0, FTM is very handy when you need to refocus.


Jan 19, 2005
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
394 1203972 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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