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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
386 1172098 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.91
8.70
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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Michael-M
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Registered: Apr 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 2698
Review Date: Jun 17, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp lens, and for the D60, it saves me from buying the 85mm L lens at this time. very well built, and very quiet.
Cons:
none

great lens to have and will surely teach you a lot about DOF.

Jun 17, 2003
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JCDoss
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1090
Review Date: Jun 10, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap and fast. Sharp at f/2.8 (maybe) and higher.
Cons:
Build quality is so-so, slow to AF, and very soft at f/2.8 and lower

I bought this lens with my original kit to complement my 28-135IS in low light or indoor conditions. At the apertures I intended to use it (f/2.8 and below), I find it to be softer than I like. This lens has USM, but it's a "micro-USM" and as such moves a fair bit slower and is somewhat noisier. Probably most disturbing is that you can feel components of the motor clunking around inside the lens when handling it. Overall, I find that I hardly use this lens at all, not so much because if it's performance, but because 50mm on a DSLR with a 1.6x multiplier is just not a focal length I tend to use a lot.

[Edit: 2/17/2004] My tune is starting to change... a little. I forced myself to leave the zooms in my bag yesterday, and I got quite a number of good shots that I wouldn't have otherwise. You cannot ignore what a fast lens can do for you, even in daylight. Yesterday was supposed to be a litmus test for this lens, and it passed easily.


Jun 10, 2003
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psquared
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Registered: Apr 29, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 337
Review Date: Jun 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Decent build for the price; Fast at 1.4; Sharp and Contrasty at f/4 and up; excellent bokeh; silent focus; accurate color
Cons:
Not too impressed with the manual focus action both in USM full-time manual on auto mode and manual mode; Very soft wide open;

I first shot with the 50/1.8 II, the lens was sharp, contrast, and light but wasn't too impressed with the build.

I purchased the 50/1.4 used for the better build quality, the full-time manual, and image quality. The lens is really soft wide open, it needs to be stopped down to f/3.0 or higher to get super sharp images. The color, contrast, and bokeh are very good for the lens.

My biggest complaint may just apply to the copy I have used, the focus ring isn't really smooth, and the turn-to-focus ratio is much to high for my tastes (which translates to large turns to focus). This factor didn't make shooting with this lens very enjoyable for my tastes. I luckily found a 50/1.8 Mk1 that gives be the best of both worlds.


Jun 4, 2003
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Griffin
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 879
Review Date: Jun 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Large aperature; tick sharp; inexpensive and light-weight for features;
Cons:
Plastic; USM not in par with others; extending front element; rear element unprotected

Probably the best "standard" 135 lens your money can buy, after testing from other manufacturers. Sharp, light, and a f/1.4 gives you the ability to shoot in almost all sort of lighting condition and still gives superb results. It is very useful in almost all sort of applications like portraits, candid and street photographs.

The minor issues I come across is quite a few: first, the USM is not as fast, even compare to other non-"L" lenses like EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and EF100mm f/2.8 USM Macro. May be due to price consideration, the rear element is too close to the mount and is very subject to scraches. The front element extends on focus, but not rotate, and could induce possible dust problem.

But so far, no complaints!


Jun 3, 2003
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Storm
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Registered: May 21, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 99
Review Date: May 29, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great in low light. Excellent Sharpness. Should be your #1 choice for a portrait lens on a Canon 10D.
Cons:
NONE

For a non-L lens this is THE best. It gives you sharpenss that you would only expect from an L lens. Not to mention its outstanding perfomance with NO flash -- it simply can't be beat. This should be your reference "normal" lens. Canon should just throw a red stripe on it, add $1000 bucks to the price, and call it an "L" lens!! :-)

May 29, 2003
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hugoso
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Registered: Jul 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 291
Review Date: May 27, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp and constrasty compact
Cons:
a bit slow and noisy AF. quite filmsy feel near the af/m button. flare

I move from 50/1.8 and note this 50/1.4 to be much more accuracy in focusing, especially in large apertures. Canon should have supply the hood with this lens.

May 27, 2003
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kuboċ
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Registered: May 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: May 24, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very very sharp, a great portrait lens on a 10D and candid,etc on a 1V. Performs alot better than the 1.2 and focuses faster.
Cons:
not l build quality. af is not instant like newer usm designs.

The best 50 in an EOS mount. A great deal. Very focal length and lens in imho.

May 24, 2003
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Richard N
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Registered: Apr 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 146
Review Date: May 22, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Optically excellent, very useful fast aperture. Light.
Cons:
Noisy AF focusing.

Great prime to have. I guess everyone should have one. An excellent portrait lens on my 10D. Extremely useful when shooting in low-light. USM is good, but it needs to be updated to a newer design.

May 22, 2003
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braindeadmac
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Registered: Apr 29, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1973
Review Date: May 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Good image quality, relatively small and lightweight for an EF lens. Great aperture and focal length on 10D, other cameras with 1.6x factor.
Cons:
Mediocre build and mechanical quality, especially when compared to L lenses. Manual focusing is not smooth and lens has short throw, making manual focusing a bit difficult.

I bought this lens to have a fast portrait lens with my 10D; it is my only non-L lenses. I'm a bit disappointed in the "feel" of the lens, and manual focus is not smooth due to the motor. However, image quality is pretty good with nice contrast and bokeh even wide open. It is a bit soft in the corners wide open, especially on a film camera, but that improves quickly by f2.8. It is certainly comparable to the Nikkor lens of the same speed and focal length. This may not be a lens I keep for long, although that was my expectation before buying it.

May 1, 2003
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Amit
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Registered: Jan 1, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1292
Review Date: Apr 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light, easy to carry, sharp, excellent for low light and indoor photography and good DOF
Cons:

I use this lens a LOT. Very sturdy, and easy to carry, and I have dropped it 2 times already Smile, it works like a song and is perfect for indoor and/or night/low light photography.

Apr 2, 2003
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Apr 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Speed, price.
Cons:
None

Not the sharpest lens in my stable, but one of the fastest, and it still delivers VERY good images. Good to use when I want a one-lens simple snapshot outfit. In contrast to other users, I find the slight edge "softness" at f1.4 on my FF and 1.3x crop camera a sometimes asset -- especially if you use it to compositional advantage -- a "look" I like. But I agree it performs better from f2 - up.

Apr 1, 2003
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deevee
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Registered: Mar 12, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 367
Review Date: Mar 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp inexpensive
Cons:
not as solid as L build

a wonderful lens for d60 and 10D ...excellent for portraits and low light...relatively cheap for a non L...i sold it in favor of the 50mm f2.5 for i need the macro capability too...they're both sharp but the f1.4 has better usm technology...i do miss the f1.4 and f2.0 sometimes especially in absence of flash...highly recommended to d60/10D users.
;-)


Mar 31, 2003
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MikeP
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Registered: Mar 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 22
Review Date: Mar 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness Price
Cons:
Build Quality is way better than 50/1.8 but could still be better

I use this lens with a D60 and I am amazed by the sharpness and the detail that it captures (especially at this price).

I find this lens of limited use wide open - at F1.4 it is a little soft, combined with a VERY short DOF. However, at F2.8 it starts to shine and at F4.0 it is by far the sharpest lens I have ever used.

Because of the detail, I use this lens whenever I can, forgoing the convenience of a zoom.


Mar 31, 2003
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Harold St
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Registered: Sep 16, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 799
Review Date: Mar 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent Image Quality, Low Cost, Large Aperature, Light Weight
Cons:
None (for a consumer grade lens)

I used this lens on the D60. Ninety percent of my "keepers" have either been taken with this lens or the 135mm/f2. Images are very sharp at f2.0 or higher.

The build quality is average and the autofocus is a little sluggish, especially in low light.

I would highly recommend this lens to anyone with looking for superb image quality at a reasonable price.


Mar 31, 2003
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stan_g
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 232
Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Very sharp, light, good portrait length on 1.6 factor body
Cons:
Slow AF in low light

Needed fast AF/low light lens. Not bad on a 1D but poor on D30/D60. Wish I still had it as few lenses are sharp enough to bring out the resolution abilities of the D60/10D.

Mar 30, 2003
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lexvo
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Registered: Sep 13, 2002
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 3825
Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, compact
Cons:

I bought this lens for available light photography. With a maximum aperture of f/1.4 it shines of course, giving me acceptable shutter speeds in low light.

Now that I have it, I also like it very much for street/scene shooting. It is compact and makes the camera/lens combination very handable. I spend a day in Antwerpen (Belgium) with only this lens and loved it.

According to some tests the 50/1.4 is optically as good or even better than the (now discontinued) 50/1.0.

You don't have to stop this lens very much down to become very sharp pictures, I've read a test which outcomes were:

f/1.4: 53 lp/mm
f/2.0: 69 lp/mm
f/2.8: 80 lp/mm
f/4.0 up to f/11: around 90 lp/mm
f/16: 80 lp/mm

So, I'd say stopping down to f/2.8 will give you already great results.

It may be a little soft at f/1.4, but I don't care about that much because I photograph mostly people at this aperture (low light) and they appreciate it when their faces aren't tack sharp, revealing every little 'fault'...

Summary: I love this lens.


Mar 30, 2003
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
386 1172098 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.41
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.91
8.70
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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