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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
388 1169276 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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ersatz
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Registered: Aug 24, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 222
Review Date: Aug 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Relatively cheap and sharp. Good contrast, AF fairly fast and accurate.
Cons:
Fragile AF motor.

I try to rate lenses independent of one another at least on the 1-10 scale. But comparisons will always be drawn and I try to keep things into perspective, especially that of price, which is an important consideration to consumers.

I got this lens used for $250 which at the time was a fair price as it included a lens hood and generic HOYA UV filter. This is quite a step up from the 50mm 1.8 mkII. Build quality is much better and so are the resultant images.

Contrast is better and colors are much warmer. That alone justifies purchase over the 1.8 mkII, IMO. The AF is also faster and quieter. It does occassionally hunt in really low light. AF accuracy is also better but I still find it misses the mark, especially in low light. But, I get twice as many keepers than the 1.8 mkII. However the AF is fragile and if you happen to bump the front of the lens you can damage the AF motor. I had a lens hood on and someone walked past brushing their arm into the hood and it damaged the AF motor. It was a $150 repair. The manual focus in located mid body and is actually useable unlike the 1.8 mkII. But I grew tired of it and finally sent it in for repair.

This lens has a good half stop of sharpness over the 1.8 mkII and even on occassion a full stop especially in the corners on a FF body. But in comparison to the Canon 85mm 1.8 or the Sigma 50mm 1.4 and its sharpness is not that impressive. I've say it's roughly a stop behind either of those. Not to mention AF speed and accuracy aren't quite on par either.

The 85mm kind of spoiled me as I expected the same qualities in the Canon 50mm 1.4 and it just couldn't meet those expectations. The 85mm 1.8 is really a hidden gem.

However, I heard that the Sigma 50mm 1.4 has a sharp lens wide open. Well, it cost me $400 but it did deliver. AF while a bit noisy is damn accurate and conparable in speed. It is sharp wide open, with little CA or fringing that can plague the Canon 85mm 1.8 lens. People do complain about the Sigma's AF accruacy and mine did back focus slightly on a crop body. Sent it in only to have the same issue. Finally sent the crop body and lens in and it was calibrated properly. I would readily recommend the Sigma 50mm 1.4 over the Canon but the price difference is fairly steep too. But I have a tendncy to pixel peep and crop quite a bit so I'm a bit fussy over IQ.

The Canon 1.4 is vastly better than the 1.8 mkII and I would recommend it any day over the latter even given the price. But if you can get the Sigma, then that would be my recommendation. The Sigma does everything better though it is more costly. I just prefer the Sigma as it is easier to use and requires less post processing, but the Canon 1.4 is a perfectly adequate lens.


Aug 24, 2009
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MarcyJillGood
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Registered: May 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 997
Review Date: Aug 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight, small, fast & sharp.
Cons:
None.

This is probably my favorite lens, or one of them, at least. It's the one I turn to for portraits or candid shots of people. I prefer zooms for walk-around fun, but I absolutely LOVE this lens. It's much faster than the 50mm 1.8 and, IMHO, worth the extra cost. I had the 1.8 as well, but the slow focus and noise bothered me, so I gave it to my young niece.

The build seems very solid & it feels substantial in your hands (compared to the 1.8). I have not rated the build because I hate to compare it to an L lens (the tanks).

I'm new to dSLRs, so I am certain other reviewers have better comparisons to make, but I do love this lens.

FYI - have used it mostly on my beloved XSi; recently bought a 5D Mk ii but not much experience on it yet.


Aug 15, 2009
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hien_it
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Registered: Aug 9, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 9, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Oh sorry, I mean 70-200mm but not 70-700.

Aug 9, 2009
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hien_it
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Registered: Aug 9, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness and color, USM, lightweight, compact.
Cons:
Micro USM, litle slower than ring USM.

I've got this lens for 3 months. This is an awesome lens which produces incredible sharpness and color. I have also a 70-700 F4 IS, and I cant tell the difference between the pictures taken with the two lens.
However, I give only 9 because of the micro-USM. It's a little slow, sometime I loose focus because that the subject move a little bit while I'm focusing.
Some pictures taken with this lens:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hien_it/tags/canonef50mmf14usm/


Aug 9, 2009
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Michael Watt
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Registered: Jan 21, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast apertures, pleasing background blur, relatively inexpensive,
Cons:
Prefer internal focusing, don't like the lens extending during focusing as this captures dust.

Canon 50mm EF f/1.4 USM Lens. I don’t know why many photographers choose a far more expensive L series lens, only to produce results that can easily be emulated by their much cheaper counterpart. I have never been impressed by the mine’s-bigger-than-your’s, so it must be better rational when it comes to optical equipment. Even if I could afford the 1.2 version of this focal length, the results I get from this lens are optically pleasing and are acceptable to me. Given the comparative apertures above 2.8 the results are similar. Apertures greater than 2.8 at close distances are difficult to use and border on the impractical for this focal length. I find this lens sharp (in the centre) wide open when the Lens plane and focal plane are parallel. Focus is fast and accurate and if needed the bright viewfinder produced by this lens permits easy manual focus. For general photography this is a highly recommended optic and preferable to the expensive 50 mm 1.2 lens. If required the eight blades and fast apertures produce a pleasing background blur to isolate the subject.

Studio results using this optic :-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mw_photography/3757813902/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mw_photography/3749415320/


Jul 28, 2009
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juju1958
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Registered: Apr 26, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 742
Review Date: Jul 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good fast AF and quiet , size and weight. VERY usable at f1.4.
Cons:
none

I dropped and broke my 50mm MK11 1.8 which I had been fairly happy with exept the AF ability in low light. For a while now I had pondered on whether or not to get the The 50mm f1.4 / f1.2 or maybe something wider. I had tried the 50mm f1.4 on a 30D and did not make a purchase. Then a while later having the 5D MK11 with me I tried this lens again and made the purchase. I am very happy with the results so far. Great IQ with fill in flash at f1.4 with an equally satisfying rendition of colour.
needless to say the the IQ gets very sharp as the aperture is stepped down with f8 / f13 being as sharp as my macro 100mm f2.8.
This lens is a step up from the plastic f1.8 in so many ways and well worth the higher price.


Jul 18, 2009
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Paul_88
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Registered: Jul 1, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $355.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light weight and fast AF. Very good color and contrast.
Cons:
Micro-USM

This lens is a great lens for the price you paid. It's small, light weight and fast AF. Very good color and contrast but at wide open end, this lens is kind a soft. Micro-USM is not as fast as ring-type usm but you can't beat it at this price.

Jul 15, 2009
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matnen
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Registered: Dec 13, 2008
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 108
Review Date: Jul 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp.Sharp.USM.Lightweight.Compact.
Cons:
no hood

Perfect lens for this money.Sharp, nice bokeh, natural colors, clear images.Good for portraits and walkaround shots.Accurate AF.It lives on my XTi.Highly recommended for those who start DSLR photography.This is reference lens.Right choise to replace kit lens.
I've been with it for more then a year-no regrates.Superb lens for good money.


Jul 15, 2009
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andywang
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Registered: Jul 7, 2009
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp only F2.0 above. Fast focusing, Value Lens
Cons:
Material not strong. internal focusing motor easy having problem



Jul 11, 2009
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dealaddict
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Registered: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 31
Review Date: Jun 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp image at F2 and up, ok and very usable below F2, reasonable price, fast focus, focus is spot on, small and light
Cons:
Focus hunt at low light situation

This lens is very good lens, very sharp and very reasonably priced. highly recommended. But I am surprise with the auto focus hunts too much at low light, even more than my Sigma 28mm.

Jun 11, 2009
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MrAdventure
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Registered: Jun 12, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2878
Review Date: May 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, Light and fast. Very good color and contrast right out of the camera. My copy is sharp wide open and gets a bit better by f/2, especially in the corners. It's actually a bit sharper than the two copies of the 50L that I've borrowed and tried out. AF is very fast, smooth and silent...when it's not broken.
Cons:
The clutch breaks easily. Wish it had a ring type AF motor, but I can't say it's mad a big difference either way. Don't drop it, even on a shag carpet, the AF will go wonky with very little everyday wear and tear.

Can't beat it for the money if you want to step up in focus speed and accuracy from the 50 1.8 model. The color and sharpness of my copy is superb, it needs very little post processing if you nail the exposure right. It will resolve details no prob on everything right up to the new 5D MK2 without a hitch. You might see some issues with the 50D due to the heavier crop sensor demands. You have to really look very closely though. I had to have someone point of the slight noise issue before I noticed. I was going to sell it and try the Sigma, but I couldn't find a copy out of (3) that didn't have focusing issues beyond ten feet.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3255/3511914836_0cb2400d29_o_d.jpg


May 17, 2009
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pauelv
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Registered: Sep 11, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 110
Review Date: May 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, good contrast (but not L contrast), Sharp from f1.6/1.8 and smaller, good AF response, good value for the price
Cons:
Soft wide open, build quality seem fragile, no full-time manual focus

There's not many lenses that performs top-notch when wide open, especially faster prime lenses. With some exceptions, but you have to pay for those.

This lens is a good value lens. The optical quality is good, but the price is compensated by the not so good build quality.

the out of focus part is quite pleasing, and the light weight makes it a good walk-around prime lens. In my opinion the best non-L 50mm prime from Canon. (can't say anything about the 50L's as I have not tried one)

pauelv


May 8, 2009
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joelypolly
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Registered: Mar 29, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast 1.4 aperture which means excellent low light performance Excellent DoF effect Excellent bokeh when focusing on close objects Light and inexpensive Metal Mount
Cons:
50mm on a cropped body is... well weird Shallow DoF means hard to focus at times Plastic body

This is probably one of the most popular primes ever sold. It is inexpensive, light and quite a sharp when stepped down a little. This lens is also about a quarter the price of the f/1.2.
I have owned a copy of this lens since May of last year and it has opened up a whole new dimension of photography that just wouldn't not have been possible on a standard zoom.

The DoF effect is very very shallow, in fact so shallow that I had trouble at the beginning locking focus on what I wanted. You will be using this lens in Manual focus mode much of the time simply because the AF won't always pick the correct thing to be in focus.

Check out sample photos from the lens at http://joelypolly.blogspot.com/search/label/50mm


Apr 18, 2009
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colcase
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Registered: Jul 6, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 12
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, great optics for the price, f1.4
Cons:
Sharpness not that great wide open. Plastic construction

Unless you're willing to pay 5 times that amount to get you the L version and f1.2, this lens is the best deal. It's better than the cheap 1.8 version and won't keep your budget suffering for months.

Good at 1.4, this lens is super sharp at f2 and above. The thin DOF is great producing a very nice bokeh. AF is fast enough but could be faster.

If you want a quality 50mm optic that won't break the bank it is an excellent choice and will produce great pictures.


Mar 19, 2009
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franzoi
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Registered: Aug 30, 2008
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $390.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, f 1.4, blurred, up f/2.0 is very sharp.
Cons:
plastic body.

This lens I use only for the interior and dimly lit with af/1.4 is really fantastic.
The best quality you have to f / 4 to f / 8.
I used this lens all over the world for me money/quality is 10.


This is the only f/1.4 canon lens-economic.


My web with foto:


http://www.franzoi.eu/index.php/foto/


Feb 21, 2009
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photosbyjay
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Registered: Oct 12, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, background blur, colours and saturation comparable to L lenses, less intrusive than the big L zooms
Cons:
Very soft up to about f2.0

Truthfully, this lens was sitting around unused in my bag until I read these reviews. I thought it was a dud because at f1.4 or even 1.8 shots were looking soft (even when I manually focussed) and nothing like the shots I was seeing online taken with the much more expensive 50/1.2 . However when I stopped down to 2.0 or 2.2 on my 5D it made a world of difference. Images are really sharp (but bear in mind you have a very thin depth of field so focus carefully and don't move the camera around too much once you've focussed). Colours and contrast are fantastic our of the camera - even with my experienced eye it's hard to differentiate between shots taken with my 70-200 2.8L and this lens.

I had a pre-wedding photo shoot with a couple yesterday and used this lens for the majority of shots. Check out some of the photos taken with this lens at http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/wedding-photographer-sydney-blog/

I'm starting to fall in love with this lens, now that I know how to use it properly. I love the subtle blurring of foreground subjects, the field of view and the ever so slight perspective distortion. Pictures with this lens have a much more dynamic, edgy feel than with my 70-200 2.8.

I see it as an advantage that you have to get in closer to the subject with this lens because it lets you get more involved with the scene and the subjects, rather than standing way back and zooming in. A steal for the price.


Feb 8, 2009
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
388 1169276 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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