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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
390 1193825 Nov 10, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.55
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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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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ohcello
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Registered: Dec 30, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 166
Review Date: Jan 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, build
Cons:
not much...not great at f/1.4, but I don't fault them at this pricepoint. not a zoom? =)

Excellent lens... Respectable at 1.8, but really good at 2.2...

Good build and better than expected AF... feel like ring USM most of the time for me even though its not..

The build is good enough for sure, and the bokeh is nice with the 8-blade aperture design.

I was going to get the nifty fifty, but for $225, I get another full stop of sharpness, better build, better bokeh.

Very happy with this lens.....


Jan 26, 2009
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st_dimov
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Registered: Sep 29, 2005
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jan 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, unobtrusive, really sharp beyond about F2, F2.5 (especially if you are coming from moderately priced zooms), nice portrait lens on a 1.6x crop Canon.
Cons:
A little plasticky, not terribly fastfocusing, hunts sometimes esp. when not using the center point (on 20D & 40D).

A picture's worth a 1000 words. A gallery of images all taken with this lens and Canon 40D, most wide open. F numbers are shown. http://orionlessskies.com/folio/bulgarian-outback/kremikovci/index.html
( its a flash gallery Sad )


Jan 13, 2009
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Antony
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Registered: Jun 5, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 666
Review Date: Jan 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Inexpensive and fast
Cons:
Build quality not up to my standards

The 50mm f/1.4 is a nice lens, I could just never get past the really lightweight plasticky feel of the construction. Mind you, compared to many off-brand lenses or other consumer lenses it's fine, but I migrated from an old manual focus system where everything was metal, and as a result this just felt lousy. I ended up selling it and use Ls now for the better construction and more solid feel.

Jan 8, 2009
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kengroff
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Registered: Jan 5, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight, very useful indoors, sharp from 2.0 and up, great walkaround lens.
Cons:
Fairly soft from 1.4-1.8

Picked this lens up back in the summer, after buying the 100mm macro lens where I have no hesitation to use wide open I was slightly disappointed that its pretty soft from 1.4-1.8. Once I use it at f2 I find it is very sharp and I usually set it at that aperture for available light indoor shooting. Focusing I find is accurate, the lens is nice and light, great for walking around and small group portraits. Overall very happy with the lens and the speed is much appreciated over the kit lens for my 30D(18-55mm 3.5-5.6) and the build quality is better too.

Jan 5, 2009
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anorphirith
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Registered: Apr 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1137
Review Date: Nov 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: VERY sharp after f/2.0 , small and portable, very light, 50mm leads to nice compositions
Cons:
you pay to have a f/1.4 lens that you cannot use at 1.4 !!, if you are looking for a low light performer, I'd recommend 85mm 1.2



Nov 2, 2008
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Phast1
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Registered: Jul 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2082
Review Date: Oct 31, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: compact, cheap, sharp, fast.
Cons:
soft wide open

I've had several copies of this lens over the years but never wrote a review so here it is...

I've used this lens on 20d,30d,40d,5d,1dMkII-n.
The lens is soft at f/1.4-1.8.
From f/2-2.2 is very usable. I'd go so far as to say that this lens is an f/2.2 because from there on in it's wonderful.
This is not to say I don't use this lens at it's widest apertures, I do. Sharpness is subjective. The bokeh is beautiful.

Focus is fast. I've used it for ringside sports without a hitch.
I also use this lens for portraiture on a crop body and it has never let me down. Renders fine detail nicely.

For the price you certainly get your money's worth from the 50 1.4.



Oct 31, 2008
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skibum5
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 17276
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: exceedingly sharp stopped down, very fast at f/1.4, compact and light
Cons:
very poor build for the cost, terrible AF

every bit as good as the zeiss contax 50mm 1.4

does get some halation from f/1.4-1.8 under certain conditions

abysmal AF accuracy anywhere near wide open (and i've used six different copies, they varied from beyond abysmal to abysmal) for any subject more than like 5' away.

AF clutch a weak point and my first copy was broken right out of the box

they badly need to stick in a proper ring USM!

incredibly sharp corner to corner stopped down and decent bokeh and incredibly low CA

quite prone to PF anywhere near wide open



Oct 13, 2008
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bklyn_g
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Registered: Oct 8, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp as can be when stopped down, light, nice bokeh, cheap.
Cons:
soft to 1.6, flimsy focus ring, cheaper build quality.

My copy is sharpER than any lens I have ever seen at f8. This thing redefines what I thought possible as far as non-L sharpness. Opened up, however, it is very soft with the "dreaminess" everyone talks about. Not nearly as sharp as my sigma 30mm at f1.4...which is very sharp all the way through the range to f11 or so...

Build is average quality. Glass is surely high quality. For the price its a great lens.

Colors are saturated and accurate. Classic Canon in this regard. AF is fast and quiet and very accurate.

Here's examples (sharpened):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycgeo/2928485984/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycgeo/2928485846/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycgeo/2927626157/

...Shot with 450D.


Oct 9, 2008
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lubutterfly
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Registered: Sep 6, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, F1.4
Cons:
Build, Slower AF but much faster than 85L or 50 F1.8 MKII, Soft till F2.

Plus,

Price. There is nothing to say here. for the price its a great lens.

F1.4. Remember all those photos that you couldn't take before because 1, you had no flash or 2, your lens was F4 ? well thats problem is solved now.

Down.

Build. The build is not great. one of my mates dropped his from 30cm hight ... broken AF

Slow AF and Hunts in low light. But much faster than the F1.8MKII

Soft till F2/F2.2, sweet spot at F5.6 on a Crop and Great from F3.5 to F8 on a FF.


Sep 6, 2008
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Fevernight70
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, cheap, very nice bokeh, sharp
Cons:
CA from f1.4 to f1.8, slow AF in very low light environments

I have been looking for half a year for a lense which could deliver very nice results for both portraits and very low light environments.

I had read very good critics about the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and the EF 135mm f/2L USM, but for a beginner like me without any prior experience on using primes spending that big amount of money was not an option. After checking the very good critics on the reviews for the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, I rented one for the weekend and eventually bought one.

I got a good deal on a 2nd hand lense and since the moment I attached it to my camera, it has hardly been replaced for any other. Using a prime itself has refreshed my joy about photography. But the results that this lense delivers are what I was actually looking for.

On portraits you can get an incredible soft bokeh, and the colours out of it are very good. From f1.8 onwards its sharpness is also hard to top. Below that is a little soft, but I guess that must be the difference to the L-glass lenses.

For low lite environments (mainly concerts in my case), also superb. I can at last shoot concerts without having to use flash and thus getting pictures which do not catch the atmosphere of the moment or getting blurred pictures because of a slow lense/shutter speed. Most of the pictures are simply amazing, but you can often appreciate CA on chromed or metallic parts if shooting at f1.4-1.6 (again no L-glass; from f2.0 onwards problem solved) and the AF can be sometimes a little slow if the light is very very low (I guess it also has to do with using a 400D. It will probably be much better on a 40D or 5D).

I do definitely recommend this lense, since the only primes able to deliver better results are L-glass lenses, and that is simply a different league. If you are on budget, get it. No regrets.


Aug 27, 2008
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raczkevi
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Registered: Aug 14, 2008
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ,blur,focus ring,USM,very good plastic,iron mouth,acceptable price for this IQ distinguished price value proportion
Cons:
plastic,the sunshade doesn't belong to the objective,

I use this excellent lens for my new 450D comlement the Canon EF-S 18-55 IS + EF 55-250 IS "big kit".
I was demanding already unfortunately onto the good brightness ...That's why this is on the machine the cases in 80%.. ;o)
I hade the small brother 50/1.8,but I fear for it because of it will disintegrate soon ..
The 50/1.8 is a toy,the 50/1.4 is a good lens for foto ;o)
Better blur,colors,sharpness..
The USM is great after the 1.8's micromotor..
Under 1.8 it is soft,but really nice.

I love this lens,and recommend for everibody-especially who buy it cheaper than I did here in Hungary...

Every digital things are expensive here.. >o(
Hereby are some new,fresh fotoes with this excellent baby :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/apuc/


Aug 14, 2008
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rentedmule
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Registered: Jun 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 41
Review Date: Aug 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, good focal length for indoor people shots on crop camera, light
Cons:
Only dependable after 1.8

When I first got this lens it was pretty bad between 1.4 and 2.8. Sent it to the Canon service center in Irvine. Now it is still soft at 1.4 but good at 1.8 and great at 2.0 and above. At 2.0 it is still a fast lens w/ great IQ for a little over $300. I love this lens on my 40D. Focus is fast in all but the darkest conditions. In my case if it won't focus it is too dark to shoot. Everybody is different but I am happy as I would bet the IQ at 2.0 and above is comparable to the 50 f/1.2L for a $1000 less.

I would pocket the savings over the 50L as they seem to have quite a bit of lens variation and put it towards the 85 f/1.2L II for your future full frame camera. That lens is spooky sharp everywhere.


Aug 4, 2008
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
390 1193825 Nov 10, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.93
8.71
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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