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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
395 1201667 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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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 9753
Review Date: May 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, light weight, (relatively to IQ) low price
Cons:
The fact that the 1.2L exists.. Grrrr!

Very simply, a brilliant piece of kit. Inexpensive compared to any halfway decent Canon zoom lens, yet produces sharper pictures than my (previously) beloved and humongously costly 24-79 2.8L. Light, easy to use, fabulous IQ. What more can one want? So good that i bought a 85mm 1.8, and now ordered a 24mm 2.8. If they are as good as hoped for, I will go 100% primes and sell my zoom lenses (I also have the 10-22 and the 100-400L). Yes, a prime is not quite as flexible. But in my case, I'd rather have shots which I choose to make than shots I have to make, where a zoom gives more options.

May 25, 2008
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mlhplt
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Registered: May 17, 2008
Location: Turkey
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 17, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build Quality, Sharpness, Focus Speed, Price
Cons:
It's not sharp at f1.4~f1.8

I use my 50mm with Canon 400D, this lens is very sharp from f2.8 - f3.5 and excellent from f3.5 - f11. It is sharp from f1.8 - f2.8 but I can not say this for faster apertures but it is still usable. It is very compact and easy to use. Autofocus is really good and very silent, thanks to USM. I think it is the best choice of Canon's 50mm lenses, I used f1.8 one but it looks like a toy and I don't like its build quality. Its autofocus is also worse than this. The f1.2 one is too expensive for most of the photographers.

May 17, 2008
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Bert 1969
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Performance, price, sharpness, colours
Cons:
For this price nothing

This is a good lens especially considering the price/performance. Sharp from f/2.8.
Gives me much better pictures than a couple of L-zoom lenses I owned.


May 16, 2008
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Shaggy
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Reliability, size/weight, sharpness of photos, great walk around lens, relatively fast focus, works well in low light
Cons:
price (although it's not TOO overpriced), no included hood ($30 extra)

I've fallen in love with prime lenses, and this was my first investment in that field. I spent days scouring the web for honest reviews of several different lenses but kept finding myself coming back to this lens. The f/1.8 model was only $70 or so, and I was having a hard time justifying the extra $230 for an extra stop or two, but in the end I was extremely pleased with my purchase.

The f/1.8 had the same basic thread running through all its reviews: works great but cheaply made; feels like a toy. I'm assuming it was released to be almost a disposable lens. Break it? No prob..it's only $70. Problem is, I'm not the gentlest person with my gear. I didn't want to be replacing my lens every 6-12 months because I'm an easily excitable clutz. The f/1.4 has a solid, stable feel to it. It consistently produces great results, so I appear to have lucked out and gotten a copy that was spot-on. It handles surprisingly well in low light without flash and is a great portrait lens (on my body which has a 1.6 factor, rendering it roughly an 86mm lens).

It doesn't hunt as much as some reviewers have said, and I'm typically pleased with the results I get from it. It doesn't leave my camera that often.

My one gripe: no included hood. $30+shipping extra. WTF? For as much as Canon gets for their equipment (which I happen to think is superior to a lot of what is out there...not a knock on Nikon, just my preference), why on earth do we have to purchase the hood seperately...and why the heck is it so much? I will give props to their service department though. Roughly one month after I purchased this lens, I was shooting some pics for an event at work. I'm relatively poor so I only own one body. I kept changing this lens out for another one and inadvertently dropped this lens on the floor. A carpeted floor, but the floor none-the-less. Broken. Wouldn't focus (manually or automatically), made weird grinding motor sounds, camera wouldn't recognize it etc. I contacted Canon, described the problem, mailed it in and within 5 days had a new lens in the mail. No problems whatsoever. They tried walking me through some some repair suggestions on my own (I didn't have the cajones to tell them I dropped it..I just said it stopped working), and when nothing worked (surprise), they hooked me up with a new one. Props on that area.

Anyway, if you are in the market for a good prime in this range (depending on your crop factor) at a decent price, I'd recommend this lens. It'll be on my camera for years to come.



May 15, 2008
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Cubric
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Registered: Feb 25, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice soft at f1.4
Cons:

Its a good lens for its price. I have used it on a Rebel G and now on an EOS-3 though I still need to work on using it on the latter body. Sample:

http://bulohpictures.shutterchance.com/blog.php


May 3, 2008
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jayceooi
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Registered: Jul 23, 2007
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 14
Review Date: May 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $284.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, light, good for portrait.
Cons:
None for the moment.

I love this lens. It has been with me for almost 1 year. I take portrait shots with it on my 400D body.
Here are some of the photo.

50mm f/1.4 sample photo


May 2, 2008
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jaems
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Registered: Dec 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 62
Review Date: Apr 23, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Price, f/1.4, Outstanding image quality
Cons:
Focusing Issues, Lens Shade not included

This lens would be an excellent value, except that I can't seem to get my hands on a reliable one. After all the different times I've purchased this lens, and all the times it must be sent to Canon (at half the price of the lens each trip) to fix the sticky focusing mechanism that will lock up at the most inopportune times, I could have just bought the 1.2L!

I think it may have been a bad omen when the very first time I bought this lens new from KEH, the autofocus was Dead On Arrival and had to be returned.

Even with the autofocus reliability issues, some of my best photos were taken with this lens. I won't dump another dime into trying to get them working correctly though. They will just continue to malfunction 2 months after the 6-month repair warranty has passed.

I would only recommend this lens if you like taking a gamble. If/when it works, it definitely shines! I would definitely have a plan B if the photo matters though.




Apr 23, 2008
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retrofocus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 6716
Review Date: Apr 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $316.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light but well-built prime lens, great use in low light situations without flash and to achieve very shallow DoF with f < 1.8
Cons:
Hood is highly recommended for this lens but needs to be purchased seperatedly

This lens was a very pleasant surprise for me: I originally bought it to cover for low-light situations where I was unable to use a flash (in museums, exhibitions, churches etc.). After I received this lens, I examined it more closely additionally in daylight - this lens delivers great and sharp photos when it is used correctly. This means that you should keep in mind that at apertures smaller than f2.0 the AF of your camera doesn't work reliably anymore. With wide open apertures you definetely need to use MF to make sure that you catch your focus point right. AF also works sometimes at f<2.0, but it doesn't catch the desired focus point area correctly all the time - but this has nothing to do with the lens itself!

I was even more surprised about this hidden treasure when converting it to a macro lens with high capabilities by adding a Kenko extension tube. I was able to create great macro photos with an extremely shallow DoF which I couldn't do with a macro f2.8 lens! Of course you definetely need to use MF for such sort of macro photography anyway. The pretty broad focus ring on the lens allows a simple and convenient manual focusing in the MF lens mode.

In summary this lens performs extremely well, much better than I originally expected after reading tons of reviews. I also own the Canon 85 mm f1.8 EF lens, but the 50 mm f1.4 EF lens is definetely not worse! On a APS-C camera body the 50 mm focal length might be also perfect for portraits. If you need a very fast lens for a reasonable price, then you should highly consider this 50 mm lens!


Apr 19, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Apr 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: A bit better than the nifty-fifty
Cons:
IMHO, it just doesn't justify the price difference from the nifty-fifty

Don't get me wrong, this lens IS better than the 1.8. The build quality is better and the AF is faster and quieter (USM), but when it comes down to side-by-side image comparisons, there's only a small margin of "betterness" with the 1.4 IMHO.

This is a great little lens!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Sample Photos

-Roy


Apr 16, 2008
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bacilonur
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Registered: Aug 13, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 2735
Review Date: Apr 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, size
Cons:
IQ at 1.4, build quality, AF speed and noise

Bought this for low light usage, ended up getting the 50L instead. This one is just too plasticky and slow to focus, even on a 1-series. Great bang for the buck, though.

Apr 12, 2008
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sivrajbm
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Registered: Mar 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3430
Review Date: Apr 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: 1.4, 1.4, 1.4 did I say 1.4. Fast, sharp, good bokem, good IQ.
Cons:
None, some user error @ 1.4

I haven't shot at 1.4 since my film days. I really like this little lens. 1.4 is thin in close so watch your focus point, any kind of movement and things look soft. I seem to have a very good copy sharp at 1.4 excellent at 1.6 and beyond. I'm glad bought this little gem. I got the hood also for more flare & lens protection.
One of the best values in Canon lenses. This baby works well on all three of my Cameras.


Apr 1, 2008
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jkurtz
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Registered: Mar 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 229
Review Date: Mar 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp results. 1.4 (wide aperture). Sweet bokeh.
Cons:
Searches in low light sometimes. Not an "L".

This is my favorite non "L" lens that I have shot with. Also, it is a fun focal length to use. Who can complain about being able to open up to 1.4. Hood is nice to have but it does not come with one (purchased separately). Build quality is actually pretty good for a non "L", though without zoom there are less moving parts anyway. Very funs lens to work with.

I would definitely recommend this lens to anyone!

justin


Mar 29, 2008
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slyb
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Registered: Mar 20, 2008
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, excellent bokeh , performs extremely well in low light, FTMF Very good value for money
Cons:
focusing ring is lose (not very accurate), might hunt a bit in low light

This is my favorite (non-L) prime lens (used exclusively on x1.6 bodies)

I do not agree with people who say the lens is soft at 1.4
If you check the focusing point carefully, it'll always be really sharp. At 1.4 the lens defocus a lot anything at a difference distance than the focusing point that might give a 'soft' impression.

I use this lens 80% of my time for modeling shots. Highly recommended.


Mar 25, 2008
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chalford
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Registered: Mar 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, light, sharp, inexpensive, fast. Did I mention sharp and fast? Yup... it is!
Cons:
None at all.

This was the first lens I ever bought. I love it.

I had a hard time deciding between this and the f/1.8. I ended up buying the f/1.4 for myself and months later the f/1.8 for my wife.

Beside the obvious speed difference, if you are trying to decide which to use, consider the f/1.4 if you have any concerns about the AF hunting in the dark. The f/1.8 does hunt, but the f/1.4 seems to work out fine. Honestly this lens can almost see in the dark!

I've read a lot of comments bout the f/1.8's build quality. Do consider that this is a trivial issue as you can buy 3 of those for the price of the f/1.4. You may consider buying both as the f/1.8 would be an adequate backup in case something nasty happened at a shoot.

I haven't had the fortune of testing the 50mm L yet, so I cannot comment on the differences (other than price!!!).

I posted a sample image on my blog in the page titled "Creative Looks". The image has been enhanced a lot, but for a 1/30th sec hand-held shot you can see that it really does a nice job (even before tweaking the colour).

http://web.mac.com/halfordchris/


If in doubt, buy this lens anyway - you will not regret it.


Mar 24, 2008
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jdelallata
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Registered: Mar 8, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, light and inexpensive
Cons:
None (for me)

This is the second copy of this lens that I've owned. The first one I sold when I got my 17-55 EF-S, but I missed it so much I had to go out and buy another one.

This is a lens that I don't use very often, but when I need to take some serious portraits this little lens comes out of the bag and does what it's intended to do - produce great images.

It is sharp, sharp, sharp. For me, anything above f1.8 has been awesome, and it's very usable at f1.4. I agree with others that you need to be careful with DOF.

Many of us love to pixel peep, but I've printed some 16x20" prints from this lens and the results blew me away.


Mar 14, 2008
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pc168
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Registered: Mar 9, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: A bit soft wide open. Starting at F2, very sharp in my 350D and super sharp in my 1DMark3.
Cons:
The softness at 1.4 is the only negative aspect. But this is expected. If it's super sharp at 1.4, the price would be in a different class ... leading to a 50 1.4L

It outperforms my 24-105 F4L at equivalent focal length. Focus is fast and silence. Very handy as a super light and high quality walk-around lens. Suitable for portraits and small group shooting. Looks like a must have fixed focal lens.

Initially I wanted to get the 35 F2, but the USM and F1.4 made me to change my mind.


Mar 5, 2008
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
395 1201667 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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