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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
385 1159546 Mar 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $320.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.94
8.72
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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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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paten
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Registered: Feb 16, 2008
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, Sharp at 2, super sharp at 2.8-above,
Cons:
a little soft at f/1.4-f/1.8

I use it on a APS-C camera(400D), and the range is not very far as the 85mm on a FF.

I've got this lens more than 2 month now, the sharpness beat my Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS zoom lens, i've tested at f/2.0 is the same sharpness at f/3.5 on my 17-55mm, very useful when u use it on a very low light condition, but i can see some soft picture when you use aperture from 1.4-1.8, well with that price i can't complain, if some time light is very poor, i still use it often though, and especially you want to shot portraits, you can tell is how the IQ of this lens is produce, it's very sharp!! with a bargain of a price, i very recommended it,..,


Feb 16, 2008
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Tristin
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Registered: Aug 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Feb 16, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: In good light its is a very sharp lens and the bokeh is good.
Cons:
No hood included, the focus ring isn't accurate and neither is the af. The real bad aprt of this lens is the terrible contrast past f/2 and the unbelievable amount of halation in low light when theres multiple light sources. Nighttime shots in the city are just flat and crappy unfortunately.

The lens is really great until it's halation issue pops up, then it's horrible. Mainly pops up at places like city streets and bars at night. If you dont shoot really low light it's not an issue and this lens is great but then Id have to question why you'd buy this lens.

Feb 16, 2008
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John H Smith
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Registered: Dec 20, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 81
Review Date: Feb 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good image quality with large aperture at a reasonable price.
Cons:
How does Canon have the cheek to charge seperately for a hood when Sigma etc provide them free at a lower price point?

What a lovely little lens. Currently my only prime. Very pleased with image quality.

Just used it today for several hundred indoor, natural light shots. Much superior to my 24-70L for this purpose.


Feb 8, 2008
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Andrew Ma
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Registered: Dec 13, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: Feb 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: "Sharp as tack" images, fast and quiet USM focusing, lightweight and versatile, incredibly strong build quality
Cons:
somewhat soft at f/1.4 (but can be avoided through Manual)

I had a hard time debating between the f/1.8 and f/1.4 50mm versions, but I settled with the f/1.4 for several reasons. First, I plan to use this lens for a long time, and its outstanding build quality meant it would be a long-term investment. Second, its quieter and faster USM (Ultrasonic Motor) focusing makes AF (auto focus) incredibly speedy in almost all lighting situations. It also allows me to manually adjust the focus after locking on, something the f/1.8 does not allow. And the pictures I've gotten from this lens have been OUTSTANDING. It's my carry-around lens, all my images come out tack sharp even without the aid of IS (image-stabilization). For those interested in an awesome alternative to the kit lens or serious portrait photography taking, this is the perfect lens!

Here are some sample shots I did for friends:

http://newdra24.deviantart.com/art/Grace-72465774

http://newdra24.deviantart.com/art/My-Little-Eskimo-72465395

http://newdra24.deviantart.com/art/Smiles-From-Any-Angle-73921860

http://newdra24.deviantart.com/art/Swing-Away-73921658

I hope you find this review helpful!


Feb 5, 2008
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golden1245
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Registered: May 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 306
Review Date: Jan 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: suprisingly sharp starting at f2.8
Cons:
soft from 1.4-2.0

very sharp!

Jan 27, 2008
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Sorensiim
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Registered: May 30, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 403
Review Date: Jan 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness and size/weight. Creamy bokeh
Cons:
Soft wide open

A great little lens. I had previously owned the 50mm F/1.8 Mk II but sold it with my 400D. Started missing a sharp prime so I got this one used off Ebay. AF is a not up to par with ring-usm, yet HEAPS better than the F/1.8. I like the "gear ratio" on the fokus ring, it allows for very precise focusing, which is needed as the DOF can get insanely shallow with this lens. A bit soft at F/1.4 and F/1.8 but sharp at F/2.0. INSANELY sharp from F/2.8. A 10mb example (snapshot, sorry) here: Http://www.distraction.dk/fildump/sisse.jpg

Full exif in the file.

More examples here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_spook/2189673278/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_spook/1804298114/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_spook/1804298110/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dk_spook/1799448100/


Jan 15, 2008
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Spam Lover
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Registered: Nov 10, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jan 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $289.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp from f2 and down, FTM, quick USM, quiet, chunky (nice weight)
Cons:
Halation and low contrast from f2 and up, could be sharper wide open

On my 2nd copy of this wonderful lens. I used to own the 1.8 MK I then upgraded to this version. Just as sharp as 1.8 but a little dreamy wide open (I just use a custom shooting style to adjust contrast/sharpness and it seems to fix it OK). The weight is nice (I is heavy) and the focus ring feels good. Though it's not an L, it can come close in most situations, I just wish it wasn't so 'dreamy' wide open. I just got the 85 1.8 so we'll see which stays on as the favorite!

Jan 13, 2008
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george malamis
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Registered: Aug 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 781
Review Date: Jan 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $335.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: price, performance, great colors and contrast, small size, and very sharp. Great portrait and low light lens.
Cons:
no lens hood included and the canon lens hood can be hard to find



Jan 6, 2008
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majo d
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Registered: Dec 28, 2006
Location: Slovakia
Posts: 282
Review Date: Jan 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fast AF, fast aperture, small, compact, very sharp
Cons:
AF uses micro USM instead of ring USM, lens doesn't provide focus distance information, sometimes hunts in low-light (on 30D), f1,4 isn't useful for large prints, visible CA and quetly soft

this lens is great for potraits on x1,6 bodies (makes 80mm), for now it's my only lens so I'm using it for shooting everything, but it's great.
I don't like that it's so short...well for most people it's plus, because it's small, compact, lightweight, but for me it was necessary to buy a lens hood, so now it's almost twice longer.
Lens is made of plastic, but it's in good build quality. that's pitty that lens extends while focusing, without that AF would be much faster...


Jan 5, 2008
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deriscal
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Registered: Dec 5, 2005
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: A very nice portrait lens, great bokeh, fast and silent, bright.
Cons:
in comparison to 50mm 1.8 should not be that expensive especially with that plastic finish.



Jan 1, 2008
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andylaiphoto
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Registered: May 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2867
Review Date: Dec 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, price..
Cons:
Cheap build

Of all my photographic purchases this one proves to be one of my favorites. When I want to get away from the commercial grind I put this on my 5D and just shoot. No rules, deadlines, or requirements. This combination reminds me of why I like to do what I do.

The image quality is excellent. Vignettes a bit wide open but so do all lenses on the 5D. I manual focus so I can't speak of the AF speed or accuracy, but I haven't had issues yet when I do my random AF tests....which are very unscientific or structured. Just once in a while I'll use the AF to play.

The only gripe is the build quality and materials used. I've been spoiled by L lenses and the focus ring on this feels like a Playskool my first 50mm.

Other than that this lens rocks. I couldn't justify the price difference between this and the 1.2 despite the L build quality. The image quality is not that far off from one another. And this one is less bulk.

I love this lens.



Dec 22, 2007
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gobenho
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Registered: Mar 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp @ f/1.8. Fast and silent focusing. Cheap filters.
Cons:
f/1.6 and below has some serious softness in the corners.

I've been shooting with this lens for about a month now and I'm really enjoying its results. It doesn't draw much attention and is great in low light conditions. It's great being able to shoot at ISO400 f/1.8 instead of ISO800 f/2.8.

I highly recommend doing a focus test with this lens if you choose to buy it. My copy fortunately did not have front/back focus issues; I was able to confirm this easily with a printable focus chart that I found online (http://www.focustestchart.com/chart.

On my crop body, it's a great lens for tight portraits, when I (eventually) get a Full Frame body, it'll be an even better walk-around lens.


Dec 18, 2007
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
385 1159546 Mar 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $320.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.94
8.72
8.9
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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