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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
395 1201225 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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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: 322
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: 787
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: 2904
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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Daan B
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Registered: Aug 15, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 7838
Review Date: Nov 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, good (not excellent) IQ, sharpness, light, inconspicuous
Cons:
front focus issue, AF accuracy, build, no lenshood included

I bought this lens because the 35L wasn't in stock and I needed something for full body shots in available (low) light. I had it checked by Canon Service. It turns out the lens had a front focus. But since the 50mm 1.4 is an old design, it isn't possible to calibrate it by using software, like with newer lenses. Calibration is possible, to some extent, by making changes to the actual lens itself. The technician couldn't get it set to "zero". For that he had to take the lens apart. So even after calibration a slight front focus remains.

Now, how does this front focus show? When I shoot flat test objects like a newspaper on a wall, it only comes into focus at around f/2. Up till f/2 it is very soft (unusable). But, in real life shooting the front focus strangely enough doesn't show up. I even get properly focused and sharp images at f/1.8.

So when focus is right, I would say the 50mm f/1.4 sample I have is already sharp at f/1.8. At f/2.2 it becomes noticebly sharper. From f/2.8 and further it is really very sharp up till f/11. An excellent performance. But sharpness isn't all. Bokeh is smooth under f/2.8. Above f/2.8 it is average. Colors are good, so is contrast. Not up to the same levels as my (L) primes, but still good.

AF is fast. Sometimes it has difficulty grabbing on to something. Particularly when contrast is low or when there isn't enough light. Maybe the slight front focus has something to do with this. Maybe the lens uses outdated AF algorithms. In any case, AF accuracy could be better.

Build quality is OK for the price. Lots of plastics, metal mount. Good feel on the MF ring. Very light and inconspicuous. Perfect for travelling. Too bad a lenshood isn't included.



Nov 16, 2007
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toma7
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Registered: Jan 31, 2007
Location: Austria
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: bokeh, fast focus, sharp from f/2, size, weight, cheap, low distortion, from f/2 not worse than 50mm 1.2
Cons:
soft until f/2, build, image quality not really better than from 50mm 1.8
Nov 12, 2007
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Doug Weasner
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Registered: Oct 24, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 221
Review Date: Oct 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Like having a set of night vision goggles.
Cons:
None.

Flash free hand held shots with a lens that is less than three inches long produce excellent candid shots at parties and the like. F/1.4 is incredible - coupled with ISO 800 you can get usable shots in what seems like no light. The results only get better, at least from a technical perspective, with a flash at lower ISO and stopped down some.

I replaced a 50 1.8 with this unit, and am glad I did. My 50 1.4 is somewhat soft but usable for candids and small prints wide open, an improvement over the 1.8's wide open halation. USM (although not ring type) is an improvement, as is the better build (metal mount, etc). A worthy piece of glass for indoor work. Basically, this lens improves on the 50 1.8 in pretty much every way, while keeping the price reasonable.


Oct 24, 2007
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Jeroen Kransen
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Registered: Oct 2, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Incredibly useful focal length on small-sensor (equivalent 80mm), f/1.4, great lens for any family with a baby owning a small-sensor body
Cons:
Some "ghosting" at f/1.4

I bought this lens because I needed a fast lens for our baby's baptising in a darkish church. Tripod or flash would be too intrusive.

After considering Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 and Canon's 28 f/1.8, this was my final choice. I thought that in the long run, 50mm would be a more useful focal length, although 30mm would be considered "standard" on a small sensor. I already own (a.o.) the Tamron 28-75 and I noticed from the EXIF data that I often end up at or close to 50mm with my 30D. I was right, it's just enough tele to make it a good portrait lens, while at the same end it's not too tele in that I can use it all the time in our apartment to shoot baby and/or mother, without taking a lot of distance. The lens is very compact, compared to most zooms, making it very handholdable while e.g. playing with the baby and also not too intimidating.

Shooting in available light is often much better than flashing, at first the softer light looks better often and the flash also scares the baby.

Beware only of the paper-thin DoF at wide apertures. This feature is not specific for this lens, but is good to consider when you plan to shoot at wide apertures rather than to flash.

My copy creates some "ghosting" at f/1.4, an apartment building against a light sky displayed a copy edge in the sky, a few pixels away from the real edge. Maybe it's just flare. I only noticed it at 1.4 and who whould shoot at 1.4 with that much light anyway?

At photo.net, the review of Canon's 85mm f/1.8 recommends it as a must-have for any family with a new baby. I did not try that lens, but I would like to make exactly that statement about this lens! I think 85mm will often be too long at least indoors.


Oct 2, 2007
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
395 1201225 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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