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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Reviews Views Date of last review
348 546709 Oct 16, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $128.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.87
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_

Specifications:
This is the lightest EF lens of all at a mere 4.6 oz. (130g). Compact and high-performance, standard lens. Its Gaussian optics provide sharp delineation from near to far focusing distances. The color balance is excellent for a standard lens.


 


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eyebelieve
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Registered: Apr 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: May 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, lightweight, price, price, price, sweet bokeh, great anywhere past f/4 and gives pretty good photos anywhere below that, very workable in low light,
Cons:
difficult manual focus ring, AF hunting, odd AF/MF switch, odd focal length on a APS-C

GET THIS LENS
There's really nothing bad you can say about it, all its faults can be attributed to be the less than $80 price tag.

For what its worth, the lens packs a punch. Really good for portraits, bokeh works well, and the one of the most portable lenses on the market.
I bring this lens everywhere, because I can. It really doesn't have any downfalls for the price.


May 24, 2006
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Photo Blogger
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Registered: Apr 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $74.95 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Nice sharp lens, good boken.
Cons:
AF/MF switch is very hard if not sometimes impossible to switch.
May 17, 2006
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Xenedis
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Registered: Feb 11, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, inexpensive and fast, and a good performer optically.
Cons:
Plastic barrel and mount, slow focus speed, awkward focus ring, only five aperture blades, lack of distance gauge and lack of USM

It's not called the Plastic Fantastic for nothing.

The EF 50mm f/1.8 II is a fantastic little lens which every (D)SLR shooter should have in their bag.

On the negative side, the physical attributes of this lens leave much to be desired: its construction is cheap and plastic, and it has no distance gauge or USM. The focus ring is awkward and badly positioned, and AF is slow.

However, on the positive side, this lens comes at a bargain basement price and while optically it contains nothing special, it's sharp and performs very well.

It's a fast 50mm prime, which is probably quite easy to make.

I've used it for portrait shots and shallow DOF shots, and it's fantastic for this sort of shooting. I also used it for a landscape sunset shot (stopped down to f/8) and achieved very pleasing results.

Unlike its third-stop-faster cousin, this lens has only five aperture blades, perhaps resulting in pentagonal bokeh highlights, which some people may not find very appealing. I don't particularly mind.

Here are some shots I've taken with this lens:

1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/133335311/
2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/107975671/

Note that I'm using it on my EOS 20D, so it's behaving like an 80mm lens rather than a true 50mm lens.

Despite the cheapness in its physical attributes and the lack of some features, this is a very usable lens, is dirt-cheap, performs well, is very fast, is a prime, and is well worth having.

To land a fast, very usable prime at such a cheap price is a "no brainer".

Recommended.

J.


May 13, 2006
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fredus
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Registered: Feb 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Apr 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, sharp, contrasty
Cons:
cheap construction

Get it. Period. You got nothing to lose. It's $50 !!! Here is a test shot:

http://www.400iso.com/photos/3enfants2.jpg



Apr 28, 2006
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crenshaw
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Registered: Apr 19, 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 23
Review Date: Apr 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Value for money. Great optics. Convinced me to buy the 20D (second-hand).
Cons:
Plastic construction.

After a week of testing a friend's 20D with this lens, I decided to buy the 20D (body only). He'd just purchased a 30D and was looking to sell the 20D.

Took (so far) the best shots of my life so far with this setup.

After reading the reviews on this and other sites, decided to get the EF 50mm f/1.4 lens. Just bought it a few days ago (also second-hand), will write a review when I've tested it.


Apr 28, 2006
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marxzed
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Registered: Dec 8, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 74
Review Date: Apr 23, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: image quality, price, weight, fast aperture speed, quick focus
Cons:
build quality, build quality, build quality, 5 blade aperture, build quality, fundamentally faulty construction, build quality.

OK so I used to have the original mark I a much prized item in my bag, totally brill bit of kit. then early this year some nice young lad made off with it and it's probably sitting in a hock shop some where Sad
Scouring eBay and people are paying silly money for the mark I, not quite 50mm 1.4 money sure but more, much much more than a new 50mm 1.8 markII.
So I bit the bullet and went down the local camera shop and bought a new 1.8 mark II

optically a very very nice lens easily the equal of the classic mark I.
not the colour and saturation punch of an L but damn close (but then again Canon don't currently make any 50mm L models so moot point)... looking at pictures you take with this will make you shake your head that something so cheap can produce such sharp punchy images.

But honestly I'll not go on about optics, most reviews touch on that well enough and honestly if optical quality on a budget is your only consideration then
1: this has it (optical quality) by the truck load
2: you'd be hard pressed to justify the marginal speed boost and the 6 blade aperture of the 50mm 1.4 at 3 1/2 times the price.

So...
...lets get to the nitty gritty... the Mark II's build quality totally sucks (sorry if that offends but honestly I'd like to use harsher language, but you might be my maiden aunt reading this). Honestly the only thing I can put it up to is like something you'd get in a Kindersurprise or your Corn Flakes cereal packet

first copy I bought broke less than a week after purchase, taking the polarising filter off the whole front of the lens just came loose, one side sagged out (or, if you tipped it over, sagged in), couldn't focus and just ground it's gears like a angry hornet.... replaced by shop under warranty.

replacement copy fell out of camera bag 3 feet down on to lush grass front assembly unit just popped straight out, all it's plastic "securing" (for want of a better word) clips had snapped.... back to shop "sorry no warranty for you for dropping it"... so I cough up another $100 for a new one less than 2 months after the first.

then next month (weekend just gone) out shooting and I'm changing the lens and it slips... instinct learnt from 15 years of playing school yard cricket kicks in and I catch it less than a foot before it hits the ground.... only to have it snap in hand from the not overly great pressure of the catch... same issue plastic "securing" clips all broke.

Well.... as we say 'round here "bugger that for a joke" I'm off to eBay to look for a Mark I or an old 1.4.


Apr 23, 2006
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Califfoto
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Apr 21, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Very fast lens. Works great for portraits and indoor shots. Inexpensive
Cons:
Opticals can be improved

Since my last review on this lens, I got to use it more and more for the portraits of my newborn daughter. Although the f/1.8 is a little bit tricky to use, after a while you get used to it and it gives you great bockeh.
Here are some examples:
http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/136312

http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/140275

http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/135571

http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/134806


Apr 21, 2006
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fluxomatic
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Registered: Apr 21, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, lightweight, compact, optical quality, affordable 1:1.8
Cons:
Build, noise in AF mode, full-plastic

If you need:
- A sharp lens (teriffic from 2.8 on)
- A portrait lens for APS-C
- A low-light lens
- A cheap lens to start with
and can't afford the 50mm 1:1.4 or you simply use such a lens not often enough then this is yours. This lens always comes with me (bike-trip or backpack) because it weights nothing and the volume is neglectable. In combination with an ISO800 setting on my 350D it gives you also a lot of flexibility at low-light indoor shooting.


Apr 21, 2006
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lord_malone
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Registered: Oct 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 496
Review Date: Apr 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $78.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, fast, focal range, "normal" perspective on FF, great portrait range for crop, lightweight, sharpness, color, contrast, IQ comparable to $1K+ glass, great to kick aound on the floor when bored
Cons:
Build (feels like a cheap toy), bokeh less than desireable, hunts in low light, loud AF

See the pros and cons. How can anyone has the "nifty fifty" in thei kit bag? Wink

Apr 13, 2006
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IvoX
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Registered: Jan 29, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: I like it. I can only recommend this lens for such a price.
Cons:

I like it. I can only recommend this lens for such a price.

Apr 6, 2006
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ivyinvestor
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Registered: Mar 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 237
Review Date: Apr 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $79.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Low mass, wide aperture, high sharpness, low price, acceptable bokeh for a 5-blade.
Cons:
Color saturation, contrast, and build could be better, but still fine considering price point!

Bought this lens for as a stop-gap for candid portraiture from a local retailer after returning a seriously defective 85mm f/1.8 (and deciding whether or not to replace with a 100mm macro).

I have been impressed with the low light capabilities of the lens, as well as its color rendition and DOF. I'm also impressed by the low close focusing limit!

The lens has thus far seen a good deal of near landscape (cherry blossoms were out in DC!), candid, food, and night photography. I'm as impressed as I'd hoped I would be.


Apr 6, 2006
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radiodenver
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Registered: Apr 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 490
Review Date: Apr 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $86.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very Sharp. Very inexpensive. Very lite.
Cons:
Plastic

Another must have prime for the budget minded. It's very sharp and weighs nothing. There is no reason a Canon owner shouldn't have this lens.

Apr 4, 2006
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erinbutler211
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Registered: Mar 11, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 17
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, bold colours, price.
Cons:
None really.

After great frustration with a defective Tamron 28-75 zoom(front focus, non-sharp images), I bought this lovely little lens. After looking at the pictures this lens produced with my 20d, I knew I was not imagining the Tamron's nonsharpness. This lens is sharp! with lovely, vivid colour. All the way down to f1.8. Great value for price. Plastic build, small manual focus ring, no distance markings, blah blah blah. Whatever. You are not paying for all metal etc. Instead, for a very reasonable price, you get great optics. Makes me want more primes.

Apr 3, 2006
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rushandy
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Registered: Aug 3, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent colour rendition, incredibly cheap, produces great photos, f1.8.
Cons:
Focus ring feels a bit flimsy, sometimes hunts for focus.

This is the first lens I have bought for my 350D aside from the kit lens that came with the body. The pictures taken with this lens are much sharper, and reproduce colours much better, than the kit lens.

It really is a steal for the price. Obviously the build quality isn't particularly fantastic, but that isn't really important to me. Whats important is that it produces really, really great pictures when I use it properly. For a begginer like myself, a lens like this is invaluable.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it. At this price you really can't go wrong.


Apr 3, 2006
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mikebranski
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Registered: Sep 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 115
Review Date: Mar 26, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $79.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, light, compact, affordable
Cons:
"Sticky" AF/MF switch (see below), not the best auton focus, difficult manual focus ring

This is a very good lens for the price you can get it for, and definitely a step up (quality wise) from the 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 kit lens. Pictures are unbelievably sharp, and this compact, lightweight lens is one that's definitely worth having around.

As noted above (and in other reviews), my copy had a "sticky" auto focus/manual focus switch, so it wouldn't always go into auto focus mode. I think just a bit of working it back and forth has solved that issue. Also, the focusing ring is somewhat akward to use, but maybe that's just because it's different from what I'm used to.

The negatives can be gotten over (for me, anyway), and I definitely recommend this lens to others. One thing to note for those who are used to the 18-55mm: because this lens is prime, you're "stuck" at 50mm. Some people find this annoying or irritating and blame the lens for poor shots, but I find that it gets you thinking about new angles and ways to take shots. So get up, move around, and try out your new lens Smile


Mar 26, 2006
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chavallos
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Registered: Dec 28, 2005
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good picture quality, very good sharpness, good brokeh, unbeatable value
Cons:
Cheap build quality, manual focus ring difficult to use

I've been using this lens for 6 months. Studio portraiture and street photography. It went thru Canon calibration, and it focuses better now, but results pretty much the same.

I have also 50mm f/1.4 and after some time I start noticing the difference, it's not sharpness, the F is very close to get noticible DOF difference or low light performance... I really see the difference in color representation, saturation and brokeh. f/1.4 has much `comforting` or sometimes warmer colors.... difficult to measure, that's why many people use f/1.8 with great success.

This is the best $70 you can spend on Canon gears.


Mar 24, 2006
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
348 546709 Oct 16, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $128.55
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.87
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_


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