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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Reviews Views Date of last review
351 545933 Oct 16, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $127.71
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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ddraig
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Registered: Jul 30, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Aug 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: So far, very good. I've had only a couple of days with it (and very limited time at that!), but it seems light, sharp, and accurate - what's not to like? Sometimes one will equate "light" with "cheap" (not inexpensive) - this isn't the case. I bought it as a way of recycling some of my 52mm front end kit, and I like it.
Cons:
None so far.



Aug 12, 2005
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troutmask
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Registered: Sep 22, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Review Date: Aug 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, sharp, very good glass and fast.
Cons:
Plastic cheapness. No depth of field scale.

For its price it can't be beat. There is no way you can get a lens as sharp as this for less than three times the money from Canon, and I bet you would need to spend at least twice the money with Sigma.

If you are short of cash this is the lens for you, don't waste your money on a cheap zoom use this until you can afford something much better.
Its fast and great for low light level, you can actually see through the viewfinder unlike with the zoom lenses that are sometimes sold with Canon bodies.
The plastic mount looks cheap, but I used mine regulalary for two years and only recently sold it (for 48 when I got a 50mm macro), there was no wear to the mount at all. The glass was still perfect, but the outside of the lens was showing its age.
the lack of a proper depth of field scale on the lens is a bad move for a lens used by beginers.


Aug 10, 2005
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ranmandx
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Registered: Jul 9, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 545
Review Date: Jul 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp at 5.6 and up, light, compact. portrait length on 20D
Cons:
Flimsy inner barrel moves when pushed.

This lens is a fun lens with the wide aperture, it is soft wide open but stopped down just a bit it is extremely sharp! It is very light and plasticky which will make you careful not to drop it. So small it will fit in any camera bag easily and is a great portrait lens, bokeh is kind of distracting with the strong pentagon shape however the thin DOF gives you many creative possibilities. A great portrait lens soo sharp you need to blur the final in post processing to flatter your subjects. For the price it's unbeatable 3 times less than 1.4 makes it a no brainer.

Jul 27, 2005
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ReLe
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Registered: Jun 3, 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 64
Review Date: Jul 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, Sharpness ok @ at 1.8. Low light performance.
Cons:
None for the price

I just moved from Minolta to Canon and this was the first lens for my 20D. I was very suprised about the performance, because i thought it would be worse after reading these reviews.

AF speed was quite amazing and lens was relatively silent (compared to Minolta 50mm 1.4) Sharpness is ok @ f1.8 (i have seen worse. for example it's better than in my Minolta 50mm 1.4 @ 1.4) Sharpness is good @ f2.8 and very good @ f8. Shooting without lenshood in sunny conditions can be a problem. Bokeh isn't too good (but lens was cheap and has only 5 aperture blades).

But overall it's the best lens you can get at ~100/$.


Jul 17, 2005
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jwreich
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Registered: May 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Jul 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $99.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small and light; f/1.8
Cons:
Plastic mount

I paid too much for this lens, but I didn't want to order online so I purchased it locally. It is a great lens and I really like the 1.8, however as I learn more about creative exposure, I see how this lens can really shine as I move up to f16. This lens has really been great for my street photography.

Jul 13, 2005
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khiroshima
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Registered: Jul 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jul 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $85.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very lightweight, SHARP pictures, I can really use the f/1.8 indoors
Cons:
Very lightweight, kinda feels cheap- Uhh, I guess that's the best I can come up with

What a great entry into the world of prime lens! I would have never imagined that I would appreciate such a lens, but to have the barrier to entry so low, what do you have to lose??? This is a great lens for shooting candids of my infant daughter and using the available light.

A side benefit is that when I/or my wife wants to travel VERY light, this has quite a usable focal distance with zero weight penalty. I would recommend everyone trying this or the big brother f/1.4 version. I would be surprised if you are disappointed.


Jul 12, 2005
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kalliljas
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Registered: Jun 23, 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 52
Review Date: Jul 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light weight, price, excellent quality, perfect portrait lens
Cons:
loud focus

I love this lens! To me, this is the best second lens you can get on a tight budget. As many people have said - images are soft at f/1,8, but sharp at f/2,8. Even though I have used this as a portrait lens due to the longer focal length (80mm), I miss having a "real" 50mm lens. I think that there should be a EF-s 31mm - equivalent of a normal 50mm lens. Does anyone argree? Anyway - a very good lens!

Jul 11, 2005
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CorruptedSanit
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Registered: Jul 5, 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 1428
Review Date: Jul 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp, light weight, fantastic value for price.
Cons:
the AF/MF switch feels loose, yet stiff

As mentioned, excellent for portrair (shoulders and above), fantastic wide aperture value.

Cons: the AF/MF switch seems loose in the sense that I can jiggle it around in either AF/MF, but tryin to switch it from MF to AF or vice versa seems a little stiff. But for 75$, what more was I expecting?

Just because of it's price, I think every photographer should own one. Because its great value and as a thanks (financial thanks) to Canon for providing such great lenses.


Jul 11, 2005
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sivrajbm
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Registered: Mar 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3321
Review Date: Jul 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $89.95 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast lens, good sharpness, price, lightweight
Cons:
other than plastic mount, none

This lens is a decent lense. Fast focusing, sharp, lightweight.
I really don't care that it's all plastic, I care about the picture quality. This lense does a good job, not bad wide open. At about f2.5 and beyond this little sucker cooks. I can say I was very surprised, I tried and liked it so I'll keep it. One of the few Canon lenses that pasted my tests.


Jul 8, 2005
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Kham
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Registered: Apr 20, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 117
Review Date: Jul 7, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $74.95 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and Sharp, price !
Cons:
none

everyone should have this lens

Jul 7, 2005
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tritone
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Registered: Jul 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, beautiful portrait lens. Great color. Nice out of focus (bokeh). Light weight.
Cons:
Build quality - but the fact that it is all plastic is over rated. For $75 it is an awesome lens and I can get over the plastic.

This is a tremendous value. Don't blame softness on bad focus. This is the best value for your money anywhere.

Beautiful head and shoulder portraits. Nice color. Sharp.

The plastic isn't that bad, makes the lens light weight. I got used to the focus ring.

Use the do it yourself focus scale if you really need it. One of the other reviewers posted a link to that project.

I love this lens.


Jul 5, 2005
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Andreads
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: cheap, very sharp (starting from f/4), light
Cons:
terrible AF system, always hunts for focus in low light, soft under f/4, CA wide open, no hood, ugly

One think I hate about this lens is the AF mechanism, specially in low light. If you have the time, the light and the patience you can make technically wonderful pics above f/4.
Yes, you can shoot at 1.8 with this lens, but when you are looking for perfection you will find that this lens give you soft pictures wide open. It's better at f/2.5... and much better at f/4.0

I'm trading it for a 85 f/1.8 USM for portraits


Jun 27, 2005
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Rhys
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Registered: May 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3578
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: It's light and unobtrusive. It's reasonably sharp and has a nice fast aperture.
Cons:
Focussing could be better. At f1.8 it's noticable that the centre of the frame is sharper than the edges.

I bought this to go along with my kit lens. I'd say the 18-55 is a bit sharper but not by much. I did a series of shots from f1.8 to f5.6 and found that by f2.8 sharpness had improved dramatically. At f5.6 it was beginning to look a shade soft. I didn't test below f5.6 because it wasn't a proper lens test - just a straw test.

Using a flash, however, shaprness really picked up at f5.6. I took a shot from about 4 feet away of my open wardrobe. I can see the weave of the fabric of my jackets and trousers. I was really quite impressed. Depth of field is very shallow so some of my tests could be flawed because I hand-held the camera.

On the whole - do I like or lump the lens? I'd say I quite like it and think it should do just fine as a portrait lens.


Jun 27, 2005
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afred
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Registered: Mar 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 712
Review Date: Jun 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: PRICE!! f/1.8
Cons:
plastic mount...

For a couple bucks, there is not a body out there that shouldn't be matched with this lens. Unless you have the 1.4 or L, or even MK I. I shoot this lens only when i need to use that f/1.8-2.8 range. Social gatherings are where this shines. Low light areas, where you otherwise would have to flash your subjects, or hope you have a hand with a built in tripod. The lens is rather weak and light, but that doesnt bother me much. Get it, if you're in the market for anything even near the 50mm range.

Jun 25, 2005
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amcomis
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 496
Review Date: Jun 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $65.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: very sharp, even (mostly) wide open, very light, great color/contrast
Cons:
plastic feel, plastic mount, no USM, loud, horrible manual focus ring, extending front element, high min focusing distance, 5 blade awkward aperature, no hood

Great lens, a great spare or great for low light stuff. DOF is fun to play with. Can be combined with extension tubes for a great macro lens.

Jun 21, 2005
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klam
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Registered: May 19, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1676
Review Date: Jun 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap price, fast aperture, low distortion, crisp photos, light-weight, small.
Cons:
Plastic and cheap construction, five blade aperture, noisy focus action, no built-in distance scale (though there is a nice DIY for that).

In all honesty, there weren't many reasons for me to go out and get this lens. I have several lenses that cover the 50mm length, and one lens that is almost as fast.

Despite the reviews of cheap build quality, fixed focal length, noisy focus action, this lens still found a way into my camera bag, and apparently many other camera bags like mine!

Optically it is a fine lens. Photos taken with it are crisp and relatively distortion free. The fast aperture is tremendous fun, allowing you to play around with low available light and shallow DOF. For optimal sharpness, you should stop down a bit. I find F/2.8-4.0 good enough if you have limited light.

Build quality as others have said is not spectacular. It is on par with similar plastic mount EF lenses, such as kit lenses. Focusing is noisy too.

However, the plastic build also lends itself to one of its key advantages. This lens is lightweight. Combined with its small size, it's a pleasure to carry around in your bag or on your camera. Since the lens is also relatively cheap, it makes a great guinea pig lens for those situations where you wouldn't want to risk using a more expensive lens.

There is a simple AF/MF toggle switch, and thin manual focus ring for those times you need it.

The most likely comparisons to this lens will be the Mark I version of the EF 50mm F/1.8 and the EF 50mm F/1.4.

I initially scouted out Mark I versions of this lens on eBay, but found the bid prices on those to go maybe double the price of the Mark II version. Reports are that the optics are the same and that the primary differences are more solid construction with metal mount and distance scale. The distance scale can be overcome with a cheap DIY project found here http://spyderman.ekodapo.sk/?s=t&p=13. I made my own distance scale and adhered it to my lens, and it works all the same.

The EF 50mm F/1.4 is slightly nicer optically, solidly built, with a six blade aperture helping bokeh. It costs almost five times more though. If money is no object than by all means go for that.


Jun 10, 2005
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
351 545933 Oct 16, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $127.71
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.87
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_


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