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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Reviews Views Date of last review
351 563734 Dec 21, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $128.42
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.88
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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Dawei Ye
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Registered: Sep 14, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3760
Review Date: Dec 20, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharp Wide Open, Very sharp stopped down, Light, Inexpensive
Cons:
Very weak construction, Erratic AF, Bokeh (Boke) a bit harsh (not very creamy)

I thought I would post a bit of an updated Review to one I did a long time ago (well, not really, but I know much more now than then)

You are likely reading this because you are considering the purchase of this lens. Please be aware of several important pieces of information and myth surrounding this lens

MYTH 1: THIS LENS IS SOFT WIDE OPEN

lens either suffers from significant sample variation, or it's used by newbies (given its "consumer" status) who don't know how to use a lens wide open very well. But there are reports of dud copies so if yours is not sharp wide open get it replaced.

My copy is sharp wide open, almost as sharp as my 85mm f/1.2L II wide open and my 35mm f/1.4L wide open. Other reviewers have reported this lens as soft as s--- wide open. It leads me to be uneasy about the variation. If you don't believe that this lens is sharp wide open send me a PM and I can link you to some of my test shots. What is my definition of sharpness? Well I'm a pixel peeper who views the 100% view for every photo I take, so my idea of sharp is very sharp.

Getting sharp photos from this lens is complicated though. Firstly this lens has erratic focus accuracy. Secondly, because the depth of field is thin at f/1.8 you have to be wary of what your AF sensor is locking onto, as well as avoiding any movement yourself either from swaying or camera shake.

MYTH 2: THIS LENS IS CHEAP AND PRACTICALLY DISPOSABLE, IF YOU BREAK IT JUST BUY A NEW ONE

This lens is weak. I have snapped mine in half on numerous occasions. But note what I just said about "numerous occasions". That's right, you can easily fix this lens yourself for the most common breakage where the lens breaks into two halves.

Many forum users suggest you just dump your broken 50mm f/1.8II lens and buy a new one because its so cheap. Wrong. I'd rather save that money towards a nice L lens instead. If you drop your lens and snap it in half, you will have to find the little plastic pieces that snapped off, superglue them back into the top half, then lock the two pieces back together. It takes a bit of trial and error but the lens works perfectly if you do it right.

MYTH 3: THIS IS A GREAT BEGINNER'S LENS

I made a mistake of buying this lens because many people said "It's a great beginner's lens" or "It's only $XX, it's like pocket change". Well, any amount of $ you spend on this lens means it will take that much longer for you to buy a quality lens like the 35L or 85L II or another lens that you really need. My 50mm f/1.8 II is just sitting at home doing nothing. (I dropped it and superglued it back together so whilst it still works, it's unlikely to fetch much

I am not convinced this is a good lens for beginners. Many users are seduced by the hype and the "affordability" of this lens, but does it really have value for money?

Wait...did I just say the 50mm f/1.8 II (which is always voted best bang for buck Canon lens) is bad value for money? Yes. I did. It is bad value for money for me at least.

Why? Well ask yourself what can this lens really do?

General Use? No, with its 80mm FOV on APS-C bodies (what most newbies use), it's too long for most walkabout purposes

Landscapes? No for similar reasons

Portraits? Yes...but this lens has a harsh quality to its out of focus regions, meaning there are better options

Wildlife? Sports? No because it is too short and slow AF

Weddings? AF is too erratic, and I like my primes to have nice creamy bokeh (boke)

As you can see it's usefulness is very limited.

Make no mistake, this lens is for you if you are happy with the focal length and you don't do time critical photography and you just want great image quality in a lens without spending heaps of money. But don't think for a moment that this lens is for everyone.

And if you don't like the 50mm focal length, or you do time sensitive work, then better to save that money towards a nice L lens or a Speedlite...

Hope that helped in your buying decision. My recommendation? (Unless you are sure the 50mm f/1.8 II is for you) If you are a newbie with a APS-C Camera, put the money towards a nice walkabout zoom lens like the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 or preferably Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS for the time being, and then save up for a FF camera with quality primes like the 24L,35L,85L,135L if you want primes.


Dec 20, 2008
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willis
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Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 524
Review Date: Dec 11, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Cheap, sharp at centre from f2, sharp across the frame at f4. Small and light.
Cons:
Terrible AF accuracy and precision.Cheap build, Very soft wide open.

I could have liked this lens a lot if it were not for the awful AF. It may be I have a bad copy but I just couldn't live with it, so I got a 50mm 1.4 instead which is much better in every way bar price.

Dec 11, 2008
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zakb7
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f/1.8, sharp, lightweight, super cheap, close focusing distance
Cons:
build quality

It's hard to say anything bad about this lens. Though far from perfect, all minor gripes I have with it go out the window when you consider the price. It's one of those "why not?" purchases that just exceeds all expectations.

Yeah, it's made of plastic. It looks and feels cheap (it is!) Sometimes the focus hunts a little. It's a little soft at f/1.8. But man, is it ever a great deal, and I've made a lot of great pictures with it. On my 40D, it's a decent portrait lens.

This was the first lens I bought for my digital Rebel, other than the old 18-55mm kit lens. And it was a good 6 months before I took it off regularly. It's small and light, great to walk around with all day. And it's small enough to throw in my cargo shorts if I'm packing a zoom lens instead.

Sure, I'd like the older version with the metal mount, but good luck finding one of those for a decent price - just get this one for $75 instead. It will exceed your expectations as it did mine.

But be warned, this is a "gateway" lens - you'll start wanting more primes, the faster the better.


Oct 6, 2008
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zshaft
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Registered: Aug 31, 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 5
Review Date: Sep 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: good bokeh, price, light, nice for portraiture, good for low-light indoor
Cons:
plastic, noisy, sometimes not accurate focus

well, it's my first prime lens for my canon 400d.
at first, i really like the bokeh it makes, also the f/1.8 that allow u to take w/o flash in low-light rooms.
But then the compensation of that is it's really hard to search the accurate focus, yet it's noisy n creepy.

I use it for certain occassion, not my fave lens, anyway.
But i could rely on this 'tiny' lens for nite-portraits.

For price?
if u have budget to buy a standard SLR, then this one wouldnt 'bother' your wallet, though !


Sep 3, 2008
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S4LTM4N
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Registered: Aug 19, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, cheap, light, compact, usable large aperture, usable FL
Cons:
plastic, poor build quality, slow, but not loud or inaccurate AF

Let me start out by saying that this was the only lens that I had for my first six months with my 20d. Those first months were some of the most inspirational and fun times of my life, and I owe quite a bit of it to this little lens.

This is a perfect lens for those learning that aren't quite ready to invest a lot of money on equipment. It won't limit you in low-light situations like the kit lens, and the image quality won't disappoint beginners, or anyone, considering the price.

Not only is it great for beginners, but it is small enough to be worthwhile for more advanced photographers to keep on hand for low-light shooting.

One of my favorite uses of this lens is portraiture, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it as a walk-about lens, even on a cropped body like the 20d or 400d. Many will say it is too long to be useful as a walk-about on anything but film or full-frame bodies, but in using it as my sole lens for months, I can't think of a single situation where I couldn't frame all the shots I wanted by backing up.

If you're new to photography, or if you're an old veteran just looking for some inspiration, the 50 1.8 is sure to please.


Aug 19, 2008
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canon_chick89
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Registered: Aug 6, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great price, f/1.8 is amazing, light weight, very sharp, great bokeh,
Cons:
plastic, prime lens and not zoom lens

This is such a great lens. I just got it last week and I am so pleased with it. It has fast become my favorite lens. The image quality is so sharp and crisp and being able to go to f/1.8 makes things so much easier. When I went in to buy it the sales person tried to tell me that this isn't a 'real' portrait lens and that if i wanted a 'real' one I should get the $400+ f/1.4 lens. Now, no doubt that the more expensive lens is better but this lens works just perfectly for portraits and is only a quarter of the cost. For some, it might be weird getting use to having no zoom but it just means that you might have to do a little more moving around. I would reccomend this lens to anyone.

Aug 6, 2008
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Abdullah M
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Registered: Jul 10, 2008
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 64
Review Date: Aug 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $107.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: CHEAP!, High resolution as prime lens, very light weight, fast aperture.
Cons:
Slow focus, focus ring not in the right position to use easy, not high quality body but this expected for this price, its colors need correction.

I bought this lens a few months ago, the big advantage is see how cheap prime lens produces high resolution compared to normal zooms.

The big downside is slow focus, make this lens useless in speedy events. but you can solve this somehow by selecting the center focus point only, so you can point to your subject and focus fast more.

The best application of this lens is portraits, products photography.
This lens gives 80mm on my 350D, so it's good for portraits.

I recommend it for Canonians, of course!


Aug 4, 2008
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Fulcrum
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Registered: May 23, 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, lightweight, f/1.8, very good optically, dirt cheap
Cons:
Flimsy stucture

This is THE best bang for the buck. You just canīt beat this in terms of price/quality. Nothing can or will.

Sure, itīs no L-series super lens that costs $3000. But considering the price you pay for this lens and the images you get, this one is a winner. And less tears will be shed over a scratch in the lens.

Mechanically, this lens is horrendously flimsy. All plastic and yuck.
And thatīs about the only bad thing that can be said about it.

The AF whirrs a little, but just a little compared to the 28mm f/2.8 which is a Noise Machine From Hell.





Jul 29, 2008
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Revolver
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Registered: Feb 5, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 80
Review Date: Jul 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, sharpness, IQ
Cons:
Build quality makes you treat it like a newborn

First lens I ever bought and still have it today. Fast enough for indoors and a staple in my bag. Great buy for anybody buying a dslr.

Jul 13, 2008
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Sam_S
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Registered: Aug 21, 2006
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 255
Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, Sharp, Fun to use, F/1.8!
Cons:
Build Quality, AF

I bought this lens for no reason and discovered it was so worth it!

This baby is SHARP. Colors are good, and contrast is great!

Two negative points:

The build quality: Plastic fantastic. Its wiggly but it holds. I dropped it hard on concrete a few weeks ago and I thought it was all over, but to my surprise absolutly nothing happened.

The AF: Single shot is not problem and focuses just fine in normal daylight. With AI Servo shooting fast moving stuff your keeper rate is going to go down but you'll still get usable stuff. As said above it hunts in the dark.

Highly recommend as a fun lens!


Jul 5, 2008
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RobertLynn
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 12224
Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $69.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap! Fast Aperture!
Cons:
Slower to focus than 1.4 version (but less than a 3rd of the cost), and build quality. It feels fine to me, but next to a much more expensive lens, you can tell the difference. However it's a camera lens, not a baseball bat. Lens mount is plastic, but that shouldn't be an issue. Again, it's a lens, not construction equipment. I'm still giving it a 10 for BQ rating, because of how cheap it is. You know going into it, you're not going to get an L built lens.

For all the more this lens costs, you cannot afford to not have it. If you have the 1.4, obviously you don't need this.

The bokeh on this is harsh to SOME people, but not to all. You'll have to be the judge of that.

It's loud (no USM) when it focuses, but I only notice it if I listen for it.

My copy is sharp at 1.8, and like it should increases as the Av increases.

Basically the best way to say it is, this lens does have flaws.
CA, Loud, slow focus, build quality.

However, it has TOO many things that are great about it, that far outweigh the flaws.


Jun 20, 2008
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icesalmon
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Registered: Jan 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price is reasonable
Cons:
Color very plain.

The color is plain, wash out. Although you can alway use photoshop to make it more vivid.
Not very sharp.
The focal length is not that useful indoor. 35mm f/2 is a better choice.


Jun 13, 2008
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Cboydrun
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Registered: Jun 1, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $79.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, image quality
Cons:
cheapish build

80 bucks? are you kidding, why not? Great images, I love it. great for portraits, of any kind. Take this out in the boat, on the ATV and if it drops... its only $80. Definitly the plastic fantastic, or nifty fifty.

Jun 1, 2008
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Lizstique
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Registered: May 26, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: f/1.8, good bokeh, cheap
Cons:
build quality, small focus ring, a little soft (but not that annoying)

After reading alot of reviews about this lens, I decided to buy it new for about 80 euro.
I have it for a week now and been shooting with it alot on my 350D. This is absolutely a must have considering the price.

I did have to get used in using a prime since my other lenses (Canon 18-55 and Tamron 55-200) are all zooms.
Also, the build quality is pretty poor. But what do you expect for 80 euro?

Other than that, I love the f/1.8 even though a little soft. It's get better past f/3 or so. It's just a must have for a novice/intermediate like me. I think that pro's would rather buy the f/1.4 or f/1.2 L version.



May 26, 2008
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whitetail
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Registered: May 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 140
Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Aperture range for the price, sharpness, inexpensive
Cons:
Build, slow AF in low light, noisy, MF can be inaccurate

I would recommend this lens for all beginners, even with some of its issues. With equipment you get what you pay for, though this lens goes way beyond its price. It is amazingly cheap for the wide aperture and picture quality. However, Canon compensated for the price by cheaping on the build. It is plasticky, noisy (sounds like a cement grinder!), and the AF has a couple issues. It hunts too much in low light. However, its lightness can be beneficial. It complements smaller bodies like the Rebels and it takes up little space in a camera bag. Personally, I think these lenses should be part of a beginner's kit. It will please with the price and aperture range. It is relatively good for close-ups too, if you're into shooting flowers or small objects (not macro, but nice). On stopped down shots, the bokeh has disappointed me from time to time.

These are a few shots I have taken with the "nifty fifty":
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/northtrot87/Shots/50primeexample-wtp.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/northtrot87/Shots/50primeexample-wtp2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/northtrot87/Shots/50primeexample-wtp3.jpg


May 21, 2008
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mrphotoman
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Registered: Jul 27, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: May 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super light!
Cons:
none

Fantastic lens! Super sharp, super light and fantastic price!

I think the build quality is great, it is a light cheap 50mm lens.

The sharpness and speed is great!


May 15, 2008
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
351 563734 Dec 21, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $128.42
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.88
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_


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