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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Reviews Views Date of last review
351 545059 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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Giorgos
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Registered: Jan 9, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, sharpness, weight
Cons:
none for this price

Nothing more to say actually. Buy this lens, you'll be amazed what an aperture of 1.8 can give you, and check out that price. It's amazing.

Probably one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used!


Jan 9, 2008
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Zander Alberts
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Registered: Dec 24, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1741
Review Date: Jan 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap! Very sharp, even wide open, portable, small, decently fast focus
Cons:
Build quality, MF ring tiny

For the price, this lens should be in every shooter's bag. The sharpness and overall image quality is excellent, and still good wide open. On a crop body, (I have a Rebel XT) this lens is great for portraits (80mm) as well as sports and general shooting. I have used mine mostly for shooting high school basketball, and it works like a dream. The f/1.8 coupled with 800 or 1600 ISO produces perfectly usable images. Portraits are sharp, every hair and detail stands out wonderfully.

Stop reading reviews and buy this now!


Jan 8, 2008
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spargo
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Registered: Nov 28, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 19
Review Date: Jan 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Value for money, lightweight, versatility
Cons:
Build-quality (though this is relative to price), focus speed is a tad slow and unreliable in very low light

This is my first prime and I wish I'd got it the day I got my 350D. It makes you work for the composition of your photography rather than simply twist the zoom ring.

Every Canon DSLR owner should be made to buy this; or better still, make it the kit lens on the low/mid-level bodies rather than junky zoom kit lenses.


Jan 6, 2008
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smjenkins
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Registered: Oct 21, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 24
Review Date: Jan 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, light, small, great sharpness stopped past 2.8. Useable sharpness wide open when you nail focus.
Cons:
Plastic construction.

It's so hard to say anything bad about this lens at the price. Ever since I picked this up for my used rebel xt a few months back it's taught me so much about photography. I couldn't agree more with the folks who say you should get a cheap prime lens before using a zoom. Figuring out how to isolate things and people with focus is just so cool. This lens has produced way more shots I'm proud of than the other 4 I've got.

Yes its plastic and feels like a toy, but you only need to shoot with it a few time before you realize it's not a fisher price lens. Also, the price allows me to take it with my used XT anywhere and not worry too much about the camera.

My favorite 50mm pic so far:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=2146358182&context=set-72157602977892525&size=l


Jan 2, 2008
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Denis Savard
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Registered: Dec 25, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, weight, size.
Cons:
None so far.

I am amazed by the sharpness and the quality of light of this lens. Also, I rediscovered the subtleness of a lightweight and relatively small camera that you can bring almost anywhere. It is not the same with the 24-105 mm USM Canon lens I used to always have on my camera. Not having a zoom forces you to move and find better places for your compositions. I love this lens!

Dec 25, 2007
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aladyforty
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Registered: Feb 3, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1818
Review Date: Dec 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp images and best bang for bucks, A great little lens to have in your kit
Cons:
hunts a little in low light



Dec 21, 2007
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Percy C
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Registered: Dec 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Dec 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $74.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tack sharp, Light
Cons:
None so far

Despite all the criticism about this lens being soft at f 1.8-2.8, being a toy, being to flimsy or too noisy, I bought this lens anyway because there were more people satisfied with this lens than not..
All I can say is WOW !! I think I got lucky because mine is TACK !! sharp at 1.8 :D

Everyone talks about how noisy it is but itís not bad at all, Yes itís louder than the USM lenses but no one can hear the lens but you or if some one is within 2-3 feet of you.

The copy I have is very fast to focus and has no issues with low light focus at all, I donít know if itís because of my copy or if itís because of my 40D.

I also wanted to ad that this lens is not flimsy, that was my main concern but when I tried one out and seen that it was solid and sharp I ended up buying it.


Dec 19, 2007
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David Israel
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Registered: Nov 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3766
Review Date: Nov 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $76.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price! Light weight (I'm looking at that as a pro) and sharp.
Cons:
Cheap build quality.

The EF 50 1.8 II is absolutely the best value I have found in any lens that I have purchased. The money was definitely put into the optics and not the body. This lens is at least as sharp as my EF 85 1.8. Color and contrast are good. Focus is much noisier than my USM lenses but, hey, what do you expect for this price?

The lens feels cheap and even has a plastic mount, but the pictures it takes far exceed anything that I expected from a lens in this price range. I don't use this lens often, but when I do it continues to provide pleasing results (especially considering the price).



Nov 27, 2007
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Ron Fischer
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Registered: Jul 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, even full open; price; nice bokeh
Cons:
slow focus; cheap build (plastic casing)

This lens is truly Canon's best kept secret. I purchased this lens one month ago, in anticipation of the birth of my first grandchild, which occured last weekend. I wanted a lens that would take pictures in low light, without the need for flash. This lens delivers wonderful IQ, even full open at f/1.8. I used it with my Canon 5D, and an ISO of 800, and it provided beautiful pictures of my new grandson. See these examples:

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=5128664&catID=&style=&rowNumber=6&memberID=125176

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=5120962&catID=&style=&rowNumber=7&memberID=125176

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/big.asp?photoID=5103122&catID=&style=&rowNumber=9&memberID=125176

My only regret is not having purchased this lens 4 years ago when I got my first digital SLR.


Nov 19, 2007
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bergie
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Registered: Aug 12, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 8, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

Some of the previous posts have complained about poor AF, especially indoors. What was the ISO speed that you used?

Will the performance increase if you bump it up to 400 or higher? I would think it should. Canon is known for exhibiting much less noise than Nikon when it comes to higher ISO's, so you should still get good results. I've shot 800 ISO on my 30D and the quality still looks great.

Just curious.

-bergie


Nov 8, 2007
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Peter twohey
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Registered: Aug 21, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 118
Review Date: Nov 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $95.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality and cost.
Cons:
Seriously stupid optional lens hood.

When the price of this lens is taken into consideration there cannot be a single realistic criticism except for the silly optional lens hood.Great image quality and nice for potraits-good bokeh too.I love it.

Nov 5, 2007
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Tentacle
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Registered: Sep 13, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2956
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, small, lightweight, very cheap, great image quality. It's an excellent starter for anyone who hasn't worked with primes before.
Cons:
Considering the price? None. Without that consideration? flimsy focus ring and AF switch, noisy and slow AF, no focus distance indication.

This is, hands down, the lens with the best Price/Performance ratio of the whole Canon line-up. Nicknamed the "Plastic Fantastic" and "Nifty Fifty", it delivers good performance at a bargain price. ( I paid Ä76 for it, which was at the time I bought it, around 60 to 65 US$. )

As such, it is a great introduction into prime lenses for anyone who hasn't worked with fixed focal length lenses before. I recommend it to anyone who has a Canon EOS dSLR, except for those who already have the faster 50 mm options, of course. It's small, lightweight, cheap, has a fast aperture and, it being a prime, will stimulate anyone who's used to zooms to think more about composition. Novices, take heed.

My copy is tack sharp at all apertures. Wide open at f/1.8 it will exhibit some blooming, which reduces the contrast of brighter areas, but this is almost gone at f/2 and completely gone at f/2.2. The blooming effect can actually be a bonus because it gives an image a bit of a dreamy look.

Another little bonus is the fact that this lens works absolutely great for near IR photography. IR low-pass filters for the 52 mm filter size are cheap and the lens has no IR hot spots. This allows for another low-threshold into a sub-section of photography.

You get what you pay for. With this, you get an awful lot for very little, but there is one substantial bad point with this lens: The AF performance is mediocre. It's noisy, it's slow, and in low light it hunts considerably. Using a Speedlite or ST-E2 with AF assist light, even if you set the flash to AF-assist beam only, is a very good idea.

Build-wise you get a lot of plastic. Because the lens is so small, that's no issue. Plastic lens mounts may be a problem with larger heavier lenses, not with this one. The focus ring is iffy and the lack of distance indication can be a problem. Also, the AF switch feels flimsy.

Considered as a whole, I give this lens a perfect 10/10. In my opinion its drawbacks in build quality and AF performance are more than overcome by its incredibly low price.


Nov 1, 2007
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Peter Szuhai
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Registered: Oct 11, 2007
Location: Hungary
Posts: 48
Review Date: Oct 31, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, speed
Cons:
AF hunts in low light like crazy, it really limits its usefulness in those conditions

I have this lens for over three months now and I use it on an Xti which makes it 80mm long which is a good FL for portraits. I'm a novice started this hobby 5 months ago. I was looking for a cheap prime alternative of the kit zoom and I picked this up thinking that at that price I don't care if it is completely useless or I break it on the first day.
In the summer I used it outside with great success, most of the time stopped down to around 2.8 it is a little bit soft but the IQ is much better than the kit-lens (and that is the one you must compare it to because the kit lens costs about the same). The only problem I had with it that the AF was so slow that I had a hard time to track my two year old. I liked the sharpness and the colors over the kit lens so I was happy.
I really started to use it wide open indoors a few weeks ago and I am a little disappointed of the performance of the AF. The focus is really a hit or miss but more like miss in low light. If I put the lens in AI Focus it never stops hunting even shooting steady objects and put on a tripod. In one-shot mode it shows it is in focus yet when I look at the actual picture it is front-focusing badly about 50% of the time. This issue makes it almost useless in low-light with my skill level at least... Recently the weather got better so I took it out again and with enough light the focusing is so much more reliable. I would say around 80% of the time it hits.

I would still recommend it to every hobby photographer because it is a fun little lens capable of hitting home runs every once in a while but I would not recommend it for shooting important indoor family events because of its unreliable AF you can end up with a lot of bad pictures...


Oct 31, 2007
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GFerRo
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Registered: Oct 25, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, Lightweight, Nice Bokeh, Sharp
Cons:
At The Moment, None For the price

A very good lens for the price, good for portrait, especially if paired with a 1.6x cropped factor DSLR.

Good for traveling and low-light condition.

Thou, sometimes the AF hunts if focusing in a plain black cloth or plain black.

Image samples can be viewed here:

http://gferrofotoworks.blogspot.com/2007/01/random-stuck-on-wood.html

http://gferrofotoworks.blogspot.com/2007/01/random-brunei-its-gift.html


Oct 28, 2007
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transoptic1
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Registered: Apr 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 930
Review Date: Oct 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: PRICE
Cons:
also price

Anyone who rates this lens a 9 or a 10 is a novice. Period.

This lens only does well at f/4 or above. But then what's the point? I'd rather use a zoom if I'm constrained to those apertures. The point of having a fixed lens is the wide apertures. Not to mention they usually have better glass for the price. This lens, being less than $100, is an exception. The sharpness and contrast fall considerably at larger apertures.

The AF is below average in low light. It searches a lot. At least it's quiet and somewhat fast.

That being said, you'd be foolish to not spend the few bucks getting this lens. If nothing else, you will run into a situation where you just HAVE to have the 1.8 aperture for low light.


Oct 27, 2007
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Oct 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very low cost lens, fairly quick, good for indoor and low light.
Cons:
Poor build quality and lack of USM so AF is a bit "clunky/loud".

I had this lens for 6 months before letting it go. I enjoyed using it and produced some decent shots. I felt the low aperture blade count resulted in harsh OOF highlights and need a better build quality 50mm. I'm seriously considering the EF-S 60mm 2.8 Macro. Good Utility-to-Value ratio.

I have sample shots under the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II Gallery Folder here: http://www.motleypixel.com/reviews/

Lex


Oct 20, 2007
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
351 545059 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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