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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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349 541409 Feb 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $127.83
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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hans.dampf
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Registered: Feb 12, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 11
Review Date: Feb 12, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price, Weight, Quality, Does not look professional
Cons:
Focus hunting in low light, Feels very cheap, Does not look professional

Strengths that I find are: a very good quality / price ratio. The optical quality is very good, good sharpness even wide open, very low distortion, vignetting is very low at 1.8 (at least on APS-C) but, a very nice and especially very bright bokeh. I use it for portraits, for night landscapes and indoor photos without having to use the flash.

Two of the weaknesses that I found: in very low light or when the object distance is very small, the AF does not work very well. In order to still use this great lens, I switch to MF mode which not bother me as long as the the scene is static. By day with plenty of light, the AF works very well. The AF noise is overrated in my opinion as long as you don't shoot wildlife animals (but this lense is not made for that anyways). Another weak point is the plastic construction that seems fragile. The lens must therefore be used with care but with this price, you can not ask for too much either. Then again, I have never met anyone with a broken 50mm 1.8 either.

One last point, generally speaking about primes: they make you learn so much! After all, good photography is more about framing and composition and a prime forces you to think more about that. Zoom with your feet!

In short, for the price it's very worth it, I would say it is almost a "must". It does not take much space in your bag so you can take it anywhere to accompany a bigger (and slower) zoom lens. Of course there is the f/1.4 (3 x the price) and 1.2 (prohibitive price for most people) that are even higher quality but for a photographers with a modest budget, the 1.8 responds to most needs.

I do use the 50mm 1.2 for professional use. You can see some use of it here: Photographe de Mariage en Suisse Romande. On that page you can see a portrait taken with the 1.2 so you can see forself that the is nice but for most people, the 1.8 is enough.


Feb 12, 2014
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lunacat
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Registered: Jan 13, 2014
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jan 13, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros:
Cons:

When starting out in photography, it is the first lens I recommend to beginners. Usually, we would suggest to have a 50mm on a full frame, which not actually the case for most beginners that mostly use APS-C instead of full frame when they start.
Therefore, we should theoretically begin by buying a 35mm lens instead of a 50 mm.
Anyway, I have loved using this lens when I first went into photography. This helps understanding depth of field with the 1.8 aperture, which would be more difficult to see with a kit lens opening at 4 or 5.6 maximum.
Last thing, this lens is so cheap it would be a shame not owning it! I used it a lot for food photography and even portraits at weddings (I own the 1.4 equivalent now): http://www.lunacatstudio.fr/photographe-prestataire-mariage-garnier-coiffure-lausanne/


Jan 13, 2014
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dkyeah
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Registered: Dec 10, 2013
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 10, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, f/1.8, decent image quality
Cons:
Construction, AF noise, AF speed

This is probably the best value for money lens you cant get for your Canon DSLR.

It might not be the best lens but for about $100 you get a lens that is decently sharp with AF that works. Add in the fact that it is f/1.8 and you have a winner!

Granted it's not well built (very plasticky) and the noise of the AF will discourage any serious wedding photographer of buying it.

Photography is a hobby and you want to get that shallow depth of field look? This is the lens you should get. At $100 neither your wife nor your bank will complain you bought it .
You are serious about photography but love zooms? Get this cheap lens to add some variety in your shots!
You are serious about photography and have lots of money to spend? Go buy the 50mm f/1.2 L Wink

I own a 50mm 1.4 (Canon) but still use the 1.8 for some of my shoots, especially for events/concerts. You can find some examples of shots I captured with it mounted on my 5DIII:
http://quentindecaillet.com/blog/1569-slide-and-sound-2012-concerts-du-samedi.html (most of them are shot with the 50, some with a 70-200)


Dec 10, 2013
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m10chk
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Registered: Aug 26, 2013
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Excellent images, acceptable focus performance, price
Cons:
build quality

The real issue surely has to be -- you have a Canon, want a 50mm prime so which one do you get. 1.8, 1.4 USM, Sigma or the 1.2L.

I have owned the first 3 (never the L - could not justify the cost) and I have to say there is a very clear overall winner .... its the 1.8. I rate on Build Quality, Image Quality and Value

Everyone complains about the build quality of the 1.8 and rightly so. It is very ... err 'plastic'. BUT I do not think the build quality of the 1.4 usm is anything to boast about (the barrel wore loose on mine very quickly and the USM is not that durable). The Sigma wins on build quality but it seems you have to be very lucky to get one that focuses consistently (mine didn't). So overall in build quality, as it matters for taking photos, I have to put the Canons ahead of the Sigma but cannot really rank them.

The Sigma was undoubtedly the sharpness king ... when it was in focus (not very often), but the 1.4. and 1.8 were not far behind for me. As between them I find it hard to call. I think the 1.8 has it ... just but that is splitting hairs. Call it a draw. Other aspects of IQ (Fringing, Bokeh etc) I could not reliably tell them apart.

Value for money ... It has to be the 1.8. For me the extra cost of the 1.4 buys a heavier, better looking lens that is fundamentally not very well built and does not deliver any better IQ. The Sigma was just too unreliable to consider long term.


Aug 26, 2013
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chets954
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Registered: Aug 9, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jul 5, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, f1.8, fast, compact
Cons:
IQ, inconsistent AF

Very affordable, decent build, compact lens. I loved the compactness and the range but later realized you get what you pay for.

The major advantage is the f/1.8 but is seems inconsistent at f1.8



Jul 5, 2013
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rater
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Registered: Mar 26, 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 22
Review Date: Apr 17, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Prize, sharp and f/1.8.
Cons:
Slow/noisy autofocus, cheap build quality

This lens is a bargain. You get f/1.8 for less 100$ if you buy it used. Image quality is OK but build quality is not great, although for the price you pay is great value.

I sold mine to buy a f/1.4 version as I was always complaining on the autofocus and the fact that it has not full time manual focus.


Apr 17, 2013
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oldshutterhand
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Registered: Jan 24, 2012
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 29, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good light gathering capacity, no distorsion, no cromatic abberation, usable wide open, sharp stopped down, even colours, can make pictures with special athmosphere
Cons:
bad light focus hunting, low quality feeling, on APS-C, flare can be a problem


The lens most positive aspect is the light gathering capacity, I like the pictures in 'near dark' situations. The field of view on APs-C is not the best though (I agree with the people of same opinion in this forum.) The lens is sharp, but not expect miracles for this price. Better check before buy. Even colours, but not as good as canon 200 /2.8L for example. Not suggest for a one lens solution.
For portraits works good with a Kenko 1.4 dgx converter.

I have a review of this lens at
http://oldshutterhand.com/?page_id=146


Jun 29, 2012
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FreelyBlueBird
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Registered: Jun 22, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 22, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Cheapest lenses in the whole market,good quality,very sharp indeed.
Cons:
plastic body and mount

I was buy this one because it very cheap.
The lense is working so fast and sharp focus.
It's very valuable for use in field work.


Jun 22, 2012
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bonjerdo
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Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Location: South Africa
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 18, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, lightweight, easy to use and gives great pictures
Cons:
none, especially that you can buy one of these for under R1000

I have had many lenses including L series and found that if you get to know your lens and camera well you can produce great photos at a fraction of the cost.
I think the very expensive lenses are for pros who need a 100% reliable and sturdy build if it gets dropped etc. Most people are clicking away for a hobby and this little lens will give you some very surprising results.

Take a look at some of the photos i took casually with this lens.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/7217722410/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/7084360653/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonjerdo/6273405675/in/photostream

I would almost be bold enough to say that you could use this lens on any pro photoshoot especially if you are shooting on a controlled environment.
I use this lens most of the time.


Jun 18, 2012
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aestiva
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Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 15, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp and cheap
Cons:
Wide open poor quality, ugly bokeh

One of my first lenses.

Very sharp for the price, but poor build quality.


May 15, 2012
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nswelton
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 246
Review Date: Apr 11, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: none
Cons:
filmsy. don't breathe on it!

canon doesn't make a good 50mm prime. they make a cheap junky one, a medium priced junky one, and a super expensive one that is okay but that still falls apart. this 50mm is the cheap junky one. it rolled off a coffee table and landed on a pillow 12 inches lower. broke. got a new one to put in a travel bag and the focusing gears make the most unholy noise ever now. beware. it'll blow your mind if you're moving up from a kit lens, but it will annoy you to no end if you are used to anything of any quality.

Apr 11, 2012
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mjeffbr
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Registered: Dec 6, 2011
Location: Brazil
Posts: 56
Review Date: Jan 18, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $166.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: great value, shallow dof, nice colors, light, very good optics
Cons:
fragile, slow autofocus, gets dust easily

Well I recommend this lens to anyone (even being so fragile), because it is dirt cheap and can produce great pictures, with great colors

I regret selling it, what was the point anyways? heheh

being so light you barely notice it

Will be buying it again


Jan 18, 2012
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Damian_pro3
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Registered: Dec 20, 2011
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 5, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharpness, nice bokeh, f/1.8, price
Cons:
build quality(!), slow autofocus, soft on f/1,8-2, problems with flaring

I always have problems with making a review for this lens when someone asks for my opinion about it. It's because you'll either love it or hate it.
For me this lens has always been a good tool, despite it flaws. And when you speak about flaws, there are wuite few. Starting with build quality, which is horrible! Made of cheap plastic and sucking dust like a vacuum cleaner, it's not made to survive in harsh conditions. When I hear Nikon users complaining about a quality of Nikkor 50mm 1,8 it makes me laugh. Try this one and you'll definitely complaining. The another annoying aspect of working with it is an autofocus. It's really slow even in good light conditions and hunts for a long time when there isn't much light. Hence, shooting with it during concerts can be quite annoying. This lens is also characterized by quite visible chromatic aberration and softness on large apertures. But it becomes usable from f/2.2 onwards, giving great results from f/2.8.
Despite all those negative aspects, one can make use of this lens and be satisfied with images it produces. 50mm is usable focal lenght, on FF you can use it for street or landscape photography, on APS-C it's great for portrait, product and semi-macro photography. As I've already written, it's capable of producing sharp images and gives nice bokeh for portraits. And since I use it almost only in a studio, take pictures of still objects, I don't have to complain about AF anymore.
Having said that, I don't feel a need for upgrading to f/1.4 as long as my copy works.
Samples:
http://www.pro3photo.pl/#/gallery/7/86/
http://www.pro3photo.pl/#/gallery/2/84/
http://www.pro3photo.pl/#/gallery/7/92/


Jan 5, 2012
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Zezoo
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Registered: Sep 9, 2011
Location: Iceland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, small, sharp, cheap and probably the best lens for the money from Canon
Cons:
Slow and noisy autofocus, plastic body, plastic mount, ugly bokeh balls

I bought this lens because it was so cheap and an f/1.8
Its all plastic so you have to be careful with it if you don't want to break it. The plastic mount scared me at first but if I just take care of the lens it shouldn't brake. The focal length on this lens is great on full frame and also on crop (80mm equivalent).
The lens is very sharp and has a large aperture of f/1,8. The focus is slow and really noisy, so I wouldn't recommend this lens for any sort of action photography.

All in all this lens is great, and for the price you pay it's a must have for any Canon user.

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

http://www.flickr.com/photos/isbjorn/6130698710/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/isbjorn/6039633819/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/isbjorn/6120785355/in/photostream


Sep 9, 2011
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shroud72
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Registered: May 11, 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 79
Review Date: Aug 27, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $99.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: inexpensive optics are worth twice the price fast lens excels in low light colors are better then kit lens sharp
Cons:
cheap plastic feel manual focus ring difficult to use because it is small fragile lens

This lens has been recommended by many people to a beginner photographer as the first lens after the kit lens.
Ive had this lens for a year and have had sort of a love / hate relationship with it.
The cheap plastic feel and the almost impossible to turn manual focus ring are the main reasons for my dislike for this lens.
It does make a great portrait lens and after some practice you will be taking much better portrait shots with this lens then with the kit lens.
However where this lens really excels, and the reason why this small lens always has a place in my photography bag is because it is really incredible in low light night photography.
I normally shoot this lens at f/2.0 as I find f/1.8 a bit soft but still somewhat acceptable when needed in a pinch. Shooting at f/2.0 in AV aperture mode with 800 ISO produces amazing night time results with my 450d/XSi.

Some night time shots to backup my review
http://flic.kr/p/ag8UCp
http://flic.kr/p/a6N1YZ
http://flic.kr/p/a6MTcF

This shot has been cropped by about 75% and still the results are acceptable
http://flic.kr/p/agknfj

Nature Panoramic shot
http://flic.kr/p/agxiqP

Portrait shot
http://flic.kr/p/afgs1G

Shot through a restaurant window
http://flic.kr/p/agQvgt

Handheld 4 shot panoramic at dusk
http://flic.kr/p/agTqC1

Summery: Although the build quality leaves much to be desired, I have not experienced that many Autofocus problems, even in low light and have gotten photos that I would have otherwised missed.
For a beginner photographer on a budget highly recommended performance for the price.


Aug 27, 2011
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Aputure
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Registered: Aug 10, 2010
Location: China
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jan 24, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: CHEAP, lightweight, conspicuous, sharp when stopped down, fun
Cons:
soft wide open, slow focus in low light

Having shot with lens for nearly 5 years, I must say it has served me rather well. The big question many photogs might face is whether to get this or the EF 50mm 1.4. That one has full time manual focusing, a focus distance scale, and of course a faster aperture, gathering 2/3rds more light. Personally, I should have probably gone with the 1.4 version, considering my love of shallow depth of field and creamy smooth bokeh (of which the 1.4 outperforms the 1.8) but that doesn't mean the 1.8 is not a good bargain.

To read more and view sample photos, see here: http://www.aputure.com/blog/2010/12/30/canon-ef-50mm-1-8-ii-review/


Jan 24, 2011
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
349 541409 Feb 12, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $127.83
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
5.88
9.56
8.6
ef50mmf_18_1_


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