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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

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Reviews Views Date of last review
71 190237 Jun 18, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $223.53
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.14
9.57
9.2
ef_50_25c_1_

Specifications:
A superior-performance lens offering excellent optics and focusing from infinity down to one-half life size (0.5x). Its nine-element design features a floating optical system, which ensures top-notch performance even at close focusing distances. Light and compact, it functions beautifully as a general-purpose normal lens. The optional accessory Life Size Converter EF enables focusing down to life size (1:1), and actually increases working distance - very desireable in close-up shooting.


 


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lotisb
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Registered: Dec 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Dec 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp through all f-stops. Price.
Cons:
S-L-O-W, unpredictable and noisy AF.

I have used this lens for over a year and a half now for all applications (macro, still life, portraits) and I am happy with its versatility and image quality. Color, contrast and sharpness are all excellent. It's hard to beat the quality of this lens at any price range. At the negative end, this bad boy will HUNT for a focus point in anything but ideal lighting. Manual focusing does get some getting used to but once you have the hang of it excellent pictures await you.

Dec 27, 2005
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gpfmartin
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Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 172
Review Date: Dec 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp throughout the frame, price, dof scale, infrared dot, mf/af switch
Cons:
slow focus, loud

tack-sharp optics makes my photos pop with detail! This is really an affordable Canon lens. The build and autofocus aren't the best, but the price is great. My 50mm of choice was the 1.8-II, but this lens has replaced it except for when I *need* to shoot at f/1.8 - f/2.0.

Dec 26, 2005
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mariusg
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Registered: Sep 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The sharpest lens under 85mm. Sharp corners for full frame. I wish there exist at least one other Canon lenses in this price rage and with this sharpness (but for a different focal).
Cons:
the filter size.

Only 2 Canon primes are sharper than this, 135mm f2 ($1000) and 85m 1.2 ($1500).

I got this as an upgrade for Canon 50mm 1.8 - it's a bit sharper and it can be handheld by adults (I have average size hands, but I simply could not handheld 50mm 1.8 properly).

The focal length is perfect for both APS and FF sensors, it's more usable than any other prime. I started using it on APS first, now I use it FF (and generally much more than on APS).

I did not intend to use it for macro, at 1:2 is not enugh, and the 1:1 adapter is more expensive than the lens itself, besides, for $500 there much better macro lenses (better focal length, I don't know about sharpness). I played a few times with it, it's ok for large insects and small flowers, but that's about it.

For a non-L lens, this thing has a really nice bokeh.

Compared to zeoom lenses, at F2.5 it's sharper than all zooms at F4 (I tried Canon 18-55, Sigma 18-50, Canon 17-40, Canon 70-200).

The auto focus is slow, yes, and sometimes gives up when the subject is really close but at this range it should be focused manually anyway. The manual focus is a lot slower than most lenses because it's a macro and the drive is 3-4 times longer than normal lenses (it's a bit more than a complete turn, let's say 1.1 turns)


Dec 19, 2005
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smac
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Registered: Sep 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Dec 10, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $229.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons:
slow, noisy AF, only goes to 1:2

I couldn't get past the slow focus and the noisy AF drive. It sounded like a coffee grinder. It is sharp, but the necessity of adding an extension tube to get to 1:1 made it inconvenient. I so want to like this lens, I've actually had 2 of them.

Dec 10, 2005
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jjarecki
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Registered: Nov 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 30, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A really great lens. Very sharp, light and not to expensive.
Cons:
None really



Nov 30, 2005
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beaucroft
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Registered: Oct 25, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 25, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, sharpness, price
Cons:
Size, weight, not 'true' macro, not an 'L'

Although I love my 24-70 2.8L, it's not the sort of lens that you just chuck in the bag, so I needed something that had slightly less presence than a house brick. Using a 10D with a small sensor, I was tempted by a 35mm lens for wider coverage, but this 50mm comes Macro and in the end, is far more versatile for my needs.

Having had this lens for a month now, I am very pleased with it. The 2.5 apeture is plenty wide enough for me, and gives excellent blur. It is good and sharp and makes for excellent portraits.

The Macro won't get super close, so I end up cropping my close-ups a bit to achieve full frame.

It's bigger than the 1.8, but the versatility and price makes it a winner for me.


Oct 25, 2005
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jamach
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Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6104
Review Date: Sep 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, color, size, high F32 performance
Cons:
none

This lens is a must have. Why? Because it is sharp, produces great color, and can do people. When you absolutely need the picture sharp or an outstanding short portrait lens, this is it. Yes, it is not usm and the design is old, but it does perform very well. Need sharp F2.5-32? You got it, for about $200.

Sep 24, 2005
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eeyore
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Registered: Aug 15, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 5
Review Date: Aug 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small size. Excellent results.
Cons:
No 1:1. Noisy and slow autofocus.

This is a great lens to do macro work, and to also use as a normal lens. With the 300D, it produces very nice, sharp and well balanced (contrast wise) photos. It is sharp to the edge and performs well at 2.5, but definetly improves from about 3.5/4 onwards. It is a good size, and is a nice fit for those travelling. As mentioned above, the only down side to this lens is the lack of 1:1 and also the loud and slow autofocus. I did purchase the 1:1 converter, and it does make it more useful, however, the size and weight approaches that of the 100/2.8. Optical quality seems to not suffer too much, though I have not had much opportunity to use the converter so far. Great lens, none the less.

Aug 16, 2005
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Veronicah
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Registered: Sep 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 68
Review Date: Aug 12, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great bokeh, sharp pictures, nice macro and great for portraits
Cons:
Autofocus sometimes slow, and focuses back and forth and few seconds, but once it finds its spot, it takes wonderful pictures.

I just broke down and bought the Canon 350D over the 20D because I wanted a compact SLR that I could throw in my bag with a small lens. After realizing the kit lens 18-55 was junk, I decided to put on this lens, which I formerly used only for macro back with my Rebel G film camera.

Boy was I impressed with this lens! I have taken absolutely beautiful portraits of my daughter, along with sharp macros of a ladybug, all with a beautiful creamy background.

I have decided to keep this lens on my body as a general purpose lens, though I may have to invest in the 85 1.8 for those low-light situations (school plays and ballet performances) when I need a faster lens.

I also purchased the Tokina 12-24 wideangle, and I will post my thoughts on this later.

All in all, buy the 50 2.5. It's a great lens!


Aug 12, 2005
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Dajon
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Registered: Jun 8, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jun 8, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small and sharp -fast aperture macro
Cons:
no FTM

This lens is a simple design with no special features except: great close-ups that are extreemly sharp! i do wish it had a USM so that it could have full time manual focusing. This lens is my multi purpose lens on my DSLR. its a compact portrait lens and a great little macro.

I find the 1:2 macro close enough for me and if need closer I use a 12mm or 25mm EXT tube. I dont recommend the close adapter made for this lens (so you can get 1:1) -i find it to be a bit of a rip-off.

great little compact macro that works on my film bodies and digital bodies



Jun 8, 2005
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benpaul67
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Jun 6, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Many.
Cons:
Fewer than I thought.

I just found out 'purple finging' is due to overvoltage saturation of a digital CCD, and has nothing to do with ANY lens. So my main beef with this lens is really with my CCD. However, PF is a LOT less with the 17-40, for whatever reason my XT likes that lens. I will say then that this is the sharpest lens for the $$ I've seen. Maybe sharper than my 17-40 by a hair, I think. But the 17-40 is just so NICELY IMPRESSIVE in every way. So the only one remaining complaint I have about this lens, that it doesn't seem 'right' compared to the 17-40, could be bokeh, but I know little about it and if someone else could post on this, it might well remove my sole remaining complaint. Other than 2:1 Macro. I'm getting a 60 2.8 micronikkor to replace the one I sold a few years ago when I went digital. At the time, it was considered the sharpest single period, and I think, 7 years later it still is. Got a nice adapter for my XT, and will slap it on asap. Will be a primarily Macro lens for me.
I would rerate this lens a 9.5 now.


Jun 6, 2005
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benpaul67
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Registered: May 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: May 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $260.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Pretty sharp. Maybe best lens for the $. Can't fault it other than a bit of purple. BUT.....
Cons:
Purple fringing is the drawback. AND, this is based on using it on a EOS XT, 1.6 I think. Less demanding of the lens periphery I think. Uncomfortable FL for a 1.6. Macro is sharp but too little closeup. Lens is sharp, colors sat, 2.5 is nice, purple may not be too bad, maybe so. Can't tell. Decent lens, hard to fault, because it does almost everything 'technically' right, but it just looks WRONG, WRONG, WRONG compared to a 17-40L.



May 29, 2005
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gerrit p
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, no distortion
Cons:
wish it had usm

I use it for reproductions and architecture, if it had usm I would use it for general purpose also.

Apr 4, 2005
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EOS20
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Registered: Mar 6, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 13632
Review Date: Mar 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap, Sharp, Small.
Cons:
Lack of USM, Only 1:2x Life without convertor.

A good compact general purpous lens.

Very sharp and contrasty, Works well for both macro and as a general purpous normal lens.

Canon should re-release it with a USM insted of the current DC motor which can be a bit slow.

Still it is highly recomended!


Mar 26, 2005
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zonkola
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Registered: Feb 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 194
Review Date: Mar 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor-sharp macro, low price, decent portrait lens.
Cons:
AF isn't the best, manual focus ring feels flimsy, requires an extender if you need 1:1.

I bought this lens over the well-regarded f1.8 and f1.4 50mm lenses because I could only justify getting a single 50mm for my 10d. In my opinion, this lens is more versatile than the other two 50mm's. It's great for product-style macro shots and works nicely for studio portraits as well. For portraits I use it in place of my 85mm f1.8 when I'm backed up against the wall and need to get more of my subject in the frame.

I primarily use this lens in a studio setting with controlled lighting and slow or non-moving subjects, so the AF issues haven't been a problem. If I did more low-light or action shooting I might be tempted to get the f1.4 model, but for what I do this lens is a keeper.


Mar 9, 2005
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shlomi
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Registered: Oct 11, 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 12
Review Date: Mar 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, no distortion, macro, no flare
Cons:
Very bad AF, washed out colors, not great bokeh

I bought this lens after reading the very positive reviews in this site. I was very disappointed and returned it after a couple of days of shooting, and got a 50/1.4 instead.

This lens is exactly what it looks like - an old compact macro. It is suitable for close range macro. As a general lens it is not really usable - it misses focus in *many* situations.

There are no complaints about sharpness. However colors are somewhat washed out, and bokeh is not great. For shooting people, there is no comparison between this one and the 50/1.4 - the latter wins hands down.

Get this lens only if the macro feature is its main intended use. If you want the full prime quality go for the 50/1.4 and you will not be sorry.

<A href="http://www.pbase.com/shlomi/image/40011850/original.jpg">Sample picture</A>


Mar 5, 2005
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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
71 190237 Jun 18, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $223.53
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.14
9.57
9.2
ef_50_25c_1_


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