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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

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Reviews Views Date of last review
71 191212 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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Powerdoc
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Registered: Feb 4, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 10
Review Date: Feb 6, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: tight sharp neutral color distorsion free
Cons:
only 1:2 Slow AF

I own this lens since 15 years. At a time I used on my EOS 10 (film) to shot only with this lens, and I was very happy with it.

It's also tight sharp on both my 10 and 20 D. This is a very good prime. I keep mine.


Feb 6, 2005
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MikeK5117
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Registered: Dec 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 85
Review Date: Feb 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $185.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, great contrast, incredible color. Perfect size to keep in a jacket pocket. Great bargain in a canon prime.
Cons:
Needs full-time manual focus.

I was trying to make up my mind between this lens and a 50mm 1.4 when a "like new" 50 macro came along on Ebay at a pretty good buy-it-now price. On impulse I bought it. Very glad I did. I've only owned it for a short while but it is already one of my favorites. Extremely sharp, contrasty and the DOF is very smooth, just what you need to shoot a flower blossum and have the petals and background fall into perfect out-of-focus highlights. The lack of USM doesn,t bother me much with my 1D, but full time manual focus would be nice.

Feb 3, 2005
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padangboy
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Registered: Oct 4, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 325
Review Date: Dec 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp!!! Built-in hood, great build quality
Cons:
Not USM (slow and noisy AF motor) hence no FTM

This lens is my only prime (currently), and it gives me truly sharp and contrast pictures with my Canon 10D, even wide open at f/2.5. Bokeh is great! For indoor, it has to be coupled with decent flash to get good result.
Working distance has not been a problem for me.
Build quality is just great, compared to my other consumer zoom lenses.
This lens seems to retain its value pretty well. So grab a copy for yourself to try it! If you don't like it, most likely you can sell it back at a very good price.


Dec 14, 2004
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Canon_20D
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tack sharp images at most aperatures. Nice color and contrast. Great for portraiture, general shooting, and close-ups. Compact size and weight.
Cons:
Autofocus tends to hunt more most other Canon lenses.

This lens is a fantastic addition to a Canon photographers arsenal. Tack sharp images at most all aperatures. Beautiful color and contrast rendition. Nice 2.5 wide open aperature. I'm more than surprised with the results of this lens.

I originally purchased this for mostly macro photography, but now it stays on my 20D a lot. I like being able to go macro and then use it as a regular super sharp lens. With Canon's Extender (25mm) you can go 1:1, otherwise it's half life size.

This is a perfect fit with Canon's MR-14EX Macro Ring Light. Both make a great combination, and not just for macro shots. Try some regular shots, or even fashion-type shots and you will be quite surprised with the versatility of this pair.

Of course it would be nice to have 1:1 without an extender, but I knew that when I purchased it.

Only small quibble is the hunting autofocus mechanism. It appears it can't figure whether you want a very close up or a long shot, however when it does find the autofocus range it's quite fast in snapping into position for all the next shots.

Recommendation: A real winner!


Dec 11, 2004
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dacop
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Registered: Jun 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 592
Review Date: Nov 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp! Outstanding color.
Cons:
None

A very sharp lens at ALL apertures. I use this as my all purpose 50mm most of the time. I also own the popular 1.4 and while this lens is not as fast, it makes up for it with its outstanding sharpness and color output. The 1.4 does not start to get sharp IMO until you reach 2.0 and beyond, but this lens is sharper overall at all f/'s.

If you are debating on this lens vs. the 1.4 as I did, go for this one if you really don't need the speed. You will love the color and sharpness of this lens.


Nov 13, 2004
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Phil McNeil
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Registered: Jan 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1946
Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very, very sharp at all apertures. Reasonable price. Light weight.
Cons:
Working distance. 1:2 macro.

This is a great, great lens, I sold mine to pay for a macro with longer working length and true 1:1 macro ability, but I expect to regret the sale and will end up buying another copy when I am feeling rich. A very good macro, not great due to the 1:2 macro and the very short working distance, but rates as a great lens due to its overall quality. I had the Canon 50 1.8 MK II at the same time I had the 50 f/2.5 and the macro just blew it away in all respects. Color, contrast and sharpness are top notch. If you need a 50 standard get this and you get the macro as a bonus.


Sep 8, 2004
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bobbytan
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Registered: Feb 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7558
Review Date: Aug 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic optically - razor sharp at all apertures. Great color and contrast. Practically distortion-free. Small and light. Inexpensive.
Cons:
Slow focus, noisy AF motor, and feels a little cheap and plasticky.

One of the best Canon lenses and even better and sharper than some L-series Canons. Makes a great standard and general purpose lens, and it nicely fills the gap between the 17-40L and 70-200L. Can be used with the 1.4x TC and extension tubes EF-12 and EF-25 if you don't want to spend on the 1:1 LSC.

Aug 11, 2004
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Nittany4
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Registered: Jan 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Review Date: Aug 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $249.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, even wide open. Nice contrast and color. Rivals Canon's L-Series optics.
Cons:
Not a USM lens, but that has little or no effect for landscape and general photography. A bit larger and heavier than Canon's other consumer-quality 50mm lenses.

The vast majority of my photography is landscape or travel. Because of that I rarely need fast (f/1.4 - f/2.0) glass or quiet USM focusing. Hence, this lens is fantastic for my purposes. It's very sharp even a low f-stops, with a "sweet spot" at f/5.6 - f/8.0 when stopped down. The focusing is actually quite fast, if a bit louder than USM lenses. The front element is also deeply recessed -- you won't need a lens shade in most cases -- and therefore well protected. Don't let the macro terminology fool you, this is a great general purpose and landscape lens.

Aug 3, 2004
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BJAM
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Registered: Aug 2, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness and colour reproduction
Cons:
None

This is the lens that spends most of its life permanently attached to the front on my 10D. Being able to take great portrait pictures one minute and then macro the next makes this a very versatile lens.

My other Sigma lenses now disappoint in comparison. I have used this lens for underwater photography and it continues to excel even in this environment.

A worthy purchase and addition to your lens collection.


Aug 2, 2004
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Newk
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Registered: Apr 23, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1356
Review Date: May 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Oh so very sharp!
Cons:
Feels a bit flimsy; 1:2 magnification; 50mm doesn't leave much working distance.

My late wife won this lens in a Canon photo contest, otherwise I'd probably never bought a 50mm macro. I think it's the sharpest lens I've ever owned, and that includes some of the best Carl Zeiss T* and Canon L-series primes made. For the money ($250 - $300) you won't find a sharper lens. Color and contrast also seem very good.

May 19, 2004
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RoyGBiv
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Registered: May 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: May 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Works well with Digital Rebel
Cons:
AF is jittery. Edit: probably just the nature of being up close and how tight the focus range is, i find it easier to use manual.

One of the reasons i bought the Digital EOS was to leverage my existing Canon lenses and this is one of my favorites. Macro is just great for nature, non-moving nature in particular.

In case you're wondering how this lense will work with the Digital EOS (running close to $850 w/o lens) you can see sample taken today
edit: link to actual photos. I cropped so that the demensions and file size would be smaller, but the detail is there. Second link has a resized image as well as a full res cropped portion.

http://www.thinair.com/Blog/archives/000010.html
http://www.thinair.com/Blog/archives/000016.html


May 9, 2004
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jedlawre
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Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 522
Review Date: May 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, nice bokeh
Cons:
loud motor, only 1:2

I am really pleased with this lens. I use it for macro and for a normal lens. It is my first quality lens and love shooting with it. If you don't like the construction of the 50mm 1.8 you should get this lens because it is built well, just as sharp, and is macro. Also, bokeh is just awesome!

May 9, 2004
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mateo_
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Registered: Jan 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 688
Review Date: Feb 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp even wide open, perfect size to handhold, very flexible (regular usage to moderate macro), bokeh better than 50mm f/1.8, "built-in" hood. Very nice color, too.
Cons:
Aperture vs other 50's, slow AF but only when it hunts now and then

The first ever SLR lens I ever shot seriously with Smile. On the 10D, its the perfect portrait/medium tele lens at 80mm- I use it as my primary prime for general shooting as well as a macro. I feel very comfortable shooting wide open, as its very sharp, but it does suffer a bit compared to the 1.x apertures of other 50mm primes- I have a 50mm 1.8 just because its a cheap way to deal w/ special low-low-light cases, but that's relegated to the bottom of the bag since its just outshined by the compact macro. I love the design of this lens, with the recessed element and "integrated" hood; its much more sturdy and gives greater protection, but also makes the lens big enough to handhold stably and comfortably without being too bulky- my 24mm and other primes are a bit small and my 28-135 IS is big, but this sneaks in right at the sweet spot. The AF mechanism is a bit tiring now and then, but considering the rest of the perks, I can live with that Wink

Feb 27, 2004
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Jacon
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Registered: Nov 15, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 183
Review Date: Feb 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $240.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, Beautiful bokeh, peppy AF & cost
Cons:
Loudish AF, working distance.

I use this lens for texture work. The distance to subject is too small for only the tamest of insects! However I have succesfully snuck up on quite a few bees.

Pros

Great versatile lens. Can be used for not only close ups but being a 50mm it covers the wider end too. In other words it performs great doing double duty.
Focus is very accurate and peppy. Snaps into focus as fast as my 50 1.4. Just as long as it isn't going from .5 mag
Sharpness is superb wide open at 2.5.

Cons

Loud-ish AF motor. Focus ring is a little sloppy but works fine though. Subject to focus distance is rather small at about four inches so the lens blocks the light if yer not careful.

I do love this little lens though. For the money and size the optics are really awesome. Especially for close ups.

No doubt one of my favs.


Feb 16, 2004
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Feb 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $190.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, size, weight, price
Cons:
None, though it is not USM.

For the money, this little macro is tough to beat. In addition to being very sharp, it has the added bennefit of being nearly perfectly rectilinear and flat-field, thus making it excellent for copy work.

A few side notes:
1) With the lifesize converter, this lens becomes an effective 70mm macro lens. I feel it is interesting to note that since the 100 USM macro is an
internal-focus design, its focal length reduces to an effective 70mm when extended to 1:1 -- this is because IF lenses shorten focal length to focus closer rather than move the entire lens group forward (as in the pre-USM 100 Macro).

2) I found that if I mounted my EF12 extension tube on the front of my 1.4xII converter, I could then mount the assembly on this little macro and get to nearly 1:1 magnification. (Probably this is a very similar optical arrangement to the life-size converter Canon offers for this lens.)



Feb 10, 2004
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FireMyst
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Registered: Jul 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 287
Review Date: Nov 11, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Construction, F32, Weight. 50mm
Cons:
Merely nothing. Doesn't come with a pouch (cheap Canon).


Great lense for indoor macro and for general use (barely used it like that). I use it for product photgraphy and it gives me very good results. F32 is great. You can couple it with Close-up ring 250D for better range. If you need 1:1 do buy the 100mm version.

A good Canon lense, great for the price. Do not expect more.



Nov 11, 2003
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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
71 191212 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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