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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Mar 31, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Dead sharp from F/1.4, accurate AF, fast, silent
Cons:
Varying copies (?)

When upgrading from 7D to FF (5DMkII) I had a limited set of lenses that fitted the new camera. So I bought it with the 50/1.4 and was pleasantly surprised with the IQ. The copy I got does not resemble at all any of the negative ratings found here. Even at 1.4 it focuses sharp both near and infinity - and that with AF no manual override.

As being one of a few lenses I had initially for the camera I used it extensively and it was a nice experience going "back to basics" with only a 50mm at hand. I am pretty picky with sharpness and this particular lens performs so well that I do not feel the need to take several shots on the same subject as I know normally the first will be focused spot on where I choose. It also produces a nice soft bokeh and is capable of nice 3D-isolation. I cant find any flaw with this lens, the only thing that could improve is the build. But this one is still miles ahead of the 50/1.8. I use no filters, the lens hood is protective enough. And the hood construction is good - as opposed to the flimsy mount Canon makes for eg the 85/1.8 or 50/1.8.

So either I am lucky, or theres bad copies out there and/or perhaps handling issues for some users that dont realize just how short the DOF gets.