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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
399 1234111 Jul 14, 2021
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.71
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.92
8.70
8.8
ef50mmf_14usm_1_

Specifications:
Standard lens featuring superb quality and portability. Two high-refraction lens elements and new Gaussian optics eliminate astigmatism and suppress astigmatic difference. Crisp images with little flare are obtained even at the maximum aperture.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 50mm 1:1.4
Lens Construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 46
Focus Adjustment: Overall linear extension system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.45m / 1.5 ft.
Filter Size: 58mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.9" x 2.0", 10.2 oz. / 73.8 x 50.5mm, 290g


 


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kayliemiller47
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Registered: Jul 14, 2021
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 14, 2021 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: I used only this 50mm for the first year I began shooting weddings, I know lots of photographers would prefer another lens, but the main thing I loved about the 50 is how sharp the details were! In my opinion it was a very versatile lens for all sorts of sessions, portraits especially.
Cons:
The only cons I don't like about this lens is that it wasn't the best for shooting weddings. I like to have options for focal length and it was hard to get landscape shots with using only the 50.

I used the 50mm 1.4 for the first year of my career and it was by far my favorite lens! My favorite thing about the lens was how sharp the details were especially in up close shots of portrait sessions. I used this lens for an elopement and all of my family and portrait sessions and had an excellent experience overall. The only thing I did not like about the lens was how it wasn't my favorite to use for weddings. I needed to have something a bit more versatile, especially when needing to get further away shots for family formal photos. Overall I loved this lens and think its an awesome investment considering you get AMAZING quality for only $400. Definitely recommend this lens!

Jul 14, 2021
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ikaruga102
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Registered: May 10, 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 52
Review Date: Aug 27, 2020 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros:
Cons:

Excellent value lens.
Planar rendering.
Autofocus motor is weak however and has been prone to break.

As a wedding photographer I would keep a backup spare, but I absolutely love these for wedding portraits.


Aug 27, 2020
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abhu
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Registered: Oct 3, 2016
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 2, 2019 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: 1.4, relatively cheap, lightweight, nice IQ, good performance for the price
Cons:
Quite bad CA, inconsitent AF, not tack sharp on 1.4

So I use it for about 3 years on two 6D mk1. I like it very much because of the focal lenght-dof-iq combination but it has some issues. The most important to me is the quite bad chromatic abberation in the out of focus areas. Literally i can scream when i have a nice pic' and a fokkin great purple fringe is destroys it. And after a some postwork its getting worse- and sometimes it cannot be removed- no not in LR. You can defringe it but a fokkin grey line still be there- i dont know how many pixel large, but you can see it well on a 1920*1280 image, too well.
The AF is get the subject in 10/7, but thats not that great performance to me.
The sharpness is about average in its class- on wide open its soft, but most of the time its not a really big problem.
Despite of its cons i like it- its a nice and cheap prime lens.


Apr 2, 2019
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haringo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: May 5, 2018 Recommend? | Price paid: $300.00

Pros: Cheap, the price of 2 fast memory cards. Sharp and small
Cons:
None


This lens would be an excellent value, Compared to the 1.2L. The this lens delivers great and sharp photos when it is used correctly! Don't be fooled by some of the not flattering reviews. I never had any quality problems, AF focus is fast and accurate. I use it often on my Sony A7s with a metabones adapter. With the Sony it looks like point and shoot which enables me to take amazing candid images. People open up when I use this lens because it doesn't seem professional. I can never get the same expression and original moments with my 1dx and 24-70mm L. Amazing value!!!Most candid wedding photos were taken with this lens: www.haringphotography.com





May 5, 2018
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AlbertConnor
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Registered: Feb 13, 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 13, 2018 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Night time, Portraits/Families/People
Cons:

Cheap, small, good in low light. In another 10 years improved sensor tech will allow f 3 or higher lenses to be used in low light, till then cheap fast lenses are MUST BUYS, well done Canon.

Feb 13, 2018
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davidluque
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Registered: Apr 13, 2017
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 18, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small and lightweight for a 1.4 lens.
Cons:
Slow AF and a bit soft wide open.

A very good backup lens for weddings, is small and lighweight.
Nice bokeh and is sharp at 2.0, very useful in a lot of situations.

Image quality is very good for the price of this lens.

Here are many photos of my work with this lens:

Fotografo de Bodas en Malaga



Apr 18, 2017
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packpe89
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Registered: Mar 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 484
Review Date: Feb 15, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Inexpensive Lightweight, Sharp, Fast
Cons:
Slightly slower AF than the 85/1.8, little soft wide open

I love this lens on both my 7d and 5d. Great for shooting basketball if you get close to the action, which I like to do. Also great for portaits and just general walk around. I keep this and an 85 in my bag now to complement what ever zooms I may take.

Feb 15, 2017
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brownjw
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Registered: Feb 3, 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 3, 2017 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Image quality
Cons:
Build/reliability

I've had this lens for years and made many great images with it. Really, it has served me quite well.

However, I've had it repaired by Canon 3 times and it's never been in perfect working condition since the first time I sent it in. The focus has always been, well, chalky is how I'd put it. Not smooth at all. The slightest drop of this lens renders it inoperable and in need of being sent in for another sub-par and expensive repair and now it has broken again and is super slow to focus.

If I could do it again, considering how much I've had to pay to repair it, I might just save for the L.

The main repair guy at a very reputable local camera store here in L.A. told me this is the Canon product with the most repair requests that they've never issued a formal recall or notice for that would have Canon repair it for free. In other words, it's built poorly, Canon knows it, but won't do anything about it.


Feb 3, 2017
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peterstrong
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Registered: Dec 21, 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 21, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros:
Cons:

I've had several 35mm cameras over the years and the 50mm has always been a workhorse for me and my most frequently used lens and this lens is no exception. I leave it on my 40D most of the time. I had to return my first copy to Adorama because the chromatic abberation was horrible, but my second copy was pristine and perfect. It was no hassel at all to do this, they have great service.

Dec 21, 2016
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susanmaxwell
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Registered: Nov 10, 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 10, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: cheap, very sharp at f2.8 through f11, full time manual focus override
Cons:
a little too dreamy at f1.4, plastic


Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM review by Soothsayerman
Review Date: 9/19/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $340.00| Rating: 9

Pros: cheap, very sharp at f2.8 through f11, full time manual focus override
Cons: a little too dreamy at f1.4, plastic

I've use a variety of zooms, the 18-55, 17-85, 17-40L and decided to get the 50 f1.4 because the zoom lenses performance was not very good in terms of bokeh, sharpness and light gathering ability. I sold them all except the 17-40L which is just a fantastic lens for landscape and also very cheaply priced.


I've had several 35mm cameras over the years and the 50mm has always been a workhorse for me and my most frequently used lens and this lens is no exception. I leave it on my 40D most of the time. I had to return my first copy to Adorama because the chromatic abberation was horrible, but my second copy was pristine and perfect. It was no hassel at all to do this, they have great service.


I see people complaining about softness at 1.4 and all fast lenses are soft wide open. That's just the way it is. This lens is no exception but the distortion on my copy is very pleasant if a little "too" dreamy.


But stop it down a bit, and it dials in very nicely to be very sharp at f2.0 and above.


The bokeh is very nice and pleasant. I like the bokeh on this lens better than the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 which I've had the chance to use. On the other hand, the Zeiss is sharper across the frame. Overall I like this lens better, the autofocus works very well for me under reasonalbe conditions, ie not completely dark, and the focus mechanism is smooth and accurate enough to manual focus easily.


The build quality is quite adequate and reasonable for the price and one reason I got this lens over the 50mm 1.8. It is lightyears ahead of that lens in build quality and finish.


Overall, you can't go wrong with this lens and if you don't have a 50 in your arsenal, you really owe it to yourself to get one.

http://www.hitsticker.com | http://www.printradiant.com | http://www.adstateagent.com


Nov 10, 2015
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bransonq360
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Registered: Feb 6, 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 4, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, small even with hood, F 1.4, Fast focus speed, sharp as a prime should be
Cons:
nothing super special

I don't think I have to say much more about the price. The 1.8 is a 100 dollars, the 1.4 is 400 dollars, and the 1.2 is 1,400 dollars. So it narrows down the options if you are not interested in investing over a thousand dollars.

So the question is, is it better than the f1.8? Without hesitation, YES! Is it worth 300 more dollars? YES!

If you are reading this review and you are thinking about the 1.8 or the 1.4, go with the 1.4! Having had the 1.8 (which will always be my favorite lens-- 'cause it led me into the world of photography) I must say just get the 1.4.

If you are debating whether to go faster with the 1.2 or even the new 1.0, well you still have somethings to consider. Weight, and SLOW focus speed.

The 1.4 focuses fast! And unlike its noisy (super noisy) little brother it is silent. As mentioned above it is light and relatively cheap. Thus taking it into hostile environments is not super worrisome.

If you do a fair bit of travelling or backpacking, this will definitely keep you on the lighter side. Also if you just carry you camera everywhere then it keeps you light and simple. Versatile enough to take a few steps back to get most of what you need in the shot, and can shoot wide open to get nice bokeh in the background.
It is a 50mm prime, so CA, distortion, etc. are all at a bare minimum anyways.


http://bransonq360.com/shanxi/e5af9816d

http://bransonq360.com/shanxi/e5af98155

http://digital-photography-school.com/7-tips-help-youre-stuck-prime-lens/#comments


Oct 4, 2015
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jgonzo
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Registered: Dec 17, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 30, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, f1.4, quiet AF
Cons:
expensive lens hood

It is sharp, sharp, sharp. The weak point is the AF. AF is not slow but could be a bit faster. On the other side the AF is not that loud like the one on the EF 50/1.8 i used before.
I am happy with the EF 50/f1.4.


May 30, 2015
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chets954
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Registered: Aug 9, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: Dec 31, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast (1.4!), Great bokeh, Excellent image quality, High quality to price, Auto Focus
Cons:
None!

I took the longest time to buy this lens for I did not think it would be worth $300. What a mistake! I love this lens.

It is fixed on my 5D and it is what I use for most of my pictures. I love the 50mm focal length, its just right. The image quality is excellent, and the bokeh is great! love the f/1.4.



Dec 31, 2014
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Soulphoto2014
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Registered: Sep 3, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: Price
Cons:
Only sharp from f2-f2.2

This was my first prime ever, I bought it for the f1.4 and took the first dslr newborn shots of my daughter with it.

Later I discovered it wasn't sharp wide open, only from f2.2 so I have unsharp memories in my album Sad

After discovering this I immediately sold it.
A friend bought the better Sigma 50 1.4

But if you have the cash, directly buy the Sigma 50 1.4 Art, top IQ + razorfast AF!


Sep 3, 2014
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hans.dampf
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Registered: Feb 12, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 11
Review Date: May 15, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $410.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Weight, Image Quality, Low Price
Cons:
Build Quality, Noise, Sturdiness

This is the standard lens (at least for full-frame / becomes moderate tele on APC-C). It is small and delicate. And with f/1.4, it is the cheapest "light capturing giant".

50 mm are suitable mainly for torso or full body shots. For pure head shots, it is not appropriate so much because it leads to slightly visible distortion (although this can be corrected in PP). The greater the distance to the subject, the smaller this problem becomes. But let's be honest, with the 50mm lenses, generations have photographed everything before the appearance of zoom lenses; and it is still the standard. With a fixed focal length, one is forced to think more about composition. Since you can not zoom easily, you have to move around the subject in the viewfinder.

Primes are unbeatable in terms of light intensity, but you cannot use this in every picture. In principe, primes are weaker in terms of resolution , sharpness and chromatic aberrations at your maximum aperture. Therefore one must close the aperture if absolute quality is desired. From f/4 on this lens becomes even better. In extreme low light situations you can use the maximum aperture of f/1.4 because resolution , sharpness and chromatic aberrations are not that visible in such ambient anyways.

It has a metal mount (as opposed to the 1.8 version that uses plastic) and eight aperture blades (important for nice round shapes in the bokeh) . Micro USM (no ring USM would be even faster) with FTM (full time manual, you can set the focus manually at any time) , which is not common in itself. In contrast to the 85mm lens , it is a bit more noisy and a little bit slower.

However, with an aperture of f/1.4 this is a "light giant". The focus moves inside the "tube" of up to one centimeter. Luckily the front element does not move, so you can use polarizer flters easily. The Lens Hood ES- 71II is not included.

You will find no better quality lens for the Canon in this price range. The only about 1 /3 stop faster than the 50mm f/1.2 that is almost four times more expensive.

I've used all three 50mm lenses from Canon. The f/1.8 is just cheap and fun, no regrets, but not serious enough. The f/1.4 is good for enthousiast amateurs - amazing image quality and a decent lens! The f/1.2 is for those that can acually earn money with what they do, otherwise it's just too much money for the differene in image and bokeh quality.

I am a wedding photographer, so you can see some pictures where I used the 50mm 1.4 (the dancing pictures)
Photographe de Mariage Montreux

In comparison to that, here I used the 50mm 1.2 (the close portraits):
Photographe de Mariage Lausanne


May 15, 2014
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Robin Smith
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Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1286
Review Date: Apr 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent image quality. High quality to price
Cons:

This is an excellent standard lens.

At full aperture, despite what many say, this lens produces a nice image as long as you have the focus where you want it. There is reduced contrast and, as expected, the image quality in the corners and edges is not as crisp as it is at f2.8. You will need a Zeiss Otus for that. However, many people's issues with this lens are I suspect due to inadequate focusing, focus the lens via live view and then check out the image - it'll be much better than many naysayers pronounce. By f2 the lens is nicely crisp and at f2.8 and smaller, very good indeed.

The build quality is OK: nothing special and not nearly as sexy as the Sigma 50s or the 50L for example - which I think is one of the reasons why people may downgrade this lens. I find the AF works with no problem and is the equal of my other Canon lenses (L and non-L). Manual focusing is not as smooth as those lenses with the usual USM focusing mechanisms. Although I have had no problems with this lens at all, there is quite a lot of negative feedback about its AF, and I suspect this may indeed be because the lens has less robust USM. Poorly treated secondhand copies may largely account for these negative reports. Mine was bought new and is 5 years old with zero issues. I do treat this lens more carefully than my other lenses because of these reports, but apart from this I think this is a very good "classic" standard lens. Yes it could be better at f1.4, but I am not sure that I care as the % of shots I take at f1.4 is about 1% - most of my wide aperture shooting is at f2.


Apr 22, 2014
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
399 1234111 Jul 14, 2021
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $321.71
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.92
8.70
8.8
ef50mmf_14usm_1_


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