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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II 35mm Primes

4.44 star rating
                      4.44 / 5 (153 Reviews)
MSRP : $93.50

  • Camera Format35 mm SLR
    Lens TypeFixed Focal Length Lens
    Focal Length50mm
    Lens Max Aperturef/1.8
    Min Aperturef/22
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    MountCanon EF
    Closest Focusing Distance18 in
    Picture Angle46 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size52 mm
    Groups / Elements6 Elements in 5 Groups
    Diameter2.7 in
    Length1.6 in
    Weight4.6 oz
    Product ID20825975

Product Description

This is the lightest EF lens of all at a mere 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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Reviews 1 - 5 (153 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bottlecap a Expert

Date Reviewed: August 23, 2010

Strengths:    Fast Glass, Inexpensive, great Depth of field, quick AF

Weaknesses:    It feels a bit cheaply built, it's plastic housing doesn't scream quality. Also the lens hood, (ES-62), isn't included, so that's an additional $8-$15.

Bottom Line:   
This is my go-to portrait lens for indoors and outdoors. It's never let me down, it's fast enough to get REALLY creamy Bokeh and quick auto focus. If you're looking for a great prime lens to get started with something better than your kit lens, this is your lens!

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   Amazon.com

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Anthony Reiss a Professional

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2010

Strengths:    It's so cheap, if it ever malfunctions, just buy another one.

Weaknesses:    Will back focus or front focus even to the best of cameras. It's not the camera's AF folks, it's the elcheapo motor driving the cogs... it's sometimes misses...
Considering there is only 0.04 mts of Depth Of Field (less than 2 inches) at a distance of 1 meter at full F1.8 opening, you have to press the AF lock (or shutter half way) several times to get it right.
Forget about full manual focus... just move your camera back and forth a few inches... and voila!

Bottom Line:   
An outstanding optical design and classical lens formula using cheap mass produced lens technology wrapped in black plastic.
Welcome to the throw away society.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $89.00

Purchased At:   corner store

Similar Products Used:   50mm F1.4
A whole lot of other EOS glass...

Type of photography:   Fine Art

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by billtait123 a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2010

Strengths:    price , quick focus , super sharp details and colours .

Weaknesses:    plastic , but it's such a small light unit it should not matter much .

Bottom Line:   
After trying many a differant prime lens on my canon xt , I finally bought this 50mm f1.8 mk2
Well to say the least everything that people say negitive about it comes from the so called pros . But even they hesitate to say it's not a bargain . It's a wonderful little unit. get one ,take some shots and sit back and scratch your head , you'll be amased at a this CHEAP lens.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $129.00

Purchased At:   future shot

Similar Products Used:   many many primes to much to list.

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ben_Morrissey a Expert

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2010

Strengths:    Price. This has to be the biggest strength. You would be hard pressed to find a lens as good as this for the same price. It's quite outstanding really.

Image Quality. For the price, The image quality this lens provides is exceptional.

Wide Aperture. Why am I mentioning this? I'll tell you. This is a lens aimed at those new to photography, who want to try everything, but have a limited budget. This is one of the widest aperture lenses a person can buy, and really is a great introduction to wide aperture lenses. If you want a wide aperture lens, but don't want to splash the money on a more expensive lens that you might not like, this is the lens to go for.

Weaknesses:    Build Quality. Feels like a toy. The texture feels wrong in my hands. It's not going to survive a lot of 'testing', if you're inclined to treat your equipment that way.

Noise. It's quite loud. You might even be surprised by how loud it is. Not very intrusive, but might eat away at you for a while.

Aperture. The 5 bladed non-rounded aperture does produce nasty pentagonal out of focus areas when stopped down. At f/1.8, it's circular, problem solved.

Bottom Line:   
Just a quick note, the price paid is in GBP, not dollars.

You will have noticed that I have stated that I have used it for less than a month, which is true, as I received it as a present for Christmas. However, I do believe that I can give it a fair evaluation due to the amount I have used this lens.

The first thing I noticed when opening the package was the actual size of the box. It would appear that as well as reducing costs, Canon has become conscious of it's effect on the environment. I can assure you, you will never find a box more cramped than the box that the 50mm f/1.8 mkII arrives in. The lens itself barely fits in the box, but then Canon have decided to shove a thick set of instructions in there. Though, it does give the impression that the lens has more weight than it really does.

Once you pull out the lens from the box, you will immediately notice the weight and build quality. Depending on your skill level and time spent doing photography, you might be surprised or alarmed at this. The lens is a mere 130g, and when mounted on a larger camera body, feels like it isn't even there. It is better paired with a smaller camera, as the balance feels much better (to me anyway). The Plastic around the edges exudes cheapness. Rather than the rougher feel of the EF-S lenses Engineering plastic, Canon has opted for smooth black plastic, which to me, doesn't feel right. It makes the lens feel more like a toy. The small shiny black focusing ring at the front isn't the best I have used, but it is definitely smooth (On a side note, When focusing back from close to infinity, I encounter a small bit of resistance in the lens, where it feels like it wants to stay there. It's not tough to move, in fact it's very easy to move, but it is definitely there).

The focusing ring, as I have mentioned, is very small, which may be unsettling for those who have used L lenses (I doubt those that actually have L lenses will be purchasing this, but many more people have used L lenses than own them) where the amount of resistance and size of the ring allows for smooth focusing. When set to Manual Focus, the ring turns as quickly as you would if you were slipping on ice. I feel that it's too fast for my liking, and doesn't give much room to really get selective about where you're focusing (I also use my 500D for video, so I may cross over into videography as well in the review - sorry!) This means that it is very easy to move, a slight knock will shift it. When focusing, part of the lens will extrude from the front. When in Manual Focus, this bit can be physically pushed back into the lens (and while I do not recommend doing so, it can still be done with relative ease), which is rather annoying and doesn't say much about the build quality.

In Autofocus, this lens is not quite at all. You could not miss it. It's basic focusing system seems to mis-focus in bright conditions (such as the sun in the corner of the frame) and rather annoying, for such a wide aperture lens, can have trouble focusing in low light, which sort of defeats the point of the lens. If you are able to introduce a temporary light source into the scene, it will achieve focus very quickly, so it isn't the worst thing in the world. The noise does have one benefit, because it allows you to know when it's working, and inevitably for a lens of this price and build quality - when it isn't.

The images at f/1.8 are not the sharpest this lens can produce. By f/2.8 the sharpness increases substantially, and I find that f/5.6 produces the sharpest results. However, I got this lens to allow low light photography where my kit lens could not (The kit lens gives an aperture of f/5.6 at 50mm), thus again, this point is rather irrelevant for me. By stopping down, you will notice that instead of circles in out of focus regions, you will get increasingly noticeable pentagons. Obviously, as a cheap lens, the line has to be drawn somewhere, and I expect many people will be shooting at f/1.8 rather than stopping down, so this isn't much of an issue. Though, as I make videos as well, I do find it annoying that my camera sets the aperture to f/2 at the widest during video, so more aperture blades would have been nice (obviously, this is more a camera fault than a lens fault, but I thought I should mention it).

Flare can be noticed, but it is not really a problem. the only instance I have on an image is when the sun was located in the top right corner of the frame, which created a sligh blue flare in the bottom left corner, so, nothing to worry about in normal conditions.

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Duration Product Used:   0-1 years

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Amazon.co.uk

Similar Products Used:   None.

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by paradicephotography.com a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2008

Strengths:    Image quality is good for a lens of this price

Weaknesses:    Focus ring
Dust problems
Focussing a little innacurate (I'm comparing this to L-series lenses though!)

Bottom Line:   
For the price, this is an EXCELLENT lens. The background distortion at full aperture is very pleasing to the eye. As a portrait lens, it's probably a little too short for my liking (85mm is my preferred length) but I have been really impressed with it so far.

The build quality is cheap (understatement) and the focussing ring is a pain to use (it's RIGHT on the end of the camera). Dust is a problem and I'd definitely think twice about sticking on my 5D - the first one I was sent actually arrived with a fair amount of dust inside it, which I obviously sent back. The replacement was ok to start but now is looking a bit dirty. Still, I guess I could just buy a new one!

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Can't remember

Type of photography:   People

Reviews 1 - 5 (153 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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