The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II

This prime lens replaced the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 in 1991. It’s built with plastic but very sharp.

Note that on a cropped sensor DSLR body, it’s equivalent to 80mm (i.e. 50mm x 1.6 = 80 mm).

Many photo enthusiasts wonder if the 50mm EF f/1.4 which is more than 3 times the cost of the 50mm EF f/1.8 is really worth the extra money. If you are on a tight budget, then you may have to choose the 50mm EF f/1.8. On the other hand, your decision may depend on your specific photographic requirements and skills. If you plan to use this as your main prime lens for a long period of time, or if you desire a better built lens with a better image quality (including an improved bokeh and more silent motor), then you should consider the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or even the Canon 50mm f/1.2 L lens.

The small focus ring placed on edge this lens is not impressive, because it’s very difficult to manually focus, and your fingers may even get into the frame if you’re not careful. However, a 52mm filter doesn’t rotate with focusing which is a plus. The bokeh is nice if you don’t mind pentagonal shapes, but it can’t compare to lenses with 7 or more blades. It is sharper than the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens and couple of other zoom lenses (such as the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM) fixed on 50mm focal range.

The Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 II is not the best choice for the video, Canon made “addon” lens the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, which is not perfect but much better choice for video shooting.

Overall, cause of it’s price, 50mm f1.8 II lens has no real competition in this price range and thus it is in our top 10 list as must have lens.
[spoiler style="2" title="Pros & Cons"]

PROS CONS
Lightweight Weak casing – plastic mount
Easily interchangeable Focus ring size and location
Very sharp stopped down (esp centre) Corner sharpness
Minimal chromatic aberration Slow AF
Relatively low distortion Sharp bokeh (5 blades)
visible blades
APS-C – extremely low vignetting No full-time manual focus override
[/spoiler] [spoiler style="2" title="Specifications"]
Performance
Focal Length 50mm
35mm equivalent fl (APS-C) 80mm (50×1.6)
Aperture Maximum: f/1.8
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film/Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Canon (APS-C)
Angle of View 47°
Angle of View (APS-C) 31°
Minimum Focus Distance 0.45m (1.5ft)
Maximum Magnification 0.15x (1:6.6)
Groups / Elements 5/6
Diaphragm Blades 5
Features
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus Yes
(Doesn’t rotate on focus)
AF motor type DC Micro Motor
Tripod Collar No
Physical
Filter Thread 52mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx 68.6mm x 40.6mm (2.7 x 1.6 in)
Weight 130g (4.6oz)
Included accessories Front and rear caps
Optional accessories ES-62 hood
[/spoiler]
[spoiler style="2" title="Best Use"]
  • Low light
  • Night photography
  • Weddings
  • Portraits
  • Landscape / scenery
[/spoiler] [spoiler style="2" title="Alternatives (Pros&Cons)"]
Lens W MFD MM Filter DB Year Price
Canon EF 50mm f1.2L USM 580g
1.28lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.15x 72mm 8 2006 $1,619.00
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM 290g
0.64lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.15x 58mm 8 1993 $350.00
Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar MF 350g
0.77lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.15x 58mm 9 - $725.00
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM 505g
1.11lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.14x 77mm 9 2008 $499.00
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM
950g
2.09lb
0.38m
1.24ft
0.14x 77mm 8 2002 $1,399.00
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM II 635g
1.40lb
0.28m
0.92ft
0.22x 82mm 7 2007 $1,499.00
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS II 201g
0.44lb
0.25m
0.82ft
0.34x 58mm 6 2011 $199.00
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 430g
0.95lb
0.40m
1.31ft
0.09x 62mm 8 2005 $489.00
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM 580g
1.28lb
0.30m
0.98ft
0.18x 72mm 8 - $1,479.00
Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 AF 210g
0.46lb
0.25m
0.82ft
0.23x 52mm 5 - $289.00
Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE 570g
1.26lb
0.30m
0.98ft
0.19x 58mm - - $1,117.00
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM 425g
0.94lb
0.85m
2.79ft
0.13x 58mm 8 - $419.00
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
1025g
2.26lb
0.95m
3.11ft
0.11x 72mm 8 - $2,199.00
Zeiss Telephoto 85mm f/1.4 ZE 700g
1.54lb
1.00m
3.28ft
0.10x 72mm 9 - $1,283.00
Lens Pros Cons
Same focal range Alternatives
Canon EF 50mm f1.2L USM Faster f1.2
Build quality
Bokeh (8 blades)
Sharpness
Fast-accurate AF
More constant
Weather-resistant
Price
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Faster f1.4
Build quality
Bokeh (8 blades)
Sharpness
Fast-accurate AF
More constant
Price
Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar MF Better build quality
Nicer bokeh (9 blades)
Sharpness (edge to edge)
Great colors and contrast
Manual focus (MF)
Min. aperture: f16
Price
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Faster lens f1.4
Build quality
Fast-accurate AF
AF with full-time manual override
Sharp (edge to edge)
bokeh (9 blades)
Price
Weight
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM
Higher zoom range
Constant pictures (IQ)
Build quality
Slower
Heavier
Price
Same price range Alternatives
None Cheapest
Similar focal range Alternatives
Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM Build quality
More constant
Better for video
Price
Slower (f2.8 vs f1.8)
From FF to APS-C Alternatives (50mm->~31mm)
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Faster f1.4
Better AF
Build quality
HSM autofocus
(equivalent to Canon USM)
Possible AF problems
Price
Edge sharpness
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Faster f1.4
Better AF
Build quality
USM
Price
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM II Build quality
Zoom range
Weather seal
Metal mount
More accurate AF
Constant
Slower – f2.8
Price
Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE Build quality
Consistent output
Sharp edge to edge
Nice bokeh
Color and contrast
Price
Manual focus
Slower f2
From APS-C to FF Alternatives (50mm->80mm)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Better AF
Build quality
USM
Color
Price
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
Better AF
Build quality
Faster – f1.2
Color
Sharpness
Nice bokeh
Price
Zeiss Telephoto 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T Build quality
Consistent output
Sharp edge to edge
Nice bokeh
Color and contrast
Price
Manual focus

* Not all lenses are listed in the alternative list, lenses like Canon EF 24-105mm or Canon EF 15-85mm and similar, reason is very simple. List of alternatives would get too big and unclear. I do recommend having this lens along with the all off the kit lenses provided with camera bodies.
[/spoiler]

Bottom line for Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

This is a great lens for indoor low light conditions. The low price (around $100) and sharp optical quality is well received by a number of photographers that they have even given it the nicknames ‘nifty fifty‘ or ‘plastic fantastic‘.

Some people use Extension tube, or reverse adapter to convert the Canon EF 50mm to macro lens.
We have concluded that this is one of the must have lenses for a beginner or entry level photographer.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II – Sample photos:

Backpack

Bertie

Burón

Don Guerino

You can get your copy of EF 50mm f1.8 II in these stores:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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