Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens

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Silver Award
Ultimately, this is a lens we'd encourage any Canon DSLR owner currently shooting with 'kit' zooms to try.”

Read more of the review

Key Features

  • 50mm focal length
  • 80mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F1.8 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
  • 52mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Canon EF mount for full frame, APS-H and APS-C DSLRs

Product Description

Originally produced as a 'standard' lens for film cameras, the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is the least expensive lens in Canon's lineup. Don't let the cheap plastic construction and unrefined autofocus put you off - optically it's very good indeed, and the fact that if gathers four times as much light as the average 'kit' zoom makes it ideal for low-light shooting. It's a great companion to Canon's entry-level SLRs for buyers on a budget, although those with more to spend should also look at the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM.

Specs

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 50 mm
Image stabilisation No
Lens mount Canon EF
Aperture
Maximum aperture F1.8
Minimum aperture F22.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 5
Optics
Elements 6
Groups 5
Focus
Minimum focus 0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification 0.15×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Micromotor
Full time manual No
Focus method Unit
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 130 g (0.29 lb)
Diameter 68 mm (2.69)
Length 41 mm (1.59)
Materials Plastic barrel, plastic mount
Sealing No
Colour Black
Filter thread 52 mm
Hood supplied No
Hood product code ES-62
Tripod collar No
Optional accessories Hard Case LH-B9 Soft Case ES-C9/LP1014

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Features
Image Quality
Value
Silver Award
Silver Award

This is a lens which we'd encourage any Canon DSLR owner currently shooting with 'kit' zooms to try. The overall image quality when stopped down a bit is very impressive indeed, and the fast maximum aperture offers creative options which are well worth exploring. It's a pity about the build quality and harsh bokeh, but ultimately this lens hits a price:performance ratio that's very difficult to beat.

Good For

Inexpensive and sharp, this 50mm prime punches above its weight when it comes to image quality, and functions well as a standard 50mm on full-frame and a portrait-friendly 75mm (equivalent) on APS-C

Not So Good For

Build quality isn't great (you get what you pay for) autofocus is slow and unrefined, and bokeh can be somewhat harsh when images are examined critically.

User Reviews

4.09583 out of 5 stars
  • Wintergreen, Feb 17, 2013 GMT:
    Little lense, big Quality

    I've never used it as much as since I have a 6D. Right now this is my favorite setup and the images are so great that I can't imagine what it would be like if it was the 1.4. Anyhow... This is a well known lense and I don't have anything original to say on it. I like that it's small and light and give great IQ for the price you pay. I can live with the basic build (you get what you pay for), only thing I don't like is the focus noise. Buy it !!

    Continue Reading

  • Jimbo Limbo, Feb 5, 2013 GMT:
    focus issues!

    The lens is cheap and light. The build quality is very poor. The images were pretty good. In the end, I sold it as the focus was not reliable on the body that I used at the time(Canon Rebel G film camera). Later, purchased a 50mm f1.8 version 1 that is much better built and focusses better due to a newer camera body. Problems: focus

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  • zodiacfml, Dec 18, 2012 GMT:
    Perfect for many things in the lightest and cheapest available lens for Canon.

    I'm not really into serious DSLR use but it had improved my experience on a Canon 500D with a kit lens. It is sharper, faster AF, and shoots low light compared to the kit lens especially at the tele end. The softness of the corners wide open is actually desirable for portraits. Thanks DPR's review, I find it inspiring to have it's image quality perform near it's more expensive cousins. As other's have pointed at, the focus ring needs some improvement for both AF and MF use. In AF, when it ...

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  • xjia, Nov 19, 2012 GMT:
    Best bet for bucks.

    Good lens overall, sharp images, nice bokeh. Cheap. Quick focus. post a few examples [IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p164/jason_xjia/Canon%2060D/IMG_0572.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p164/jason_xjia/Canon%2060D/IMG_0566.jpg[/IMG] Problems: Noisy AF

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Questions & Answers

QUESTION

CANON UPGRADE

I have a canon 1100D, and i am serious about photography. now should i upgrade to a better body and then start developing on lenses or should i first get a few lenses and then buy a better body? i first want a 50mm 1.8f lens. so will this give good results with a 1100D ? or should i get a better body ? thanks!

parthiv3070 asked
6 days ago

ANSWERS

there's no sense in upgrading your equipment till you figure out what your needs are, and that will happen by taking more photos, working when you shoot them to get the results you want, and then learning what it takes to get that result.  read and learn, watch youtube and other videos explaining the basics and less basic factors involved in photography.  learn about aperture, shutter speed, ISO - how changing each affects your photos.  check out photography books and see whose photos speak to you, which ones influence you. you could spend a LOT of money and still not have the equipment that will work for you.  price doesn't mean much - there are $1500 lenses that won't get me the shots i want, yet there are $300 lenses that will.  learn what kind of shots you want to take, what you need to know or use to get them and go from there. the canon 50 1.8 is great - a really good value, and a good way to learn about faster lenses, as well as to shoot in lower light.  and considering the ... Continue Reading

patticake answered
5 days ago

The 1100D is a perfectly good DSLR and you do need to develop not just by getting lenses but more so by developing your knowledge of and use of technique in photography. The 50mm f1.8 is a very good lens, however it's not clear you need that particular lens. Personally I find it a great focal length, but I'm not sure you understand why you would want one. I think what you probably need first and foremost is a good book on basic photography technique. There's a book called "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Peterson which is widely recommended. Continue Reading

darklamp answered
6 days ago

You don't need new body for now.. 1100D is pretty decent for  a start(or even further). If you'd like to get 50mm f1.8 lens then get it, because this lens is affordable while it provide you good result.  This lens is also fit other Canon DSLR in case you'd like to upgrade to a better body.. so your investment is safe. In the mean time, start shooting and reading more about photography or take class... by then, you'll understand the limitation of the camera and the lens so in the future you can decide if you need new body or other lens to suit your need. Continue Reading

DanCee answered
6 days ago

QUESTION

Canon 50 1.8 + Canon 18-135 or Tamron 17-50 + Tamron 70-300 vc for a Canon 60D

Hello.  Currently have a Canon 60D, got it kit with 18-135.  Have recently added the tamron 70-300vc for tele.  Appreciate your thoughts on adding either the Canon 50 f/1.8 and retain the 18-135 + 70-300 + Canon 580 flash, or sell the 18-135 skip the nifty-fifty and get the tamron 17-50 f/2.8 to combo with the tamron 70-300 vc + Canon 580 flash. Am just an amateur/hobbyist, most pictures are of family and trips (indoor and outdoor equally), a few wildlife once in awhile, and indoor events right now entirely with flash. Pretty well know that getting primes means ++$$$ unfortunately budget is an issue. Appreciate your opinions.

bigdaddycool asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

It is difficult to give advice on this kind of decision because there are so many alternatives and considerations - I could probably name 5 or 6 other lenses that you could consider.  Since you have the focal range from 18-300mm covered, staying with what you have is certainly an alternative. I am inclined to say that if you need to ask the question, you shouldn't buy any new lens until you have identified what lens you ​need ​ and can make the decision for yourself.  I would also say that if you are in photography for the long term you should try to delay buying new lenses until you can afford a top quality lens that will last you for a long time. So, to start off, what do you need to be able to do that you can't do with your existing lenses? Continue Reading

Chris R-UK answered
1 year ago

Chris R-UK wrote: It is difficult to give advice on this kind of decision because there are so many alternatives and considerations - I could probably name 5 or 6 other lenses that you could consider.  Since you have the focal range from 18-300mm covered, staying with what you have is certainly an alternative. I am inclined to say that if you need to ask the question, you shouldn't buy any new lens until you have identified what lens you ​need ​ and can make the decision for yourself.  I would also say that if you are in photography for the long term you should try to delay buying new lenses until you can afford a top quality lens that will last you for a long time. So, to start off, what do you need to be able to do that you can't do with your existing lenses? Thanks Chris.... Like I've said am a newbie but think I'll be taking on the hobby seriously.  Am trying to better my set, so the larger fixed aperture of tamron 17-50 f/2.8 which has been getting good reviews seems better for ... Continue Reading

bigdaddycool answered
1 year ago

bigdaddycool wrote: Chris R-UK wrote: It is difficult to give advice on this kind of decision because there are so many alternatives and considerations - I could probably name 5 or 6 other lenses that you could consider.  Since you have the focal range from 18-300mm covered, staying with what you have is certainly an alternative. I am inclined to say that if you need to ask the question, you shouldn't buy any new lens until you have identified what lens you ​need ​ and can make the decision for yourself.  I would also say that if you are in photography for the long term you should try to delay buying new lenses until you can afford a top quality lens that will last you for a long time. So, to start off, what do you need to be able to do that you can't do with your existing lenses? Thanks Chris.... Like I've said am a newbie but think I'll be taking on the hobby seriously.  Am trying to better my set, so the larger fixed aperture of tamron 17-50 f/2.8 which has been getting good ... Continue Reading

beagle1 answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

60D or 5D

Hi all, I currently own a 60D, a 24-105 f/4 L, and a 50 f/1.8. I was wondering if I should straight swap the 60D for an original 5D. This will then give me the full frame advantage,  turning the 38mm equivalent of the 24-105L on a crop body feel like a 24mm. This would also turn my 50 f/1.8 into a slightly wider prime, which is what I want at the moment. It will also give me a shallower depth of field for both lenses. Are there any other things I should be aware of when making this jump. I'm not so worried about the loss of megapixels, or the added weight. Also, what are your thoughts on getting the 5D as well as keeping the 60D? I want to get into more landscapes and kinda wider portraits. I am not too fussed about low light, it's quite rare to do a night event. Thanks in advance, Nick

2 months ago

ANSWERS

About a year ago I went through the same process myself.  I had a 60D and really wanted a 5D.  What to do? I decided to keep my 60D and buy a gently used 5D.  I couldn't be happier with that decision!  Each camera has their advantages - image quality, iso performance, and shallow DoF go to the 5D, hands down .  The 60D has very good image quality, is more versatile (especially with the rotating LCD), and the crop factor gives good reach when you need it.  I probably shoot more with the 5D as I'm predominatly a landscape guy, but also pull out my 60D when the situation calls (e.g. winter camping at -30C, using my ultra-wide 10-22). If you want to compare real world shots, I have samples from both cameras on my 500px page, www.500px.com/breault. Don't listen to anyone who says the old 5D is past it's prime: if image quality is what you're after, you can't beat it for the price!  The LCD display is poor, there's no video, but wow - it takes beautiful images. Cheers! Ron. Continue Reading

RonBr answered
2 months ago

And if the original question was with regard to a 5D mk2 I would completely agree with you, so your reply is a moot point. The 5d mk2 sensor bears no comparison with the mk1s. Continue Reading

Gary Moncur answered
2 months ago

wow, gary, can you post some photos to see how 60D trounces 5D in IQ? it sounds like a bit of exaggeration, to say the least, in my opinion ;-) just because 5D is old it doesn't mean it doean't produce outstanding photos. cheerz. Continue Reading

rebel99 answered
2 months ago

Warranty Information

"A Product, when delivered to you in new condition in its original container, is warranted against defects in materials or workmanship as follows: for a period of one (1) year from the date of original purchase, defective parts or a defective Product returned to Canon, or its authorized service providers, and proven to be defective upon inspection, will be repaired with new or comparable rebuilt parts or exchanged for a refurbished Product, as determined by Canon or the authorized service provider n their sole discretion. Replaced parts and exchanged Products will become the property of Canon."

Go to Canon USA's warranty page for more information. DPReview GearShop is an authorized Canon dealer in the United States.

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