Canon 50mm Lenses – Pros & Cons of All Models

Canon 50mm Lenses Introduction

Canon 50mm lenses are a group of Canon Prime Lenses with same focal length 50mm. These lenses have an EF type mount which can fit all Canon EOS line of Camera. When used with a Full frame sensor or 35mm film, the perspective of  focal length 50mm has been widely considered as the human eye. When used with an APS-C sensor, the focal length 50mm was cropped into 80mm field of view.

All Canon 50mm lenses are based on double-Gauss lens design (consists of two back-to-back Gauss lenses, a positive-meniscus-lens on the object side and a negative meniscus lens on the image side) that reduces optical aberrations over a large focal plane.

Canon 50mm lenses

There are totally 7 models of Canon 50mm lenses: EF 50mm f/1.0L USM, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro.

Pros & Cons of Canon 50mm Lenses

1. EF 50mm f/1.0L USM

Canon 50mm lenses

This Lens was discontinued development in 2000 and  eventually replace by EF 50mm f/1.2L USM.

Pros:

  • Fastest Canon SLR lens.
  • Metal body and mount, polished aspherical lens elements.
  • Maximum aperture f/1.0 -> Creating extremely shallow depth of field effects and Supporting low light situations.
  • It’s sharp and contrastly in perfect focus.

Cons:

  • Not a particularly sharp lens at any aperture. If it’s not in perfect focus, there is a slight veil of color from spherochromatism.
  • High production cost and low sales volume. It’s so expensive and nowaday you are just only able to buy used one.

2. EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Canon 50mm lenses

The EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is one of the Luxury L series lens. It was designed to replace the f/1.0L above.

Pros:

  • Constructed with a metal body and mount,  fully weather-sealed.
  • Maximum aperture f/1.2 -> Extremely shallow depth of field effects, smooth background blur and Supporting low light situations.
  • Nice bokeh.

Cons:

  • Expensive

3. EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon 50mm lenses

The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is one of the Canon 50mm Lenses group. It was designed for mid and professional-level.

Pros:

  • Sharpness and contrast.
  • Shallow depth of field, blurring background, Supporting low light situations.
  • Least expensive f/1.4 aperture lens.
  • FTM (full-time manual focus) available.

Cons:

  • Ghosting and Flare.
  • Auto focus is not as quick as most ring-USM-based lenses.

4. EF 50mm f/1.8

 

Canon 50mm lenses

The EF 50mm f/1.8 was discontinued development in 1990 and eventually replace by EF 50mm f/1.8 STM.

Pros:

  • Economy lens.
  • Ability to create shallow depth of field effects.

Cons:

  • Focusing use AFD motor, it’s fast but audible.
  • 5 blade apecture -> bad bokeh

5. EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Canon 50mm lenses

The EF 50mm f/1.8 II was first introduced in 1991 and replaced for the EF 50mm f/1.8 above.

Pros:

  • Economy lens.
  • Ability to create shallow depth of field effects.

Cons:

  • Plastic lens mount.
  • Focus speed is not stellar.
  • 5 blade apecture -> bad bokeh.

6. EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon 50mm lenses

EF 50mm f/1.8 STM was introduce on May 10, 2015. It was upgraded from EF 50mm f/1.8 II.

Pros:

  • Autofocus is quite silent.
  • Good sharpness in center at f/1.8 and very good sharpness when stopped down.
  • Small size and lightweight.
  • Economy lens.

Cons:

  • Not so fast auto focusing and not supporting full time manual focus override.
  • Not good sharpness at the edge with maximum aperture.

7. EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro

Canon 50mm lenses

The inexpensive macro lens EF 50mm f/2.5 is offering a maximum magnification of 0.5x actual size with a minimum focusing distance of 23cm (9 inches). It was first introduced in 1987, Nowaday it is the oldest lens in Canon’s current lineup still available new.

Pros:

  • Excellent sharpness, good color and contrast.
  • “Absolutely negligible” distortion.
  • Compact Macro.

Cons:

  •  Auto-focusing is slowly and noisy.

 

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