Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Specification Review

The canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM is The canon eos mid-level providing in a variety packed filled with 50mm primes, protecting all costs from the ultra-cheap 50mm F1.8 mkII through to the stratospherically-priced 50mm F1.2 L USM. Although it was presented in July 1993, completely seven years after the beginning of the EOS program, it can actually track its origins back much previously, being in accordance with the traditional guide concentrate FD 50mm F1.4 style of 1971. As such, it’s developed as a ‘standard’ lens for the Negatives full-frame structure, with an place of perspective providing none of the ‘perspective distortion’ associated with wideangle or telephoto contacts. Lately, with the popularization of APS-C as the prominent DSLR indicator dimension, it’s taken on a new part, and acts like a short ‘portrait’ telephoto on this structure.

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM review
Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM review

The lens uses a traditional visual style for its category, with 7 components in 6 categories, two of which are made from high-refraction cup. Concentrating is obtained by an ultrasound engine program, with full-time guide override; however compared with The canon eos other mid-range primes, this is of the micro-USM (as instead of ring) type. Canon statements the lens generates a ‘beautiful, natural cloud of the background’, an important feature for a quick lens able of a great level of topic solitude. The company is also eager to point out that the lens’s color stability is actually similar to the ISO suggested referrals principles.

Key Features

  • 50mm focal length; fast F1.4 maximum aperture
  • Micro-type USM autofocus with full-time manual override

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Body And Design

The EF 50mm F1.4 is a member of The canon eos mid variety of primes, and development is good if not excellent. The lens install is steel, and the gun barrel plastic; however while the development is remarkably greater than the (much cheaper) EF 50mm F1.8 mk II, it’s not quite up to the common of The canon eos similarly priced primes such as the EF 85mm F1.8 USM and EF 100mm F2 USM telephoto twin babies. The top side side factor is recessed by about 1cm from the narrow line, providing useful protection against wander mild at all concentrating ranges, and the entire visual set up goes forward and backward as a unit by about 8mm for concentrating.

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Body And Design
Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Body And Design

Lens body elements

  • The lens uses Canon all-electronic EF install, and will fit all of their DSLRs regardless of indicator structure (APS-C, APS-H or Negatives full-frame). A 6mm extensive molded nasty hold is situated towards the back of the gun barrel, to aid lens modifying.
  • The narrow line is 58mm, which is quite large for a 50mm F1.4, but distributed with many other low- and mid-range Canon contacts. It does not move on auto-focus, which should be welcome for polariser customers. This view also reveals how deeply-recessed the front side factor is within the lens gun barrel.
  • The bayonet-mount, ES-71II lens bonnet is a nice 41mm/1.6″ deep, has black rushing on the inside to reduce representation of wander mild into the lens, and turns around nicely for storage. As is The canon eos way though, it doesn’t come in the box but only as an optionally available extra – not a policy we particularly compliment (although to be reasonable, only Sigma and Sony models include hoods as conventional with their 50mm F1.4s).
  • The concentrate band is 11mm extensive with a reasonably sleek action, and does not move during auto-focus. Thanks to its highly designed style, it goes fully 200 levels clockwise from infinity to the nearest concentrate position of 0.45m, enabling extremely accurate guide concentrate.
  • A traditionally placed activate the side of the lens gun barrel chooses between auto and guide concentrating ways. The ‘full-time’ guide concentrate style provides the ability to modify the concentrate establishing even when the lens is set to AF.
  • A range variety is given marks in both legs and metres, and contains an infra-red concentrating modification indicate, plus a standard detail of field variety. As might be thought for a lens designed before the word ‘digital’ really used on digital photography.

Sleek comprehensive open

Not uncommonly for a full-frame optic used on the resolution-hungry APS-C framework, this lens extremely is not able to shine at comprehensive apertures. In this regard most considerably information of place is so trivial at F1.4 that real-world results are mainly based on concentrate perfection, and this lens will tax the skills of any focusing system, either auto or information (not to bring up the purpose that the actual relative action between photographer and subject will lead to a misfocused image). However even at its best, this lens never really looks properly unique start up. The situation is elevated by the excellent levels of red path ‘colour blur’ revealed in our studio space room tests, which be an aspect considerably to the lens’s feature ‘dreamy’ signature at F1.4-F2.

Full-frame compared to APS-C

Eagle-eyed viewers will undoubtedly also have that the MTF50 sharpness information at any particular main length/aperture combination is extremely higher on full-frame compared to APS-C. This may at first perspective appear amazing, however is a predictable outcome of our type of the sharpness information with regards to variety places per image dimension (and thus individual of framework size). Quite generally, at any given main duration and aperture, the lens will have a restricted MTF50 information when indicated with regards to variety places per mm. In order to turn to lp/ph, we have to increase by the signal dimension (in mm); as the full-frame signal is 1.6x bigger, MTF50 should therefore be 1.6x higher.

F2, Canon EOS 1200D
F2, Canon EOS 1200D Photo By Azis Photography


Possibly a reflection on its pre-digital design, the EF 50mm F1.4 USM is extremely susceptible to come to light with an effective light in or just outside the dwelling. With the sun in most of the dwelling, we see highly effective surface place designs which variety from red ‘doughnuts’ at comprehensive apertures, to multicoloured octagons on preventing right down, and at the more widely used innovative apertures (~F4 to F8), the effect is of an overall loss of evaluation from wide swathes of veiling surface place.

These problems continue to continue to persist when light is moved a little bit outside the dwelling, with again an overall loss of evaluation and information. However to be affordable the lens regains its poise quickly as light is moved further off-axis, and is usually defense to come to light problems in normal catching circumstances.

Bokeh Quality

One truly appropriate, but difficult to evaluate part of a lens’s efficiency is the ability to provide effectively unclear out-of-focus places when trying to split up a subject from the, usually when using a long main duration and large aperture. The 50mm F1.4 can be made to cloud even relatively close qualifications moments into oblivion at comprehensive apertures, a eye-catching factor for image catching especially on APS-C.

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Bokeh Quality
Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Bokeh Quality

The EF 50mm F1.4 USM produces reasonably eye-catching bokeh in most circumstances, however it can look extremely ‘busy’ at wider apertures. In particular, distant factor light resources can show up as extremely hard-edged (as caved the second sample), and under high-contrast circumstances, bokeh chromatic aberration can also be quite recognizable (see below).

Chromatic aberration

Lateral chromatic aberration is little in our studio space room tests, and is in the same way near-impossible to find in real-world shots; quite generally it’s not an issue when using this lens. What can be difficult, though, is the presence of very good bokeh chromatic aberration, which is most recognizable at comprehensive apertures, resulting in highly effective fringing artifacts in excellent evaluation out-of-focus places. This tends to appear as natural fringing around ends behind the region of concentrate, which can be associated with a natural ‘fill’.

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Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM specifications

Street price • $325 (US)
• £235 (UK)
Date introduced June 1993
Maximum format size 35mm full frame
Focal length 50mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) 80mm
Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 47º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 31º
Maximum aperture F1.4
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 7 elements / 6 groups
• 2 high refraction glass elements
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Minimum focus 0.45m (1.5 ft)
Maximum magnification 0.15x
AF motor type • Micro-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
Focus method Unit focus
Image stabilization • None
Filter thread • 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories Front and rear caps
Optional accessories ES-71 II hood
Weight 290g (10.2 oz)
Dimensions 73.8mm diameter x 50.5mm length
(2.9 x 2.0 in)
Lens Mount Canon EF only