Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Specification Review

The Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II is the cheaper lens currently available for the EOS system, and has been in the collection since delayed 1990. It’s a easy form of the unique EF 50mm F1.8 of 1987 (often known to as the ‘Mark I’) which was offered as conventional with some of The canon eos very first Negatives EOS SLRs however it can track its family tree back a lot further than that, as the company has been making 50mm F1.8 conventional contacts since 1959. Like its forerunner, it uses easy symmetrical Gaussian optics with six components in five categories, in a well-proven system which is known to provide outstanding modification of aberrations.

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II review
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II review

Although developed as a ‘standard’ lens for Negatives movie, these times the 50mm F1.8 is far more likely to be seen doing support on APS-C structure DSLRs, on which it acts like a brief telephoto image lens (80mm equivalent). With its extremely low (sub-$100) cost, it tends to entice the eye of Cannon SLR customers looking to start using quick contacts for low mild and superficial detail of area work, or simply trying to get clearer outcomes than those which is available from the kit lens included with you body. It’s also a prospective choice for those looking for a near-disposable lens to use in negative circumstances.

Of course this isn’t the only lens of its central duration in The canon eos collection, and audience will often also be enticed by the EF 50mm F1.4 USM which we analyzed lately, despite its considerably high cost. So the query we’ll be asking in this evaluation is whether the more slowly lens provides such powerful value for money that it’s an unmissable deal, or if instead the unavoidable adjustments engaged in reaching such a low cost are too much to accept.

Headline Features

  • 50mm central length
  • Fast F1.8 highest possible aperture

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Body And Design

The EF 50mm F1.8 II is the most affordable lens Canon makes, and the construction is corresponding to the price. From the install at one end to the narrow line at the other, the entire exterior structure is made of sleek black nasty, and overall this lens gives the sense of being designed to a (very limited) budget. Features and manages are kept to an absolute minimum you get a concentrate method change and a near-vestigial concentrating band, but that’s about it. The top side factor is recessed by about 12mm from the narrow line, in essence providing a built-in bonnet for reduction of surface, and the gun barrel is quite wide and stubby to provide the main concentrate and aperture engines plus the associated electronic devices.

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Body And Design
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Body And Design

Of course one advantage of the simple design approach is extremely light-weight, and this lens tips the machines at a featherweight 130g, so won’t exactly add unwanted weight to your camera bag. But as the is uncommonly large with respect to the visual device itself, this has the consequence of reducing the ‘density’ of the lens (indeed if it were a enclosed cyndrical tube, it would drift in water); the overall impact is of anything but stability.

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Images Quality

Lens whole body elements

  • The lens uses Canon’s all-electronic EF install, and will fit all of their DSLRs regardless of indicator structure (APS-C, APS-H or Negatives full-frame). A 5mm extensive molded nasty hold is located towards the back of the gun barrel, to aid lens changing.
  • The narrow line is 52mm, and does not move on auto-focus, which is great news for users of filtration such as polarisers. As can be seen, the front side side factor is quite greatly recessed in the gun barrel. There’s no suitable for a bonnet, but Canon offers the ES-62 bowl-shaped nasty bonnet, which segments onto an adaptor band that itself nails into the narrow line. A screw-in rubberized bonnet would be a cheaper alternative choice.
  • The molded nasty concentrate band is just 5mm extensive, and moves during auto-focus. The concentrate travel is approximately 80 levels clockwise from infinity to 0.45m, and while the action feels a little reduce, it’s sufficiently accurate to make critical guide concentrate possible (if not really easy). The position of view clearly reduces on concentrating nearer, as is unavoidable with unit-focusing primes.
  • A traditionally placed activate the side of the lens gun barrel chooses between auto and guide concentrating ways.Canon suggests that the main concentrate band should not be turned personally with the lens set to ‘AF’, to avoid destructive the motor and gearing; this means that no full-time guide concentrate choice is available on this lens.

Particular picture issues

As always, our studio room exams are secured by getting many pictures with the lens across a variety of topics, and analyzing them in details. This allows us to validate our studio room findings, and recognize any other problems which do not display up in the assessments.
Soft sides at extensive apertures

Not uncommonly for a full-frame optic used on the resolution-hungry APS-C structure, this lens isn’t at its best at extensive apertures, and although central sharpness is OK the sides look extremely smooth. In this respect it’s important to note that detail of area is really superficial at F1.8, and real-world answers are mainly depending upon concentrate precision, with the smallest comparative activity between photographer and topic causing in a misfocused picture. Of course detail of area problems also mean that the sides of the structure are often out of concentrate at F1.8 anyway.

Nevertheless, for instance this matter here’s the latest in our series of educational stone wall pictures. At F1.8 the center looks a little smooth and lacking in details, but the sides are very smooth indeed. Avoiding down to F4 enhances factors considerably – the center now looks incredibly sharp with well-resolved information, and the sides have also improved significantly (stopping down a little further to F5.6 ingredients the best possible performance).

Full-frame in comparison to APS-C

Eagle-eyed audiences will no doubt have noticed that the MTF50 sharpness information at any particular central length/aperture combination is extremely greater on full-frame in comparison to APS-C. This may at first sight appear surprising, but in fact is an unavoidable consequence of our presentation of the sharpness information in conditions of range sets per picture dimension (and thus separate of structure size).

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Images Quality
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Images Quality

Quite basically, at any given central duration and aperture, the lens will have a limited MTF50 information when indicated in conditions of range sets per mm. In order to turn to lp/ph, we have to increase by the indicator dimension (in mm); as the full-frame indicator is 1.6x larger, MTF50 should therefore be 1.6x greater.

Specific picture issues

As always, our studio room exams are secured by getting many pictures with the lens across a variety of topics, and analyzing them in details. This allows us to validate our studio room findings, and recognize any other problems which do not display up in the assessments. We used the lens on both APS-C and full-frame bodies, namely the EOS 450D and the EOS 5D.


As we’ve come to expect from huge maximum aperture contact contacts, surface can sometimes matter with the 50mm F1.8 II. With it’s greatly recessed front side factor, the lens effectively has a completely connected bonnet, and so is often immune to veiling surface from mild impinging the top side factor at an position. However the time you factor the camera towards the sun factors can start to go wrong, although on the whole the lens may seem to stand up a bit better than its F1.4 government in this respect.

With the sun in most of the structure, the lens is showing huge, red surface styles in the opposite area when shot at extensive apertures. Avoiding down gradually decreases these in proportions, but halation styles around the sun increase instead; overall the ideal answers are obtained at advanced apertures around F5.6-F8. However to be fair the lens regains its poise very quickly as the mild is shifted further off-axis, and is often immune to surface problems in normal capturing situations.

Bokeh Quality

One genuinely suitable, but difficult to measure aspect of a lens’s efficiency is the ability to deliver efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the, usually when using a long central duration and enormous aperture. The 50mm F1.8 can produce considerably blurry background scenes at extensive apertures, a appealing factor for image capturing especially on APS-C.

Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Bokeh Quality
Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Bokeh Quality Photo By Azis Photography

Unfortunately though, the of the blur is not extremely attractive. This is considerably due to the lens’s diaphragm development, which uses just five rotor blades with totally straight sides (most modern designs use rounded blades). This means that the time the lens is ceased down, factor features are delivered as pentagons, often causing in a extremely annoying version of background scenes that appears like nothing more than a primary-school attempt at tessellation. And factors aren’t so much better at F1.8; while the apertures is at least round, features are delivered bright-edged and severe. Overall it’s a disgrace Canon didn’t apply a a little bit more complex diaphragm development with seven or eight rotor blades, as this behavior somewhat ruins the efficiency of an otherwise incredibly excellent lens.

Chromatic aberration

Lateral chromatic aberration is minimal in our studio room assessments, and is equally near-impossible to find in real-world shots; quite basically it’s easy when using this lens. However some bokeh chromatic aberration can sometimes be visible at F1.8-F2.2; in the example below there’s a little green and green fringing, but the overall severity of version is more creatively undesirable than the CA.

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Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Specifications

Street price • $90 (US)
• £90 (UK)
Date introduced December 1990
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 F1.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 6 elements / 5 groups
Number of diaphragm blades 5
Minimum focus 0.45m (1.5 ft)
Maximum magnification 0.15x
AF motor type DC Micro Motor
Focus method Unit focus
Image stabilization • None
Filter thread • 52mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories Front and rear caps
Optional accessories ES-62 hood
Weight 130g (4.6 oz)
Dimensions 68.2mm diameter x 50.5mm length
(2.7 x 2.0 in)
Lens Mount Canon EF only