Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

f/1.4 - View Complete Details

Product Number: SYNX3859305

3.5 star rating3.588 reviewsRead All ReviewsWrite a Review
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens - Standard lens featuring superb quality and portability. Two high-refraction lens elements and new Gaussian optics eliminate astigmatism and suppress astigmatic difference. Crisp images with little flare are obtained even at the maximum aperture.

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Reviews

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens
 
3.5

(based on 88 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (29)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (11)

57%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Super-sharp images (39)
  • Fast auto-focus (27)
  • Lightweight (8)
  • Superior build quality (6)
  • Sharp images (3)

Cons

  • Poor build quality (21)
  • Slow auto-focus (9)
  • Semi-sharp images (5)

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent Learning Lens

I've been reading the reviews on this lens, and I am stunned to find out that the biggest complaint is about the AF eventually breaking. I am a professional photographer, and I was...Read complete review

I've been reading the reviews on this lens, and I am stunned to find out that the biggest complaint is about the AF eventually breaking. I am a professional photographer, and I was taught many years ago not to rely on auto focus. I rarely use the AF, so I guess I don't have to worry about the lens ever breaking. I bought this lens for two reasons. 1. it was affordable. 2. I wanted to improve how I take portraits Not only did this lens do that for me, but I discovered that this lens is also great for other types of photographs. I like to use it when taking landscapes. Sure it is cool to have that wide angle look, but I prefer to get those distant vistas closer without a zoom. Also this lens is great for depth of field shots. Nothing cooler that a perfectly in focus foreground with a colorful blurred background. If you are looking to learn more about Depth of Field, apertures, shutter speeds, etc, then this is a good lens as a starter. Get off the Program mode. Use your Manual mode more learn how to take a really great photo

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Awsome Images, but bad build quality

I think anywhere you look you will read great things about the images you can get with this lens. I back every one of those comments. This has been by far my favorite lens...Read complete review

I think anywhere you look you will read great things about the images you can get with this lens. I back every one of those comments. This has been by far my favorite lens to carry, and it is the lens I leave mounted to my body. However, after only a year of moderate to light use, the AF began to fail and now at 1yr 4mo, it is nearly unusable. I use a 400D (XTi) with a small viewfiner, so manual focus isn't much of an option. Canon is offering to consider extending the warantee which will help me in staying with Canon, however considering the many other complains of the same failure, I am disapointed in Canons build quality regarding the USM motor/gears on this model. It would be VERY good if Canon would redesign the drive on this lens to be a ring USM, even if the price goes up $50-80. To be clear, I expect a lens to outlast the body i buy it for. If not three times over.

Reviewed by 88 customers

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5.0

Great for low light Photography without a Flash.

By 

from Florida, United States

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

Great for low light Photography without a Flash. The big 1.4 Apager lets all kinds of photo's at night without the use of a Flash. A must have for every ptogerafer's Camera bag.

 
5.0

Highly Underrated

By 

from Gilbert, AZ, United States

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

This lens does not get a fair shake on so many reviews. So much of the negative reviews I read are frankly amazing. I really don't get it. I've used this lens extensively on both sub-frame and full-frame over the years. I've had multiple copies and none have varied. This review focuses on my full-frame experience. This is an excellent all around 50mm lens. The image quality is exceptional with good color and contrast. Read the technical reviews. They don't lie. This lens only performs poorly at f/1.4. Stop it down.. By f/2.0 its a completely different lens. Center quality is very good at f/2.0. By f/2.8 its right there with the EF 50mm f/1.2 L. The 50mm L may have better artistic quality but don't expect it to be sharper. The EF 50mm f/1.4 is an impressive lens that performs very well from f/2.0 to f/18. Most of my use is for general landscape work from f/5.6 to f/18. I'm mostly using it from f/13 to f/16 for full depth of field with close foreground . Small aperture performance is killer sharp across the entire frame. Sure the build quality appears marginal but it works much better then it looks. Don't bash it against stuff and it will perform flawlessly for years. Many people complain about the autofocus. The autofocus has never given me any issues. It's always fast and accurate. I suspect most autofocus issues are due to the razor thin depth of field at this focal length at large apertures. 50mm is not a forgiving focal length on full-frame. If you have a strong understanding of depth of field and use this lens within its strengths it will make you very happy. The current price is basically free for what you get. The only negative that every technical review will agree on is sharpness at f/1.4. It's great from f/2.0 on. f/2.2 is where it really starts to shine. Depth of field is so thin at f/2.0 on close subjects. Your talking inches.. Don't get so hung up on wanting it to kill at f/1.4. Just stop it down. It works great. The low price is a no brainer. Do you care about red ring bragging rights or results? That's really the big question. Results always win in my book.

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Very Problematic Focusing

By 

from Maryland, United States

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

My particular 50mm 1.4 is very poor. Even at f/5.6, I couldn't get it to focus accurately. After four years of thinking my out-of-focus photos were due to user error, I got a camera body with auto-focus micro-adjustment (AFMA). The lens needed a +15 adjustment, and still doesn't focus right. I tried using live view, which in theory should avoid any mis-calibration by using the imaging sensor for focus determination. The lens still can't focus properly in live view, systematically focusing 1-2 inches behind the target, on a target 3 feet away at f/2.8. None of my other lenses behave like this. I can only guess that there is some sort of focus shift, where the camera sets the focus based on light gathered at f/1.4, but the effective focus of the lens changes as aperture changes. That could explain why I still don't get consistent results even with AFMA. My copy is too soft to use effectively at f/1.4. Over 5 years I have had a couple of nice photos taken with this lens, but these are happy accidents since the lens simply does not focus where I want it to. Overall, I can't stand to put it on the camera now since I know the results will be out of focus no matter what I do. When I called Canon service, they refused to give me even a ballpark estimate about what it might cost to fix the lens, and I'm thinking this one is flawed beyond repair. Hopefully Canon will make a mark ii that works more reliably. I'm planning to get rid of the 50mm 1.4 and maybe "trade up" to the 50mm 1.8.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

BROKE !

By 

from Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

Was great when it worked, then like every other one came focus issues. It doesn't focus in Auto or manual, so lens can't be used at all.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Disappointed

By 

from Undisclosed

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

I have used this lens several times and each time, my images are just too soft. I just cannot get a good sharp focus with this lens. This is the first 50mm I have ever used so I don't have anything to compare it with. But I purchased this over the 1.8 because of the feel and wider aperture, but I am just not impressed and have been disappointed with soft blurry looking images when I shoot wide open

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Great if focusing worked

By 

from Boston, MA, United States

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

I have use Canon products AE1, G4, G6, Rebel, 5D and 5d mark iii and have never had an issue. So I consider myself a very loyal Canon user. However I am very disappointed with this lense. I realize that it is not the high end lense, but should last more than several dozen captures. When operational this lense can capture great images. However the Autofocus and manual focus do not always function. Too be honest, I haven't used the lense much, but today was one of those days and again it will not focus either auto or manual. I keep saying that "one day", I'll contact Canon to see if they had a recall since so many people seem to have issue. I'm beyond warrantee, so not sure I'm willing to send in for repair to only have it malfunction again.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Just OK

By 

from Edwards, CO, United States

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

I have used the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II and the new STM but didn't care for the cheap plastic feel. Purchased the 50mm f/1.4, more solid feel but really unimpressed. I find images are ok, but a little soft for my liking. Rumors have been circling for a few years that Canon is planning a version 2, sure hope its true. Canon has introduced some truely incredible DSLR's, hopefully they keep up in the lens department.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Owned this lens for two years: My Recommendation

By 

from Modesto CA

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

. I skipped past the cheap plastic body (and now carbon ring? I think?) F/1.8 and landed on this one. After messing with this lens I found the focusing to be too soft, or as others have said, not consistent. If you are looking for a good workhorse prime but want a step up from the 50mm f/1.8, try the 85mm F/1.8. It does require you to pull back more for head room, but the clarity is there for the difference.

(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Owned this lens for two years: My Recommendation

By 

from Modesto CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

. I skipped past the cheap plastic body (and now carbon ring? I think?) F/1.8 and landed on this one. After messing with this lens I found the focusing to be too soft, or as others have said, not consistent. If you are looking for a good workhorse prime but want a step up from the 50mm f/1.8, try the 85mm F/1.8. It does require you to pull back more for head room, but the clarity is there for the difference.

(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Focus ring

By 

from Maryland, United States

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

This lens feels solid at first for being so short but it always breaks on me. The focus ring has stopped functioning properly twice. I will package it back up and send to canon for repairs as soon as I get a chance. I have taken my best photos with this lens but it gets a 0 for durability.

(2 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Failure to keep up with quality

By 

from Texas, United States

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

Having used L series lenses, I know that the quality is beginning to degrade. 20 year old L vs. new? There is a marked difference. Be careful.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Yes you need a 50mm prime

By 

from Arizona

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

The 50mm prime fast lens is an excellent addition to your lens collection Fast, mine is the F1.4 and it certain situations it may be the perfect selection, low light or when a super fast shutter speed is necessary. For the price of this quality item, it's just good to have in your bag. The out of focus background is amazing and just gets the job done.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Decent lens at best

By 

from Dallas, TX

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

I purchased this lens about 10 months ago. From the very beginning I noticed I was having focus issues. I have used this lens on both a film camera and digital, having issues on both. My lens has a front focus issue. I usually take still shots and with some luck they are sharp if the lens isn't wide open. The reason I purchased this lens is because of its ability to produce beautiful bokeh. I just recently went out and used this lens for a senior photo session and it was terrible. If I was up close to the subject the focus was better, but not perfect. At a distance, I could forget about trying to get a sharp picture. More than half of my photos were off focus. I tried to adjust my settings, with no luck. I had to go in a manually focus most of my shots in order for them to be sharp. I'm not entirely happy with this lens and hope that by sending it in to Canon, they can adjust it for me. Otherwise I don't see myself using this lens much If I can't trust it. For the price I expected better.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Stick with the 1.8

By 

from Georgia

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

With all the hype that came with the 50mm 1.4 I thought I would give it a try over my 50mm 1.8. I have shot a lot of portraits (1000's) with the 1.8 and wanted to see what improvements the 1.4 could give. I ordered a brand new 50mm 1.4 and put it to work and work poorly it did. Like many have said here it has a huge focusing problem. Set it up on a tripod and shot 100's of images at different f-stops and distances-all at the very same object that never moved.. Then I checked each image. There was no consistency in the focus. Then I tried the very same tests with my 50mm 1.8 on the same day in the same way and magically all the images were in focus. I own the Canon 5D Mark III. Finally I sent it back.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Disappointing

By 

from Las Vegas NV

Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

I recently acquired this lens and was quite disappointed. Although I usually check different reviews before acquiring any goods, I trusted Canon. Unfortunately, the lens has a major focus defect. Auto focus and manual focus do not work.... I think the least Canon ca do is to recall all these lenses and replace them with a more reliable one.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

It broke.

By 

from Minneapolis, MN

Pros

  • excellent paper weight

Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Slow Auto-Focus

Best Uses

    Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

    Used very rarely for about 24 months. It spent most of its time in a professional case. It was very well cared for. The focus is now not working. No manual focus. No auto focus. This highlight an extremely poor build quality on this lens that is well known, and manufacturing on this lens has not changed. For the days that ti worked, it had a difficult time finding focus among the 9 points on my camera. Images that were focused looked acceptable.

     
    4.0

    Good, but not great

    By 

    from Undisclosed

    Pros

    • Fast auto-focus
    • Wide Aperature

    Cons

    • chromatic aberations
    • Softness

    Best Uses

      Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

      The 50mm f/1.4 lens is great for some things. The bokeh is rather nice and, at f/1.4, is easy to produce. The lens focuses quickly and the build quality is decent. However! My particular lens back-focuses terribly. The 7D allows me to compensate for this by adjusting the particular lens' focus profile, but it's still not spot-on. At f/1.4, images are nowhere near sharp. They're usable, at best. Stopped down to f/2, things start to look better, but I don't usually shoot wider than f/2.8 if I want sharpness. Even there, it's a tad soft. Chromatic aberations! Ewww! I see blue, purple, and sometimes red halos and highlights. The lens is great for some things, but not quite what I had hoped.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Disappointed...

      By 

      from Undisclosed

      Pros

        Cons

        • Semi-sharp images

        Best Uses

          Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

          Images are never sharp and are very soft. I had heard good things about the 50 1.4 but I am very disappointed in the quality of image.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          everyone needs a 50!

          By 

          from Oklahoma

          Pros

          • Conventional
          • price
          • Sharpness
          • Size

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

              Whether you opt for the 1.2, 1.4, or 1.8, every photographer should have a 50mm in their bag. I chose the f/1.4 strictly for the combination of price and performance. This lens rarely leaves my camera body, and is really diverse enough for almost any situation. At f/1.4 I usually switch over to manual focus to get the right shot, but leave it on automatic at f/2 and above. The AF is not quite as fast as some other primes, however it is not an "L" either. I will always carry this lens, as it is the best bang for your buck that Canon makes.

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Not for a novice

              By 

              from MD

              Pros

              • Super-sharp images

              Cons

              • Slow Auto-Focus

              Best Uses

                Comments about Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens:

                Pros: When it focuses where I want, the image is stunning. Good low light captures of still objects. Cons: It takes skill to use I use a T3 Summary: Build quality is good, the Lens quality is great, it certainly does what it says, just realize what you are getting. Autofocus takes a while, but there's a reson for it. Before I review the product, I always like to know the reviewer's perspective. I consider myself a seasoned novice photographers. I've takes my fair share of photos in many different settings on multiple continents. I even spent more than a couple hours trying to learn something about photgraphy. And I enjoy it and probably spend too much money on it. But I don't do this as a living and I don't get asked/nor will I ever be a primary photographer at a wedding (although, my realtives have used some of my shots from their wedding albumns) **Okay the review part** So the biggest thing about this lens is the apeture. I bought this lens because of the f/1.4. And it is great! I get butterry bokeh...if I can get relatively still compared to my subject. But I find that its actually quite difficult to. I should say that I typically take photos of my toddler in close quarters indoors. Its hard to get him to smile for the camera let alone stay still. Even when he is distracted and still, I find it hard to hold myself still enough (at f/1.4) to get his entire face in focus. The tip of nose might be in focus, but not his face, And I know what you might be thinking, "Well yeah, you have a very narrow depth of field at f/1.4. Duh!" Yeah, but I didn't realize just how picky it would be. And that's probably why it takes so long to autofocus or can't focus. Because you have to be very still relative to your subject. I will say, that if I get the focus, almost there, the autofocus is sometimes quick, but I think that might ruin the motor (manually adjusting the lens while in AF mode) so I don't recommend it. Anyways, If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten the f/1.8 because I'm not skilled enough to use the f/1.4. Shoot, for my kid's photos, I might need to stick with the f/4 of my standard lens. We'll see. But the build quality is good, the Lens quality is great, it certainly does what it says, just I didn't understand fully what I was getting.

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