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

f/1.4 - View Complete Details

Product Number: SYNX3859305

3.5 star rating3.582 reviews|Read All Reviews|Write 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 82 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (27)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (9)

58%

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 82 customers

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(2 of 2 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.

 
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.

 
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.

(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.

(1 of 1 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.

(1 of 1 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.

(1 of 1 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.

                 
                5.0

                Sharp, low distortion, good price

                By 

                from New England

                Pros

                • Fast auto-focus
                • Low distortion
                • Super-sharp images

                Cons

                • not very rugged build

                Best Uses

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

                  I needed a lightweight, inconspicuous all-purpose lens to use with my Canon 6D for family, landscape, and reasonable close-ups of flowers & wildlife while visiting Colombia. This 50mm is my least expensive yet sharpest EF lens between f4 -f8. Very good focus, nice colors, low distortion. did fine for night time and street photography - a bargain.

                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  Optically fine, mechanically lousy

                  By 

                  from Huntsville, AL

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Poor build quality
                    • won't focus at all

                    Best Uses

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

                      The lens is quite sharp when it's in focus. But it doesn't autofocus. At all! It made an attempt at autofocusing when it was new but after a few months it wouldn't autofocus at all. The selected focus spot blinks, claiming that focus has been achieved. But usually it doesn't even make the attempt. Mine can be focused manually if you can stand the gritty feel. I have a friend whose 50 f/1.4 won't even focus manually! It would be fine if it would just focus.

                      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      I am in love with this ...

                      By 

                      from South Carolina

                      Pros

                      • creamy bokeh
                      • Fast auto-focus
                      • Super-sharp images

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

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

                          I am in love with this lens. It has became my primary lens.

                          (11 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          2.0

                          Luck of the draw

                          By 

                          from Los Angeles

                          Pros

                          • Fast auto-focus
                          • price

                          Cons

                          • horrendous ca
                          • Semi-sharp images
                          • wortheless at 1.4

                          Best Uses

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

                            It was my fault for never fully testing the lens I got till it was too late to return it. Horrible CA, could not make it focus reliably. I have micro focus adjust on my camera but couldn't cope with the focus problem. It bounced between +15 close-up subjects (2-3ft) to -10 on 6ft and out. Stopped down, the focus issue becomes less dramatic but then why buy an F1.4 lens? Will be trading it in for a used 50mm F1.8. I KNOW those work. Maybe I got a bad copy.. but it's not my job to play QC.

                            (43 of 43 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Great bang for the buck

                            By 

                            from Greenwood, IN

                            Pros

                            • Great In Low Light
                            • inexpensive - great value
                            • Lightweight
                            • nearly l lens image quality
                            • near macro short focusing distance
                            • Nice background blur
                            • Sharp images

                            Cons

                            • af occasionally misses under f1.8
                            • heavy vignette at f1.4
                            • purple fringing under f2
                            • slightly soft at f1.4
                            • Slow Auto-Focus

                            Best Uses

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

                              I have owned this lens for 5 years and used it to photograph weddings. Pros: Very near L lens image quality as far as I can discern. I'd say the contrast and colors are a tad flatter than the 50/1.2. Considering the low price and fast aperture, it has to be the best value of any lens in Canon's lineup. It is wide enough for group and individual full length portraits with minimal distortion. The subject's legs don't look stretched like with a wider lens. But, one has to be careful not to use it for very close up portraits because barrel distortion will become evident in the facial features. I use a tripod to get maximum sharpness at 1/50 shutter speed. I can zoom in to see tremendous detail because it is so sharp. If you're nitpicky about sharpness like me, I don't recommend shooting below 1/50 shutter speed even if you use a tripod because of subject motion blur. The bokeh is rather pleasing, like an L lens. And, the lens is rather lightweight, so it's great for walking around as a tourist. Minimum focusing distance is short enough that it can be used as a macro in a pinch. Cons: AF is slow and gets slower in low light. AF occasionally misses under f/1.8, like 10%, where it is focused on something else besides what was intended. Not super sharp at f/1.4 but acceptably sharp by f/1.6. That isn't much of a drawback considering its low price. There is some purple fringing below f/2.0, and at f/1.4 it has a heavy vignette. The vignette is easily correctable in post if you don't like it. Overall: I could photograph an entire wedding with this lens considering its versatile focal length, wide aperture, and near L lens image quality. It's the first lens I purchased, and if I had to sell off all my other lenses and keep just one, this would be it.

                              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Wonderful, But There Are Better

                              By 

                              from Minneapolis, MN

                              Pros

                              • Fast auto-focus
                              • Superior build quality
                              • Super-sharp images

                              Cons

                              • af doesn't always work on lower end cameras
                              • slow af in the cold
                              • stopped working after 1.5 years

                              Best Uses

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

                                This lens was one of the most exciting things to get in the mail. I had been a photographer for only a year, but I knew its potential. I focus in portraiture and concert photography. The first doesn't need, but it greatly helps to have such a large aperture. The latter needs such a large aperture because of how many indoor concerts I had to shoot in. It worked great for the first year and a half, then the AF just started to go out on me. I would have to still say that those 1.5 years were well worth what I paid for this lens.

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