Canon 50mm 1.8 Mark Ii

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Catechism 50mm f/1.eight
EF Two


© 2014 All rights reserved.

   Specifications    Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Please help

Canon 50mm f/1.8

Canon EF 50mm f/i.eight II
(52mm filters, 4.320 oz/122.5g, on auction for $105 later on rebate). enlarge. I bought mine at Adorama, Amazon also has information technology. My biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, particularly this link straight to it at Adorama or directly to it at Amazon, when you go
anything, regardless of the land in which you alive. Information technology helps me keep adding to this free website when you go yours through those links — only I receive
for my efforts if you purchase elsewhere. Thank you for your support! Ken.

September 2014

Catechism Reviews   Canon Lenses   All Reviews

Premium 50mm Lenses Compared

04 September 2014

Canon 50mm Lenses Compared
05 Nov 2013

Sample Images From New York City May and June 2010

Sample Photos from Maui May 2010

Gran Tortuga Resort, Cayman Island.

Gran Tortuga Resort, Aviara Bulldoze, Cayman Isle.
Original © 18MP (1.5 MB) JPG. Shot with Catechism 1D 10 at ISO 100, f/9 at i/400, STANDARD Picture Style with +4 Saturation and 6 sharpening, AUTO A4 WB, Large JPG Quality 1.

Fabric, British Museum

Fabric, British Museum.
Original 18MP JPG © 5MB. Shot at ISO 100, Catechism 1D X, at f/5.half dozen at a couple of feet at 1/200 mitt-held, STANDARD Picture Style with +three Saturation and 6 sharpening,Auto A4 WB, LARGE JPG Quality 1.

Ryan on our bed.

Ryan on our bed, morn, 27 July 2012.
(Canon 1D 10, Machine ISO 1,000, f/2 at 1/125, AUTO A4 white residuum, STANDARD Moving picture Style, 6 sharpening.) bigger.


Spectacular optics (better than virtually Catechism lenses of any cost), ultra light weight and ultra low price. Perfect as a normal lens for full-frame digital and film, and a short tele for 1.6x cameras. First-class for use in low light; I prefer it to the faster 50mm f/1.4 because this f/ane.eight lens gives me more than accurate autofocus.


Manual focus requires moving a switch, and the focus ring turns as the lens autofocuses. With a plastic mount, this lens won’t take much of a beating. In light of its ameliorate optical performance than the $2,200 14mm f/2.8 50 II, treat information technology with the respect information technology deserves and you’ll exist fine.




   Specifications    Functioning   Compared   Recommendations

This lilliputian lens is Catechism’s biggest hush-hush.

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 II has fantastically expert eyes, amend than Canon’south “L” series wide lenses similar the 16-35mm f/2.8 L II.

In fact, this $125 plastic lens gives sharper results than the 50mm f/1.4 USM I’ve used, especially in no light. The f/i.4 is soft at f/1.4, and worse, I rarely make it-focus results with it, while this f/1.viii lens is abrupt at f/1.8, and always delivers perfect in-focus results!

The 50mm f/1.8 Ii weighs less, costs less, and autofocuses more accurately than the 50mm f/1.4 USM.

Attempt to hate this plastic-mountain made-in-Malaysia 50mm f/1.viii 2, merely when you look at the images, y’all’ll exist convinced. The mount is plastic, simply the drinking glass is all Canon’southward finest multicoated glass.

How tin this cheap lens be so skilful? Simple: every fourth dimension you ask a lens to do more, like to be faster, to be wider, to exist longer, to offer instant transmission-focus override, or peculiarly if you inquire it to zoom, a lens has to get bigger, heavier, more expensive, more distorted and/or less sharp. Lens design is always a compromise amongst these merchandise-offs.

When you ask for a non-zoom, fixed focal length normal lens of but moderate speed, it’south easy to make the eyes fantastic, and at a very, very low cost if you don’t mind plastic.

Did I say “only moderate” speed? Even though it’southward but moderate as stock-still lenses go, f/1.eight is still over a stop faster than whatsoever Canon EF zoom. This f/one.8 lens lets you shoot at ISO 800, while in the same light you’d need ISO iv,000 with the 24-105mm f/four L IS to get the same shutter speed! f/1.viii lets in
five times
more light than an f/iv lens. This fifty/1.viii is also less than one-fitth the weight and
less than one-10th the price
of the 24-105mm, and has only half the distortion!

This 50mm f/1.8 II uses the same optics equally the original 50mm f/1.8 EF of 1987. The 1987 lens used a metal mountain and had a focus scale.

Canon 50mm f/1.8

Canon 50/1.8 2.


one/250 at f/7.1, Canon 5D Mark II. Camera-original JPG (7MB).

Realize that depth-of-field is express: the branches at the lower left are out-of-focus.

This was at ISO 200 with highlight (D+) and shadow optimization on, and shade A4 WB at +iii saturation.


1/eighty at f/7.1,hand-held Canon 5D Mark II, ISO fifty, Cloudy WB + A5 trim, Standard picture way with +3 saturation. Camera-original JPG (4.7MB).

In the original image, you can encounter that they’re imitation. Note how clearly you tin can run into the depth of field with a lens this abrupt.

Busa di Beppo

Tilted Wall.
i/250 at f/vii.1, Canon 5D Mark II. Camera-original JPG (7MB).

Once more, when looking at the original file, realize that the photographic camera is tilted-upwards, to the top and bottom isn’t in focus, so of course it won’t exist as sharp.

With the Canon 5D Marker Two, these would accept been even sharper if I had bothered shooting them in CR2 and tweaking later.



   Specifications    Performance   Compared   Recommendations


Canon calls this the Catechism LENS EF 50mm f/1.8 Two.

EF means “electronic focus,” meaning that there is an autofocus motor in the lens itself.


6 elements in 5 groups.

Some surfaces multicoated.


Canon 50mm f/1.8

Catechism 50mm 2 at f/1.8.
(EF diaphragm non visible). overstate.

5 directly blades.

Stops downwards to f/22.

Close Focus

1.v feet (0.45m) from the prototype plane.

Maximum Reproduction Ratio


Hard Infinity Focus Stop?


No. You lot have to allow the AF arrangement dial you in.

Focus Scale


The ring turns from near to far in about 80.º

Depth-of-Field Scale


Infra-Red Focus Index


Filter Thread



Does not rotate.


2.683″ (68.16mm) diameter, measured.

1.591″ (40.4mm) extension from flange.

Catechism specifies 68.2mm diameter by 41mm long.


4.320 oz. (122.5g).

Canon specifies oz. (130g).


None; the front of the lens is sufficiently recessed to cover you most of the fourth dimension.

Canon’southward best shot at a hood for this lens is the ES-62 hood, which only fits if you employ it with its cockamamie included adapter.

I’d use a condom hood, similar the dainty Nikon Hour-2, which sells for half the toll.


52mm forepart.

Standard EOS cap rear.

Price, USA


2014 September: $125.

2014 July: $105 after mail in rebate.

2014 Feb: $99 (you have to start checkout to come across this price, it’southward usually $125)

2012 Dec: $110.

2010 May: $99.95.

2007 March: $fourscore.

Canon 50mm f/1.8

Box, Canon 50mm II.


   Specifications    Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Overall    Focus   Bokeh   Coma   Distortion    Ergonomics    Falloff

Filters   Color Fringes   Mechanics   Sharpness    Sunstars


performance      top

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 Ii works great. It’due south among Catechism’due south sharpest lenses.

Its merely vices are its light-duty structure and needing a switch to get into manual focus.


operation      peak

Dissimilar all other Canon lenses, the manual focus ring turns equally the lens is autofocusing, so continue your fingers away from it. If y’all effort to turn it while in the AF mode, you’ll exist turning confronting the AF motor.

Ryan and the Remote

Ryan and the remote command, 04 May 2010.

Shot with Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 50mm f/1.8 II, f/1.8 at 1/40 hand-held, A3 ii,500K WB, Standard picture with +2 saturation, shadow tweak turned on, ISO 1,600.

Auto/Manual Switching

You have to movement the switch on the lens to get Auto or Transmission focus.

AF Speed

AF is fast, every bit Canons always are.

The AF motor is noisy.

AF Accuracy

AF is always correct-on, peculiarly at f/1.viii.

This ways I actually can shoot it at f/1.8 and get sharp results, unlike with the 50mm f/ane.4 USM. With this 50mm f/one.8, all my shots are expressionless-on in low light.

Manual Focus

Transmission focus is easy, once you’ve moved the switch to MF.


performance      acme

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas every bit opposed to the caste of defocus, is off-white to good. It normally looks great in bodily shooting because backgrounds are commonly and so far out of focus because of this lens’ fast f/1.eight speed compared to slow f/2.8 zooms

Here are crops from extremely enlarged prints of about 36 10 55″ (100 x 150cm), or the equivalent of looking at Canon 5D Mark II images at 100% on-screen.

In these examples, a vertically polarized phase lattice was set up at iii meters (10 feet) on which the lens was focused, and the constructed reference vegetation seen out of focus in the background was at 15 meters (50 feet).


functioning      elevation

As expected, the Catechism 50mm f/1.8 has coma wide-open, which goes abroad a cease or ii down.

Here’s a full epitome, fabricated at f/4:


Starry Sky, 04 May 2010, 30 seconds at f/4 at ISO 400.

And hither are crops from the lower left corner, from prints most 36 x 55″ (100 x 150cm), or the equivalent of looking at Catechism 5D Mark II images at 100% on-screen.


f/2 crop

f/2.8 crop

f/4 crop

Thus at f/four, everything looks great, even nether these difficult conditions.


performance      top

At that place is some minor barrel distortion, surprisingly exactly the same as the 50mm f/1.iv USM and 50mm f/1.two L.

If this bothers you, use the Canon 50mm f/2.5 Macro instead.

Use +1.4 in Photoshop’s Lens Distortion tool to remove it for critical use at three meters (x feet) and +i.5 at infinity.


operation      tiptop

Canon 50mm f/1.8

Canon 50mm f/i.viii II
(about actual size). Look, Ma, no focus calibration! overstate.

Equally covered above, the biggest bad point about the 50mm f/ane.8 Ii is that you have to motility a switch if yous want manual focus.

The transmission focus band is merely a piece of plastic, as Nikon’s first AF lenses were in 1986. It turns 80º from infinity to 1.5 anxiety.

At that place’s no focus calibration, only considering that Catechism’s other 50mm lenses with focus scales are and so pocket-size that the depth-of-field scales are useless, it’southward non needed anyhow.

Focus scales are a throwback to the 1930s when cameras were focused by guessing or measuring the distance, and then setting it on the scale. This went out of style in by the 1950s, when the calibration served every bit a computer for landscape photographers.

Today, with no real depth-of-field scales on lenses, I won’t fault Catechism for saving usa the $10 it might price to add this.

I like the plastic mount. It slides on and off my cameras much more smoothly and hands than my metal-mount lenses.


(darkened corners)

performance      top

Falloff is as expected: some broad-open up, and it goes away a stop or two down.

If it bothers you, the 5D Mark 2 (at least as of firmware 2.0.4) comes complete with the data needed to correct this right out of the box; just go to the offset red camera menu, and in the bottom detail (Peripheral Illumination Correction), set information technology to ENABLE.

I’ve greatly exaggerated this by presenting information technology confronting a gray groundwork.

Canon 50mm f/1.8 Two falloff on full-frame, no correction.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

With Canon 5D Mk II Peripheral Illumination Correction enabled.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

Filters, Use with

functioning      superlative

The plastic threads don’t rotate as you focus, but they exercise movement in and out.

52mm is a generous size; I tin can stack at least iii standard filters at the same time with no vignetting on total-frame.

Lateral Color Fringes

performance      elevation

None, which is meliorate than nearly Canon wide and zoom lenses.


performance      pinnacle

Canon 50mm f/1.8

Rear, Canon 50mm f/ane.eight Two.

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 II is mostly plastic, with drinking glass optics.

It is very precise and high-quality plastic, not garbage. This plastic lets it weigh zilch.

Don’t option upwards a camera by this lens, ever move and concur your camera by its trunk, non this lens.

Filter Threads


Barrel Exterior


Focus Ring



Probably plastic.





Series Number

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation-burnt into rear of lens.

Engagement Code



(dust seal at mount)


Noises When Shaken


Made in



performance      top

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 Ii is super-abrupt, better than most Canon lenses regardless of price.

Air Conditioner 25 March 2012

Air Conditioner Condenser.
5D Mark 3, 50/1.8, f/viii at ane/200, ISO 200, default “3” sharpening. © camera-original 22MP/10MB JPG.

The 50mm f/one.4 USM and 50mm f/2.v are about the same. The 50mm f/1.4 is ofttimes worse in practise because I rarely get perfect focus with it. If I exercise get perfect focus with the f/one.four, which always become with the f/ane.eight just usually non with the f/i.iv, the f/i.four is a tiny bit sharper at the largest apertures, and the 50/1.8 can exist sharper in the corners at some apertures.

Trying to compare the three fixed lenses is futile, because they all exercise something better at dissimilar places in the field at different apertures. The fifty/1.4 is a dud for me since it rarely gets right autofocus.

Fifty-fifty though Canon’southward fixed 50mm lenses are near the same, any of them is far better than about of Canon’s zooms. Compared to the 24-70mm f/2.8 L or 17-40mm f/4 L (gear up to 40mm), this $99 lens is then sharp it makes each of those zooms look broken by comparison!

On a 5D Mark II


Sharp in the centre, with a little spherical aberration haze.

The corners are sharp, but with much lower contrast due to coma.


Better than f/1.8.

Sharp in the eye, with less haze.

The corners are sharp, but with much lower dissimilarity due to blackout.


Much better than f/two.

Super precipitous in the center, with no haze.

The corners are abrupt, and virtually of the haze from blackout is gone.


Even slightly better in the eye, about optimum.

The corners are sharp, with just a little less dissimilarity.


The corners are even sharper than at f/4.


The corners are optimum.


performance      tiptop

With its straight 5-bladed diaphragm, this Canon 50m f/ane.8 II makes nice ten-pointed sunstars on bright points of light.



   Specifications    Performance   Compared   Recommendations

Premium 50mm Lenses Compared

04 September 2014

Canon 50mm Lenses Compared05 Nov 2013



   Specifications    Performance   Compared   Recommendations

If you lot want a tiny lens that’s besides super-sharp, here yous become. Just be careful non to break the plastic lens mount.

If all you have are zooms, this tiny, fast lens will permit you lot get all the functioning out of your 5D Mark Ii for which you paid, equally will the 50mm f/two.5 Macro.

The 50mm f/1.iv is more popular considering it offers instant manual-focus override, simply information technology’s not quite as sharp.

The 50mm f/1.ii L is heavy and expensive, and extremely adept. I use my i.2 or 1.8 depending on how much weight I feel similar carrying.

More Information:

Canon, United states of america.

Catechism Camera Museum.

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