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Canon Lens 50mm 1.4 Vs 1.8

By | 23/08/2022

Welcome to Part 1 of the 50mm focal range of the SLR Lounge Canon Lens Wars series. We accept 7 lenses in this group, and so in this first part, we volition be discussing just the 50mm primes.

  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
  • Canon 50mm f/one.4
  • Catechism 50mm f/1.2L

In part two, since we are using the aforementioned zoom lens setup equally in the 35mm focal range, nosotros will briefly talk through the zooms, then compare them to the primes.

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For those that are new to the SLR Lounge Canon Lens Wars series, be certain to check out the Lens Wars Teaser video, where we innovate the serial and our testing methodology equally well as all the other videos on each focal length.

Lookout the 50mm Canon Prime number Lens Wars Video

Canon 50mm f/1.2 at f/1.2

Catechism 50mm f/1.2L at f/1.2

Of the 3 50mm primes nosotros tested, not only did the 50 f/i.2L had the most bokeh, but it also had the best aesthetic quality to the bokeh which tin can be seen in the samples below.



On top of that, the 50mm f/i.2L’s image was sharp enough when broad open to actually use (unlike the 50mm f/i.4), and the color and contrast were far superior to both the other 50s as can be seen below. Sadly, the 50mm f/1.4 was outperformed in sharpness by fifty-fifty the “corking 50” the Canon 50mm f/one.8 2



Moving on to the next most expensive 50mm prime, nosotros have the Canon 50mm f/1.4, and unfortunately, this lens left me feeling a piffling underwhelmed.

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The problem with the Canon 50mm f/1.4’s prototype quality and bokeh was that it was too hazy and dreamy. The overall image was then soft that I would say information technology that the lens is non actually usable at wide open, unless you are looking for that soft dreamy vibe. It near reminds me of smearing the lens with oil or vaseline for a soft focus upshot.


In addition, with both the Canon 50mm f/1.8 Ii and the f/1.4, in that location was something just a bit “artificial” nearly their bokeh. This was particularly noticeable when zooming in over the tree co-operative area.


In comparison, the 50mm f/ane.2L had a better and smoother bokeh rendition seen beneath.


Surprisingly, of the three lenses, my 2d favorite was the Canon 50mm f/one.8 II. While it did have a bit less bokeh at f/ane.8 than the other two 50’s, at least its image was not unusably soft. It was still a bit soft and dreamy looking, just not close to as bad as the 50mm f/one.4.


Detail Comparison at Wide Open Aperture

In the images below, when we test center frame sharpness by zooming in over the model’s dress, we tin see that at a wide open aperture, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II is indeed sharper than the Canon 50mm f/i.4. The Canon 50mm f/1.2L surpassed both lenses when it comes to contrast and clarity.



Prototype Quality at The Widest Mutual Aperture

Let’s step upward to the the aperture of f/ii.0 and run into how they all fare in regards to sharpness. Here, you tin start to encounter the Catechism 50mm f/1.4 pulling abroad from the 50 f/1.8 in terms of sharpness.


However, the overall winner is withal expectedly the Catechism 50mm f/1.2L, which is tack precipitous over our subject as seen below.



While the 50mm f/i.2L ever remained a step ahead of its lesser siblings, we did discover that the visual differences in image detail and sharpness start to equalize at around f/4. Although color rendition is still noticeably better, as we would await, on the L series lens.

Dress f4-50mmf1.2-50mm1.4

Dress f4-50mmf1.2-50mm1.8

Canon 50mm one.2 vs i.4 vs 1.8 Bokeh at Widest Mutual Aperture

Going back to the common aperture of f/two, the Catechism 50mm f/i.2L however renders more bokeh, and with ameliorate aesthetic quality to its bokeh, although non past a huge margin. The bokeh on the 50mm f/one.2L was just a bit larger and smoother than that of the 50mm 1.4 and 50mm i.eight.



The Canon 50mm f/1.four did have a flake more than pleasing bokeh than the 1.eight, but not by that much. Information technology certainly wasn’t noticeable when viewing the images at full screen.


Only similar sharpness, the majority of the aesthetic differences in bokeh equalized around f/four for the 3 50mm primes as can exist seen in the following images.



Despite having the similarities in image quality from f/4 and up, when information technology comes to color and dissimilarity rendition all three 50mm primes performed right on par to their classes. The Canon 50mm f/ane.2L was the best of the agglomeration with the nigh brilliant contrast and accurate colour rendition, the Catechism 50mm f/1.4 was next, and the Catechism 50mm f/1.eight Two was tertiary.

A Note on Build Quality for each Canon 50mm Prime Lens

This is one of those times where I want to also mention the experience and build quality of each of these lenses. The Canon 50mm f/one.2L actually sets the standard betwixt the three 50mm primes. It has a swell build quality, feels nice, has a smooth focus activeness, and is exactly what you would expect from a Canon L lens.

[Recommended: Canon RF 50mm F1.2L Vs. Canon EF 50mm F1.two Showdown]

As for the other two 50mm primes, the i.8’s and the 1.4’s build quality leave a lot to exist desired. I do not call up most of united states have a lot of expectations for quality on the Catechism 50mm f/1.8 II because information technology is quite inexpensive. At around $125 (sometimes even less), it has been given the proper noun of the “neat l” because it is cheap and takes great pictures. So it is non a surprise that it feels cheap and “plasticky”, that the focus action is not smoothen, that it makes funny noises, and that is non easy to to nail your focus when shooting broad open up. But, all in all, all the same a nifty value for the money.

By comparison, the Catechism 50mm f/1.4 is simply that much more disappointing considering although it is 3-4x more expensive than the 50mm f/1.8, its build quality and overall paradigm performance doesn’t come up to justifying the additional price.

Dissimilar the 35mm f/two IS from our 35mm Catechism Lens Wars Shootout, the 50mm f/i.4 feels quite inexpensive for a $400 lens. Not quite as cheaply congenital as the nifty l, but nevertheless cheap.

In addition, it was too quite difficult to go the camera to focus where I wanted with the 50 f/1.4. This is something that tin can exist expected with the 50mm f/ane.8, but it is not what I would await from the more expensive 50mm f/ane.4.

The Final Conclusion for Canon 50mm 1.2 vs 1.four vs 1.eight

Then, hither is the final determination between these 3 lenses

The Best Blindside For Your Buck – The “Nifty-Fifty”

Canon 50mm f/1.8
I would say that if you are just starting out and you want a 50mm prime lens, get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II. At around $125, the 50mm i.8 is a existent deal and it tin do 95% of what the 50mm 1.iv tin can.

So if you are looking for a standard 50mm prime, the Canon 50mm f/i.8 Ii is going to be the all-time blindside for your buck by far and the “go-to” 50mm lens for beginners.

The 1 to Avert – The “Shifty 50”

Canon 50mm f/1.4
Information technology goes without saying that the Catechism 50mm f/1.4 is just not worth the 3-4x price of the 50mm f/ane.8.

Even though it has a maximum discontinuity of f/1.4, its overly soft paradigm quality at broad open nullifies that extra one-half stop reward. And if you finish downward to f/1.viii or f/2.0, then there really non enough artful deviation in appearance to the 50mm f/ane.viii. On top of that, its build quality is barely any meliorate than the 50mm f/1.8.

For all of these reasons, if the 50mm f/1.8 is dubbed the “Nifty Fifty,” nosotros are going to dub the Canon 50mm f/1.4 as the “Shifty Fifty.”

And then my advice is if you lot are choosing between the ii is to salvage the money and opt for the Canon 50mm f/1.8 2 instead of the Catechism 50mm f/one.iv.

The Best Overall 50mm Lens – The “Gimme! Fifty”

Canon 50mm f/1.2L
The Catechism 50mm f/1.2L is without a doubt the best 50mm prime number lens from Catechism. When yous want a 50mm for depression light, for ultra low depth of field, and for shots that you would not be able to become otherwise from the other 50’due south, and so save up your coin, skip the 50mm ane.four and just leap directly to the Canon 50mm f/1.2L.

At around $1600 bucks, information technology is far more than expensive than the other two 50mm primes, only at least it does a lot more likewise. It is actually sharp and usable when wide open up and information technology tin can open up upward a full end brighter than the 1.viii. This prime lens gives yous more than flossy bokeh and merely more bokeh in general. It’s price is actually justifiable in its overall operation, image quality and features.

All around, if you desire the best image quality at the 50mm focal length, then the Canon 50mm f/1.2L should be at the top or near the top of your shopping list and we are dubbing information technology the “Gimme! 50.” As in “give me that fifty crusade I want it!!!!”

I hope you lot enjoyed part 1 of the 50mm prime focal range in the SLR Lounge Catechism Lens Wars series. Exist certain to check out the residuum of the SLR Lounge Canon Lens Wars Series.

Source: https://www.slrlounge.com/canon-50mm-prime/