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Anyone use the Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 lens?

Sleepylog
I bought a use Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 lens on the understanding that it had hardly been used but was very disappointed with its performance. The AF was slow and the focus just wasn't what I had read it to be, especially on eyes, where it really matters. The focus on my 18-55 EF-S kit lens is much better than on this lens. Fortunately the person who sold it to me gave me a full refund.

I had heard so many good things about this lens and I would love some input from contributors who use this lens for any of their portrait shots, so I can make an informed decision about whether the used lens was faulty or not and if it would be worth buying a brand new one.
Ca
Posted: 04/19/2013, 19:12:28 PM
Dewers
Optically you can't get much better than that lens. I heard the slow focus complaint from other people on both the 1.8 and 1.4 lens. The only fast focusing 50mm lens from canon is the 1.2 lens, but you have to take a mortgage out to buy it
Nikon D90, D7000, D7100
Posted: 04/20/2013, 01:04:45 AM
Igordabari
Hi, Sleepylog. I have been using Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 for a long time and I am quite happy about it. Focus is slow - that's true. Sometimes it just goes past focus - that's true, as well. But sharpness is really excellent if you close the hole down to f/4 or so. At f/1.8 sharpness is remarkably worse but still acceptable. The lens serves badly for dynamic scenes because of focus problems. But it's a very good tool for static ones (portraits in studio, e.g. or food images or cityscapes and so on).

Here are examples of my images taken with the lens (you can use "click to comp" option to get a better resolution and investigate the sharpness issue in details):

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-portrait-attractive-beautiful-pretty-cute-young-brown-haired-caucasian-thoughtful-woman-lady-girl-female-person-model-image30096567

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-portrait-attractive-beautiful-pretty-cute-young-brown-haired-caucasian-woman-lady-girl-female-person-model-woollen-worsted-image29838215

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-young-woman-dark-background-image25809419

18-55 EF-S kit lens is MUCH worse, on my opinion. Besides, it provides with a good deal of terrible chromatic aberrations.

The problem with Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 that one must test it before buying. Many of them has back/front focus. So, one has to test and ask seller to bring another one and another one... But as soon as you get "correct" item, you can make a good shots (if the scene is not 'too dynamic', once again).

Some 'L'-series lens is much faster, of course. But the price is much higher. With 50mm EF f/1.8 you can get a good enough results for $$100 only, though not for all subjects.
7d + lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm/3.5-5.6 IS USM & EF 100mm/2.8 USM Mac...
Edited: 04/20/2013, 02:42:23 AM
Sleepylog
Thank you Igordabari for such a detailed answer. I had kind of figured that for shots with a moving subject this lens wouldn't be suitable and so I want it mostly for portrait and night photography. I just have one question though, what do you mean when you say the lens goes past focus and that many of them have back/front focus?

[quote]Hi, Sleepylog. I have been using Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 for a long time and I am quite happy about it. Focus is slow - that`s true. Sometimes it just goes past focus - that`s true, as well. But sharpness is really excellent if you close the hole down to f/4 or so. At f/1.8 sharpness is remarkably worse but still acceptable. The lens serves badly for dynamic scenes because of focus problems. But it`s a very good tool for static ones (portraits in studio, e.g. or food images or cityscapes and so on).Here are examples of my images taken with the lens (you can use "click to comp" option to get a better resolution and investigate the sharpness issue in details):http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-portrait-attractive-beautiful-pretty-cute-young-brown-haired-caucasian-thoughtful-woman-lady-girl-female-person-model-image30096567http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-portrait-attractive-beautiful-pretty-cute-young-brown-haired-caucasian-woman-lady-girl-female-person-model-woollen-worsted-image29838215http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-young-woman-dark-background-image2580941918-55 EF-S kit lens is MUCH worse, on my opinion. Besides, it provides with a good deal of terrible chromatic aberrations.The problem with Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 that one must test it before buying. Many of them has back/front focus. So, one has to test and ask seller to bring another one and another one... But as soon as you get "correct" item, you can make a good shots (if the scene is not `too dynamic`, once again). Some `L`-series lens is much faster, of course. But the price is much higher. With 50mm EF f/1.8 you can get a good enough results for $$100 only, though not for all subjects. [/q
Ca
Posted: 04/20/2013, 05:15:03 AM
Igordabari
Here is an explanation on front and back focus: http://cameralightlens.com/newsblog/?p=264
7d + lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm/3.5-5.6 IS USM & EF 100mm/2.8 USM Mac...
Posted: 04/20/2013, 05:49:35 AM
Igordabari

Originally posted by Sleepylog:
Quoted Message: I had kind of figured that for shots with a moving subject this lens wouldn`t be suitable and so I want it mostly for portrait and night photography. [/q


Not only. For any kind of photography with static subject. That was my statement.
7d + lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm/3.5-5.6 IS USM & EF 100mm/2.8 USM Mac...
Posted: 04/20/2013, 05:52:52 AM
Sleepylog
Thanks Igordabari, that was a very helpful link :)

Would still love to hear from others who use this lens though.
Ca
Posted: 04/21/2013, 01:48:56 AM
Parkinsonsniper
I'm not using the Canon 50mm f1.8, but after reading Igor's explanation. I understood that it is very close to my Nikon 50mm f1.8. My opinion is; the purpose of getting a 1.8 lens is to use it at least at f2.0 or 2.5. Nikon is not bad at those apertures but still not perfect for stock quality. I suggest to get a 50mm f1.4 or a Tamron 17-50 f2.8. It is perfectly sharp at 50mm and at f2.8. After getting my Tamron, I stopped using my prime 50mm...
f2.8 - Nikkor 50mm f1.4 - Nikkor 50mm f1.8 - Tamron 90mm f2....
Posted: 04/25/2013, 04:48:03 AM
Dewers
the tamron, does not compare in iQ when compared to either the nokon or canon.
Nikon D90, D7000, D7100
Posted: 04/25/2013, 14:22:21 PM
Psilentrain1
I also use the Canon 50mm f/1.8...I agree, The lens is acceptable at 1.8, but once you get around 2.8, it is phenomenal. I use it anywhere I need a faster shutter speed in low light without having to bump the ISO too high.

As far as the EF-S 18-55; I will be taking it out of my bag. It just doesn't perform as well as the other glass I have.
Canon 1100D
Posted: 05/13/2013, 07:54:33 AM
Dudau
Admin
I'm using it sometimes, I think it's a great lens with good quality, and considering its price, it's the best buy for any photographer.

Not very fast focus, that's true, but that only constrains you in fast action shots. Used correctly, it has decent sharpness even at 1.8, and stopped down at 2.8 it's tack sharp.

I have just used it on a recent shooting with my wife and I'm very pleased with the results.

   Checking the mail   

Don't get stucked in technical details though, it's much more to stock photography than lenses.
Dreams
Edited: 05/14/2013, 04:25:43 AM by Admin
Sleepylog
Thanks to all of you for replying. I'm going to buy this lens and hopefully I'll get one that is properly focused.
Ca
Posted: 05/14/2013, 07:52:47 AM