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Canon Ef 50mm F/1.4 Usm Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens - 50mm - F/1.4 (2515a003) Reviews
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Average Customer Rating:
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(based on 80 reviews)

61% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:

Best Uses:

General Use (3)

Pros:

Lightweight (8), Super-sharp Images (39), Fast Auto-focus (27), Sharp Images (3), Superior Build Quality (6)

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus (9), Poor Build Quality (21), Semi-sharp Images (5)

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Yes you need a 50mm prime

By koolkat from Arizona on 06/06/2015

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.


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Decent lens at best

By Trilight from Dallas, TX on 05/18/2015

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.


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Stick with the 1.8

By MtnMan from Georgia on 01/10/2015

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.


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Disappointing

By GG from Las Vegas NV on 11/23/2014

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.


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It broke.

By Dan in MN from Minneapolis, MN on 06/02/2014


Pros:

Excellent Paper Weight

Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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.


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Good, but not great

By Fotosdenada from Undisclosed on 05/29/2014


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Wide Aperature

Cons:

Chromatic Aberations, Softness

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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.


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Disappointed...

By Anonymous from Undisclosed on 05/14/2014


Cons:

Semi-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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.


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everyone needs a 50!

By AlexOK from Oklahoma on 01/23/2014


Pros:

Conventional, Price, Sharpness, Size

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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.


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Not for a novice

By Ap from MD on 12/27/2013


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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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Sharp, low distortion, good price

By polizonte from New England on 12/23/2013


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Low Distortion, Fast Auto-focus

Cons:

Not Very Rugged Build

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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.


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Optically fine, mechanically lousy

By Joe from Huntsville, AL on 11/06/2013


Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Won't Focus At All

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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.


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I am in love with this ...

By Anonymous from South Carolina on 06/27/2013


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Creamy Bokeh, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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


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Luck of the draw

By Canoniser from Los Angeles on 03/24/2013


Pros:

Price, Fast Auto-focus

Cons:

Horrendous Ca, Semi-sharp Images, Wortheless At 1.4

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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.


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Great bang for the buck

By Indy Photographer from Greenwood, IN on 01/06/2013


Pros:

Inexpensive - Great Value, Sharp Images, Nice Background Blur, Lightweight, Near Macro Short Focusing Distance, Nearly L Lens Image Quality, Great In Low Light

Cons:

Purple Fringing Under F2, Slightly Soft At F1.4, Af Occasionally Misses Under F1.8, Heavy Vignette At F1.4, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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.


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Wonderful, But There Are Better

By The Man from Minneapolis, MN on 12/23/2012


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus

Cons:

Af Doesn't Always Work On Lower End Cameras, Stopped Working After 1.5 Years, Slow Af In The Cold

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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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Broken after a year

By Allen from new york on 12/19/2012


Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Enjoyed it while it worked. Stop focusing in about a year and half.


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dont buy this lense

By sbl**67 from Boston MA on 12/01/2012


Pros:

Sharp Images

Cons:

Unreliable, Poor Build Quality, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

good optics appallingly badly made mine fell apart within two years and the cost of repair was way too high. optics work well but are old fashioned and the price range given the quality of construction is far too high. this lens needs a serious design review and vastly superior construction. not recommended.


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Great Lens with Improving Results

By Mo538 from Detorit, MI on 10/20/2012


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Great For Portraits, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Have been using this lens with my T2i in lieu of kit lenses (18-55mm and 55-250mm) over the past year. Am enthusiast/my extended family photographer by default. All of my best pictures have come with this lens. The problem I have with the lens is depth of focus, but I am still experimenting with non-auto settings, it is not necessarily the fault of the lens. No issues with the mechanical problems noted on other reviews thus far and have easily taken 2000 pics with lens. Relied on reviews to buy product originally and would buy lens again based on my experience. What I would have done differently with this lens was to buy the camera body only and this lens separately. I still use the 2 kit lenses but wish they offered the same super sharp focus this lens provides. I continue to shoot with this lens as my first choice and continue to evolve into a better photographer. Looking for next lens to complement this one......


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I love this lens

By gerrit from Riverside, California on 10/04/2012


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality, Nice Bokeh

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is my all time favorite lens. Performs as well as any L lens........ if you know how to tickle it.


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Great Lens!

By Rick from Virginia Beach, VA on 09/12/2012


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I've owned this lens for almost 7 years and have used it on the Digital Rebel XT and 40D with great results. The lens delivers very sharp images through the entire focal range except at f/1.4 where images can be a little soft but just a little. Focus is very fast and the lens has been trouble free. It's been my favorite for so many years I was surprised and disappointed to read about focus problems others have experienced.


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Very happy

By Abz from L.A. on 08/30/2012


Pros:

Great Low Light Lens, Lightweight, Good Price

Cons:

A Little Soft At 1.4, Worried About Reliability

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I'm surprised to read so many reviews telling of the focusing problems. I haven't experienced any of them and I hope it stays that way. I use this lens mainly to photograph bands and it has always produced great results for me. I've had it about 2.5 years and I'm a little worried now. The focus is quick and works great with my 7D. The f stop is almost always at 1.4 or 1.8 due to my hatred of flash. The results could be a bit sharper but are decent enough to make every band I've shot very happy. awesome for portraits also.


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Have to use a tripod

By sparty113 from Crossville TN on 07/02/2012


Pros:

Canon

Cons:

Semi-sharp Images, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Images are blurry! No IS need to use a tripod to get decent images!. I returned the lens!


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Awesome Camera Lenses

By canonguy from Undisclosed on 06/02/2012


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This lens is worth the price. The shots it takes are amazing and its way more worth it than buying a F1.2


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clicking

By Nanc from New Liberty, Iowa on 05/28/2012


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I have had this lens for about 2 years... love it... but about 6 months ago it started making a clicking sound when using it.. and then it wouldn't work... UGH!


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Problems return

By CreativeImagery from La Quinta on 03/26/2012


Pros:

Great Images When Working

Cons:

Poorly Made

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This lens failed to focus immediately after purchasing it. Canon wouldn't replace it, but did repair it. Worked fine and produced great images. That is, until today, when again the AF stopped working. If you search the net, you will find this is not uncommon.


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Really good Buy

By Miked from Winter Springs, Fl. on 03/07/2012


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

When I got the lens, at first I was having trouble understanding how to best use the product. I bought it so I had a fast lens for indoor shooting while on vacation. I travel to Europe and like to visit museums etc. When I learned the best focus settings I have received some excellent photo's. I would not change a thing and I have had this lens for over 6 months.


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Save your money. It was great while it worked!

By jess from TN on 02/28/2012


Pros:

Sharp

Cons:

Cheaply Made, Focus Issue!

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Save your money for the L 1.2 instead. This one has serious focusing issues and started not wanting to focus at 6 months old. Then just after a year it has stopped focusing completely. I can't even focus it manually. I will be sending it in for repairs. On the bright side I loved it for the first 6 months. Hope it last longer after the repair!


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Excellent purchase at that price

By ughridk from Undisclosed on 02/05/2012


Pros:

Low Light Photography, Nice Bokeh At F/1.4, Light Weight, Cheap Price

Cons:

Blurry At F/1.4, High Chromatic Aberration Under F/2

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I own this lens for 5 years. This is an excellent lens with fast AF and good image quality. I use it for wedding photography and it is OK. Don't wish to get the image quality of an L lens but you will get a lot for that price. At f/1.4, it is not really sharp but if from f/2 it is ok.


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Great lens when it works

By Jose from Thornton, CO on 01/28/2012


Pros:

Sharp Images

Cons:

Auto Focus Problems

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This is my fastest lens and the only Canon lens that has failed me. I had to shoot a wedding in low light conditions when the Auto-focus stopped working. I had only mounted the lens about 5 times before it stopped working. Make sure you carry another lens with you. The quality of photos is very sharp but the design is very poor.


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GREAT indoor/low light lens!

By cazzy from Undisclosed on 12/30/2011


Pros:

Excellent For Close-ups, Great In Low Light, Great Indoors, Fast Focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I just got this lens for Christmas so I haven't used it that long, but so far I am in LOVE. I have a lot of pets I'm constantly taking pictures of inside in low light, and it's usually so hard to get a quick, accurate focus. This lens, though, does it very well. I also took it to a party and got amazing, perfectly focused pictures of my friends, even when they were moving and jumping around. I cannot say enough good things about this lens.


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Canon 50 mm f/1.4

By ronnag from SF Bay Area on 12/04/2011


Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

It works for a few months and than you're stuck with a manual lens. Manual is OK, but you pay for an autofocus. You have to wonder why Canon still knowingly produces a lens that has such a short life, without fixing the problem.


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Lens Quality

By ktepark from Undisclosed on 11/09/2011


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I love this lens. I am a believer in using only prime lens, there is just something that you can get using prime lenses that you cannot get using a zoom. I feel like for this price you could not get a better prime lens, seriously. I have thought on numerous occasions, should I replace this lens with the L-series 50mm f1.2, but it is just so much more expensive I can't get myself to do it. Now that I've been shooting with this lens for over a year now, I don't even consider replacing anymore. It's lightweight, very versatile, works well in low light conditions and has a beautiful brokah. The crispness of this image is suburb at all apertures. I can't imagine going anywhere without this lens.


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Very good lens util it breaks

By Boogdan from Fremont, CA on 11/04/2011


Pros:

Great Portrait Lens

Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Takes fantastic puctures until focusing assembly breaks with no aparent reason (see other reviews).


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Best Lens I Own

By Mackaboogie from Evergreen, CO on 11/03/2011


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Obviously this lens is not as versatile as a zoom lens, but the image quality is SO superior to any of my other lenses that I choose this over getting the subject framed in many cases. Lately I have been using it for video projects and the depth of field at f1.4 creates a look that cannot be reproduced by standard video cameras. This week I shot interview in very low light and at f1.4 I got the video to turn out like it was taken on a bright day. I really want to try the f1.2 now to see if it really gets better than this. For the money, I think this is a great lends to have in your bag.


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Great alternative to flash!

By Gram from Spokane, WA on 10/20/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus

Cons:

Noisy Af Motor

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I went to authorized Canon dealer with every intent to purchase a flash due to the low speed of my 60D kit lens 18-135. Salesman suggested faster lens and I am glad I listened. This is a great lens, worked great on 60D and works equally well on 5d Mark II. My only concern is noise of AF motor and rumor that the motors are weak and don't stand the test of time. Super fast lens, beautiful bokeh, I hope my motor lasts!


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Lovely little thing

By Lupus from Portland, Oregon on 09/03/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This lens is a great value! I shoot mainly at 1.4 and am very impressed as to how crisp the colours and clarity are. The build quality is sturdy, but not in comparison to an L lens. Autofocus seems to 'hunt' horribly, so manual focusing is a must for this lens.


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A Very Superb Lens

By Me from Los Angeles, CA on 08/05/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Light

Cons:

Slow Auto Focus Indoors

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This lens is AMAZING. This lens is one of the sharpest that I have ever used! I have worked with a 70-200mm IS USM f2.8L, a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L, an 85mm f1.8 USM, a 24-70mm USM f2.8L, a 24-105 IS USM f4L, 15mm f2.8 fisheye, 10-22mm f3.5- 4.5 USM EF-S, and a 50mm 1.8.This lens is by far one of the sharpest! It is easily "L" image quality if not "L" build quality. It is a solid lens. For the outstanding images it produces, it is very light and maneuverable. It is amazing for portraits and for indoor events as well. The only issue I se with it is that it is slow to focus when indoors. It should also come with the hood but that is just a preference. For it's relatively low price, this lens cannot be beaten. Definitely one of the best purchases I have made!


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sharpest images

By nursewamh from california on 05/13/2011


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

No Weatherproofing

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

sharpest images ever. have 16-35 II L, 100 macro L, 100-400 L, and this lens. none have the sharpness and clarity this lens has. this is worth every penny. have had this lens for 18 months and no mechanical malfunctions.


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Excellent Learning Lens

By Kashius from Las Vegas, NV on 01/21/2011


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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


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Great lens, but AF fails easily

By ms_shell from Pennsylvania on 01/06/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I LOVED this lens for the 13 months that the AF worked. But it stoppped working and apparently a lot of people have had issues with this. Recommend using a hood even with storage if you get this lens. I've read elsewhere that light pressure on the front of the lens can make the AF fail.


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WOW......awwwww shucks

By The Kidnatural from Texas on 01/05/2011


Pros:

Great Value, Low Light Performance, Great Background Blur, Good Lens For Hi Def Video

Cons:

Fear It May Stop Working At Any Time

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

I purchased the 50 F1.4 to compliment my new T2i for video. I have some very stunning enlargements hanging on my wall from this lens. My risk in buying this lens after reading reviews did not pay off. The lens focusing ability began to fail after 10 months. Service at Canon could not have been better and I received the lens back again working. The lens worked for a few months and the focusing does not work at the extreme ranges, manually or automatically. It is under warranty but I am worried what will happen when the warranty runs out. The Bokeh blows the kit lens away. I am amazed at the bright shots in low light at an event where fellow photographers are waiting on their flash. It is difficult to plan a lens collection when one of the lenses is frequently on injured reserve. I hope Canon upgrades the design soon and offers a trade-in rebate.


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Short Life Span

By PSD Wizard from Thornton on 12/25/2010


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This lens has a history with AF problems with the very min. of usage. I need a fast lens and I wanted to stay with the Canon brand. Now I will be forced to try a different brand for 50mm f/1.4. I love the L series lens. I wish canon made one in 50mm range.


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Excellent standard lens

By Doctor from Athens on 12/11/2010


Pros:

Small, Super-sharp Images, Light, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I have this lens for more than five years now and it is very good in all aspects. It is small, light, very fast focusing. The sharpness is amazing from f/2.8 upwards and the contrast is L grade. I hear that some people have focus problems but i haven't. It works great at all times... My suggestion to anyone that wants a very fast low cost lens is go out there and get one...


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Basketball Star

By LTC Nukem from Little Rock, AR on 12/04/2010


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I bought this after reading a review in a magazine. I photograph sports for the high school where I teach. This is my 'go to' lens for basketball. The ability to shoot crisp high speed shots in low light gives me great pictures for my students. I own (and love) the 70-200mm lens used by many professional photographers, but I still prefer this one. I do use it with either my Canon D50 or my 1DS Mark III. These have enough megapixels to allow me to zoom the shot after it is taken instead of at the moment. I have read reviews questioning the quality of the motor,etc. I have not had any problems and I have taken thousands of pictures with mine. BLUF: I love it.


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Autofocus will eventually break

By MDA from Undisclosed on 09/15/2010


Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Great lens, unfortunately there's a design defect in the AF implementation that makes it prone to early failure...


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Great portrait lens

By Benn from Arkansas on 08/10/2010


Pros:

Fast, Sharp, Great Quality, Lightweight

Cons:

None What So Ever

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Highly recomend this lens.I've had this lens for over a year and never had a problem with it.Tack sharp and will produce wonderful background blur.


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Fantastic Lens

By PhotoDude from NJ on 08/08/2010


Pros:

Sharp Lens Color Focus Light Weight Low Light

Cons:

None

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Absolutely fantastic color, great contrast, combined with tack sharp focus and light weight make this low light lens a great all around lens. Like this better than the f/1.2 which is so heavy.


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Good glass but bad motor

By Melo from Undisclosed on 07/22/2010


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Lightweight

Cons:

Auto Focus Quit Working, Auto-focus +/- 5 Feet

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Like a number of other users, mine develops the back focus problem. I bought this almost 2 years ago as a replacement to the 50/1.8 cheapo plastic. I was hoping to get faster and quieter AF and I did, but these come at the expense of getting way out of focus. Having struggled with proper focusing for several months now the motor is completely dead. This leaves me with a choice of either a sharp manual-focusing lens or a slow+noisy but with accurate AF f/1.8 old lens. So, now I am back to the old 50/1.8! In summary, this 50/1.4 is an excellent lens optically but has very bad AF mechanism.


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Very nice image quality

By Microtech from Sacramento, CA on 07/10/2010


Pros:

Extremely Accurate Color, Extremely Sharp Focus, Very Nice Contrast

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I am very happy with this lens so far. I purchased it one month ago and have used it on a few occasions so far. The picture quality is my favorite feature of this lens. However, i feel the lens lacks in quality. As far as image quality goes, this lens is very sharp after F/2.0. This lens reproduces color very accurately, one of the best in the canon lineup. The colors, plus the great contrast and high resolution make this lens top notch in picture quality. As far as build quality goes, i feel that this lens could have been made better. The lens feels very sturdy when you hold it. However, the focus ring does not turn as smoothly as one would expect from a USM lens. This problem alone is what gives me the impression that the lens might not be built as well as it could be. If this lens was built like the 85 F/1.8 i would be 100% satisfied. However, this lens is a major step up in quality from the 50mm F/1.8 that i had.


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Disappointed User

By Jasco1 from San Francisco on 05/17/2010


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus

Cons:

Back Focus, Semi-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Having read many magazine reviews on this product, I bought this liens to go with my 50D especially for very low light shooting. Having had many disappointing results I made some test on the lens. I thought my first set of test was faulty so I repeated the test 3 times to confirm my findings. To do the test I place a wooden metre ruler on a table top with the ruler going away from the camera. The camera was set on a tripod at an angle 45 degrees onto the ruler. The focus was on the centre of the ruler which was 2.5 metres (just under 8 feet) from the camera. A cable release was use to minimise camera shake The test was done under low light as I would normally intend for the lens to be use. The following are the average of the 4 sets of test I made At f1.4 - unsharp results - back focus 1.5 inches At f1.6 - unsharp results - front focus 0.5 inches At f1.8 - better sharp sharpness but still not tack sharp - back focus 1 inch At f2.0 - slightly sharper again - front focus 0.75 inch At f2.2 - tack sharp - focus spot on At f2.5 - sharpness start to deteriorate - back focus 1.5 inch At f2.8 - sharpness gone - back focus 2 inches At f3.2 - back focus 3 inches At f3.5 - back focus 3.5 inches At f4 - back focus 4 inches. Testing was not done on other f-stop. If you were to purchase this lens I would suggest strongly for you to test for the best f-stop for your lens.


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Wait Until the next Mark Version

By dkromp from Davis, CA on 04/27/2010


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

> not worth upgrading from the 1.8 cheapo 50mm toy until Canon puts out an updated mark of this lens that competes w/ L build > autofocus when it works is ok, but is terribly unreliable > build quality is cheap, drop it and you're done for (talking from experience > very sharp photos and great optics


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Good Valued Lens

By Mike from Hawaii on 03/31/2010


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images, Good Value, Nice Shallow Dof When Wide Open

Cons:

Not An L Lens But It Has A Metal Mount!

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I had a couple of these lens...both work well, no auto focus problems, good reliable Lens for me


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Love this lens

By treasures from Jackson, WY on 03/19/2010


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is a great carry around lens. I have used it for portraits and it is tack sharp and wonderful for floral photography. I took a trip to the southwest when the cactus were blooming and I just used this lens. It is lightweight and was perfect! It is also wonderful for low light situations like street photography at night. A lot of times I will just bring this lens and push myself to shoot creatively. It works! I have had to send it in after 2 years of heavy use, to get the focus fixed from sticking. I would have to manually get it close and then it would pop into focus. Therefore the 4star rating. Now it is back and good as new.


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Perfect

By Parblar from Southern Indiana on 03/07/2010


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I love shooting abstract architecture and wildlife with this lens because of the DOF you can get. You can get a portrait "framed" without literally framing the subject because of the selective focus that you can achieve. I love the bokeh and USM motor. Great lens, a must-have for beginners-pros


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Good as a Manual Lens Only

By Synthetix from Los Angeles, CA on 03/02/2010


Pros:

Nice Bokeh

Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Autofocus Stops Working

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

The glass in the lens is good, but as others have pointed out, the autofocus stops working after light use. This makes the lens useful only as a manual focus lens. With that in mind, it's overpriced. If you find one for sale, make a big deal to the seller about the autofocus being broken, and get a good deal on a decent manual lens.


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Great kids lens

By Brian from Lansdowne, VA on 01/25/2010


Pros:

Excellent Value, Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

If I only could have 1 lens it would be this one. The price is great and as long as you 'fill the frame' everyone will be impressed with your photos. From a 1.4 to 22 aperture it is very versitale. Don't waste your money on a kit lens. Learn on this lens first and I promise your photography will be better for it in the long run. The bokeh is very impressive even at 2.8 and your family portraits will be outstanding. It is lightweight and compact and no one will suspect that you are a 'pro'.


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Not Worth Purchasing

By amblaine from Oregon on 01/01/2010


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

I owned this lens for a year but didn't use it very often until the last three months. The focus is terrible. I would tell it to focus on one point and the lens would focus in back of it. It was an absolute pain trying to shoot photojournalism, events that only happen once, with such a slow, imprecise lens. I missed out on many shots because this lens could not automatically focus quickly. Do not buy this lens. It is a waste of money.


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Great Lens for Beginners

By Photo Chic from Undisclosed on 12/14/2009


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is actually a great lens for beginners; however a little pricey. Wonderful lens for outdoors. It has a nice effect if you don't use the flash indoors (if there is already enough lighting inside).


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Great until USM focus goes bad...

By Havok from San Jose, CA on 12/10/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This was the first lens I purchses for my camera and it was hands down my favorite lens. The pictures that I got from this lens were fantastic! The only problem was that after a few years, the Auto Focus stopped working. not clear as to why but it seems like others folks have had issue with this as well. I've switched to using an "L" series Zoom but I would still have preferred using this 50mm prime on some occasions. I don't know if it's worth the out of warranty repair costs or if I should just pick up an 50mm 1.8 since I heard that the difference may not be too bad in terms of image quality. For now, it sits in storage but is operable as a manual focus lens.


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it was real good

By thefunphotographer from Arkansas on 10/11/2009


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is a good lens and takes amazing pictures but it does have a couple of downfalls. The only thing that I didn't like was the plastic build. That is the only thing I didn't like and my pics turned out amazing.


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You have heard it before...

By Disappointed from New York on 10/07/2009


Pros:

Lightweight, Incredible Dof, Great Low-light Lens, Great All Purpose Lens, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Breaks Easily, Usm Built Poorly, Poor Build Quality, Non-trustable

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Yup, this lens is simply stunning... when it works. It will be a prize of your collection in fact. You will likely think this lens as the undoubtable best choice for your "leave in" lens... however when you need it badly, it wont be there for you. The USM focus system on this lens is unfortunately not reliable. I wish it was, it really would make this lens the best bang for the buck as others on this post have claimed. I however have found it to be the worst bang for the buck. 1.5 years of use, repaired a few times and is now broken, out of warranty, and currently making a wonderful paper weight on my desk. Such a bummer cause like i said, when it works, its is super sweet. I am now wondering if I should have it repaired again or just call it a wrap. Sigh... so bummed.


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It's an "OK" lens

By rogerb from Plano, TX on 08/09/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I've had some success with this lens under low light conditions. However it gets pretty soft at f/1.8 or less, so I find myself using it primarily in the f/2.2 - f/8 range and under those conditions, it's very sharp. I do have a concern about the build quality, however. This is absolutely not an "L" class lens. The focus ring has a fair amount of slop and doesn't feel very smooth, although the manual override is a nice feature.


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Best bang for the buck EF mount optic

By EOS4me from Los Angeles, CA on 08/07/2009


Pros:

Very Fine Bokeh, Very Shallow Dof If A Bit Soft, Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images, Cheap!

Cons:

Only Moderate Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The Canon EF 50 1.4USM is possibly the best bang for the buck in the entire EF mount lens system! Fast, quiet focusing and when stoped down two or three stops nothing short of my old EF 135 2L USM or EF 200 1.8L USM lenses are sharper on film or FF EOS 1Ds mkXX bodies. If you can't produce incredible images with this lens get a point and shoot. If you do not use a 50mm prime regularly the EF 50 1.8 II lens while not quite as sharp when stopped down to optimum aperture is very, very close. You will need an EOS 1Ds mkIII or 5D mkII and/or fine grain chromes to see the difference though. The down side to the EF 50 1.8 II is noisier, much slower focusing and really cheap construction which shouts "HANDLE ME VERY CAREFULLY OR YOU'LL BREAK ME." I mean REALLY cheap. I've owned several examples of both the EF 50 1.4USM, EF 50 1.8 mkI and mkII lenses and they were all excellent shooting lenses. I currently only have an Ef 50 1.4USM for its great image quality, lens speed, much better focus speed, low noise and construction quality. I use it all the time on my EOS 1N, EOS 1D, EOS 1Ds/MkII bodies.


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Great lens

By KInbama from Alabama on 06/12/2009


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

zero trouble with this lens, great portraits and very good in low light situations like night sports events.


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At first the lens worked ...

By Pat from Undisclosed on 05/04/2009


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Auto-focus +/- 5 Feet, Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

At first the lens worked great. Super sharp images, great depth of field, fast auto-focus. But, after a few months the auto-focus is off by several feet in front of or behind of the subject of interest. I thought it might be my camera but all of the other lenses focus properly. Not sure if accidentally turning the focus ring manually in the wrong direction may have loosened something or if the USM is going bad.


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I like this lens so much I baught 2

By Tony from Jacksonville, Florida on 04/21/2009


Pros:

Lightweight, Strong Construction, Quick Focus, Sharp Focus

Describe Yourself:

Professional

Best Uses:

Special Effects, General Use, Night Photography

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This 50mm is my everyday lens. It has wonderful color and sharpness. At f1.4 the dof is very shallow but it's easy to fall for the beautiful bokeh. If you don't have this in your bag buy it! Dollar for dollar it's the best money you'll spend on glass! My daughter has become a semi-pro shooter and borrowed my 50 for a weekend. She tried to make off with it more than once. When she turned 21 I got her one of her own. She was giddy![...]. The guys at Beach Audio helped me get this to her on her birthday. Thanks guys!


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Unfortunately Unreliable

By Scorch from Los Angeles on 03/21/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Great out of the box. Excellent sharpness and dramatic DOF opportunities. Good color and clarity. Auto focus was poor after 3 months. Got it repair and it worked for a couple more months and failed again. Never had to deal with a Canon quality issue. Frustrating. Great price. Poor value in my experience.


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Nice Lens

By Buck Verified Purchaser from South Texas on 03/20/2009


Pros:

Rugged, Quick Focus, Durable, Sharp Focus, Lightweight, Strong Construction, Consistent Output, Easily Interchangeable

Describe Yourself:

Semi-professional

Best Uses:

Landscape Photography, Night Photography, General Use, Special Effects

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

A nicer lens than I expected for the price. The photos are stunning.


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Best Price/Value Lens Ever

By TakeYaPictures from Los Angeles, CA on 03/19/2009


Pros:

Lightweight, Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I've read a bunch of reviews claiming that lens is not good and all I can say is... baloney. This is the best price/value lens ever. Over the period of last 20 years I've seen lenses that were better (L Series) and much more common - worse than EF 50mm f/1.4. If there ever was one lens (scratch the FD 50mm f/0.95) that I would always have on my camera - this tiny gem would be it. In fact, it is on my camera most of the time, and I shoot a lot of different pictures - landscapes, portraits, street, you name it. Get this lens - it's a must have for any self-respecting photographer, be it a pro or an amateur, whether you have the latest 1Ds or XSi body - and enjoy shooting!


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Good for $

By Buck Verified Reviewer from So, Tx. on 03/09/2009


Pros:

Consistent Output

Describe Yourself:

Semi-professional

Best Uses:

General Use

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Good product.


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Fast Lens for a good price

By aram535 from Centereach, NY on 02/26/2009


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This was my first prime lens and its been a champion. Light, small, fast and accurate. I have had zero issues in the past 2.5 years.


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A bar lens!

By shamus from New York, NY on 02/13/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, A Low Light Work Horse.

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I really like this lens! It is fast and sharp, I have to have a real need to change to my zoom lens. I find it has great speed and is great in poor light. Switch to manual focus and you can see everything in the optical viewfinder. I am very pleased with the light gathering ability of this lens. A true bar lens for a good hand held shot.


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Great concept poor execution

By Tphoto from Seattle , WA on 02/04/2009


Cons:

Poor Build Quality, Auto Focus Quit Working

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Loved this lens at first but after 1 yr autofocus has completely quit working.


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Great lens nearly perfect

By Jin SF from Undisclosed on 01/28/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus

Cons:

Chromatic Aberrations

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This is simply a great lens that every Canon SLR/DSLR owner should own one. I own two of this lens, not because one broke or out of order, but simply because I really can't live without this lens, so I need to have one back up. I use this lens on my Film SLR and Digital SLR. The results are just stunning, sharp and vivid. I never have any problem with the focus; it is fast and quiet even under low light situation. One problem that bothers me is the Chromatic Aberrations. Under normal lighting, Chromatic Aberrations is hardly visible,but once you are in a back lite situation, Chromatic Aberration become very disturbing, though you can still able to reduce it to an extend. Other than the Chromatic Aberrations, everything is pretty good. Highly recommended. By the way, I had used this lens for more than 5 years.


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Great Portrait and Low-Light Lens

By Robert from San Diego, CA on 12/24/2008


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The 50mm f/1.4 is a great lens for low-light shooting and produces superb portrait shots. The depth of field at maximum aperture can be tricky to use effectively depending on your distance from the subject, but that is the nature of shooting wide open. When used correctly though, the background blur is beautiful and the clarity is great. Highly recommended. This lens is the perfect balance between the 50 1.8 and the 50 1.2L


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great everyday lens

By Anonymous from Undisclosed on 12/23/2008


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

i've had this lens for nearly half a year and i love it :) i use it for my school yearbook and this lens is on my xti 90% of the time. the AF hasn't been much of a problem for me so far, it stopped working once three months ago but i decided to buy a hood for the front element of the lens and it works just fine. as for the build, it's alright. better than the 1.8 for sure... the images are sharp, but it's really frustrating when it focuses on something else in the back.. focus is alright.. i just hate that it has a rotating front element..


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Forget it

By shyto from Cambridge MA on 12/19/2008


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus, Poor Build Quality, Quit Working

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Total failure in 14 months of very light use, 100 photos.


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Awsome Images, but bad build quality

By Briago from Central Florida on 12/04/2008


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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.


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Canon 50 1.4 loses AF

By Dave from California on 12/02/2008


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Small Compact

Cons:

Semi-sharp Images, Loses Auto Focus, Poor Build Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Hi, I love Canon cameras! However I have had issues along with others on the internet on the Auto Focus feature going dead on this lens. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I can't have this at a wedding etc. Please read the forums as they are true to form....It is hard to put your trust in this lens when you are shooting for money. thanks, Dave


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Amazing prime lens

By Vishnu G from Houston, US on 11/28/2008


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus, Good Built

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The 50 f/1.4 is my favorite when it comes to indoor and/or people photography. The lens is super fast and the IQ is amazing. I also own a 24-105 f/4 L that i use as my standard 'walk-around' lens and i think the 50 f/1.4 is comparable in IQ if not better. On a crop-frame sensor camera (my 40D) the 50mm translates to about 80mm which make it ideal for portraits. I would say if you need a prime lens for a long term this is the best bet. If you need a prime to experiment and learn then you could consider the 50 f/1.8. Bottom line - amazing lens and no complains whatsoever.


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