By Scott Umstattd
Canon Lens Reviews | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens:
When you've had enough of the kit lens that came with your Canon DSLR purchase, get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. It may the most acquired and kept lens by many professional and amateur photographers.
The Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is so popular and such an important lens because it only costs about $100 (even less when used) and it returns sharp images even when the aperture is wide open. Stop it down just a little more to f/2.8 and f/3.2 and the lens gets even sharper.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is also a great lens if you are shooting video with your DSLR.
But be forewarned, this Canon lens is cheap. It is cheaply made of cheap plastic and it will break if you drop it. It has only five aperture blades. So, it doesn’t have the bokeh of the 8-blade, $1,500 Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens. But the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens is so small and light that I hardly notice it in my bag. The Canon 50mm f/1.2L can weigh you down if you are travelling.
When I need a low light lens, I often turn to my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. At 50mm, it's also a great portrait and low light wedding lens. I can also steal the last minutes of sunlight to finish out a day of shooting with this lens.
Focusing is not lightning quick and the colors are not as good as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens but remember: $100 vs. $1,500. It's not really a fair comparison.
If you are looking for a cheaper way to take powerful pictures, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 will give you much better results than any standard kit lens for less money. And it certainly outperforms other kit lenses in low light situations. Throw a Canon Extension Tube on it and you've got a pretty good combo for macro photography.
Since this is a prime lens you lose the ability to zoom. But then again, your pictures will look so much better compared to your zooming kit lens!
Opt for better pictures. Opt for a better lens. Better glass will give you cleaner images to take into post production. This is a great first lens and it is the best choice for budget conscious photographers who have grown weary of their kit lens.
Yes, it is plastic. And yes, it will likely cause some major damage if you drop it. I bet I could shatter this lens if I threw it against a brick wall. Other lenses that cost ten times as much are better made and can withstand drops, bumps, dust or moisture and probably wouldn't shatter if thrown against a brick wall.
But how often do you go around testing how sturdy and weather tight your lenses are? I don’t drop lenses very often and it's even less often that I throw my equipment against brick walls. If you give your Canon 50mm f/1.8 II the same loving care you would give a $1,500 lens the fact that it is plastic won’t matter.
Canon Lens Reviews - Talk is cheap. Here are some pictures taken with my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.
ISO - 400. Aperture - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/250.
ISO - 800. Aperture - f/5.6. Shutter Speed - 1/13.
ISO - 800. Aperture - f/7.1. Shutter Speed - 1/80.
ISO - 320. Aperture - f/3.6. Shutter Speed - 1/50.
Photo taken with a Canon 30D and a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens.
ISO - 100. Aperture - f/1.8. Shutter Speed - 1/800.
ISO - 5000. Aperture - f/5. Shutter Speed - 1/80.
ISO - 640. Aperture - f/3.3. Shutter Speed - 1/125.
ISO - 100. Aperture - f/6.3 Shutter Speed - 1/100.
ISO - 100. Aperture - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/50.
Bottom line: f/1.8 for about $100.
Get one one and never look back. This won't be your everyday lens, but it will save your day time and time again as long as you keep it close by. Which isn't hard because it is so small and light. Just don't throw it against a brick wall.