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 Post subject: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:53 pm 
Now had this a month or so, i love this lens!

First, some pictures of the lens itself:

Next to the 18-55 kit lens.

Image

With lens hood (optional, not included) atached:

Image

And the all of the kit together:

Image

Now onto the reveiw itself:

Pros:
1. It's sharp, the image quality is typical of Prime lenses
2. It's well built, and when the hood is reversed on the lens for transport it acts as a good cushion from bumps and impacts (N.B. This lens had fallen off the back of a Land Rover, bounced and survived with no damage whatsoever thanks to this)
3. It has a very fast aperature, 2/3rds of a stop more than the f/1.8
4. It has fast focusing thanks to a USM drive
5. The front element doesn't rotate, so polarizing filters can be used with no issue
6. A decent sized manual focus ring in a usefull place

Cons:
1. It's a prime, so people looking for a zoom lens will be zooming with their feet.
2. At f/1.4 it can be a tad soft and prone to sometimes noticable Chromatic Abrations
3. It is quite small, those with bigger hands amoungst us may not find it large enough
4. Lack of Image Stabilization

As with all 50mm lenses on APS-C bodies it represents an 80mm lens in Full Frame terms, giving it a good short telefocal range, which combined with the fast aperature is very usefull for portrait photography. It isn't limited to this, I now use it more than the 18-55 for every day photography of everything and anything and find myself using it quite alot in my main focus area, Railway Photography. I rate this lens:

Build Quality: 4/5
Not quite up to L standards

Image Quality: 5/5
None of the lenses i own come anywhere near as sharp as this

Ease Of Use: 4/5
This is down to how well you get along with primes (N.B. i havn't tested this lens in MF, sorry traditionalists)

Overall (based on the rule of averages): 4.3/5

Some sample pictures across the aperature range:

Image

Camera Model: Canon EOS 450D
Lens and focal length: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Aperture: f/1.4
Shutter Speed: 1/4000
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Post processing: Resized

Image

Camera Model: Canon EOS 450D
Lens and focal length: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/500
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Post processing: Resized

Image

Camera Model: Canon EOS 450D
Lens and focal length: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Aperture: f/22
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Sensitivity: ISO 400
Post processing: Cloned out a dust spec, resized

This is just a tiny selection of what I have now taken (in excess of 1500 exposures) with this lens alone in a month :oops:!

If you are thinking of getting your first prime, or first prime since ditching film photography, but want something that fares better than the 50mm f/1.8 in terms of build quality, optical quality (granted the gain isn't the biggest leap up), and ease of use (especially from what i gather about the manual focus on the 50mm f/1.8 ) don't hesitate in taking the dive and buying this lens, and remeber that the lens hood is also a very usefull addition aswell!

Olly.

Edit : Whoops, edit made to the number of stops faster that the f/1.8 it is :oops:.


Last edited by puziparrot on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:52 am 
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 7:09 pm
Posts: 1091
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for the review PP!

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Victor
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:21 am 
Another thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
Posts: 6009
Location: The Netherlands
Wait, 2 stops more than F/1.8?

As far as I know it's only 2/3rds of a stop faster than a 1.8 ;)

Good review nonetheless.

_________________
I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:36 pm 
Best $100 you ever spent. I can't get over the Canon 50mm price for the quality. Spectacular


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:23 am 
You're confusing the f/1.4 and the f/1.8. The f/1.8 is the $100 lens, made of cheap plastic with a whiny focus motor. The f/1.4 is roughly the same price as the other f/1.4 lenses from other manufacturers and is a decent lens.


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