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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed

by Canon
4,527 customer reviews
| 613 answered questions

List Price: $125.00
With Deal: $99.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $26.00 (21%)
In Stock.
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Standard Packaging

From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 83%
See review summary and sample images
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Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

  • 50mm focal length
  • 80mm equivalent focal length on Canon APS-C cameras
  • F1.8 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Micromotor-type AF motor without full-time manual focusing
  • 52mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Lens not zoomable
23 new from $99.00 101 used from $65.00 14 refurbished from $78.99

There is a newer model of this item:

Lens Compatibility Information: Canon EF-S lenses are only compatible with APS-C sensor DSLR cameras. Canon EF lenses are compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras.

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  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed
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Total price: $107.39
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Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
  • Receive a free 8x8 Shutterfly Photo Book promo code via email with select digital camera, lens, sports & action camera, network attached storage, external hard drive, or memory card purchase. Here's how (restrictions apply)
  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed" and save 48% off the $125.00 list price. Buy with confidence as the condition of this item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the "Amazon A-to-z Guarantee". See all Used offers.

Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Silver Award January 2009
Ultimately, this is a lens we'd encourage any Canon DSLR owner currently shooting with 'kit' zooms to try.
Andy Westlake Andy Westlake


This is a lens which we'd encourage any Canon DSLR owner currently shooting with 'kit' zooms to try. The overall image quality when stopped down a bit is very impressive indeed, and the fast maximum aperture offers creative options which are well worth exploring. It's a pity about the build quality and harsh bokeh, but ultimately this lens hits a price:performance ratio that's very difficult to beat.

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent image quality when stopped down
  • Essentially no lateral chromatic aberration
  • Low price

Things to consider

  • Low build quality
  • Harsh and distracting bokeh due to pentagonal aperture
  • Vignetting at wide apertures on full-frame cameras
  • Inconsistent autofocus in low light

Suggested for

Inexpensive and sharp, this 50mm prime punches above its weight when it comes to image quality, and functions well as a standard 50mm on full-frame and a portrait-friendly 75mm (equivalent) on APS-C

Not suggested for

Build quality isn't great (you get what you pay for). Autofocus is slow and unrefined, and bokeh can be somewhat harsh when images are examined critically.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Image Quality
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Product Packaging: Standard Packaging

This is considered the standard lens for use with Canon SLR cameras.What's in the box: Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens, E-52 52mm Snap-On Lens Cap, Lens Dust Cap E (Rear) and 1-Year Warranty.

Product Details

Package Type: Standard Packaging
For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]| User Manual [240kb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches ; 4.6 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00007E7JU
  • California residents: Click here for Proposition 65 warning.
  • Item model number: 2514A002
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,527 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]
  • Date first available at November 3, 2002

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2,135 of 2,165 people found the following review helpful By Richard Aubin VINE VOICE on April 10, 2005
Package Type: Standard Packaging
Once upon a time the 50 mm lens was THE standard camera lens and was THE optical benchmark by which manufacturers were judged and compared. Although the basic lens focus has now shifted (at least at the low to mid amateur level) to zooms - you can still benefit from years of research and development that went into designing the 50 mm lens and this here lens may be the best lens, dollar for dollar, that you can ever buy. The question is can you afford not to own this lens?

Years of development have brought us a lens that has a fast aperture of 1.8 - far faster than any consumer zoom lens - and that is sharp as a filed tack. Be forewarned about the sharpness . . . if you are taking pictures of people, this lens is unyielding in its sharpness and may well surprise you and your subjects whose every blemish is captured. The lens has a fabulously shallow depth of field if you want to use the 1.8 aperture to blow out a background. This lens is also ridiculously inexpensive. It is not USM - so it is a little loud. It does not have a moving focus scale. For the money though - this is heaven.

As to the build quality - yes, it is plastic. No, it's not built like the Rock of Gibraltar. If you are going to give this lens extensive use as your everyday lens and you shoot a lot, it may not hold up all that well as one reviewer suggests. However, I've now had this lens and used it fairly regularly (although not as the primary lens) for about 8 years and it is still in great condition. In my mind, spend the $$ on this first before you go and drop $330 on the 50mm 1.4 USM lens and I think you'll find it gets the job done nicely and that the extra $250 on the 1.4 may not be worth the difference in build (major difference), speed (minor difference) and image quality (minor difference).
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1,226 of 1,265 people found the following review helpful By P. Lehmann on December 28, 2005
Package Type: Standard Packaging
Wow! My theory now is that Canon doesn't put this baby as their kit lens because many people would decide that they DONT NEED ANOTHER ONE! And many of them would be right!

Like others, I bought the Rebel XT and the 28-135 IS lens. The 28-135 is heavy and priced like a gold brick. I guess it does OK, and I do keep it mounted most of the time.

And like others, I stumbled on this lens somehow, read the raving reviews, and for the price figured, "What the heck?"

This lens in tack sharp. It shows the fire in the colors you photograph. The wide aperture means candles can be excellent lights for portraits. Its narrow field is great.

There are pitfalls though. I snapped a pic of my face at arm's length using autofocus a while back and (1) the focus locked on the tip of my nose and my face was already blurring (2) the lens was so sharp that I saw blackheads clearly on my nose tip I can't really see in the mirror (doh!). I've read that dSLR images are slightly soft to aid in later editing. I can only imagine what it would do on a film camera.

Yesterday while camping I slapped this lens on. Unlike the 28-135, this one is light enough that I didnt notice I was carrying a camera everywhere. At night I put the lens on the top of the car pointed at the sky, set the shutter for 15 secs, and hit the button. Much to my amazement, the lens not only showed hundreds of stars that were invisible to my eyes, but it also found a galaxy. That pic is on the customer image section of this page. You can see what I saw, but the smaller size doesnt do the lens justice.

One quirk of Amazon is that this page keeps alternating pictures of lenses. This lens does not have the distance focus scales on the outside of it.

Zoom is nice for many things.
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641 of 688 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Davis on December 30, 2005
Package Type: Standard Packaging
I've had the 50mm f1.8 for about three months now, so I wanted to put in my two cents worth after a little field use. What originally attracted me to this lens was, obviously, the price. It is very, very inexpensive. This is likely due to the fact that the housing is, unlike its predecessor the Mark I, entirely plastic. That initially put me off, but after seeing some images posted that had been taken with this lens (and after seeing the prices of the f1.4 and the used mark I)I decided that I really had nothing to lose. There are, as with most lenses good and bad elements to this lens. Lets start with the bad.

Keep in mind that if you are shooting a canon DSLR (as I am) this 50mm lens actually behaves as an 80mm lens, so it isn't that terribly wide. The fact that it is functionally 80mm can make framing shots a bit difficult. This is definitely a secondary lens and really isn't that appropriate for a "walking around lens." At least it isn't for me, as I tend to prefer shooting wider angles.

If you have some sort of mishap with your camera, like dropping it, you can likely kiss this lens goodbye. I have fortunately never had to test this, but I imagine that it wouldn't stand up to any sort of impact very well. The flimsiness of the build is very obvious when compared to some of the older canon lenses. MY 35-135mm USM is about 10 years old, and has a metal chassis. These lenses can often stand drops and still operate. This is not so for the 50mm mark II.

Since everything but the glass is bare bones, the autofocus isn't terribly fast. If all you have ever worked with is USM lenses, you will have to be ready to take a little more time focusing. If you have experience with the 18-55mm kit lens, you will find that it is about the same.
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed
This item: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens - Fixed
Price: $99.00
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