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Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens

by Canon
4.6 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews
| 58 answered questions

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  • 50mm
  • Macro
  • F/2.5
  • Filter Thread 52mm
7 used from $219.98
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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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens is lightweight and compact for general-purpose standard focal length shooting and for close-up 1:2 half-life size macro photography. A floating optical system enables sharp delineation at all focusing distances. With a large f/2.5 maximum aperture, the lens is effective in low light and provides shallow depth of field and its truly circular 6-blade diaphragm offers beautiful background blur.

From the Manufacturer

Want to bring small things into full-sized view? Turn to the Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens, which can uncover detail that would otherwise be impossible to detect by the naked eye. Ideal for shooting extremely minute subjects such as insects or the petals of a small flower, the lens offers a nine-element design and a floating optical system that focuses down from infinity to one-half life size (0.5x). Despite these macro optics, however, the lens also functions beautifully as a general-purpose normal lens. And should you want to focus down to life size (1:1), you can add an optional Life Size Converter EF to increase the working distance--a valuable feature in close-up shooting. Other details include a 46-degree diagonal angle of view, a 0.8-foot close focusing distance, and a one-year warranty.


  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.5
  • Lens construction: 9 elements in 8 groups
  • Diagonal angle of view: 46 degrees
  • Focus adjustment: Front group linear extension system with AFD
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.8 feet
  • Filter size: 52mm
  • Dimensions: 2.7 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches long
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Warranty: 1 year

Product Information

Product Dimensions 2.5 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches
Item Weight 11.2 ounces
Shipping Weight 11.2 ounces
ASIN B00006I53V
Item model number 2537A003
Customer Reviews
4.6 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #525 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
Date first available at September 22, 2002

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I bought this lens around three months ago for use with my Rebel XTI/400D. It has produced some nice shots and has great clarity and bokeh for portraits and the like. However, in this area it is really only as good as the "nifty fifty" 50mm f/1.8, which you can get on here for about $90.

For me, I like to take shots of insects and other animals that tend to be skittish. For that type of work, this lens is loud and finds it tough to focus quickly, so you need to work in manual mode. By the time you get the shot, the subject has moved out of the position you were after. Also, you don't get true 1:1 macro, so the details are not as good as if you fork out the extra for the 60mm Canon f2.8 Macro USM, which has the ultra quiet focus.

A recent review I read in a prestigious magazine put this lens a distant second to the Sigma Macro 50mm f2.8 EX DG, which costs about the same as this one and offers true 1:1 macro. If I could go back and buy that one I would.
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I never thought a $250 lens could be so good. I have been trying to buy lenses that are light-weight for my 20D, due to a neck injury problem, and this 50mm fits the bill.

Great in low light, and agree also, the bokeh is sweet. I do alot of bee chasing and manage some great macros with bees in flight with this one. All hand held. Can also take great indoor shots without flash, with a steady hand.I chose it also because it was one of the least expensive high rated canon 50mm's.

It goes well with another inexpensive canon lens, the 55-200mm ef f4.5-5.6 II, which also does well outdoors, including macro.

I am very pleased with both, and wouldn't part with them!
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I bought this lens to go with my Canon Digital Rebel XT. I absolutely love this lens. I got it to try some insect and other macro shots and it has served this purpose very well. With some practice this lens will produce fantastic macros with some great bokeh to boot.

I read the other reviews and must say that I have never scared an insect away with the noise as mentioned before. And I have taken countless insect shots with this lens. It is a bit louder than the other lenses I have but I don't see it to be a problem. The one problem I do encounter is when using the autofocus in a busy closeup scene it often will focus on the background instead of say a closer insect on a flower. When this happens I just flip it to manual and focus that way. No big deal.

Overall, great lens for an even greater price. Definitely worth it. (I submitted a photo of a bee that I took a couple of days ago with this lens as an example.)
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Verified Purchase
I purchased this lens back in March of 2005 to shoot static "Warhammer models" with my 10D. I found that longer lenses such as the Sigma 105mm, the Canon EF 100mm, and the Tamron SP Autofocus 90mm all were "too long" with the 10D's 1.6 focal crop and would result in requiring me to use a lot more physical space that what I had room for to get the shot.

The Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 is nearly a perfect match with the 10D for this purpose. Its small, its compact, and its short focal length do not require that I be standing three feet away from the model I'm shooting.

As far as shooting at non-static objects, such as insects, the lens is slow to focus and loud, in both noise and vibration, which results in "startled" subjects and missed shots.

The same also applies for non-macro shots as well. Its slow focus makes it a poor choice for action photography, and its loud enough to draw attention to you when you are attempting other shots as well.
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For less than $300, this is a pretty decent 50mm lens, but it's not the best choice unless you do simple, straight-macro work. Why? In my experience, for 1:10 or smaller magnification (focusing distance of about 0.6m or 2 ft), Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras provides better contrast and image sharpness than this lens at any aperture value. So, the only time this lens is the better choice is close distance macro work.

Now, when I use this lens at 1:2 to 1:5 magnification range, the resolution and contrast are good, but I noticed a bit too much chromatic aberration (CA) with shiny objects such as jewelries and silverware. The color is magenta and green, depending on the distance of the object in relation to the focusing distance. The CA decreased to some extent by stopping down. A significant drop of CA was seen at f/8 for 1:5 and f/11 for 1:2 magnification, although CA was still noticeable at those f-stops. Sure, at such magnifications, you would stop down to about that range anyway, due to very thin depth of field, but I would be happier of CA was lower from wider apertures for a bit more creative flexibility. Meanwhile, it's not impossible to correct for CA in professional image editing softwares, but that just means more editing work.

The lens is excellent for non-shiny small product shoots, such as hair accessories, cosmetic products, food, etc., although tilt shift would be useful whenever the image uses creative styling. Therefore, for creative macro work, TS-E90mm, possibly with extension tubes, would be more useful, although there is a price to pay in terms of dollars, pounds, and more demanding manual work.
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