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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

4.8 out of 5 stars 15,388 ratings
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50 mm Lens

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Brand Canon
Lens Type Normal
Compatible Mountings Canon EF
Camera Lens Description 7
Maximum Focal Length 49 Millimeters

About this item

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  • 50 millimeter focal length and maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Great for portraits, action, and nighttime photography; Angle of view (horizontal, vertical, diagonal): 40º, 27º,46º
  • Minimum focusing distance of 1.15 feet (0.35 meter) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x
  • Stepping motor (STM) delivers near silent, continuous move Servo AF for movies and smooth AF for stills
  • 80 millimetre effective focal length on APS C cameras, 50 millimetre on full frame cameras. Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups

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  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
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  • Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
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  • Tiffen 46UVP 46mm UV Protection Filter
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What's in the box

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
  • E-49 49mm Lens Cap
  • Lens Dust Cap E (Rear)
  • Warranty
  • Product information

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

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    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens


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    Product Description

    Product Description

    The wide f/1.8 aperture lets in more than 8x the amount of light compared to the standard zoom lens that is provided with your EOS. This results in sharper images with less motion blur and reduced need to use flash in dimly lit conditions so you can easily capture the atmosphere of a low light environment. The 50mm focal length allows you to fill the frame with your subject from a comfortable distance making it a great lens for portraits. A similar perspective to the human eye and its compact size make the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM a great everyday lens to always carry with your EOS camera. The near-silent STM (Stepping Motor) technology focuses extremely quickly when shooting photos, so you can react suddenly to capture fleeting moments. Creating high quality movies is easier with STM as it delivers steady and quiet continuous focusing, so your movies are smooth, and soundtracks only capture the surrounding sounds and not the noise of a focusing motor. The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM replaces the popular EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens which was affectionately known for giving outstanding picture quality at an affordable price. This latest version gives the same stunning photo quality but with a fast, near-silent focus motor and a more robust build that belies its price.

    From the Manufacturer

    EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

    Compact and lightweight—an outstanding walk-around lens Canon's EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a great entry into the world of EOS prime lenses. With an 80mm effective focal-length on APS-C cameras, 50mm on full-frame cameras, it's an excellent prime lens for portraits, action, even nighttime photography. Its bright maximum aperture of f/1.8 helps it not only to excel in low light, but also to capture gorgeous, sharp images and movies with beautiful background blur thanks to its circular 7-blade design. An updated lens arrangement with new lens coatings helps render images with excellent color balance, plus minimized ghosting and flare. Performance is brilliant, with a stepping motor (gear-type STM) to deliver near silent, continuous Movie Servo AF for movies plus speedy, smooth AF for stills. A redesigned exterior with improved focus ring placement makes manual focus adjustments a breeze. Canon's most compact 50mm lens, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM has a rugged metal mount, plus an improved minimum focusing distance of 1.15 ft. (0.35m) and a maximum magnification of 0.21x. Offering sharp performance for the best in movies and stills, it's a fixed focal length gem—the perfect lens for photographers and moviemakers to expand the creative possibilities with their EOS cameras.

    Specifications
    • Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 50mm f/1.8
    • Lens Construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
    • Diagonal Angle of View: 46°
    • Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual
    • Closest Focusing Distance: 1.15 ft. / 0.35m
    • Filter Size: 49mm
    • Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: Approx. 2.7 x 1.5 in. / 69.2 x 39.3mm, Approx. 5.6 oz. / 159g
    Sample Image
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    MTF Chart

    Customer reviews

    4.8 out of 5 stars
    4.8 out of 5
    15,388 global ratings

    Top reviews from the United States

    Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 17, 2019
    Style: 50 mm LensVerified Purchase
    Customer image
    5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best value in all of photography
    Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 17, 2019
    Ah, the “nifty fifty”! This is without question the best-selling lens from Canon, maybe even of all lenses. Its high price to performance ratio is the reason for this. It can be useful on both crop and full frame, and should probably be every beginners first upgrade lens, which I will discuss more in the review. As with all WOFG reviews, I will cover the pros and cons, offer advice for how to use the lens, and give some suggestions at the end.

    Let’s pro/con this thing!

    Pros
    1. Price – Right at the top of the list is the price, typically 125 USD, though sometimes it can be had new for as little as 100. There are few lenses in this price range that can perform at the level this lens can. Most come with large compromises; lack of or poor auto focus, increased aberrations or fringing, soft when wide open, terrible build quality, etc. The Canon F1.8 STM has minimal compromises. This is not to say there aren’t better lenses, just none in this price class. The closest is probably the Yongnuo 50mm F1.8, which is a cheaper lens (about 50 USD). Realistically though, the Canon outperforms it by enough to be worth the additional 50 dollars or so that it cost. AF performance alone makes it a better choice; the Yongnuo is spotty at best for AF.
    2. Image quality –Sharp lens, even when wide open it stays fairly sharp (wide open meaning when shooting at F1.8). Colors and contrast look good. If you are using an APS-C/crop camera like one of the Rebel series, you will see a clear difference in image quality with this lens over the 18-55mm lens that likely came with your camera. Full frame users, I personally feel like the F1.8 is a more practical option than the 50mm F1.4 USM, which I will breakdown later in the review as to why. The very good IQ combined with the low price is the reason I suggest this lens more than any other lens as the first upgrade to your camera. I cannot stress enough the value this lens has for either crop users or full frame users. Possibly the best value in all of photography.
    3. STM focus for video – If you are not familiar with the Canon STM focus, it is a silent focusing system made for video. It is also good for still photos as well, but depending on what you are doing it might be a little slow (see cons). In any case, when I put it to the test on an 80D and a 5DmkIV, it was very quiet in video; no sound could be heard as the lens focused. Note – Not all Canon cameras support the silent focus feature of STM. Any model older than the T4i does not support it. Also, the base models do not support it, even the latest versions (T5, T6, T7, or older). The lens can still use AF; it just might not be silent. One other note, STM requires power to be supplied to focus, even in manual. So keep that in mind if you plan to use accessories like extension tubes or other adaptors. Not all of them supply power to the lens.
    4. Great focal length – On a full frame camera 50mm is what you might call the most “classic” of focal lengths. Very useful for general photography as well as portraits that have a bit of context to them (meaning more of the surroundings are in the photo). It is also the most popular focal length for street photography (though I admit I don’t really get into that). On an APS-C camera it takes on a more specific role. The crop factor narrows this to 80mm equivalent focal length, which is just about perfect for portraits that have that classic “isolated” look. Think in terms of 8x10 portraits on the wall, or even senior portraits. Combined with the F1.8 aperture I would say it is the best choice for portraits on any APS-C camera for shooters on a budget. It will make similar photos on a crop camera as an 85mm will do on a full frame. A note on 85mm lenses – you have probably heard that 85mm is the best portrait lens. This however considers that you are using a full frame camera, where it is one of the most popular choices for portrait work. On a crop camera the 85mm lens is not as ideal for this purpose. One of two things will happen. You will have to frame everything too tightly (mostly headshots and bust ups), or you will have to move further away to correctly frame your subject. The added distance from you to your subject robs the 85mm of all the things that make it special for portraits when used on a crop (background blur). It isn’t just about being able to shoot at 85mm, it’s being able to do it from the distance it takes to frame a classic portrait, while shooting with a wide aperture to gain the background blur that it creates from that distance, while still having enough depth to keep the main subject in sharp focus. Moving further away decreases your compression and also loses detail. For the classic look you want to be close, and the 50mm gives you that on a crop sensor camera so much more than an 85mm will. This is why I recommend the 50mm focal length for portraits if you have a crop sensor/APS-C camera. It is much more about the distance to your subject with portraits, and knowing the length that works best for that based on your sensor size will take you quite far.
    5. Fast aperture – For those that have only used the lens that came with your camera, this right here is the main reason I think you should get this lens (other than price). The F1.8 aperture is pretty fast for a lens, offering not only a significant increase in light throughput but also will create the coveted bokeh effect for portraits as described previously. If you’ve not experienced what a wide aperture can do, this is one of the least expensive ways to do it, and fortunately it’s also a good one!
    6. Compatible with all EOS cameras – I am adding this here mostly for people’s info, since I frequently see people asking about “will this fit on my camera?” This lens is EF, so that means that it will work on all of Canon’s EOS cameras. That is the full frame models; 1D, 5D, and 6D. The crop sensor/APS-C models; all the Rebels, the mid-range models from the 10D to the 80D, and the 7D. It is also able to be used on the mirrorless cameras as long as you have the adaptor for EF lenses. It will even work on older film EOS cameras, going back to the very first ones released in 1987!
    7. Good minimum focus distance – At just over a foot, this lens can be pretty close to a subject and still focus. I find that on crop sensor cameras that makes it pretty good for close up work. Not as good as a true macro or even the EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM, but still pretty good. Add an extension tube and you have a budget macro setup! (I suggest Kenko Extension Tubes)
    8. Other stuff – 49mm filter thread means cheap filters if you are into that. Not a common size, so it might be better to use a step down ring with a larger filter. Metal lens mount. Full time manual focus override (you have to “wake” the camera by half pressing the shutter button before turning the focus ring). Overall improved over the older model, the EF 50mm F1.8 II (see comparison later). Very lightweight, especially when compared to other fast 50mm primes.

    Cons. Most of this is for your information and is not worth the removal of a star. I will say why if I remove a star for any reason. Otherwise it is up to the user to know what they are getting and how to use it.
    1. Not ideal wide open (F1.8) – Even though it is better wide open than the older F1.4 model, it still suffers from a slight loss in clarity when shooting at F1.8. Not a big deal since most shots will need stopped down a little to increase depth of field anyway (meaning shooting at a narrower aperture). I shoot at F2-F2.8 a lot for portraits, and appreciate the increase in sharpness without losing too much exposure or background blur. I think this is more noticeable on a full frame camera than a crop, since it’s around the outer edges where it is the worse (A crop camera doesn’t really see the outer edges of this lens). The center sharpness is still pretty good at F1.8. I didn’t notice any serious chromatic aberration issues either, but then I don’t use the lens in strong backlight scenarios where those problems become the most pronounced. I haven’t heard from others that it is a problem, whereas on the F1.4 model it is. (See comparison for more info)
    2. A bit soft in the corners – As to be expected on a lens like this, it loses clarity around the outer edges of the frame. This is most noticeable at F1.8, and is more pronounced on a full frame camera than it is on a crop camera. Once you stop down to even F2 you see an improvement, though it really never becomes as sharp on the edges as it is in the center at wider apertures. I don’t see this as a deal breaker though. This would be the biggest difference in image quality when comparing it to lenses like the EF 50mm F1.2, or the Sigma 50mm F1.4, both lenses known for their high level of optical performance. But those lenses are significantly more expensive. The Sigma is 950 USD, and the Canon is 1400! You get the “nifty 50” because the compromises vs price are just worth it, at least until you know if you want to invest more into a higher quality lens.
    3. Focus by Wire – Since this is an STM lens, there is no mechanical connection to the focusing gears. What this means is that as you turn the focus ring, instead of that tuning the focus, the camera is sent an electronic signal to tune it instead; it’s not as precise as mechanical focus. I don’t use manual focus on this lens so for me it’s not that big a deal. If you do a lot of manual focus, you might prefer the F1.4 model. Again, focus by wire doesn’t bother me, but I do not know even one photographer that prefers it over mechanical.
    4. No IS – Does not feature image stabilization. This is really only an issue when you want to shoot at shutter speeds slower than 1/50 sec (1/80 on crop). Since this lens has such a fast aperture there are not a lot of times that is going to be an issue. It makes it less ideal for vlogging though, but the focal length already makes it not ideal for that (vlogging is done from wider angles than this). For me this really didn’t matter since there was no scenario where I would be using this lens that having IS would be a benefit. But if someone wants a 50mm lens with IS, then this isn’t it. Canon doesn’t make one, and I don’t know of any third party 50mm lenses that have it either. Even so, adding IS tends to cause a slight loss in overall sharpness due to the floating element that performs the stabilizing, a definite increase in price, and probably a loss in overall max aperture. So I don’t think I would even want it on a lens like this, since the price, fast aperture, and IQ are the main reasons I am suggesting it.