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on August 18, 2016
A must have lens!! sharp images and perfect for portraits and everyday stuff really. LOVE!!! The quality is amazing.
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on April 18, 2016
I've owned this lens now for about four months and it continues to blow my mind with each use, regardless of the price (which only makes it more mind boggling). From portraits of my family to action shots of my dog and wildlife/nature photography, this lens does it all and makes the rest of my kit look like a waste of space.

The f/1.4 setting takes simply beautiful photos but it's a bit prohibitive due to the extremely shallow depth of field. If I focus the lens on my dog's nose, her eyes are totally blurred out. This makes it a great setting for artistic use (especially awesome when capturing insects, flowers and other macro images) but not as useful when taking photos of people or scenery.

Crank it up to around f/2.5 or so - still below almost any other stock lens available - and the options explode. Kids, animals, bugs, flowers, wildlife - the photos are beautiful, the depth of field is still dramatic enough to assist with making your photo's subject stand out clearly against the fore/background and the lens still lets in enough light to take crisp, low-noise photos in low-light environments. It also has very little lens and color distortion compared to the lenses that came with my camera.

I strongly, strongly recommend this lens and shooting exclusively in RAW. The photos you get after a bit of post processing will be suitable for 3-5' wide canvas prints.

For the price, there's no excuse not to own this lens. Buy it and you're guaranteed to love photography even more than you already do.

FYI I have a Canon T3i body and until this lens used a stock/kit 18-55mm zoom and 55-250mm zoom lenses. Neither compare to this one, though I still have to use the 18-55mm when I need the wider angle (family shots indoors mostly). That's the only real "con" with this lens - which you know you're getting if you know what a 50mm lens is - it is very difficult to get complete shots indoors. This is not the lens you want if you're taking photos at a party or taking a lot of family photos indoors.
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on February 14, 2016
I'm a new dad and wanted a camera so that I could take better shots of my baby than what is available on my phone, despite it being a great phone (use it for 4K video). I'm a noobie without the slightest clue about photography at all. Didn't even read the manual on my camera OR the lens.

My sister in law has a canon and a canon lens with great shallow depth of field (something I can do in Adobe but it is time consuming and not as natural looking). She let me use her Canon t2i camera when we were in the hospital, and that's why I got my camera. When I realized I couldn't get my much more expensive t6i camera to do what hers did, I realized I needed a better lens than the kit lenses I had.

People said in order get that bokeh look, (shallow depth of field), look for a low f-stop and 50mm. Okay. I don't know what that means, but I know it was how to get that artsy look I wanted for my daughter. So I got this lens. It doesn't zoom, it just does bokeh and does it well. Sharp enough for my general purpose.

Got this with a clear circular polarized lens filter at 58mm diameter. Again, don't know what that means. Don't care. I know what it does. It's a picture gooderizer. It gives me much more natural contrast without being harsh. I notice it especially in my custom black and white settings. If you're a sound guy, it's like adding air to a mix with a clariphonic or Maag eq.

That's how I took the picture below. I'm now mad that I didn't do this years ago. I love taking pictures but I always used point and shoot cameras. Good ones, but there is no comparison.

You can spend more, but if you are a noob with an ASC sensor camera like the canon t series, this is your lane. If you are a pro, it's not a bad lens to have. Not too big or small, well built, and not so expensive you're scared to use if out doors or leave it on your camera around your neck. There's a smaller one, but splurge a little. Expect to become addicted to buying lenses and filters and budget accordingly.
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on July 27, 2014
I had been using the Nifty Fifty for quite a while and was happy with it, but decided I was going to work more with primes and wanted to get a step up. I couldn't justify the cost of the L series (I didn't need weather seals and I don't throw my lenses around enough to worry about the better build quality) and so far I can't imagine the L would have brought another grand worth of performance to the table. There are plenty of other reviews talking numbers, so I won't bother with that and instead will just say that I shoot almost everything with this lens. I am an available light/constant light photographer, so being able to shoot with little ambient lighting is a must and this lens does not disappoint. I've shot UV-lit fluorescent paintings (and people), candlelit scenes and more with no extra lighting. When I go on location, most of the time all I carry is this lens and a flash, which I rarely use. The step up lens, EF 50mm f/1.2L USM is no doubt a great lens, but an extra $1,200 is a lot to pay for an extra third of a stop.

For reference, I use a Canon 7D and often shoot 2-3 thousand shots per month as part of my artwork. If I wanted to improve my shots with this lens, I would more likely look to upgrade the body than anything else.
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on April 3, 2013
I'm a semi-professional photographer, and this lens took my photography to a whole new level. Having a prime lens is something that I highly recommend if you don't have one. This lens in on my camera 95% of the time because of how great it is in low light. Even in highly lighted situations it's amazing because you can get ultra fast speeds.

I've heard mixed reviews about the 1.4 V 1.8. Here's my opinion. If you just want good family pictures as an amateur photographer then go with the 1.8 because you probably won't notice the difference. However, if you shoot video or are like me semi-pro to pro then the 1.4 is the way to go!

Just one more note, this lens is very sharp once you get into the f/4-8 range. The focal point is very small at 1.4ish. However, the added speed that you get with it more than makes up for it. Anything below f/3 will be more "stylized" for effect. I definitely recommend this lens, and wouldn't take as great pictures and videos without it!
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on May 29, 2014
This is a prime lense that has a really short depth of field (although after you start working with this an f1.2 will be on your wish list). It really is my workhorse lense for cinema and I also have the f4.0 24-105 which is good on the fly, but when you are setting up a shot, this lense really does the trick. You'll have to move the tripod back and forth (not telephoto), but really shallow depth of field when you want it.

Oh, and give Adorama your email for the one year warranty extension. I was a trying a steadicam rig and my 5d with this lense hit the tile ! The AF didn't work after that and when follow focusing on a cinema rig it would hitch. 6 months after the Canon warranty expired, Canon still fixed it free because of the Adorama extension !

Nice. Great lense.
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on September 28, 2017
I've had mine for 5 years now and it still works great! I highly recommend not using UV filters with this lens though unless they're super nice ones. The chromatic aberration is something that I always wondered why it happened until one day I took the filters off and realized that green/purple fringe was so much less with out it.

Anyways! Love this lens! MUST HAVE!
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on May 25, 2017
I have owned this lens for a few years now. I used it first with a T4i and then with a 6D. I don't use it often because I like the versatility of a zoom lens and because I'm lazy to zoom with my feet. However, the images I get with this lens are often better to much better than the ones I get with my 24-105 L lens. It is true that the images are a tad soft with the aperture wide open but they get razor sharp if you close it down a bit. For children though, this softness can be actually quite pleasing.
When my brother is in town and we are shooting with two cameras, I always put this one on and he gets to shoot with the zoom lenses.
Bottom line, this lens allows me to obtain beautiful and sharp images.
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on January 11, 2015
what can i say - i've owned 3 of these over 15 years and absolutely love the quality of images this lens produces. sure, it's not as rugged as L lenses, the reason i owned 3 is because the previous 2 both died the same death, a small mechanical failure in the focusing mechanism (i took the 2nd one apart when it died and the little gears that drive the glass are quite delicate)

still, i beat up my camera gear quite a bit, so to get ~5 years of life out of these given the unbelievably beautiful smoothness of the images they produce is totally reasonable.

the original canon 5D and this 50mm is my absolutely favourite canon combo even with all the amazing bodies and lenses introduced since.
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on September 20, 2009
I bought this lens mostly for its incredible sharpness and optical qualities. Its very fast maximum aperture (f/1.4) was only a secondary consideration. I took it on a photo shoot yesterday and was not disappointed. I took nearly 200 pictures with it. The sharpness, clarity, and color saturation of the images it produced are on par with my best "L" series lens, which cost considerably more than this one!

Please be advised, however, that sharp, crisp images require an aperture of f/4.0 or smaller (higher f numbers, up to f/22). Opening the aperture more than f/4.0 results in softer images. At f/1.4, the images are very soft, much softer than I am willing to accept. To maintain image sharpness and overall quality, I found it best to increase ISO as needed in order to avoid using an aperture wider than f/4.0 (or use flash).

Also be advised that this lens has no IS (Image Stabilization), meaning that the shutter speed should not be slower than about 1/50 second. If you go below 1/40 second, blurry pictures can be expected.

Finally, note that this lens only functions as a 50mm, "normal" focal length lens on full-frame cameras. If your camera has a 1.6 crop sensor, as mine does, this lens will be the equivalent of an 80mm short telephoto lens.

In summary, if you want a lens that takes incredibly sharp, clear, crisp images at apertures of f/4.0 and higher (up to f/22), this lens will make you very happy. But if you want a lens that produces very sharp, high quality images at wider apertures in dimly lit, available light situations, you would be happier with the 50mm f/1.2L lens, which handles low light conditions much better. But that lens costs about 4 times as much as this lens!
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11 comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse