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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 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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54 helpful votes
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on February 13, 2015
I love this Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM standard and medium telephoto lens for Canon SLR cameras! It has an Ultrasonic type auto focus with full time manual focusing. It’s exciting to know that every time I use this lens I get no side chromatic aberrations. The lens is lightweight and perfect for travelling. Compared to other prime lens like the L series, this lens is a winner as it goes for only $399.00. If you are accustomed to shooting in low light or indoors shoots, then use this lens. Admittedly, this is the only lens in the Canon EF system that combines with the micro USM and still manages to pull off a full-time manual focusing with the lens! Of course there are times when you will need to change focus slightly and this lens is a smash hit that allows you to do so. Canon 50mm focal length lens has a way of producing natural looking shoots the same way your eyes would see images in real life. The only thing that should be of concern is that this lens is prone to vignetting at wide apertures of between F1.4-1.8. Barrel alteration is also common when shooting at wide apertures. This though shouldn’t worry you too much as it would require a keen eye to notice that there was barrel distortion while viewing the images. Flaring tends to happen as well. To counter this, you could use a short lens hood together with the lens. I noticed that flaring reduced considerably. For outdoor shooting, a circular polarizing filter normally does the trick of capturing vibrant clear pictures (Note: Keep in mind as you purchase the filter that the lens ring is about 58mm). If you have moving subjects, this is the fastest lens that you can use to capture the subjects. I also did experiment by taking black and white photographs and the results were mesmerizing. I wonder why I had qualms about it as I was deciding between this one and the f1.8. If this lens seems too expensive then you might consider using a bounce flash when shooting in low light environments! Overall, I recommend using this lens if you are shooting in low light conditions or if you need close up shots of subjects. This is an indispensable lens for Canon bodies that is easy to use and also very affordable and I would recommend it to anybody who is thinking of purchasing one.
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I've been shooting professionally for the past 6 years and remember back when I was using the old kit lens and 50mm 1.8 with my Rebel XTi. haha I really enjoyed my 1.8 back in the day, but the build quality and operation of the lens was so poor that I no longer brought it with me in the bag, and then I also stopped shooting that focal length all together. Seeing that I shot almost only cars for this time, 50mm on a crop body has limited use. I sold the lens, and continued on with my life and work.

Fast-forward to 2011 and I was no longer on staff as a photographer and became freelance. I had to open up what I shot and began shooting landscape, portraits, and bands. I have a 85mm 1.8 that quickly became my favorite lens of all time and decided it was time to move on the 50mm with USM. If a lens doesn't have full-time manual focus, I won't even consider it these days.

First impression: well-built. It's a fairly small lens that has tight tolerances and an appropriate weight for the size. Sliding it onto my 7D, it felt solid as the connections mated on the camera. Focus on the 7D is already on of the best for any dSLR, but with this "bright" lens, the camera can really snap onto anything very quickly. Of course I took the first shot at 1.4 and started laughing at the dreamy background. Finding how to work with the 1.4 has been a pleasure. The aperture is very good at isolating a subject but I find myself using it at 2.8 a lot because at that aperture it may be the sharpest lens I've ever used, and my back is filled with L.

Overall, $300 makes this a 100% no brainier to ANYONE with an interest in photography. It's fun and it's nearly perfect.

What would I improve? Probably the fact the front element moves outward (at least it doesn't rotate) under focus. I wish it were an internal focus...but can't complain for $300.
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I adore this lens. I find I get the best wide aperture shots out of this around the 1.8-2.2 range... it just drinks the light. 1.4 and 1.6 seem to be a bit soft which can make it hard to get a tack sharp focus on someones eye with such a shallow depth of field. When the background just falls off into cream you get spectacularly dreamy feeling shots. Autofocus is pretty fast and fairly quiet, and I haven't noticed any backfocus or frontfocus issues I need to address. On my crop sensor camera this makes an incredible portrait lens.

Since I purchased it, this lens has spent more time on my camera than any other. The lens hood should have come with it, though.
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Enthusiast: Photographyon October 21, 2015
I love this lens, It's got great depth of field, it's sharp and does great in low light and bright!

My dog has a fear of cameras, so it's really hard to get a nice shot of her, add to that she's a very dark black and shots of her are almost impossible. I had literally 3 really nice photos of her until I got this lens. If I take the extended battery off my camera, this lens is small enough that she won't actively flee from it, and it's fast enough to grab clear shots of her as she's moving around.

Great for portraits, great for moving kids.

These pictures are basically SOOC, I did a very small amount of brightness/contrast adjustment.And the one of my dog is actually SOOC. I mean, like, no effort, just great pictures.
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VINE VOICEon February 23, 2014
I debated on buying this lens for a long time but am doing some home studio work and needed a fast, short-range lens and decided to go for it. Wow, it's nice Construction is what you might expect for this lens. It's not a L-series. But what matters to me most for this one is whether it's sharp and this definitely is. It's as sharp as my 70-200 f/2.8 L zoom and that's saying something. I know my way around Canon lenses pretty well - also have bought the 85mm, 70-200 f/2.8, 24-105, etc - and can definitely say this is a great lens, especially for the price. Highly recommend.
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on September 27, 2014
It's pretty much a must buy if you are serious about photography at all. This lens is fast, and I mean fast, you will be shooting hand held at ISO 100 in places you'd never imagine possible.

Quick run down of why I like it:
- Great focal length
- It's lightweight
- Low distortion
- Focuses fast
- Great bokeh

Is it sharp? It's good enough wide open, and sharp as a tack stopped down to f/2.

Really though, I think the number one reason that I love this lens is because it is such a versatile focal length with a fast aperture, and great performance in low light. Here's an example of why it's such a great focal length, you can take portraits with it at a very personable distance, from across the table, it's easy to take a quick head and shoulders shot, step back a few feet, and you can take a full body no problem, a couple more, and you can get the whole group in. Really taking photos of people with this lens just feels right. and while there still is some distortion in your images even on full frame it's not a big issue.

I bought the f1.8 version originally and while it's a great start, it's way too soft wide open, and found myself shooting at 2.8 almost all of the time, because if I didn't I was always disappointed with the results. Ultimately I wish that I had bought this lens to begin with, I debated it heavily and while I understand that it's not for everyone, and that the 1.8 is a great budget option but really, if you've spent more than one day debating between the two, and can afford to get this one, just get it, you won't regret it.
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on March 15, 2015
What are you waiting for? If you're looking at this, you already know what you're looking for. Plenty of reviews all over the place for this lens. I went from the 50mm f/1.8 to this one. The f/1.4 is a big step up, both in quality of construction and the pictures you get. If you're serious enough about photography to want to get this lens: PULL.THE.TRIGGER.

Each you shot you take without this lens is another potentially wasted opportunity. Sure the f/1.8 can get really great, beautiful pictures *compared* to what it costs. If that's all you need, then move on. This is for someone looking for a little more. close up portrait shots will benefit from the extra stop.

Once again, if you're planning on keeping photography as a long term hobby, this is the one that will stay with you. The thrifty (f/1.8) can join the rest of your camera equipment in the closet if you are fickle about snapping pics and will give up on photog quickly. This is the one. Get it. I see pros with this lens all the time.
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on August 19, 2014
The Canon 50mm f/1.4 is an incredible lens. Period. It's that simple. It does exactly what you would want it to do. It can take extremely sharp photos even in less than stellar light and the f/1.4 gives you the option to completely blur out everything not in focus. It hads a real artistic point of view.
The focus is super quick. It snaps to exactly where you want it, in milliseconds. It may be because I'm used to the 18-135 STM lens (which is insanely quiet), but I definetly due notice a decent amount of noise from the lens when focusing. Nothing overpowering, just a slight whir while it changes between focus points (only while in auto focus, of course). So as long as you don't plan to be taking a lot of fast moving video and you stick to stills and portraits it will be a great buy.
The build quality is alright, it will definetly last a decent amount of time, but it is made from plastic, a pretty high quality plastic nonetheless.
The size is extremely small, it fits in the palm of my hand, and I have averaged sized male hands.

Overall I love the lens and would definetly recommend this lens. If you are stuck between the 1.8 and 1.4, go with the 1.4. It will last you longer, the extra stop will give you a much wider range in which you can shoot.
Bottom line: Buy the lens.
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