Top critical review
Love "fifties". But not this one.
July 26, 2016
I've owned many "fifties" over the years, by many makers, for film & digital cameras. This is my first for a Canon EOS. After reading the gushing reviews throughout the www, I thought I'd give it a try. Sorry to say but this is the worst 50mm I've owned. I'm not going to knock the cheap plastic feel, that was expected for the price. Construction & function is about what you would expect on the front of a Powershot point & shoot camera, not on an EOS body. Performance is very soft, even with microadjustment I could never get a true sharp focus at any aperture regardless of lighting. The unit I received had inconsistent autofocus performance, hunts around a lot and sometimes fails to lock. Light falloff in the corners when shooting 1.8 - 2.8 is pretty dark (though can be used to kind of nice effect). The much praised "bokeh" from the 7 curved blade iris underwhelms and still produces distracting polygon shapes that flatten toward the outer edges of the frame to produce a distracting tunnel shaped blur (at least in my lens). A creative experienced photographer can have fun with this, sometimes all of these faults add up to a great "character" lens - but not this time. Other "fifties" I've owned over the years have been crisp, tack-sharp, contrasty & saturated, consistently allowing me to produce images full of character that the focal length is known for. This Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM however, produces output that just look junky and cheap as if through dull plastic optics. I'm the first to admit that maybe I got a bad one but it's not worth anymore of my time. it's been returned.
(note, I also owned the 40mmSTM, which is still basically a Powershot lens with an EF mount, but it's fun, sharper, and I'd highly recommend over this lens - however it's still cheap and the images look like they're through plastic optics, I ultimately ended up selling it)