Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

This review covers


» Image Quality «


» Sample Pictures «

» Conclusion «

» Further Information «

Table of contents

Shot with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II:

Part of a church at night  (50mm, f/2.8, 1/40s, ISO 1600, Full Frame)  © Gil De Sousa



EF 50mm
f/1.8 II

The EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an ultra compact and lightweight lens that offers a great maximum aperture at an incredibly low price. It's best for available light and portrait photography but can be used for all sorts of things. It is build from rather cheap-looking plastics and comes with the tiniest focus ring and a poor autofocus performance - mainly due to its lack of an ultra sound motor. It's a no-frills lens that comes without extras like image stabilization but though it's really a low-cost lens the image quality is quite impressive. Apart from the very low f-stops the lens is sharp from center to corner. It doesn't suffer from any curvature of the focal plane and neither are color errors in focused parts of the image an issue with this lens. But out-of-focus parts of the image do suffer from color fringes and due to the lens's angled aperture shape the beauty of blurred image parts could also be better. Distortion and corner shadow is also an issue with this lens but both are within acceptable ranges and can be corrected for in post.

The EF 50mm f/1.8 II costs only a third of the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM but offers a very similar image quality. In fact the EF 50mm f/1.8 II has a better performance in a couple of the image quality tests. The lens's weakest spot is certainly its autofocus and the lack of manual override during autofocus operation. If you can come to terms with that the EF 50mm f/1.8 II will be a great addition to your kit and will potentially spur your creativity.

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Further Information


-Data table

NameCanon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Model year1990
Market price (Germany)€ 100
Market price (USA)$ 120
CompatibilityCompatible with full frame cameras
Lens typePrime (fixed focal length)
Aperture range at shortest focal lengthf/1.8 to f/22
Aperture range at longest focal lengthn.a.
Model No.?
Number of aperture blades5
Aperture blades are circular?No
Has image stabilization?No
F-stop gain of image stabilizern.a.
Number of image stabilizer modesn.a.
Allows manual override during autofocus?No
Has filter thread?Yes
Filter size52 mm
Officially compatible with extenders?No
Has a metal lens mount?No
Weight4 oz
Diameter2.7 "
Length (mount surface to front end)1.6 "
Length - fully extended1.9 "
Length - fully extended with hood?
Shortest focal length50 mm
Longest focal lengthn.a.
Effective shortest focal length on cameras with APS-C sensor80 mm
Effective longest focal length on cameras with APS-C sensorn.a.
Minimum focus distance1.48 '
Maximum magnification0.15 x
Front element rotates when focusing?No
Front element rotates when zooming?n.a.
Extends when focusing?Yes
Extends when zooming?n.a.
Zoom lockable?n.a.
Number of AF ranges1
Number of AF presets0
Length of AF preset recall ringn.a.
Sealed against dust and moisture?No
Seal requires filter to be present?n.a.
Has AF stop switch?Yes
Has AF stop button?No
Has distance indicator?No
Distance information is in EXIF data??
Uses drop-in type filters?No
Drop-in filter sizen.a.
Length of zoom ringn.a.
Length of focus ring0.2 "
Number of lenses6
Number of optical groups5
Lens Hood
Maximum diameter?
Model No.ES-62
Lens Cap
Weight0.2 oz
Length0.2 "
Model No.E-52
Tripod Mount
Maximum diameter?
Model No.?
Case / Pouch
Model No.LP1014



Image Quality