Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM review
The EF 50mm F1.4 is a member of Canon's mid range of primes, and build quality is good if not excellent. The lens mount is metal, and the barrel plastic; however whilst the construction is distinctly superior to the (much cheaper) EF 50mm F1.8 mk II, it's not quite up to the standard of Canon's similarly-priced primes such as the EF 85mm F1.8 USM and EF 100mm F2 USM telephoto twins. The front element is recessed by about 1cm from the filter thread, offering useful protection against stray light at all focusing distances, and the entire optical assembly moves backwards and forwards as a unit by about 8mm for focusing.
On the camera
The 50mm F1.4 is slightly larger than usual for its class, due mainly to the need to fit in an autofocus motor system; however it's much more compact than Sigma's monster 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. It balances well on all Canon DSLRs (and unlike the Sigma doesn't completely dwarf the compact entry-level bodies), with the focus ring falling readily to hand when required.
This lens uses an autofocus system unique within Canon's lineup, namely a micro-type ultrasonic motor which features full-time manual override. This isn't quite as refined as the ring-type USM systems that Canon use in their other mid-range lenses, as it still requires an internal gear train. Autofocus is fast and reasonably quiet on all Canon bodies, if again not quite up to the standard of ring-type USM lenses. As always, it must also be noted that focus speed and accuracy is dependent upon a number of variables, including the camera body used, subject contrast, and light levels.
Lens body elements
Reported aperture vs focal length
This lens allows an aperture range from F1.4 to F22 to be selected.
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens||$399.99|
|Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens||$349.00|