AF problems on 50mm 1.4?

Started Dec 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
M Stewart Contributing Member • Posts: 557
Re: AF problems on 50mm 1.4?

John Little wrote:

I got a 50mm 1.8 for Christmas. I had seen a lot of online talk about the AF problems, and mine definitely has them. Since a lot of people have talked about replacing the lens once, even twice, and still getting replacements with the same AF problems, I was wondering about replacing it with a 1.4. I haven't read anything online about the 1.4 having the same AF problems as the 1.8 but I just don't want to trade up ($200 up) for the same problem.

Does anyone have experience with this?


Both original and Mark II versions of the 1.8 have broadly similar, non-USM, focus motors.  The 50 F/1.4 has a unique version of the USM, with a clutch allowing manual focus touch-up after the camera's done its AF-ing.  Several years ago the 50 F/1.4 was regarded as "delicate" in this area, and these pages frequently carried postings about the problem. Mine too failed without warning, and I certainly can't recall any form of stress which was responsible for the failure.  Canon UK repaired it, and it's been OK since - probably my sharpest lens at mid-apertures.  I have no idea whether recent production has cured the basic problem.

My copy of the original 50 F/1.8 does seem well built, with focus distance window and metal mount.  I gave my copy of the Mark II away, as I couldn't stand the fiddly lens-hood mount arrangement.

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M. Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK

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