Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

Started Dec 7, 2020 | Discussions
sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 19,537
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
2

Sittatunga wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

Ferazzzz_2011 wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

It's compact and as far as I can see from this review it will be usable for most pictures at f/4.0, and all pictures at f/5.6. I can imagine it does a better job than the RF 24-105mm stm at 50mm. It also gathers lots of light for your AF-system.

I've got me a used ef-m 32mm f/1.4 for my M50, as I think the price of the M6mkII will drop the coming years. I'm not exited with the idea of a compact too cheap lens on a chunky R or R5 body.

If you have the EF-M 32 there is no need for this lens. The 32 is in a different class man. More like the quality of the 35 L II on APS-C...

Love my 32.

I really don't see why Canon has chosen for a compact design over great IQ for this RF 50mm. We already have M for compactness..... For the non f/1.2 we should have gotten something on par with the RF 85mm IS f/2.0.

It's so Canon has something for everybody. The RF 85mm f/2 is likely to be better, but it is more than three times the price of this lens and ⅓ of a stop slower. The EF-M 32mm lens is more than twice the price and effectively ⅔ of a stop slower. Again, it's likely to be better in a lot of situations, but, if me, it's too expensive for a crop format lens.

I can see that RF 50mm f/1.8 selling to those who want something compact without buying an M outfit as well, or to those who want more quality stopped down or more low-light capacity than the 24-105mm STM without spending a fortune. I would consider it, when it's time to replace my EF 50mm f/1.8. It won't stop Canon making an f/1.4 lens later on that's more to your taste. You don't have to like everything in Canon's catalogue, but choice is good.

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

It looks like a complete redesign to me

All that is different here is the flange depth and the new aspherical element. Same # and combination of elements, same design, basically the same performance. Look at the space between the rear element and the mount. There's even more space to the sensor. This design doesn't take advantage of the new mount at all and it shows in photos.

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MikeJ9116 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,241
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

Sittatunga wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

Ferazzzz_2011 wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

It's compact and as far as I can see from this review it will be usable for most pictures at f/4.0, and all pictures at f/5.6. I can imagine it does a better job than the RF 24-105mm stm at 50mm. It also gathers lots of light for your AF-system.

I've got me a used ef-m 32mm f/1.4 for my M50, as I think the price of the M6mkII will drop the coming years. I'm not exited with the idea of a compact too cheap lens on a chunky R or R5 body.

If you have the EF-M 32 there is no need for this lens. The 32 is in a different class man. More like the quality of the 35 L II on APS-C...

Love my 32.

I really don't see why Canon has chosen for a compact design over great IQ for this RF 50mm. We already have M for compactness..... For the non f/1.2 we should have gotten something on par with the RF 85mm IS f/2.0.

It's so Canon has something for everybody. The RF 85mm f/2 is likely to be better, but it is more than three times the price of this lens and ⅓ of a stop slower. The EF-M 32mm lens is more than twice the price and effectively ⅔ of a stop slower. Again, it's likely to be better in a lot of situations, but, if me, it's too expensive for a crop format lens.

I can see that RF 50mm f/1.8 selling to those who want something compact without buying an M outfit as well, or to those who want more quality stopped down or more low-light capacity than the 24-105mm STM without spending a fortune. I would consider it, when it's time to replace my EF 50mm f/1.8. It won't stop Canon making an f/1.4 lens later on that's more to your taste. You don't have to like everything in Canon's catalogue, but choice is good.

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

It looks like a complete optical, mechanical and electronic redesign to me

I wouldn't say a complete redesign.  More of a tweak to compensate for a shorter flange distance with some minimal improvements added in.

Sittatunga Veteran Member • Posts: 4,340
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

sportyaccordy wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

Ferazzzz_2011 wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

It's compact and as far as I can see from this review it will be usable for most pictures at f/4.0, and all pictures at f/5.6. I can imagine it does a better job than the RF 24-105mm stm at 50mm. It also gathers lots of light for your AF-system.

I've got me a used ef-m 32mm f/1.4 for my M50, as I think the price of the M6mkII will drop the coming years. I'm not exited with the idea of a compact too cheap lens on a chunky R or R5 body.

If you have the EF-M 32 there is no need for this lens. The 32 is in a different class man. More like the quality of the 35 L II on APS-C...

Love my 32.

I really don't see why Canon has chosen for a compact design over great IQ for this RF 50mm. We already have M for compactness..... For the non f/1.2 we should have gotten something on par with the RF 85mm IS f/2.0.

It's so Canon has something for everybody. The RF 85mm f/2 is likely to be better, but it is more than three times the price of this lens and ⅓ of a stop slower. The EF-M 32mm lens is more than twice the price and effectively ⅔ of a stop slower. Again, it's likely to be better in a lot of situations, but, if me, it's too expensive for a crop format lens.

I can see that RF 50mm f/1.8 selling to those who want something compact without buying an M outfit as well, or to those who want more quality stopped down or more low-light capacity than the 24-105mm STM without spending a fortune. I would consider it, when it's time to replace my EF 50mm f/1.8. It won't stop Canon making an f/1.4 lens later on that's more to your taste. You don't have to like everything in Canon's catalogue, but choice is good.

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

It looks like a complete redesign to me

All that is different here is the flange depth and the new aspherical element. Same # and combination of elements, same design, basically the same performance. Look at the space between the rear element and the mount. There's even more space to the sensor. This design doesn't take advantage of the new mount at all and it shows in photos.

Roughly scaling off the photos, the RF rear element is about ½" closer to the sensor.  Don't forget that the RF bayonet is 24mm close to the sensor than the EF bayonet.  The doublet is the other side of the diaphragm. The only thing that's the same is the total number of elements. It's meant to be a cheap lens, but that aspherical element must have some effect on its performance because a spherical one would have been cheaper. Every single element is different, even the iris is different. That's too be expected, you can't change just one element in a compound lens without changing every other element to suit.

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,297
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
2

sportyaccordy wrote:

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

At least it focuses reliably, unlike Sony's.

I think they understand after 30 years of having a cheap 50mm f1.8 how important it is for the system. They could have made a nicer 50mm and charged $600 for it, but that's not the market segment they want. It's fine for people to be disappointed, but I understand where Canon is coming from and their goal for this lens.

Personally, I love the tiny size. I mean you can be m4/3 size class with this thing:

Compact Camera Meter (camerasize.com)

thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 8,859
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
1

Sittatunga wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

MikeJ9116 wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

Ferazzzz_2011 wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

It's compact and as far as I can see from this review it will be usable for most pictures at f/4.0, and all pictures at f/5.6. I can imagine it does a better job than the RF 24-105mm stm at 50mm. It also gathers lots of light for your AF-system.

I've got me a used ef-m 32mm f/1.4 for my M50, as I think the price of the M6mkII will drop the coming years. I'm not exited with the idea of a compact too cheap lens on a chunky R or R5 body.

If you have the EF-M 32 there is no need for this lens. The 32 is in a different class man. More like the quality of the 35 L II on APS-C...

Love my 32.

I really don't see why Canon has chosen for a compact design over great IQ for this RF 50mm. We already have M for compactness..... For the non f/1.2 we should have gotten something on par with the RF 85mm IS f/2.0.

The reason is that Canon likely had to leave space for a future RF 50mm f/1.4 at around $800.

I'm afraid we won't ever see a lens like that from Canon......

Canon produced 50mm f/1.4 lenses for their S range (1952), FL range (1965, 66 & 68), FD range (1971 & 73), New FD range (1979) and EF range (1993). Why wouldn't they produce an RF version? Ok, the EF version took six years to arrive, but never say never...

1993.....

six years....

Both too long ago and too far away in the future. That's a kind of never to me.

I'm hoping to shoot pictures of my kids before they are grown up adults you know. There really exists something as "too late".

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I love 50mm (equivalence)

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Karl_Guttag Senior Member • Posts: 1,443
Mostly Physics

sportyaccordy wrote:

<snipped>

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

A good bit of the reason is physics. To focus on infinity, a relatively simple lens has to be about 50mm way (i.e. a 50mm focal length lens by definition). The lens can be made shorter with more elements and complications, but that would likely add cost or hurt image quality. To focus closer the lens "wants" to be still further away (thus macro lenses and extension tubes move the lens further away).

What is most helped by the shorter flange distance to the sensor are wider angle lenses that naturally want to be closer to the sensor.

The RF50 f1.8 is pretty predictable. Basically an updated design for the RF-mount with some improvements in image quality but not spectacularly better.

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,297
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
1

thunder storm wrote:

I'm hoping to shoot pictures of my kids before they are grown up adults you know. There really exists something as "too late".

I can assure you that this lens can do that just fine.

Larawanista
Larawanista Veteran Member • Posts: 4,736
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
2

RDM5546 wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA0AmJCrMLU He says it may be a little sharper and a little more constrast than older EF 50mmf1.8 "Nifty Fifty". He also says he will be finishing a side the side comparison with the older 50MM lens soon.

1.8 vs 1.8 won't show day and night difference. I was hoping Canon will come up with a 1.4 on RF mount because the 1.2 is pricier than my pre-owned kidneys. And the EF mount 1.4 is older than old. Maybe price the RF mount 1.4 between this 1.8 and the 1.2, and I think there'll be a lot of takers.

Meanwhile I'm keeping the old EF50mm 1.4 because it still gets the job done.

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MikeJ9116 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,241
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
2

Noogy wrote:

RDM5546 wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA0AmJCrMLU He says it may be a little sharper and a little more constrast than older EF 50mmf1.8 "Nifty Fifty". He also says he will be finishing a side the side comparison with the older 50MM lens soon.

1.8 vs 1.8 won't show day and night difference. I was hoping Canon will come up with a 1.4 on RF mount because the 1.2 is pricier than my pre-owned kidneys. And the EF mount 1.4 is older than old. Maybe price the RF mount 1.4 between this 1.8 and the 1.2, and I think there'll be a lot of takers.

Meanwhile I'm keeping the old EF50mm 1.4 because it still gets the job done.

Another EF 50mm Canon lens that gets the job done is the f/2.5 macro version.  I bought it to use for macro shooting but found the IQ and sharpness of it to be wonderful otherwise.  I use it more than the f/1.8 or f/1.4 I own.  I have the convertor for it and with it I can shoot 1:1 macro shots or remove it and shoot normal ones.  Its focus is not the fastest but is accurate.  IMO, it is one of those older hidden gems that doesn't get the praise it deserves.

KEG
KEG Veteran Member • Posts: 4,175
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

tkbslc wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

I'm hoping to shoot pictures of my kids before they are grown up adults you know. There really exists something as "too late".

I can assure you that this lens can do that just fine.

EF 50/1.8 works wonderfully on RP, I have no doubts that RF 50 is going to be at least equally wonderful on it also.

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KEG

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 8,859
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

tkbslc wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

I'm hoping to shoot pictures of my kids before they are grown up adults you know. There really exists something as "too late".

I can assure you that this lens can do that just fine.

Thanks for the selective quoting and stripping all that context from this fragment. It's just so nice to have forum members around here doing wonderful contributions like this to our conversations.

I can assure you I've options doing it just a bit better.

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I love 50mm (equivalence)

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 17,297
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
1

thunder storm wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

I'm hoping to shoot pictures of my kids before they are grown up adults you know. There really exists something as "too late".

I can assure you that this lens can do that just fine.

Thanks for the selective quoting and stripping all that context from this fragment. It's just so nice to have forum members around here doing wonderful contributions like this to our conversations.

The context changed nothing.  You want a nicer lens than the 50mm f1.8 STM and talked about it for a bit.  And then you said you can't wait 6 years for a better one because your kids will be grown.

I said 50mm f1.8 can take kid pics just fine, which is true.

Did I miss anything?

thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 8,859
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
1

tkbslc wrote:

which is true

o.k.

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Jx9 Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
1

sportyaccordy wrote:

Jx9 wrote:

Does anyone know if there's noise when recording video like there is on the EF version? He usually does that test but didn't here.

He did and it's much worse.

He did not. That is not a video recording. The 35mm and 85mm are nearly silent in video mode (and slow) but noisy while focusing for photo mode. So no one knows if this lens is noisy during video?

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davev8
davev8 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,594
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
2

User6100568601 wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Basically no improvement from the EF version for twice the money. Thanks Canon

it's not true, I've both (I just sold the EF) with R6, RF is much better on the border, the corner are better too (but not very good at F1.8), it's slightly sharper in center, autofocus is faster, and construction is better (same 35/85 RF)

And of course it's much smaller without adapter and you have the control ring, EF version is 1990 lens design, 200$ remain a low-price, you can't expect 600$ lens performance...

i think in reality it very close opticly to FD designs from the 1970s

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David Franklin Senior Member • Posts: 1,650
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review
1

MikeJ9116 wrote:

Noogy wrote:

RDM5546 wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA0AmJCrMLU He says it may be a little sharper and a little more constrast than older EF 50mmf1.8 "Nifty Fifty". He also says he will be finishing a side the side comparison with the older 50MM lens soon.

1.8 vs 1.8 won't show day and night difference. I was hoping Canon will come up with a 1.4 on RF mount because the 1.2 is pricier than my pre-owned kidneys. And the EF mount 1.4 is older than old. Maybe price the RF mount 1.4 between this 1.8 and the 1.2, and I think there'll be a lot of takers.

Meanwhile I'm keeping the old EF50mm 1.4 because it still gets the job done.

Another EF 50mm Canon lens that gets the job done is the f/2.5 macro version. I bought it to use for macro shooting but found the IQ and sharpness of it to be wonderful otherwise. I use it more than the f/1.8 or f/1.4 I own. I have the convertor for it and with it I can shoot 1:1 macro shots or remove it and shoot normal ones. Its focus is not the fastest but is accurate. IMO, it is one of those older hidden gems that doesn't get the praise it deserves.

I agree. I had the f/2.5 since I got it new in the early 90's, and, stopped down one or two stops, this lens is as sharp as anything else you can use in the EOS universe. Yes, the focus is slow and the manual focus ring is tiny, but it is an amazing and seriously under-appreciated lens. All that said, I traded it in this year - with some other stuff - when I bought my R5 and the RF analog of that EF lens, the RF 85mm f/2.0. I still miss that tiny 50mm, but I'm very happy with my new setup.

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sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 19,537
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

Jx9 wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Jx9 wrote:

Does anyone know if there's noise when recording video like there is on the EF version? He usually does that test but didn't here.

He did and it's much worse.

He did not. That is not a video recording. The 35mm and 85mm are nearly silent in video mode (and slow) but noisy while focusing for photo mode. So no one knows if this lens is noisy during video?

Do you have any examples of lenses that are noisy in manual focus by wire but silent in video AF? It's the same mechanism.

He said it's a problem for video at around 4:00:

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sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 19,537
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

Sittatunga wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Sittatunga wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

Ferazzzz_2011 wrote:

thunder storm wrote:

It's compact and as far as I can see from this review it will be usable for most pictures at f/4.0, and all pictures at f/5.6. I can imagine it does a better job than the RF 24-105mm stm at 50mm. It also gathers lots of light for your AF-system.

I've got me a used ef-m 32mm f/1.4 for my M50, as I think the price of the M6mkII will drop the coming years. I'm not exited with the idea of a compact too cheap lens on a chunky R or R5 body.

If you have the EF-M 32 there is no need for this lens. The 32 is in a different class man. More like the quality of the 35 L II on APS-C...

Love my 32.

I really don't see why Canon has chosen for a compact design over great IQ for this RF 50mm. We already have M for compactness..... For the non f/1.2 we should have gotten something on par with the RF 85mm IS f/2.0.

It's so Canon has something for everybody. The RF 85mm f/2 is likely to be better, but it is more than three times the price of this lens and ⅓ of a stop slower. The EF-M 32mm lens is more than twice the price and effectively ⅔ of a stop slower. Again, it's likely to be better in a lot of situations, but, if me, it's too expensive for a crop format lens.

I can see that RF 50mm f/1.8 selling to those who want something compact without buying an M outfit as well, or to those who want more quality stopped down or more low-light capacity than the 24-105mm STM without spending a fortune. I would consider it, when it's time to replace my EF 50mm f/1.8. It won't stop Canon making an f/1.4 lens later on that's more to your taste. You don't have to like everything in Canon's catalogue, but choice is good.

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

It looks like a complete redesign to me

All that is different here is the flange depth and the new aspherical element. Same # and combination of elements, same design, basically the same performance. Look at the space between the rear element and the mount. There's even more space to the sensor. This design doesn't take advantage of the new mount at all and it shows in photos.

Roughly scaling off the photos, the RF rear element is about ½" closer to the sensor. Don't forget that the RF bayonet is 24mm close to the sensor than the EF bayonet. The doublet is the other side of the diaphragm. The only thing that's the same is the total number of elements. It's meant to be a cheap lens, but that aspherical element must have some effect on its performance because a spherical one would have been cheaper. Every single element is different, even the iris is different. That's too be expected, you can't change just one element in a compound lens without changing every other element to suit.

I'm admittedly not an optical expert, but my point is the changes between this and the EF lenses are far less substantial than other focal lengths. The RF 35/85s for example have different #s of elements and gained capabilities ("macro" and/or IS). Their designs are completely different (for example the 35 basically flipped 180 degrees from a retrofocal design to a normal one). This 50 by comparison is a very minimal update over the EF version.

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RDM5546
OP RDM5546 Senior Member • Posts: 3,004
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

sportyaccordy wrote:

Jx9 wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

Jx9 wrote:

Does anyone know if there's noise when recording video like there is on the EF version? He usually does that test but didn't here.

He did and it's much worse.

He did not. That is not a video recording. The 35mm and 85mm are nearly silent in video mode (and slow) but noisy while focusing for photo mode. So no one knows if this lens is noisy during video?

Do you have any examples of lenses that are noisy in manual focus by wire but silent in video AF? It's the same mechanism.

He said it's a problem for video at around 4:00:

The topic of video in his prensentation is very brief and it not clear what testing he did but in still mode it is like pretty noise. This is no surprise because Canon wants the focus to be fast and this STM is noisy when fast. However, Canon slows down the focus STM motor in some other the RF lenses to reduce the noise.

I had not tested mine but now I am curious what my RF 50 does in video mode in terms of noise. I have not been that concerned since I three other lenses that I think are better for video. However, I just tried my R50 on R5 and it is very quiet to my ears but I have no played back audio track. I doubt that wisper it makes in 4K30-D video mode I used will be heard. I just tried still mode too and it seem quick but makes a noticeable sound. I can not just it is loud or not in other people view but it is a very quick click that is not real loud. It would not be heard by people in the room. The mechanical shutter makes more noise to my 74 year old ears.

I do not know how made the noise in the video. It seem to move the lens rom mfd to infinitity and took a long time to complete. That is not normal use the way I will use the lens. It seem surprising fast and quiet in still and very quiet in video. That may be just me not hearing the RF50 noise Frost is referring to. It does not seem to be noisy in my real world trial use.

I wait with interest his side by comparison with the EF which is a lot cheaper build lens. It sharp enough for me though in my use and the RF tomy eys is sharper in the center and significantly sharper in the corners wide open.   Howver usuall the center is most important to me to the EF 50 was plenty sharp enough where my stories are told and surprising fast focus for a cheap lens.

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sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 19,537
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

tkbslc wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

I think the disappointment is still warranted. Canon didn't even take advantage of the added space from the deleted mirror box or the big wide mount. It's basically the old EF STM lens with a new element and control ring for 2x the money. I get the point of the lens but Canon seemed to put zero effort into it.

At least it focuses reliably, unlike Sony's.

I think they understand after 30 years of having a cheap 50mm f1.8 how important it is for the system. They could have made a nicer 50mm and charged $600 for it, but that's not the market segment they want. It's fine for people to be disappointed, but I understand where Canon is coming from and their goal for this lens.

Personally, I love the tiny size. I mean you can be m4/3 size class with this thing:

Compact Camera Meter (camerasize.com)

I feel like you made this exact hyperbolic argument when rumors of this lens came out. Please post where someone asked for a $600 50 1.8?

Canon was able to completely redesign the budget 35- a much harder FL- and add "macro" capability- at a $100 lower launch price. Obviously that's not possible here, but for double the price I think they could and should have designed something just as small that basically wasn't a near total ripoff of the mediocre old EF lens- which itself is just a mildly updated version of the original 50 1.8 from the 80s.

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Sometimes I take pictures with my gear- https://www.flickr.com/photos/41601371@N00/

 sportyaccordy's gear list:sportyaccordy's gear list
Sony a7 III Sony FE 24-70mm F4 OSS Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Samyang AF 35mm F1.8 FE Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE
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