Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

Started Dec 7, 2020 | Discussions
OP RDM5546 Senior Member • Posts: 3,045
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

sportyaccordy wrote:

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 (

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.

If you read the Canon publish specification and description of lens and groups you may surprised to see it not the same old lens repacked. It is a total new Aspherical single element lens and old nifty fifty was a more traditional multi groups and multi ement lens.

The total groups and elements are the same but Asperhical lens is major change in the design.

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Sittatunga Veteran Member • Posts: 4,368
Re: Chrisopher Frost: RF 50mmf1.8 STM review

sportyaccordy wrote:

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.

They flipped the design 180° here too, and going from a spherical element to an aspherical one is actually a pretty major change.  There's only so much you can do at less than half the price of the RF 35mm.

nutraman Forum Member • Posts: 63
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?

I took a video and concerning noise on the RP...

The RF 50 1.8...

On external Mic: untested

On internal Mic: there's a jittery noise (not horrible but it's certainly there) when doing focus micro-adjustments and an electronic motor noise when pulling longer distance focus change.

I'm expecting no noise with an external mic but I'll have to try it out in the next day or so.

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

David Franklin wrote:

MikeJ9116 wrote:

Noogy wrote:

RDM5546 wrote: 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.

I had it this 2.5 lens too, until I switched to M5 and now the M6II, for which I use the EFM28mm 3.5 macro. Simply stunning for a $300 lens, with macro light and IS.

Now you got me curious, since I am seeing a lot of 2.5 lenses out there in the pre-owned market on the cheap!

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