If you want Canon branded 50mm lens for you Canon camera you have three different lenses to choose from. All of these lenses have a fixed focal length of 50mm but this is where the similarities end. The big question is “what 50mm Canon lens do you need?” and this is explored below:-
Penny pinching – Canon 50mm f1.8
If, for whatever reason, you are on a tight budget or simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on a 50mm prime lens the Canon 50mm f1.8 is going to be right up your street.
This little lens is many photographer’s first prime lens and upgrade from the kit lens, and when you get under the skin of this lens it is easy to see why. This lens is stupidly cheap and has good image quality.
The build quality of this lens is a little suspect, it is made out of plastic and feels more like a child’s toy than a serious bit of photography equipment but if you look after it this won’t be a problem. I have had my 50mm f1.8 for several years now and whilst it is looking a little rough around the edges it still works as good today as the day I took delivery.
Getting the most from this lens requires some practice and there is a learning curve. I thought this is worth mentioning because many photographers seem to give it bad ratings when they don’t get awesome images right out of the box.
Willing to splash the cash – Canon 50mm f1.4
If you are willing to spend a little more on a 50mm lens and will use the wider aperture you may want to look in to the Canon 50mm f1.4.
The difference in build quality between this 50mm lens and the f1.8 lens is huge, but then this is reflected in the significantly higher price of this lens. This lens is tough, it is durable and it is heavier in the hands. This not only looks, but also feels like a proper lens and gives the impression you are serious about your photography. This is all well and good, but everything is not as it seems…….
There are mixed reviews about the Canon 50mm f1.4 lens and it is, what I would consider, a “Marmite lens”, i.e. you either love it or hate it and because of this finding a balanced review is difficult.
Despite the bad write ups this lens is definitely worth considering if you are looking to buy a 50mm prime lens, and I would advise against instantly dismissing it. Rather than taking notice of the bad reviews I would recommend going to you your local camera shop, checking out the lens in the flesh and taking a few sample photos to take home, load up on the computer and review.
Whether the 50mm f1.4 is for you is something only you can decide. Personally, I don’t think it is a too bad lens but I know there are photographers out there who wouldn’t agree with this. If you decide the 50mm f1.4 is for you don’t buy it from your local camera shop because I guarantee you will find it cheaper online.
Money to burn – Canon 50mm f1.2L
If you want an L series professional grade 50mm lens for your Canon camera this lens is the only option. Being an L series lens it is made from the best materials and uses the best optics. This means the build quality is second to none (it is bullet proof) and the image quality is exceptionally sharp. This is all well and good but you are going to have to be prepared to part with several hundred bucks to buy one. For a 50mm lens this lens is big, it is heavy and it can be intimidating for subjects, and you need to be aware of this before deciding on buying this lens.
I have used the Canon 50mm f1.2L lens and whilst it is an exceptional lens, like all Canon L series lenses, I don’t think it justifies the eye watering price tag and there is no way I could ever justify the cost of one. I, personally, think this lens is way over the top and way over priced but that’s just my two cents and you may find the Canon 50mm f1.2L the nest 50mm lens for you and are prepared to dig deep and buy one.
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Which Canon 50mm lens is best?
The answer to this will vary so only you can answer this one. Before parting with you hard earned cash you need to decide on what you are going to use the lens for and the widest maximum aperture that is acceptable. You are also going to have to think about your budget and how much you are prepared on parting with for a 50mm prime lens. Below are the specs of each lens you may find useful to aid your decision…….
Canon 50mm f1.8
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 50mm/ 80mm/ Aperture:- 1.8 - 22/ Min focus:- 13.8"/ Dimensions:- 2.72" x 1.55"/ Weight:- 5.6 oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $125.00/£100.00
Canon 50mm f1.4
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 50mm/80mm/ Aperture:- 1.4 - 22/ Min focus:- 17.7"/ Dimensions:- 2.91" x 2.01"/ Weight:- 10.2 oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $350.00/£270.00
Canon 50mm f1.2L
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 50m/80mm/ Aperture:- 1.2 - 16/ Min focus:- 17.7"/ Dimensions:- 3.36" x 2.58"/ Weight:- 19.2 oz/ Image stabilization:- No/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $1,900.00/£1,050.00
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