Canon 50mm f/1.8 II EF Lens Recommendation
The Canon 50mm f/1.8 II EF lens is comparable to a Yanagi ba knife (very sharp sushi knife) inside a Ford Pinto (ugly car from the 70’s). The build quality and overall design won’t win any awards, but like your mama says…it’s what’s inside that counts.
If you’re interested in this lens, I highly recommend purchasing through Amazon (see here) or B&H Photo (see here). I buy new gear every week from these retailers (for my photography business and for this website). They’re the best of the best when it comes to purchasing camera equipment online. As an added benefit, they can usually have your lens packaged and out the door by early afternoon if you order it in the morning.
The 50mm f/1.8, also known as the nifty-fifty, is one of the best overall value lenses that you can buy. For around $100 bucks, you’ll have a very nice lens that’ll allow you to shoot at an aperture of f/1.8.
Ok, so what’s so great about shooting at f/1.8?
Well, lower aperture f/numbers allow you to achieve faster shutter speeds with lower ISO’s. Faster shutter speeds help eliminate camera shake and subject blur (sharper images), while lower ISO’s lead to less image noise (cleaner looking images).
Lower aperture f/numbers also shorten the depth of field and minimize the area in focus.
This is great for those looking to capture portraits with the subject in sharp focus and the background blurred out. This technique really makes your subjects pop.
Beginner filmmakers will appreciate the shallow depth of field produced by the 50mm f/1.8, which helps create that indie film look.
Compatibility – The 50mm f/1.8 II EF lens is compatible with every Canon EOS DSLR.
Image stabilization – Unfortunately the 50mm f/1.8 doesn’t come with image stabilization. Image stabilization helps steady the image leading to less camera shake or blurriness in low light situations.
Ultra-sonic motor – Unfortunately the 50mm/f.8 comes with a very basic auto-focus system that is a bit slower and louder than USM lenses. USM allows for faster and quieter auto-focus.
Zoom – None. The 50mm f/1.8 II is a prime lens. Prime lenses do not zoom in or out. They are fixed at the given focal length. This means you’ll have to move around in order to get the composition that you’re happy with.
Aperture range – f/1.8 to f/22. This means that the lowest f/number you can use is f/1.8 and the highest f/number you can use is f/22.
Minimum focusing distance – 1.5 ft. This is the closest distance that the 50mm can accurately lock focus on a subject.
Size and Dimensions – Weight 0.3 lb, Length 1.6 in, Width: 2.6 in
Filter size – 52mm filters
First released – 1990
If you’ve ever taken a photography class, you’ll know how important the 50mm lens is to your lens lineup. The 50mm field of view is equivalent to what the human eye can see.
Now, unless you’re attaching this lens to a film SLR or a full frame DSLR (like the Canon 5D) you’ll have to account for the focal length multiplier.
I won’t bore you with technical details…if you’ve got an entry level or intermediate Canon DSLR (similar to the T2i or 60D) you have a crop factor of 1.6x. This means the 50mm lens becomes an 80mm lens when attached to your camera (50mm x 1.6 = 80mm).
A 30mm difference may not sound like a lot, but when it comes to shooting indoors or in tight spaces you might find it difficult to frame your subjects. If you’re primarily shooting in large spaces (20×20 or greater), then you have nothing to worry about.
If you’re on the fence about the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II EF, I highly recommend that you jump and add this lens to your arsenal.
This lens holds its value really well. If you buy this lens brand new and decide to sell it a year later…you’re probably looking at a loss of $10 to $20 which is far less than renting this lens for a week.
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I buy new gear every week from Amazon and B&H for my photography business and for this website. They’re the best of the best when it comes to purchasing camera equipment online. As an added benefit, they can usually have your lens packaged and out the door by early afternoon if you order it in the morning.
If you have questions about the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II EF lens feel free to ask me inside the Canon Lens Forum and I’ll get back to you lickety split. Check out the recommendations page for more tips and advice on my favorite gear. Happy shooting!