Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 08 Jan 2010 (Friday) 08:21
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

For the 50mm f/1.8 II IQ doubters

4,506 posts
Likes: 18
Joined Nov 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Jan 08, 2010 08:21 |  #1

Ok firstly I apologise for the bad quality and composition of the below photo but I was a bit rushed for time :p

Anyway today during a model shoot I thought, "I'm disappointed how some posters and I always get ridiculed when we say the 50mm f/1.8 II holds its own wide open even against L primes like the 85mm f/1.2L II, 35mm f/1.4L and Supertelephotos like the 300 f/2.8L IS and 400mm f/2.8L IS"

Many posters are adamant the 50 f/1.8 II is soft as vaseline till at least f/2.5 or f/2.8. It makes my blood boil vmad (I'm kidding)

I really beg to differ so I grabbed the poor model today (who probably thought I was a weirdo), and told her to stand still whilst I mounted my 5D Mark II, put on my 50 f/1.8 II lens, opened Live View and zoomed in to 10X, manually focused, and took a photo of the model, focusing on her face. Yes I'm a sad pixel peeper, I know :cool:

The unaltered, straight out of camera RAW conversion is shown below (DPP Raw conversion, standard settings) of the lens at f/1.8 wide open. If you do not believe it you are welcome to right click and save the file, and examine the EXIF

Full Frame:


100% Crop:

I don't know why some 50 f/1.8 II are soft wide open but I suspect either sample variation or AF errors (or user errors). But I don't think this lens should be dissed for IQ based on these poor performing copies. Dissed for QC, certainly, but not IQ

Let's be honest, the lens is an AF and build quality disaster, but at least it's sharp :)

I will try and debunk the bad bokeh myth some other day, I can only take one weird shot of a model per day :)

Wedding Photography Melbourneexternal link
Reviews: 85LII

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
67 posts
Joined Jul 2008
Location: Missouri, USA
Jan 08, 2010 09:06 |  #2

This lens is amazing for the cost. I use it all the time.

Canon 40D|Canon 50-1.8II|Canon 15-85 IS|Canon 28-135 IS|Canon 55-250 IS

1,173 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
Likes: 34
Joined Mar 2007
Location: Mississauga, ON
Jan 08, 2010 09:51 |  #3

Who gives a damn what other people on some internet forum say?? I also have this lens, and my experience mirrors yours. Razor sharp, but feels like it could be built by Fisher-Price or Mattel.

1,514 posts
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Tampa Bay, Fl
Jan 08, 2010 10:04 |  #4

It is a great lens for the price!

Gear & Feedback

Liquid Nitrogen
6,673 posts
Gallery: 71 photos
Best ofs: 4
Likes: 1803
Joined Jul 2007
Location: Asked to leave Paradise...
Jan 08, 2010 10:24 |  #5

Good pic, pretty model. :) Yeah, I'm a believer, lol. (external link) Miss Julia Grey - please refer to me as she/her/Miss
Nikkor 28/2, 35/2.8-PC, 55/1.2 | Vivitar 55/2.8 macro | Voigtländer 50/2.8 | Olympus 75-150/4 | Tamron SP 28-80, SP 60-300, SP 300/5.6 | Pentax SMC Takumar 135/2.5, 200/4 | Canon 24mm TS-E II | Lensbaby Composer Pro II w/Sweet35mm & Edge50mm | Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50/1.8 | Canon 5DIIx2, 5D, 20Dx2 | Sigma 12-24 | Canon 28-105 II, 85/1.8 | Yongnuo 50/1.8

1,661 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2009
Location: VA
Jan 08, 2010 10:50 |  #6

twoshadows wrote in post #9351518 (external link)
Good pic, pretty model. :) Yeah, I'm a believer, lol.

Great lens. It also boils my blood when people talk crap about it. This lens was the gateway drug for me. I loved it so much, I upgraded to the 50 f/1.4, then got the Sigma 30 f/1.4. I am now about to trade the 50 f/1.4 for a 85 f/1.8 and try to pick up a nifty fifty again. I LOVE the nifty. No on can debate the price-quality.

MyGear | Feedback | facebook (external link)|My Site (external link)|Flickr (external link)

Senior Member
551 posts
Joined Dec 2009
Location: Spring, TX
Jan 08, 2010 11:06 |  #7

what lens??? give us some more pics of the girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7D || 5D2 || three 580exII's | 430exII | 24L II | 50L | 100L macro | 70-200/2.8L IS | 24-105L | canon 50/1.4 | canon 17-55/2.8 | Sigma 35/1.4 |Sigma 50/1.4 | Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC |Pocket Wizard Plus II. slingpro 100 and 200, and a million other accessories I can't even remember.

1,445 posts
Gallery: 6 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 27
Joined Apr 2008
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Jan 08, 2010 12:09 as a reply to  @ linh811's post |  #8

I love my mk I version. Had (actually, still have) the mk II, but the build quality and awful MF drove me nuts. Splurged on the original version and have nothing but love for it now. IQ is identical. Very, very sharp when stopped down some, but even wide open it is sharper than most common consumer lenses.

Canon 7D | Canon 50D IR modified | Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 IS L | Canon FD 500mm 8.0 Reflex | Canon EF 85mm 1.8 | Canon EF 50mm 1.8 mk I | Canon EF-S 10-22mm | Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 | Meade 645 (762mm f/5)
Model Mayhem (external link) | DeviantArt (external link) | Lisa On Location: New Braunfels Photography (external link)

4,176 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2008
Location: Ohio
Jan 08, 2010 12:19 |  #9

I think I must have had what you appear to have: the rare copy that's very sharp. I base that on the fact that most people consider this lens very soft wide open, but mine was very sharp at f/1.8.

flickr (external link)

Bird Whisperer
7,640 posts
Gallery: 52 photos
Likes: 1060
Joined Nov 2008
Location: Toledo, OH
Jan 08, 2010 12:24 |  #10

I think many people think it's soft because if the AF misses even a little bit (which does occur) at f/1.8 the pic is already OOF and soft. So I think a lot of users don't even know they do have a sharp copy because they never test the lens at MF, live view (if available).
However, I'm sure there are variations between copies too regarding sharpness.

When I do 100% crop tests for my 7D, I always use the nifty, granted not at 1.8 but 5.6 (going for the ultimate sharpness).

SONY A7RIII | SONY A7III | SONY RX10 IV | SONY RX100 | 24-70 2.8 GM | 70-200 2.8 GM | 16-35 F/4 | PZ 18-105 F/4 | FE 85 1.8 | FE 28-70 | SIGMA 35 1.4 ART | SIGMA 150-600 C | ROKINON 14 2.8
Gabe Balazs Photo (external link)
Nature Shots Portfolio (external link)

245 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 5
Joined Jun 2008
Location: el monte, CA
Jan 08, 2010 12:34 |  #11

I noticed that on my old 40D and my current 50D, the 50 f1.8 is very soft until about f2.8. However, on my 5D images come out ridiculously sharp even wide open. This is my 2nd copy and I dont know if the first copy had issues but anyone who uses my cameras agree. Its an awesome lens on full frame.

| Canon 50D | Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS | Canon 50mm F1.8 | Canon 60mm Macro |

118 posts
Joined Apr 2009
Location: Texas
Jan 08, 2010 12:41 |  #12

Aren't there other factors to consider with image quality besides sharpness? I had what I considered to be a sharp copy of this lens, but really didn't like the distracting bokeh, slow AF, and build quality. I think there is a reason "...for the price" is usally used when describing the qualities of this lens.

smorter, I think you've done a great job of showing what the lens is capable of, but I would love to see a side-by-side comparison to some of those Ls you mentioned.

Canon 5D II | Canon 40D | Canon S90 | Tamron 17-50mm ƒ/2.8 | Sigma 50mm ƒ/1.4 | Sigma 85mm ƒ/1.4 | Tamron 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 VC USD | Canon 580EX II (2x) | flickr (external link) | Blog (external link)

Andy ­ R
1,856 posts
Gallery: 118 photos
Likes: 1461
Joined Dec 2008
Location: So Cal
Jan 08, 2010 15:16 |  #13

i love mine to death...use it all the time :) nice pic btw :P

5Dii ~ 80D
Canon 14L ~ Canon 24-105L mkII ~ Canon 50 f1.8 STM ~ Canon 135L ~ Sigma 100-400 ~ Canon 1.4x mkII

far from having everything figured out!
16,299 posts
Gallery: 120 photos
Likes: 439
Joined Jun 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Jan 08, 2010 15:19 |  #14

And this is why I just bought the lens today.


Cream of the Crop
18,871 posts
Likes: 13
Joined Nov 2009
Location: Northern California
Jan 08, 2010 15:22 |  #15

Just because people on the internet say the nifty fifty is soft and bad, doesn't make my lens any worse =P

Edit: I think I have discovered why the nifty fifty has a bad rep. I think it is because it si recommended to people who are just getting into photography and many of them have no clue what they are doing and complain about it. Once people get better and get better lenses, these lenses are "worlds apart" or "ina different league" than the nifty fifty, when in reality, both the photographer is better and the better lens might be just more versatile.

Will | WilliamLiuPhotography.​com (external link) | Gear List and Feedback | CPS Member | Have you Pre-Ordered Your 3Dx Yet? | HorusBennu Discussion | In honor of Uncle Steve, thanks for everything! 10-5-2011

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

42,027 views & 2 likes for this thread
For the 50mm f/1.8 II IQ doubters
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©

Latest registered member was a spammer, and banned as such!
1196 guests, 336 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018 Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.