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FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews 
Thread started 02 Dec 2014 (Tuesday) 07:13
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TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND Reservoir Dog (showing now: Reservoir Dog)
Overall Rating9
Overall Image Quality9.5
Value for Money10
Bokeh9
Sharpness10
Contrast9.5
Focusing9.5
Must Have7.5
Suitability to Intended Use9.5
Got What I Expected8.5
Ownership Status: "own"

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List all reviews of Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, reviewed by Reservoir Dog

 
Reservoir ­ Dog
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Reservoir Dog.
     
Dec 02, 2014 07:13 |  #1

My first impression was "hum ... it's platicish ..."
But when i mount it on my camera and saw the result that this lens is capable of, my second impression when i saw the pictures was "Woooww, nice deal !"

It's a very nice lens, very sharp even wide open with a quite good focus even if it's not a formula 1 autofocus, and image quality is really excellent !

For the price you will got a lot more than expected in term of image quality!
Yes! truly this lens produce superb photos, very sharp with a nice bokeh.

But .... in term of robustness ... it's a bit another story.

The focusing system is very fragile, if the focusing barrel is out or partly out when you put the lens cap on, you will, unconsciously, push it a bit, and other the time it will lead to send the lens to Canon for repair because the focus system does not work anymore.

The Big tips here to not have problem later with the years, is ... before to put the lens cap on :
1) turn the swith AF on MF on the lens (it's a full time manual focus, but ... we never know ;) )
2) turn the focus ring until the barrel is fully inside the lens.
3) put the lens cap on the front element.
4) do not forget to switch back from MF to AF mode ;)
And you will keep the focus system safe for long ....


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Reservoir ­ Dog
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Reservoir Dog.
     
Dec 08, 2014 02:33 |  #2

Here some pictures...

IMAGE: https://ppcdn.500px.org/92044679/0f272496943326f9af1fb4740e7976b1e6cecfad/5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://500px.com/photo​/92044679/  (external link)
Tulum (external link) by Patrice Laborda (external link) on 500px

This one (just below) is a ... Big crop ;)

IMAGE: https://ppcdn.500px.org/87322581/11cfcae0b071ac546535270aa518aecb809b6e49/5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://500px.com/photo​/87322581/  (external link)
Stealth Guardian's Temple (external link) by Patrice Laborda (external link) on 500px

IMAGE: https://ppcdn.500px.org/92047559/7f1c439e29f96e36ecd951fc03f2146288210a5d/5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://500px.com/photo​/92047559/  (external link)
Mayan Pyramid (external link) by Patrice Laborda (external link) on 500px


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This lens is also very good underwater, it manage very well the flare from the torches !


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Walshman
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32 posts
Joined Jul 2007
     
Dec 09, 2014 22:27 |  #3

Thanks for the review - I have been thinking about the 50 1.4, and the robustness has always been a question for me. Great to see the sample pics shine on picture quality, however.




  
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rfdesigner
Member
147 posts
Joined Aug 2013
Location: UK
     
Dec 17, 2014 13:58 |  #4

Reservoir Dog wrote in post #17304036 (external link)
The focusing system is very fragile, if the focusing barrel is out or partly out when you put the lens cap on, you will, unconsciously, push it a bit, and other the time it will lead to send the lens to Canon for repair because the focus system does not work anymore.

The Big tips here to not have problem later with the years, is ... before to put the lens cap on :
1) turn the swith AF on MF on the lens (it's a full time manual focus, but ... we never know ;) )
2) turn the focus ring until the barrel is fully inside the lens.
3) put the lens cap on the front element.
4) do not forget to switch back from MF to AF mode ;)
And you will keep the focus system safe for long ....


I've had this lens in my hands and agree with the fragility point, the first link below to the AF gearbox, showing the nasty little nylon on steel shaft gears, if one of those gears splits or loses a tooth as they are want to do, then you get AF that won't go past a certain point. The other link shows the slot in the mount tube is so near the edge the part is very weak, a knock on the front of the lens bends this which means it no longer moves easily. That then causes the gearbox to strain as you use the autofocus and before you know it you need a new motor/gearbox too.

see: https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=NTu00wgJgRE (external link) @4.02

and

see: https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=ED0DQpVnTuM (external link) @5.46

I beleive part of the problem is the weight of glass being moved. With most lenses only a small proportion of the glass moves, but in 50mm lenses often 100% of the glass moves, which is that much more demanding of the AF.


30D, 18~55mm, 100mmf2.0, various Praktica, Atik 383L+ mono & filter wheel, 12" imaging telescope

  
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midwestusa4x4
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32 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Sep 2012
     
Dec 20, 2014 23:34 |  #5

This was the first lens I purchased after I got my T4i kit. The cost-to-quality ratio for this lens is very good. The build quality on the 1.4 is better than on the 1.8, and the glass is much better on the 1.8 as well. The 1.8 is still a great lens, especially if you are on a tight budget, but if you are in the market for a 50mm and can afford a little more, this is a great (and fun) lens to have.


650D/T4i gripped w/Magic Lantern | 17-55mm f/2.8 | 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 | 85mm f/1.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake | 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM | 70-300mm f/5-5.6 | 430EX II x2 | YN568EX II | YN-622c x4 | YN-622C-TX | X-rite i1Display Pro | X-rite ColorChecker Passport

  
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JackAss
Member
31 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Richmond, BC
     
Dec 29, 2014 17:35 |  #6

I love this lens


6D
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 24-105L
Canon 135L

  
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courtneym918
Hatchling
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Likes: 3
Joined Dec 2014
     
Dec 30, 2014 20:39 |  #7

I just got this lens. Inexpensive but great shots. Many don't believe they need a 50mm...I disagree.




  
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yzs4tony
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41 posts
Joined Mar 2014
     
Dec 30, 2014 23:45 |  #8

This lens is great!!! Great review......




  
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ddd778
Member
33 posts
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Hong Kong
     
Jan 01, 2015 12:17 |  #9

Thinking about upgrading my 1.8 to this lens, thanks for the review.




  
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shaftmaster
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1,429 posts
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Location: above 5000 feet
     
Jan 03, 2015 22:56 |  #10

I highly recommend buying a lens hood for the 50mm f/1.4. You can get a 3rd-party hood for as little as $12 on eBay and it will protect the fragile AF mechanism better than anything else. Always leave the hood on and don't reverse it for storage. You may need to get a center-pinch lens cap too.


Paul

Gear -- Flickr (external link)

  
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CamaroSS
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Location: Tampa, FL
     
Jan 03, 2015 23:09 |  #11

Very nice pictures. My experience with this lens was never quite so positive. I've found that images shot at 2.0 and wider are nearly unusable for their lack of sharpness. More so, I tend to shoot into light for effect, and this lens has a great deal of chromantic aberrations when shooting into the sunlight - say through a window behind the subject. Unlike the 85 1.8 that manags this aberation far better, it cannot always be removed in post. I have since moved onto the Sigma Art and it has been most stellar from an IQ standpoint...autofocus​, on the other hand, is not it's strongest attribute. I still have both and debating if I should sell it or make it my permanent film lens.


- Kevin Kevin DiOssi Photography (external link)1DX Mark II/5D Mk IV/Mk III/SL2/M5
- Flashpoint XPLOR 600s
M-Mount: Pancake 22mm f/2| 15-45mm | EF-EOSM Adapter
Primes: 40mm f/2.8| 50mm STM | 50 Art | 85 1.4L | 85 Art | EF 100L Macro | 135L | Zooms: EF-S 10-18 | 16-35 f2.8L III | 24-105 f/4L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

  
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Reservoir ­ Dog
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Reservoir Dog.
     
Jan 04, 2015 20:33 |  #12

CamaroSS wrote in post #17364880 (external link)
Very nice pictures. My experience with this lens was never quite so positive. I've found that images shot at 2.0 and wider are nearly unusable for their lack of sharpness.

Do you have some pictures to show us how bad it was ?

Here is my son at ... > f/1.4, ambient light, photograph taken on the fly and my shutter speed was very limit (my son, can't stay a second without moving), very thin DoF but i got his eyes ... and for me it's sharp enough for this DoF/Price/Quality range (it's just a $ 350 lens ;) ) and at F/2 it become insanely sharp


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More so, I tend to shoot into light for effect, and this lens has a great deal of chromantic aberrations when shooting into the sunlight - say through a window behind the subject. Unlike the 85 1.8 that manags this aberation far better, it cannot always be removed in post. I have since moved onto the Sigma Art and it has been most stellar from an IQ standpoint...autofocus​, on the other hand, is not it's strongest attribute. I still have both and debating if I should sell it or make it my permanent film lens.

I am surprised about the CA, if wide open there is some, they are very well managed by any software and stopped down a bit they disappear, i use the 50mm in diving, i got many pictures with the torches directly pointed to the lens and i got no problem at all.
I think You might have gotten a bad copy ;)

Anyway you have the Sigma, and i read a lot of good thing about it, even it's so sharp that this lens might be just behind if not equal to the Zeiss otus 55mm, which is a far higher "Category" ;-)a


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CamaroSS
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Jan 04, 2015 21:40 |  #13

Reservoir Dog wrote in post #17366444 (external link)
Do you have some pictures to show us how bad it was ?

Here is my son at ... > f/1.4, ambient light, photograph taken on the fly and my shutter speed was very limit (my son, can't stay a second without moving), very thin DoF but i got his eyes ... and for me it's sharp enough for this DoF/Price/Quality range (it's just a $ 350 lens ;) ) and at F/2 it become insanely sharp
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by Reservoir Dog in
./showthread.php?p=173​66444&i=i162872212
forum: Lens Reviews


I am surprised about the CA, if wide open there is some, they are very well managed by any software and stopped down a bit they disappear, i use the 50mm in diving, i got many pictures with the torches directly pointed to the lens and i got no problem at all.
I think You might have gotten a bad copy ;)

Anyway you have the Sigma, and i read a lot of good thing about it, even it's so sharp that this lens might be just behind if not equal to the Zeiss otus 55mm, which is a far higher "Category" ;-)a

I'll have to dig through my hard drive, but I last used it at a party I shot early last year end never used it again because of that particular scenario. I doubt it's a bad copy, as I've found my results to be typical of what the lens is capable of. Granted, I shot with the lens very seldom up to that point and was relying on it wide open - was a bad idea.

I'll dig through later tonight or tomorrow.


- Kevin Kevin DiOssi Photography (external link)1DX Mark II/5D Mk IV/Mk III/SL2/M5
- Flashpoint XPLOR 600s
M-Mount: Pancake 22mm f/2| 15-45mm | EF-EOSM Adapter
Primes: 40mm f/2.8| 50mm STM | 50 Art | 85 1.4L | 85 Art | EF 100L Macro | 135L | Zooms: EF-S 10-18 | 16-35 f2.8L III | 24-105 f/4L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

  
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bigburpsx3
Member
31 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Aug 2009
     
Jan 24, 2015 00:55 |  #14

Great review! Another tip I've read on how to preserve the lens is to keep the hood on it at ALL times. This prevents the front element from getting pushed in while in your bag.




  
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spooky ­ action
Senior Member
292 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
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Location: Florida
     
Jun 11, 2015 22:19 |  #15

This is a great lens. It's the slightest bit soft wide open but, in my opinion, that gives the lens a unique quality and a bit of an artistic look. A lot of fun and excellent value for the price.


Josh
D810 - 24-70 f/2.8G ED - Zeiss 2/135 APO Sonnar

  
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, reviewed by Reservoir Dog
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