For a lens that shoots great amazing photographs… and video, this lens is relatively cheap compared to the other luxury lenses ( Canon L lenses) that can capture superior image quality. There is an upgraded version, which is the EF 50mm F1.4 but I still wouldn’t even recommend you get it because the EF 50mm F1.8 as pictured above is so cheap and the difference in IQ (image quality) isn’t even hardly distinguishable. Yes, the EF 50mm F1.4 does have a wider aperture and a silent USM (ultra sonic motor for fast focusing), better build construction, and a metal mount… but for $330 to $400 price range, you can’t compare any of that with $80 USD. Take a look at a shot of some Autumn Leaves taken with a 40D and EF 50mm F1.8 lens.
Also, if you’re starting out with video or portrait photography for any project, I highly recommend you get this lens. It’s even the better if you’re using APC sized sensors such as the Canon Ti-rebels (or Kiss as it is known in Japan) or the 60D because you get the X 1.6 crop factor turning your 50mm to an 80mm lens!
Light… Great with light while being so light!
The EF 50mm is great in low light areas. Having a 1.8 aperture, you can get more light entering into your sensor than an expensive EF 24-70L F2.8 even and still get equal quality. In really dark situations, the lowest shutter I use would be 1/60th of a second with and ISO of 800 and the images I get is almost exactly what I see with my own eyes.
In addition, with the lens weighing only 130 grams… this is a back and neck saver for those who have back and neck problems. Since it is light, I really like taking this lens out to low light areas such as a bowling alley or a house party. Even without the use of flash, I am still able to take sharp shots and video!
This lens is very sharp but not at all aperture ranges. For most of my shots, I noticed that it’s optimal sharness range is F2.0 and above. Most say F2.8 but I’ve seen some really sharp images at F2.0. Below is a photograph of my dog during one of my mountain hikes in the fall season of Japan in 2010.
Last but not least… this lens produces some of the most nicest bokeh I have ever seen for a lens this cheap. You have to thank the F1.8 I’m just amazed.
So what is bokeh?
Bokeh is actually a Japanese word “ボケ” that means blur. Most photographers want to have bokeh in their pictures to emphasis depth-of-field, in which the subject is in focus while the foreground or background or both is blurred. See the images below… What amazes me is that the bokeh on the EF 50mm F1.8 is nice and creamy!
The wide F1.8 aperture and it’s Gaussian lenses gets credit for producing such beautiful bokeh all the while having great color balance for this lens in this price range.
For a lens that can produce shots like these, I still can’t believe this lens is selling from the $80 to $115 dollar range.