Review Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II

antonroland

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#1
Hi guys and girls.

Have also joined the nifty club and really enjoy the f below 2(y)(y)



Don't know if a recent review has been done on the 50 f/1,8 and this one will be done in a few parts as I have LOTS of pix to filter through since yesterday and so I will post pix once I have found something of real value to share.

The lens has a rather short extention through it's focus range from close to infinity.

Here is an example of the lens at it's two extremes...


Long:




And short:



Not much movement there.

Initial thoughts on the lens:

The first thing I did was to fit a uv and a 52 mm uv is what goes on here.

Even with a modest f/1,8 maximum aperture there is a rather impressive hole through the middle of the lens:LOL:See here:



The f/1,8 Mk II is extremely light and very plastic. (O.K. this is me being used to my 70-200 IS) It is non-USM and therefore rather noisy compared to my other lenses.

The af/mf switch is rather hard to operate and does not have a positive feel to it.

The rear element is very open and this lens should never be stowed without it's cap if not on a camera.

See here:




This is at one extreme of focus stop ends and the rear element does "sink in" as the focus ring turns to the other extreme. See here:




So far so good on the general workings of the lens. The AF is very fast even in low light and locks on very nicely without a hint of hunting.

Will report back soon and show some images as soon as I have a few worthwhile ones to share.
 
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#2
Yeah i bought one a couple of months ago. Im' well impressed especially as i like to use a real shallow depth of field on portrait shots. The low f1.8 number takes care of that alright! A good cheap price as well.
 

fletch5

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#4
my 1.4 arrived yesterday(thanks kerso), not used it much, but well happy with it
 
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James Knott
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#5
I got one of these a few days ago too. I'm finding it will only focus on the left AF point. Is there a way to change this?
 
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#6
I have an EF 50mm f1.8 Mk II.

It is of course plasticy because it is plastic - aside from the glass and the front focus ring IIRC.

Mine hunts a bit to find focus sometimes - low light or plenty of light but I put that down to my selection of focus point.

The AF/MF switch is positive but tricky to switch.

I love the shallow depth of field and the speed of the lens in general.

Ben
 
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antonroland

antonroland

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#7
I got one of these a few days ago too. I'm finding it will only focus on the left AF point. Is there a way to change this?
Doesn't sound right...:thinking: but then it sounds like a body issue rather than a lens issue:shrug:

What camera body are you using it on?
 
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#8
I'm using it on the 350D. I've tried several times to focus on something in one of the other AF points, but it will only focus on the left point. I don't have the same problem with my 18-55 kit lens.
 
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antonroland

antonroland

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#9
The AF/MF switch is positive but tricky to switch.

I love the shallow depth of field and the speed of the lens in general.

Ben
Switch sensation is obviously variable from one copy to the next, or is it personal observation/preferences varying?

Must admit that D.O.F. is not quite as shallow as I would have liked it but this is not my final verdict yet.

Will hopefully post some piccies tonight
 
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antonroland

antonroland

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#10
I'm using it on the 350D. I've tried several times to focus on something in one of the other AF points, but it will only focus on the left point. I don't have the same problem with my 18-55 kit lens.
Do you mean the very far left hand AF point and not any other?
 
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antonroland

antonroland

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#14
O.K. General pix done.

The next episode in this saga will be sharpness tests on a chart.

After that I plan to share some "real life tests" including sharpness and D.O.F. characteristics.

Thanks for looking(y)
 
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antonroland

antonroland

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#16
Pleasure Bob

Hope it can help someone.

I have WAY exceeded my broadband data package for the month and this is costing me big time :eek:so I will most likely only post further parts (and many images) by next Friday or so.

System is only open for the most serious emails (read only!!!:LOL:)

Sorry about that. :bonk:(y)
 
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antonroland

antonroland

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#17


This is the test chart I got in the Dec 2007 DC Mag and it is about A5 in size.

I placed my 20D on a tripod in a shaded daylight area with a wired remote and took all pix at somewhere between 45 and 50 cm - just outside the minimum focusing distance of 45 cm.

The camera's jpeg parameters were all set to neutral.

All first shots were at 100 ISO.

Here are some 100% crops:

CENTRE



LEFT BOTTOM



TOP RIGHT



A bit soft, but then it is f/1,8 and with no sharpening in-camera or in PP.

Let me know if anyone would want to see further examples on the chart results as I have quite a bit. If I don't have it I will yet I will take some new pix.

Real life stuff to follow soon!

Cheers
 
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#19
The AF/MF switch scares me a bit as it feels like it could break, and overall the lens feels like it isn't very well built.

It's a bit of a dark horse though because image quality is pin sharp (significantly better than the 18-55) and the colour rendition is absolutely gorgeous; there's a hint of warmness, but not not too much (like my Sigma 10-20 which sometimes needs PP to correct).

The focus ring being right on the end of the lens isn't as much as a PITA as I'd have thought. Auto focus is also quite noisy and for me, not so great. I try to use MF where I can, or live view.

The aperture being mahoosive means flashless indoor pictures are feasible without blur and/or crazy high ISOs.
 
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#21
The AF/MF switch scares me a bit as it feels like it could break, and overall the lens feels like it isn't very well built.

It's a bit of a dark horse though because image quality is pin sharp (significantly better than the 18-55) and the colour rendition is absolutely gorgeous; there's a hint of warmness, but not not too much (like my Sigma 10-20 which sometimes needs PP to correct).

The focus ring being right on the end of the lens isn't as much as a PITA as I'd have thought. Auto focus is also quite noisy and for me, not so great. I try to use MF where I can, or live view.

The aperture being mahoosive means flashless indoor pictures are feasible without blur and/or crazy high ISOs.
I think I paid £76 odd for mine... for what you pay... for what you get...

A bargain...
 
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#22
For 70 quid or so, you wont find a better lens guaranteed. Beautiful image quality, great low light, first prime lens. Should be the first thing every new photographer buys after his first DSLR and kit lens.

Sure the build quality isnt great, but its so cheap it doesn't even matter that much. As Trencheel303 says, the AF MF switch is very precarious. Feels horrible and quite nerve wracking to change sometimes in case it just decides to come off. But cant fault this lens at 70 quid or so.
 
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#23
Just an update, I've been taking pics lately with this lens and I'm awestruck at what it can do.

Think of a dark room in an old house lit by nothing but light on an overcast day coming through the window. It's still quite dark in there until your eyes have adjusted.

ISO 1600, f/1.8 1/50th? Perfectly exposed image. Just unreal! Before I'd have missed the shot, or had to PP it to buggery in turn bringing out bags of grain. Now I can actually ETTR with this lens in places that are poorly lit and have virtually no grain at all. This lens is the dogs danglies.
 
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#27
Just joined the nifty club myself...the image sharpness amazes me. Fair enough, the other other similar length lens I have is an 18-55mm IS, but even compared to the 70-200 f4 its a very sharp lens.

Well worth £70!
 
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#28
I learnt how to use my camera with this lens - back then I had a 350D and then a 1000D, and it was only when I got this lens that i started thinking about perspective and focal lengths... and DOF.

Definitely a good purchase for the price.
 
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#29
Such a sharp lens. I took some photos of the NFL game at Wembley last year with it, coped with the terrible light and fast movement no problems.
 
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#32
I bought one last year but found a rather nice 50mm 1.8 mk1 recently so bought that and gave my 50 1.8 II to my dad!

Metal mount and focusing scale, rather big improvement in build quality. Optics are supposed to be exactly the same although I would swear that the MK1 takes better pictures! I think thats wishful thinking though.
 
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#33
I agree, everyone should get one of these as there first purchase, its a bargain price and makes a superb portrait lens on a crop sensor......
 
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#34
I too have just bought this lens, only other lens is my kit lens (18-55), and i must say its great, very sharp.
 
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#35
I`ve destroyed 2 of these!! not the most robust of lenses....but I`ve bought a third one! it spends most of it`s time attached to my EOS300 35mm & I love it!
Yes they are fragile, yes they hunt a bit (sometimes!!) on AF but I`d seriously reccomend getting one, good, cheap, fast glass!
 
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#36
auto focus is a weak point for this little lens, i have destroyed 2 of them too :) , but manual focus on this lens is great, quick and you feel your hand on the focus ring.
finally, i end up with taking one 50mm f1.4 :)
 
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Simon Gaunt
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#39
love it, got mine for £20 off ebay with a small mark on the glass which makes no difference to the to photographs!

Photos are sharp as you like (offen able to see refelection of myself in peoples eyes)
Focus time isn't slow but isn't USM standard, also focusing is noisy
Find the focusing ring to be a little loose and slack compared to other EF lens I have used
Light weight lens

Overall: great little lens and for the price everyone should have one!
 

MartynK

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#40
All true enough, and exceptionally good value for money if you want a fast 50mm. Personally, I have very little use for this focal length, it's either too long or too short on a crop camera for me.

On the odd occasions when I have wanted a 50mm - for the large aperture - I've just used my old metal bodied Nikkor f1.4 (with an adapter) that I've had since the 70s. Excellent lens, even if MF is a bit of a struggle for my ageing eyes!
 
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