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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens review

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens Review

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens is a great addition to any beginner photographer's arsenal.


Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens Features:

  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Maximum aperture: 1:1.8
  • Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
  • Diagonal angle of view: 46 degrees
  • Focus adjustment: Overall linear extension system with Micromotor
  • Closest focusing distance: 1.5 feet
  • Filter size: 52mm
  • Dimensions: 2.7 inches in diameter, 1.6 inches long
  • Weight: 4.6 ounces


The Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II lens is the cheapest prime lenses on the market for Canon DSLR owners and has gained notable popularity due to its affordability. The real question on everyone's minds is how good can a lens be that is only $100?  Luckily, this lens was not a disappointment and its performance is rather unexpected judging it by the price tag. It currently has 2,105 user reviews on Amazon and well over half of them are a full 5 out of 5 stars.

canon 50mm 3

Cosmetic Appeal & Design

First off, to be completely honest this lens is made pretty cheaply and it is evident from the first time you see it. The material of the lens is clearly not that durable, but what do you expect for such a low price? This shouldn't be a deciding factor as you understand that it will take proper care and storage in order to keep this lens from becoming damaged. Since it is a prime lens and has a “fixed zoom” the lens is fairly short and compact. This makes its portability and mobility very favorable for travelers or photographers who are “on the go”.

RELATED: A Buyer's Guide To Macro Lenses For Canon

Features & Function

Overall, this lens performs impressively capturing stunningly sharp images shot after shot. Though it's final results are impressive, we were not too keen on its loud and sluggish functioning when using our autofocus feature. Should you spend the extra money on a more expensive and higher quality lens? If your budget allows and you are a serious photographer than all means you should invest in a higher quality lens. But for most of us, this lens will perform well enough to satisfy the purchase price. Since the aperture is 1.8, there is a vast improvement in the low light capabilities in comparison to the stock canon lenses. This lens has gotten a good reputation especially for its function capturing video. We did several test shots with this lens and the quality of the video captured on a DSLR is extremely impressive. There is one gripe we have, but this is due to the fact that we tested this lens on a crop sensor camera. A 50mm prime lens on an APS-C camera is tougher to use than expected since the lens appears “zoomed in”. This means in order to frame shots accordingly you will need to be standing far enough back to keep your subject(s) in the frame. This is only the case with a crop sensor camera (such as the T2i, T3i, T4i, 60D, and 7D).

For a better example of this check out this side by side comparison of this lens on a full-frame(left) and a crop sensor (right) (courtesy of

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Final Thoughts

At such an affordable price, the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 lens is well worth adding to your arsenal if you are in the market for a 50mm prime lens. It produces sharp photos and crisp video. This affordability does come at price (no pun intended), since the build quality and autofocusing speeds are rather poor. Let's face the facts that not all of us can afford to drop  $500+ on a L series lens. So you can't  expect it to be of the same quality as a lens 5x it's price. In the long run as long as you take care of your equipment and can handle the slower autofocusing speeds then this lens is a killer product for a price tag that will agree with almost anyone's wallet.

SEE ALSO: Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 ART Lens Review

What Are Others Saying About This Lens?

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens delivers very sharp images as inexpensively as Canon lenses get.


Wow! My theory now is that Canon doesn't put this baby as their kit lens because many people would decide that they DONT NEED ANOTHER ONE! And many of them would be right!

– Paul Lehmann (Amazon Reviewer)

So ultimately this is a lens which we'd encourage any Canon DSLR owner currently shooting with ‘kit' zooms to try.

How can you say no? Unless you have the bucks to spend on the f1.4 or the Mark I, this lens belongs in every EOS shooters bag.

– Ryan Davis (Amazon Reviewer)

For more information visit the manufacturer's website.