Photography

Lens Review: 50mm f/1.8 STM

I have had my Canon 5D Mark III for about a year now, and I have been itching to get a new lens on it. I knew I wanted something good for portraiture, that would give me the shallow depth of field I wanted, and the low-light resilience that my working style demands (I avoid having to use a tripod like the plague. Call me lazy, but it’s more that I hate having restricted movement…some moments are fleeting and you’re going to be kicking yourself if you miss the perfect shot because you couldn’t move your tripod fast enough.) After much browsing and countless hours of nail-biting over customer reviews, I came across Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 STM prime lens. For a delightful $125.00 USD, it’s a miracle I didn’t just add-to-cart right away. Actually, I had my doubts. It was astounding to me that such a great lens would come at such an affordable price, but it had stellar customer reviews, and I figured if I got it and it didn’t work out, I could cut my losses, sell it, and save up for the top-of-the-range alternative. However, having put it through its paces I have decided to keep this lens in my arsenal for (hopefully) many years to come.


SPECS

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 50mm f/1.8
Lens Construction 6 elements in 5 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 46°
Focus Adjustment AF with full-time manual
Closest Focusing Distance 1.15 ft./0.35m
Filter Size 49mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 2.7 x 1.6 in., 5.7 oz.69.2 x 39.3mm, 160g

Source: usa.canon.com


PROS

First of all, let it be said that this is a small lens. It is also pretty light. For this reason, I took it out of its box and was suddenly alarmed that I had bought the wrong lens. Nevertheless, it snapped in securely to my hulking 5D camera body and worked just fine. This lens works on both full-frame and cropped-frame sensors. On full-frame cameras, the focal length is 50mm. Anyway, this is a pro, because it just about halved the weight of my camera for carrying-around purposes. In that moment I did a little happy dance because now my camera is going to be more pleasant to take everywhere with me, and easier to fit into smaller bags. Yay for portability! This lens checks all the boxes in all other departments. My images came out crisp and in-focus, with beautiful bokeh-ed out backgrounds, and true-to-life color rendering, and little to no lens distortion. I shot with the aperture wide open at f/1.8, so the images above are really flooded with light. I have to say that I was first considering a lens with an even larger minimum aperture (f/1.2 or f/1.4) but after having shot with this f/1.8 wide open, I honestly don’t need anything more. In fact, I consider bokeh to be a bit of a grey area – if it is over-done, I believe it can look fake and a little cheap. Anything more than an f/1.8 would probably be a little overkill for me, personally. This little lens just scratches my medium telephoto itch, what can I say.


CONS

Here it comes. The reason why this lens is (probably) so well-priced. There is not a lot of glass. So this lens is rocking quite a bit of plastic. Which means the lens will scratch easily, and if you drop it badly, it will probably be unusable. Here’s one solution: don’t drop it! Another solution is: if you really feel uncomfortable with this, get an extended warranty with it, or go up a price range to the 50mm f/1.4 USM. If, like me, you think that the reward is worth the risk, perhaps invest in some bubble wrap.

So now that I’ve talked it up, here’s where you can get it. I got mine on Amazon.com with free 1-day shipping (thank you, Amazon Prime.)

LINK:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

Peace & Blessins

V.

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