A review of the Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II lens

A view from the front of the canon ef 50mm F1.8 lens

This is a review of the Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II lens.  I have been using this lens for a while now and it has become one of my favourite lenses because it is so surprisingly versatile, despite it being one of the lower priced lenses out of all of Canons line up.

Price and value

Canon provide three 50mm lenses in there line up; the F1.8 the F1.4 and the F1.2. Apart from the speed of the lens the most significant differences between the three is the build quality and  of course the price. Everyone wants the F1.2 but it will set you back at least £900. The 1.4 is a lot cheaper with a price tag of around £250. The cheapest of all is the F1.8 which comes in at a mere £70.

What’s in the Box

The box for the Canon 50mm F1.8 lens


Due to the extremely low price you will not find anything in the way of a carry case for this lens. You only get the lens and a massive instruction manual. At such a low cost it was not a surprise or a problem for me.

A look at the lens

A view from the front of the canon ef 50mm F1.8 lens


The entire body of the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 is made from plastic. In terms of functionality it does not make a difference in My opinion, Yes the focusing mechanism does feel very cheap in your hand but as far as i can tell the accuracy of focusing is still very high. This is something that i expect to get from a canon product.  There is both manual and auto focusing options.


Due to the plastic construction the life time of the lens will be reduced but, unless you are playing baseball with it the lens should be as reliable for you as it has been for me. The Plastic construction does have an advantage however; It is very light. With this lens attached to your camera you will have a very light weight and versatile set up which works great for the photographer who does not want to be lugging around a heavy camera.


The mount is made from plastic too. This would imply that the fitting wouldn’t be good – you will find that the lens fits really snugly on the EF mounting in fact.

Features and performance.

Firstly lets list down some facts about this product:

  • 46 degree angle of view
  • F 1.8 aperture
  • 52mm filter fitting
  • Super Spectra coated glass
  • Auto focus uses micro motor
  • weight 130 grams
  • closes focusing distance – 45cm

The main reason why most people are buying this lens is because they want a fast prime lens for stylistic images. I can report that the low depth of field works really well on the Canon F1.8, Here is a example photograph below which demonstrates the style of photograph that you can get out of it: (BTW i took this on the fly in my back garden.)


The super Spectra glass ensures that you will not get any dodgy glares and other unwanted blemishes. Overall i am deeply impressed by the quality of the images that you can get out of this little lens. Looking at the images you would not have a clue that the lens used to take them only cost £70!

With such a fast lens you will get excellent low light performance and there is not any vignetting or other glitches at the widest aperture setting. So from a performance side of things there is not really anything bad you can say, The only comment i would make in a bad light is that the automatic focusing is rather loud. Not really a problem for me because the actual time it takes to focus is very low.

So for the photographer who wants a fast, prime lens with excellent performance but does not want to spend a fortune then i could not recommend the Canon ef 50mm F1.8 any more. So for that i give it a 5 out of 5 rating. The fixed focal length will also make you think about what you are photographing a little more so it could very well improve your photographing skills!




Photographer and writer for jhphotographer.co.uk

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