Specifications, comparison, reviews,
MTF-charts for lenses by Canon,
Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus,
Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, etc.
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Portrait wide open
5 0 220
The Smell of Freedom
3.67 0 208
3.4 0 1599
3 0 2193
Owner reviews: Canon FDn 50 mm f/ 1.4
Small, light, fast normal lens with good contrast and ok bokeh.
This lens is widely described as though it is the standard by which all other lenses should be judged, so I got one to test. The one I got was advertised as "clean," but has fungus on every internal element... which seems to be much more common for this lens than most -- about 1/4 of those I've seen advertised admitted to having fungus. In any case, the fungus has very little impact on image quality, so taking appropriate precautions against infecting my other equipment, I did some quick tests.
Around f/5.6, this lens is a winner: perfectly sharp with high contrast across the APS-C frame. At wider apertures, bokeh are better than average (much better than its f/1.8 siblings), but that seems to come from undercorrected SA, which also gives glow and low contrast wide open. Overall, it's a bit below average in IQ wide open. Of course, a bit below average is still darn good when talking about fast 50s.
Not really a great fast 50 when used wide open, so not very compelling.
Colors are a touch warm, but there's a significant shift on stopping down (probably due to SA).
Plastic FDn build.
This is not a particularly special lens, but it usually sells for more than competing fast 50.