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Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM Lens

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Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM lens

Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM lens

Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM lens


Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM MTF Chart

Optical design

Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM optical design

Format: 35mm SLR

Type: Prime lens

Focusing: Auto Focus (AF)

Lens mounts: Canon EF, EF-S

First year of production: 1993

Optical design: 7 elements in 6 groups

Features: Ultra-Sonic Motor
User reviews (5)

Photos (22)

Tests (0)

Owners (58)

Views (12876)

Average price: $343


Focal lengthMax. apertureMin. apertureBladesMin. Focus (m.)Filter Ø (mm.)Weight (gr/oz)Length (mm/in)

Additional information:

The Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM  is probably the most popular fast standard lens for EOS cameras. This lens inherited the optical scheme of the FD 50 mm f/1.4, which had always been valued for sharpness and color balance.

It was based on the Planar optical scheme with the double Gauss lens.

The lens uses a micro-type ultrasonic autofocusing motor which provides fast and silent  focusing. It is possible any time to select between AF and MF modes with a single rotation of the focus ring.

The lens is already rather sharp at f/1.4. From f/ 2.8 onward it is very sharp. It shows fall of resolution on the edges visible on 35 mm sensors and film.

The two low dispersion elements considerably minimize flare when shooting wide open and eliminate astigmatism.

It has a 8-blade aperture. Bokeh is soft and flexible.

The Canon EF 50 mm F 1.4 USM is useful as a kit everyday lens, as well as for close-up shooting of festivals, weddings, anniversaries and sporting events.

It is fit for shooting in poor light conditions without a flash. All the merits of the lens are completed with its small size and weight, it is compact and easy to handle with.

As for the Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM downsides, one can mention an insufficient mechanical durability.  Dropping the lens or applying even a slight mechanical action to it may cause serious problems with autofocus and the focus ring movement

Compatible hood: ES-71II

Links to online resources:
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Posted by: Sergei Borodin   Date of publication: 28.07.2010

Photos taken with this lens Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM:

Canon EF 50/1.4 USM (studio 1)
Autor: Andrey Dudko
5 0 3891

Canon EF 50/1.4 USM (studio 2)
Autor: Andrey Dudko
5 0 3096

Canon EF 50/1.4 USM (studio 3)
Autor: Andrey Dudko
5 0 2838

Autor: Arson
5 0 3662

Mechanical quality3.3523
Optical quality4.0023
Pricing / Value4.0622
Overall lens rating

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Owner reviews: Canon EF  50 mm  f/ 1.4  USM

tightcamera 03.06.2017 03:41:02
Period of use: 2 years


Quite possibly the cheapest OEM prime f/1.4 autofocus lens available in any focal length across all current brands. It's fast! The focusing speed/accuracy is pretty good, as is build quality. 

There are 8 blades in the aperture, leading to some seriously smooth bokeh, especially at f/2.8 - f/4. See below for wide-open bokeh notes. 

It's fairly light without feeling cheap or flimsy. It's also somewhat small dimensionally, making it a great grab-and-go lens for a full-frame body. 

Picture quality is quite good, although most copies are not the sharpest 50mm you can get. In fact, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is often sharper (in the center). 

But, the low-light capabilities of this lens more than make up for its minor shortcomigs.


This is one of Canon's oldest lenses in the current lineup. The USM technology in this lens is quiet and fairly quick, but nowhere near as fast or accurate as the current USM ring focusing system.

Build quality is good, but not as robust as the current crop of USM / IS lenses. 

Some may not like the whirly bokeh this lens displays at f/1.4. It's sort of Petzval-like, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the user and application. If you want to use this as a cheap short lens for traditional portraiture, you might be disappointed that you can't get "plain" bokeh artifacts wide open. It starts looking normal around f/2.8.


I learned to shoot with an old Nikon FE and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (AIS). So using this lens feels like coming home. The angle of view is close to "normal" human eye perspective on a full-frame body, and it's ideal for when you can only take one lens but you aren't sure what the lighting conditions will be. It's fast enough to shoot indoors without a flash and still produce reasonably sharp photos. More extensive review by me is here: