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Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM review

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM I like. This is an inexpensive, compact fifty with a good build, acceptable image quality and a nice focusing mechanism. The previous sentence describes this lens almost completely. What else to add?

The 50mm f1.8 STM comes as a replacement Canon EF 50mm f1.8II... They stand the same, have the same aperture ratio and optical scheme. They are identical in sharpness and picture quality. But the advantages of the new version are different.

50mm f1.8 stm

I will put the advantages of Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM in order:

The first is design lens. All of the following benefits flow from it. The body is more knocked down and doesn't feel as flimsy as the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II. The focus ring is not mechanically connected to the motor. But the movement of the ring is very smooth and comfortable, which will be appreciated by videographers. Because of this, the previous budget fifty dollar for video was absolutely not suitable.

Second, new STM focusing mechanism... It is similar in speed to the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM, but slower than the Canon EF 50mm f1.2L USM. You can't call it super fast, but it doesn't slow down either. The benefits of STM will also be appreciated by videographers filming with cameras that support autofocus in video mode.

Third, the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM 7 aperture blades versus 5 for Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II.

bokeh example on canon 50mm f1.8 stm

7 blades for smooth bokeh at closed apertures. The pentagons of the old fifty dollars gave him away instantly.

bokeh 50 1.8

It's a matter of taste. This is not to say that pentagons in bokeh are definitely bad. After all, there are even special attachments for getting bokeh in the form of stars, diamonds, etc. But for universal tasks, smooth background blur is still preferable.

Lack ofthat caught my eye is the palpable chromatic aberration. The purple glow on white did not disappear until f4 (see video below). It brings a lot of discomfort when you are filming a bride in a white dress. Can be fixed in lightroom, but only in the photo. The video will be so.

Test photos link.

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM or Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM or Canon EF 50mm f1.2L?

The faster version f1.4 costs about 2 times more. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM is sharper and allows more background blur at f1.4. Although I mostly shoot with him at f2. Since this lens is already covered at this aperture, the sharpness is the same as if you cover the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM to f2.8. This is an important advantage. And sometimes it is very appropriate to open up to f1.4.

Is it worth looking at 50 f1.2L? I must say that the difference between f1.4 and f1.8 is much more noticeable than between f1.4 and f1.2. Therefore, the purchase of the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM is quite justified. Subjectively, I would say that the fifty kopeck f1.4 is 1.8% better than the STM f30. The difference between f1.4 and f1.2L is about 10%. I see no rational sense in a top-end L-lens.


If you have a very limited budget, take Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM. This is a really good lens. The previous version of the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II I could only recommend to unassuming amateur photographers due to its awful flimsy body. The new reincarnation with STM motor is a worthy choice for any task, including professional use.

If you can afford Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM, it's worth it. This is a slightly sharper and slightly faster lens. The difference seems to be small, but in photography, a lot is built on nuances. The better your technique, the more creativity you will have.

My video review of the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM