words & image source/photographer : Eksovichea Tito Hak


Some people complain you can't fit much in the frame using a 50mm full frame lens on a 1.6x crop sensor body which is true. But maybe it might be worth considering that an 85mm f1.8 EF lens costs around about 300 to 500GBP depending on where you buy and whether it's brand new or second hand.

A 50mm EF lens on a Canon 1.6x crop sensor camera body will give you an 80mm equivalent viewing field, which is very close to using the 85mm EF lens on a Canon camera with a full frame sensor.

Touted as the "plastic fantastic" the 50mm f1.8 EF MKII lens does indeed feel very cheap and flimsy in its construction, and as such this is reflected in the pricing. This was obviously intentional as there are a bunch of other all plastic lenses (aside from the difference of actually having a metal mounting ring instead of plastic) that feel a damn sight more premium in feel. Despite this for what Canon decided to exclude in terms of build quality and premium feel, the optics are pretty much top notch for the type of lens at the price it retails at. you can pick one up for around 60 to 100GBP brand new depending on where you buy. This is significantly lower then the original RRP on it which was around about 150 to 170GBP. 

Generally the 50mm f1.8 EF MKII is very sharp towards the centre of the frame, and when used on a 1.6x crop sensor Canon camera body there's very little barrel distortion. It gets much sharper when stopping down at the centre and toward the edges. Other than that its generally a very bright and fast lens that will allow you to take decent snaps indoors at much lower ISO's. 

When I talk about lens speed I'm not talking about how fast it focuses, more traditionally what is meant by a fast lens is that it will allow you capture subjects in motion without necessarily capturing motion blur. But on the subject of fast focusing, the 50mm f.1.8 EF MKII is actually quite fast in terms of auto-focusing speed, although the motor used isn't ultrasonic and as a consequence is also very noisy.


The Bokeh on it is ok, but if you're buying a 50mm lens for bokeh you might want to consider the 50mm f1.4 EF lens which is much closer to how an f1.2 lens appears for bokeh. It will also give you even more speed and brighter images in low lit conditions.    

Summary

the 50mm f1.8 EF lens isn't great construction-wise, but the optics are excellent for the price and potential results you can achieve with it. I guess its makes more sense to be using something like this lens for more general usage scenarios where using 1500 to 2000GBP L lens equivalents would be too much of a risky proposition. I guess that's what happens when the value of L lenses retain their value like diamonds depending on what usable physical condition they're in.

Click this for image samples. Be warned that the image files are full resolution 18 megapixel JPG's and it might take a while to load the page depending on what kind of connection you have. The images have also been resized to fit the page, but you can just save the pictures to your computer to inspect them in full screen mode. the first few images don't show much in the way of bokeh, but I'll add more image samples as I take them.