Why Spend $420 on the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon Logo

The Canon 50mm 1.4 Gulps Light

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens Top ViewWhy spend $420 on the 50mm f/1.4 when you can buy the similar 50mm f/1.8 for $125? The f1.4 will likely have a much longer life than the cheaper plastic build of the Canon 85mm f1.8, and retain more resale value. It's an investment, rather than a commodity. Then there's the difference in bokeh, which is based on the number of aperture blades within the lens. The f1.8 has five, and the f1.4 has eight. The f1.8 will portray out-of-focus lights more as a two-dimensional geometric figure formed of five sides and five angles, the f1.4 more roundly. (In focus, those same lights will be eight-pointed stars with the f1.4, and ten-pointed with the f1.8.  But more importantly, the blur from the f1.8 can be somewhat uneven especially at wide apertures, while the f1.4's is consistently more buttery smooth.

An f/1.4 lens is not usually as efficient as the same manufacture's f/1.8 or f/2 lenses, even when both are stopped down to f/5.6. the lens with the wider aperture is heaver and more expensive, so don't choose it as your standard unless you are planning a great deal of photography in poor light conditions. There' plenty of reasons for using a wide aperture, but avoid buying a lens with an aperture wider than you need.

f/1.4 lenses aren't used for their optical perfection, but because they are f/1.4.

The Canon 50mm 1.4 prime lens gulps light. It opens up a world of indoor photography that is not possible with most other lenses. The 50mm focal length combined with available light produces natural-looking results. It is exactly as your eye sees it. Shadows and highlights are integral. It is a revelation. if you're used to the unforgiving drop shadows and evenly-lit faces produced by flashes. This is a strident step up in quality from snapshot to sensation.

Having said that, on an APS-C camera this lens is the 35mm equivalent of a moderate 80mm telephoto lens. if you have an APS-C camera want "NORMAL" I'd opt for the Canon 28mm f/1.8 (44.8 equivalent ) street price $472, or perhaps the Sigma 30mm f/4 at (48mm equivalent) street price $439.

The 50mm f/1.4 is a standard lens featuring superb quality and portability. Two high-refraction lens elements and Gaussian optics eliminate astigmatism and suppress astigmatic difference. Crisp images with little flare are obtained even at the maximum aperture. ✓

Shop
Shop for the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens here from these stores
Link to Adorama Link to Amazon Link to B&H Photo

Specifications

Accessories


Images
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

Know the Canon lens you are looking for?
Go directly to the lens by using the drop-down menu below

External Links