Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM

Last updated (25 August’12):
– Review by Photozone

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM is a standard lens features 50mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/1.4L. The lens construction has 7 elements in 6 groups with diagonal angle of view at 46 degrees. Focus adjustment: Overall linear extension system with USM, Closest focusing distance: 1.5 feet and has a filter size of 58mm. The Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM lens weighs 10.2 ounces and it measures 2.9 inches in diameter, 2 inches long with one-year warranty.

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Reviews

Photozone reviews the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM and writes;
“The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM showed an almost flawless performance during the lab- and field-tests both in terms of optical and mechanical quality. If I had to list a few negative points it would be vignetting and low contrast at f/1.4. So if you’re looking for a lens in this class the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is a great option.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM and writes;
“The f/1.4 lens has excellent ergonomics thanks to a sensibly-wide and centrally-located focusing ring that remains static in AF mode and also allows manual intervention. The AF/MF switch is located rearward and a focused-distance window is provided forward of the focusing ring, where it is highly visible.”
Rating: N/A

Slrlensreview reviews the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM and writes;
” Forgetting the (relatively) weak performance with wide open aperture, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is an amazingly solid performer that would easily give a run for its money to the more expensive (and slightly faster) Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM.”
Rating: N/A reviews the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM and writes;
“The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens makes a good travel lens – especially for low light situations not easily handled by a general purpose lens. When space is tight and light weight is important, this lens might be the right one for you. If you only need a 50mm focal length, this lens is a great choice. Overall, I think the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens is a good lens – and a very good value.”
Rating: N/A

Peter Kun Frary reviews the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM and writes;
“At $350, this lens isn’t for everyone. However, it might be the bee’s knees for available shooters, bright viewfinder lovers and those whom travel light..”
Rating: N/A

Wlcastleman Compares the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM to Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and writes;
“EF 50mm f/1.4 USM: I am not alone in considering this the finest EF 50mm prime that Canon has made to date. It is well built, compact and focuses fast. Optical performance (resolution, microcontrast and bokeh) is superb. It has the most accurate and consistent autofocus of the lenses tested… EF 50mm f/1.8 II: This is a cheaply constructed (largely plastic, no metal mount) lens that is very small and lightweight. Optical performance on the lens tested was superb, although there was considerable more variability in autofocus function than with the other two lenses. “
Rating: N/A

Reviews Video

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Reviews

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Video Review by ignphotography

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Video Review by christopherfrost

User Opinions

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM User Reviews

I love this lens! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I am an amateur who uses a Canon Rebel XT (350) and up until this lens purchase, I have been using a 28-135 lens with IS. I am most interested in capturing the moments of my family’s lives, so that means taking a lot of indoor shots, which could occur at any moment during a day, or at special events like parties. I like my 28-135 lens, but wanted to improve the quality of my indoor photos. I absolutely love this lens. I love that I can take many more photos without a flash, I love the clarity, and I love the bokuh when one of my kids or wife is the center of the composition. It is taking a little adjustment to using a lens without a zoom, but I think it will be worth it. “ – by G. Lombardo “Handy Guy”

Hard to decide between F1.8 or F1.4 | Rating: ★★★★★
“Many of the F1.8 were sharper than the F1.4 but the F1.4 was a little better in indoor low light and of course bokeh. My conclusion was that they were about the same in overall picture quality but the F1.4 had much higher quality construction and the focus motor was much smoother and less noisy than the F1.8.” – by R. Forsey “Programer Person”

My new favorite lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“A friend of mine bought the Canon 50mm f/1.8 at the same time I bought my f/1.4, and I shot some side by side comparison shot with it. There is a slight difference in picture quality (the f1.4 being better), but the real difference is in build quality, speed of focus and noise output. The f/1.4 is super-quiet, and it feels built like a tank, especially compared to the cheap, plastic feeling of the f/1.8…. what I love about this lens is its sharpness and its ability to get great shots in very low light. I’ve been able to shoot indoors without a flash and capture some beautiful, natural light.” – by Destructo “Destructo”

Awesome Lens – Tack Sharp – Unhappy with the f/1.8 | Rating: ★★★★★
“After getting frustrated with the soft images I decided to buy the 50mm f/1.4 lens. After receiving the 50mm f/1.4 lens all of my pictures are consistently tack sharp. I did several tests with the same settings using both lenses and about 60% of the f/1.8 images were not sharp, but 98% of the f/1.4 were tack sharp. If you have the money I would definitely recommend the 50mm 1.4 lens. I still think that the f/1.8 is a bargain for the money, but to avoid any frustration I would suggest the f/1.4. I agonized over whether or not the f/1.4 would be that much better for the price, but it is! I missed tons of shots of my baby over the last 7 months. Don’t make the same mistake.” – by J. Bashor

Puts the kit lens to shame | Rating: ★★★★★
“I use this on my 40D- it’s awesome. sharp. very bright, vibrant colors. creamy bokeh. shoots in low light. fast. puts my kit lens to shame. can’t imagine what an L lens will be like when I win the lottery one day and can afford one 🙂 LOVE THIS LENS!” – by MP “MP”

Razor sharp images without breaking the bank | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Much better build quality than the f/1.8, razor sharp images. Can be hard to frame images if you don’t have a full frame sensor, as it functions more like an 80mm lens. Fantastic low light performance as expected.” – by Jeffrey Eli

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Sample Photos

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Sample Photos @ Photozone
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Sample Photos @ The-digital-picture
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Sample Photos @


Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM User Manual

– Download Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM User Manual (PDF – 579kb)


Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Specifications

The 50mm f/1.4 standard lens is a terrific choice for both casual and professional photographers. The lens is outfitted with two high-refraction lens elements and new Gaussian optics, which combine to eliminate astigmatism and suppress astigmatic difference. As a result, the lens obtains crisp images with little flare even at the maximum aperture. The lens’s f/1.4 speed, meanwhile, is perfect for available-light shooting. And as a bonus, this lens is the only lens in the EF system to offer an extra-small Micro Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) while still providing a full-time manual focusing option. Other features include a close focusing distance of 1.5 feet, a 58mm filter size, and a one-year warranty.

* Focal length: 50mm
* Maximum aperture: f/1.4L
* Lens construction: 7 elements in 6 groups
* Angle of view: 46 degrees
* Focus adjustment: Overall linear extension system with USM
* Closest focusing distance: 1.5 feet
* Filter size: 58mm
* Dimensions: 2.9 inches in diameter and 2 inches long
* Weight: 10.2 ounces
* Warranty: 1 year

Leave a Reply