Canon 50mm F1.4 Lens – hands on review

Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens

Hand on review

I wanted to do a review on this lens for a long time. I have been using this great lens for the last 5 years and I have never stopped loving it. Not only is a really good value in teh lens world, but the results are impressive. This is a prime lens with an aperture of F1.4 and that means a very fast lens, very helpful in low light situations. It weighs 2-300 grams, very light and feels very well in your hand and on your camera. Good quality built as you would expect from a company like Canon.

This lens is best for low light situation and shallow depth of field. I am always using it indoors, for portraits, close up details shots, or even for events where the light is always scarce. I am giving it a work out every time I go out shooting.

Canon F1.4 has 2 brothers, the canon F1.8 as a very cheap plastic lens, and the bigger brother, F1.2 the outstanding piece of expensive glass. Our lens of F1.4 aperture, is in between to the lower spectrum of the price and it costs just few hundreds dollars which is an inexpensive lens compared with others.

 

Let’s have a look on some pictures:

Depth of field:

by using the large aperture we can get some really nice depth of field effects, very smooth with nice colour tones. I find the results a bit cold if used with Automatic white balance, and I like that. However this is not critical as you can play with your white balance as you want

IMG_0206

Sharp focus

the image below is taken during en event and I was amazed by its sharpness in focus. Please note that this image does not have any postproduction done to it

IMG_9622

Artistic results

I always like to get a self portrait in a mirror and this one is taken in really low light conditions. Please note the bokeh effect depends on the distance of the background

IMG_9628

 

Beautiful indoor portraits

I am always use this lens inside, indoors and it gives me smooth skin, an artistic effect and a nice blurry background. For a window portrait it is my favourite lens

canon 50 mm F1.4 indoor portrait

 

Disadvantage using the prime fixed lens

The only downside of this lens is that you have to move after your subject in order to get the right compositions and a good framing for your pictures. It will restrict your possibility to shoot in tight and small spaces. I was many times in a situation I wanted to have small group shots in small rooms and I could not do it.

Price

The value of this lnes is very good compared between what you ay and what you get. I consider this a budget lens, very affordable and a must have for anyone.

 

Exercise

as you can probably and hopefully got used to our methods, we are going to test below the most important settings that make this lens special and that is the Aperture size. The series below tests all aperture sizes in increments from the largest F1.4 to the smallest F22.

I have used the images in Aperture priority, with and ISO 100, and the camera was set on a tripod. The camera chose the shutter speed, however all the settings are not relevant for this as I wanted to seee how the depth of field behaves on this lens:

F1.4

Canon50mmF14review0

F1.6

Canon50mmF14review1

 

F1.8

Canon50mmF14review2

 

F2.0

Canon50mmF14review3

 

F2.2

Canon50mmF14review4

F2.5

Canon50mmF14review5

F2.8

Canon50mmF14review6

F3.2

Canon50mmF14review7

 

F3.5

Canon50mmF14review8

F4.0

Canon50mmF14review9

F4.5

Canon50mmF14review10

F5.0

Canon50mmF14review11

F5.6

Canon50mmF14review12

F6.3

Canon50mmF14review13

F7.1

Canon50mmF14review14

F8.0

Canon50mmF14review15

F9.0

Canon50mmF14review16

F10

Canon50mmF14review17

F11

Canon50mmF14review18

F13

Canon50mmF14review19

F14

Canon50mmF14review20

F16

Canon50mmF14review21

 

F18

Canon50mmF14review22

F20

Canon50mmF14review23

F22

Canon50mmF14review24


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About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography