Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2005

Special thanks to Markus Stamm for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is the very cheapest lens in the Canon line-up. In the APS-C DSLR scope the field-of-view resembles a 80mm lens here which qualifies it as an interesting portrait lens besides other purposes such as low-light photography.
The lens features a conventional micro motor without full-time manual focusing. The AF speed feels pretty fast - there aren't really many elements to move around here. The lens uses a linear extension system for focusing (similar to extension tubes) so the length of the lens changes according to the focus distance. The front element does not rotate during focusing. The minimal focus distance is 0.45m resulting in a max. magnification of 0.15x (~1:7). Manual focusing feels Ok. The focus ring, positioned at the very front, is very narrow so it's not really convenient.
The optical construction is made of just 6 elements in 5 groups without any special elements (not needed at this focal length). The lens features 5 aperture blades. The filter size is 52mm.
At just 130g it is an ultra light-weight lens and with a dimension of 68x41mm it's also extremely compact. The build quality is sufficient to say it positive. The lens barrel is made of plastic down to the mount. All-in-all you feel the price tag here. That said there's little wobbling of the inner tube and unless you abuse it there're no reasons to believe that it'll not last.