Saturday, September 26, 2015

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Retails for $169.99 at Henry's Camera

The EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an incredible lens. It was introduced 25 years ago (!) and has been a success ever since. The reason is that its maximum aperture of f/1.8 enables a whole new variety of photographic possibilities at an incredibly low price. If you compare the lens to its immediate peers it doesn't excel at anything but price, size and weight but if you are on a tight budget the EF 50mm f/1.8 II will nonetheless be well worth your buck.

Intended Use

Available Light

Ever tried shooting in a club or at a party? Using your flash almost certainly looses all the ambient light atmosphere in the picture. Shooting without flash requires high ISO settings, slow shutter speeds and low f-stops. With amaximum aperture of f/1.8 the EF 50mm f/1.8 II will require a lot less light than conventional lenses like the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II or in turn allow much faster shutter speeds or lower ISO settings. In comparison with that lens's maximum aperture at 55 mm (f/5.6) the EF 50mm f/1.8 II allows shutter speeds more than 3 exposure values faster (e.g.1/200 s rather than 1/20 s) or if you don't need the faster shutter speeds go for image quality and use e.g. ISO 160 instead of ISO 1600. That's why the EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an excellent choice for available light photography.


Using the EF 50mm f/1.8 II with an APS-C camera results in an effective focal length of 80 mm which is considered ideal for portrait photography. On a full frame sensor you have to get a little closer to your subject but the focal length is still great for portrait. Most importantly the low f-stops available with this lens allow for verry narrow in-focus ranges which can be used creatively to make a subject stand out from its sourroundings.

Of course the EF 50mm f/1.8 II can also be used for a variety of other things. In fact a 50 mm lens is sometimes called a "normal" lens and was for many years the standard lens to ship with SLR cameras.

No comments:

Post a Comment