Lens review

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM

15 December 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The difference between the Canon 1.4/50 and its cheaper 1.8/50 brother is that in the case of the former we deal with a better quality of used materials. While complete minimalism was employed in the case of the cheaper device, when we look at the EF 1.4/50 there is nothing to complain about. Its barrel is very solid, its mount - made of metal, the manual focus ring – very comfortable, with a clear distance scale window. Additionally, we get an USM mechanism, which should make the lens’s focusing fast, quiet and accurate.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM - Build quality

The Canon EF 1.4/50 USM is not a bulky device so it fits very elegantly the body of the three-digit series, the two-digit series or even every 1 series camera. The comparison between its dimensions and those of an EF-S 18-55 mm kit lens is presented in the picture below.

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Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM - Build quality

The following chart is also worth consulting, as it shows the comparison between the basic parameters of the tested Canon with its equally fast rivals, equipped with the ultrasonic autofocus mechanism. The chart confirms what we wrote earlier – the Canon along with a Nikkor are physically the smallest and the lightest lenses in its class.

The EF 1.4/50 construction consists of 7 elements in 6 groups. Two of these elements were made of a high refraction glass and the whole optics was designed to be especially efficient in reducing any off-axis aberrations, mainly astigmatism. The Canon is equipped with a circular aperture with eight diaphragm blades which can be closed down to f/22.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM - Build quality

It is also worth noticing that buying a Canon 1.4/50 USM you get just two caps included in box. You must pay additionally for a hood or a case. Here Canon lags behind its competitors as they often offer more accessories in this price class.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM - Build quality