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Lens review

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II

21 January 2015
Szymon Starczewski

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

The longitudinal chromatic aberration is not corrected in a perfect way - you can notice it by f/1.8 and by f/2.5. In both cases its level is not especially bothersome so there are no reasons to complain a lot.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Chromatic and spherical aberration

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If you don’t like colorful rims along contrasting edges here comes a piece of good news: the lateral chromatic aberration of the Canon 1.8/50 is really low. By apertures higher than 2.8 it is practically imperceptible; around 1.8-2.0 it is slight which means you have to look really closely to find its traces. It’s worth mentioning that the results we got on the edge of the APS-C sensor and full frame were practically the same.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Chromatic and spherical aberration


Below you can find fragments of our ISO testing chart which are positioned in a distance of 65-70% from the field centre. The photos were taken by the Canon EOS 5D MkIII employing f/8.0 and the maximum aperture. It would be difficult to spot any traces of chromatic aberration.

Canon 5D III, f/1.8 Canon 5D III, f/8.0
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Chromatic and spherical aberration Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Chromatic and spherical aberration



Spherical aberration

The Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II didn’t show any „focus shift” effect so the spherical aberration cannot be especially high. Still it would be difficult to say that aberration is corrected in a perfect way and the photos below prove there are some problems. You can notice a distinct difference in the appearance of the edges of the circle. In one case you get a rim and in the other case - just brightness loss near the edge. It is a classic symptom of badly corrected spherical aberration.

Canon 5D III, f/1.8, in front of Canon 5D III, f/1.8, behind
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Chromatic and spherical aberration Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Chromatic and spherical aberration