LensTip.com

Lens review

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II

21 January 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Vignetting

Let’s check how the tested Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II fares on the small sensor of the Canon 50D first. The appropriate thumbnails are presented below.

Canon 50D, f/1.8 Canon 50D, f/2.0
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting


The vignetting is visible only near the maximum relative aperture. By f/1.8 it is 25% (-0.83 EV) and it decreases to 19% (-0.62 EV) on applying f/2.0. Stopping down the lens to f/2.8 makes the vignetting unobtrusive as its level decreases to just 8% (-0.21 EV).


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Now let’s see how the situation changes when you progress to full frame.

Canon 5D III, f/1.8 Canon 5D III, f/2.0
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting
Canon 5D III, f/2.8 Canon 5D III, f/4.0
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting


Unfortunately the results are really very bad. At the maximum relative aperture you lose as much as 60% of light in the frame corners (-2.62 EV) – that’s a lot. By f/2.0 the vignetting is only slightly better, reaching 55% (-2.28 EV). The aberration remains distinctly visible by f/2.8 where it gets to 32% (-1.10 EV). Only by f/4.0 you can talk about a slight level of vignetting with a result of 15% (-0.47 EV). The aberration disappears completely by f/5.6 where it is just 9% (-0.28 EV).

The performance of the Canon compares unfavourably to that of its rivals. It’s worth reminding here that both Nikkors, the AF 1.8/50D and the AF-S 1.8/50G, at the maximum relative aperture showed vignetting of 41-44% so much lower than the level of the Canon.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II - Vignetting