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Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM
11 July 2015
Szymon Starczewski

1. Introduction

In 1987 with the launch of the EF 50 mm f/1.8 model equipped with a metal mount started the history of 50 mm f/1.8 devices. That first lens didn’t linger on the market for long because already in 1990 its successor was shown, the EF 50 mm f/1.8 II. For a very long time it used to be the cheapest “prime” in the EF system, with a simple construction, a plastic mount and a dummy instead of a manual focus ring. The lens was optically good but only for a year or two; then the casing made of low quality plastics stopped holding the optics in its proper place. Huge off-axis aberrations were the result. Many Canon system users didn’t buy the new version of the 1.8/50 but looked for a second-hand Mk I model, older but of superior build quality.

After a period of 25 years on the market, the plastic EF 50 mm f/1.8 II finally saw its successor. In May 2015 Canon announced the launch of the EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM which was supposed to come with a metal mount again. The following chart presents a comparison between basic properties of different 1.8/50 lenses produced by Canon. It is clear the optical system hasn’t changed much. Apart from the new STM autofocus motor you also get more aperture blades and a better minimum focusing distance.

We would like to thank Canon Poland for lending us one specimen for testing purposes.

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You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM - Introduction



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