A Viewfinder Darkly

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Canon Introduces New 50MM Standard Lens

May 12 2015

by Philip Northeast

Canon is introducing a new reasonably priced prime lens offering a fixed 50mm focal length with a wide f1.8 maximum aperture.  While it may not offer the flexibility of a kit zoom it should offer better image quality especially in low light. The big bonus is its Autofocus function in movie mode.

The Canon EF 50MM F/1.8 STM  has a low price, but the basic optical design concepts were sorted years ago, and it is a matter of refinement  for a new lens of this type.On a cropped sensor camera such as the EOS Rebel T6,  Canon’s new lens has an effective focal length of 80mm, making this general purpose lens perfect for portraits.

One advantage of using this lens on EOS cameras with APS-C sensors, is normally the weakness in any lens design is at the outer edges of the lens elements. Because the smaller sensor only captures the central part of the available image coming through this  lens there will be  less problems at the edges photos taken with  those cameras.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

One of the advantages of prime lenses over zooms is they usually have wider maximum apertures.  The new Canon’s maximum aperture of f1.8 is considerably wider than the comparable kit zooms, where the maximum apertures vary from f3.5 to f5.6, depending on the focal length being used. Using the EF 50MM F/1.8 STM  should give better focusing in low light conditions.  The optical performance  of lenses tends to be worse at maximum aperture, so optical tests will be interesting. But remember the low price when evaluating its performance, the top Canon 50mm primes cost over ten time as much as this one

Another benefit of of fixed focal length design can be compact size. This new canon is light and compact making it easy to carry around. Canon Say it is their most compact 50mm lens ever.

The combination of effective focal length of 80mm on an APS-C camera and  the reasonably wide apertures available gives photographers the opportunity to create shallow depth of field photos. To help Canon have given the lens a seven blade circular aperture, up from five in its predecessor to make the blurry out of focus areas more appealing.

Saving the best for last, the new Canon lens is video friendly. By  incorporating Canon’s proprietary STM stepping motor technology, this new lens provide smooth and quiet continuous AF during video recording,  using Canon’s EOS Movie Servo AF (autofocus) function, as well as when capturing still photos.

Promises quality upgrade from standard kit zooms without breaking the bank.

Available in the US in June

Pre order the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens – U.S.A. Warranty from Adorama  for $125.00 with Free Shipping


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