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Canon 50mm F/1.8 STM - The legend just got even better


Guest Ebrahim Saadawi
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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Just a heads-up for EOSHD in case someone missed it. The legendary Canon 50mm F/1.8 just got even better. 


-New much improved construction (predecessor's main weakness) 

-Big nice focus ring, with Full-Time Manual focus support 

-Metal lens mount 

-Faster, quieter, smoother STM focus motors, ideal for video on the Eos Cinema line and 750/760D/m3/7Dmkii/70D

-Modern lens coatings that further improve contrast, ghosting, flare performance

-Closer minimum focus distance 

-7 iris blades vs. 5 for smoother bokeh

-Still the same 125$ price point and ships in a few days.

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My observations, what's not to love? The Canon 50mm 1.8II still is my most used lens, it's just the sharpest 50mm I own and is extremely contrasty with just a wonderful image. Nothing comes close at 100 bucks.

-The only weakness was how plasticy it felt and looked, plus the small and front positioned focus ring.

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The ring made me unhappy to use my favourite prime so I even took off the large zoom ring of an 18-55mm (leaving it destroyed sadly, well not too sadly, it's a hideous lens) and rehoused it onto the 50mm to have the zoom ring as a solid, large focus ring that can be attached to follow focus, plus it doubled as a lens hood and cut unwanted lateral light.

Point is it was absolute crap construction and this one seems to fix all these problems and more.

Canon is making such a wonderful job in glass production yet their bodies are not worthy of that glass for video use. Anyway there are ones that are worthy like the 5D/7D/50D raw, the new 750/760D/m3 and of course the C100, C100 mk II, C300, C300 mk II, C500, 1DC. If you use any of these cameras this lens is a must have, especially for AF use, along with the wonderful 10-18mm STM, with these super sharp ultra wide for landscapes & 50mm prime for people they can be all you need for under 400$ both.

 

-10-18mm IS STM s35/APS-C lens: 299$

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-Canon 50mm F/1.8 FF lens: 125$

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These lenses are screaming for a 4K Canon DSLR with DPAF, come on!

Anyway If you own and use any Canon camera (5D/7D/50D/70D raw, 750/760D/m3, C100, C100 mk II, C300, C300 mk II, C500, 1DC), order the new 50mm F/1.8 STM: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1143786-REG/canon_0570c002_ef_50mm_f_1_8_stm.html

I know it sounds like an ad but there's nothing bad to say, just a must have for Canon users. I am really admiring what they're doing on their the low-budget lens line-up, not to mention the high-end one (100-400mm L, 11-24mm L, 35mm F/2 IS, etc)

Next step that I want, a 50mm F/1.4 replacement with IS and STM. Rumors are it is coming. The current 1.4 is a hideous lens and I sold it for the much lower-end 1.8, which tells you how bad and uninspired it is.

 

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ok, time for a little bashing. :-)

Of course you are right, Ebrahim, but we have already an abundance of very fine and very cheap fifties, even if this might be an new experience for the average Canon shooter.

What could make this lens interesting would be support for face detection and auto iris in the newer bodies, otherwise I would prefer a good ol' manual glas, but that might be just me.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

 

What could make this lens interesting would be support for face detection and auto iris in the newer bodies, otherwise I would prefer a good ol' manual glas, but that might be just me.

​It does do the best (the only) video AF on the market when coupled with a new Canon body (750D, 760D, M3, 70D, 7D MK II, C100, C100 MK II, C300, C300 MK II) Face tracking and object tracking and touch to focus work flawlessly, quiet, fast, smooth, and accurate.

Here's a video clarifying the significance of STM (even with DPAF, but with it it becomes a perfectly usable video AF system)

 

It's more important than many people think, and that's why Canon are investing heavily into this with both STM lens technology and Dual Pixel AF, I believe it will change the industry and how we shoot very soon. And of equal importance, Image stabilization systems. 

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From what I have read from multiple sources the 40mm STM and this new 50mm STM do not enable face-detection AF on the C-line cameras. A real pity =(

I'm currently invested in the m43 system for my business but have been researching the C100 Mark 2 for a potential new A Cam. It looks like a fantastic machine.

However... the one thing that I currently see as a weakness for the Canon C-line cameras is... the lenses. I know you must think I'm crazy, people are always singing the praises over Canon's incredible lens line up, but I just don't see it for their Super 35mm sensors. I either have to buy very expensive L lenses that have focal lengths and image circles designed for full frame, or sharp EF-S lenses that have plastic build quality, un-cinema-friendly zoom/focus rings and very uninspiring aperture ranges.

If I spend £4000 on a camera, I want an awesome standard zoom lens that uses all the features the camera is offering. I want f/2.8 throughout the range (so I can gain the advantage of the Super 35mm sensor!), I want 24mm full-frame equivalent at the wide end, I want a beautifully smooth zoom and focus ring so I can operate old school, and I also want OIS and all those sexy AF options at my fingertips so I can nail more shots on the fly.

Maybe I want too much? =)

Anyway, I love the image I can get from my GH4, and I love my Olympus 12-40mm lens. It's a real swiss army knife of a lens with its clutched hard-stopped focus ring, great zoom ring, constant f/2.8 and that wonderfully handy minimum focus distance, and the whole package weather-sealed. Okay, no OIS, but it does everything else perfectly and no problem sticking it on my small Glidecam HD1000 for stabilised shots.

Anyway, sorry to jump on your thread Ebrahim. I do like your posts, I just worry you are too deeply in love with Canon sometimes and she blinds you with marketing ;-)

Canon still have some work to do before they get my hard-earned money. Strangely at the moment it's the lenses that are the biggest sticking point for me.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

 

On a GH-3:

Would you guys go with this Canon 50mm F/1.8 and the EF speedbooster or the new Panasonic 42.5 ?​

I'd go with the panasonic just for image stabilization.

 

If I spend £4000 on a camera, I want an awesome standard zoom lens that uses all the features the camera is offering. I want f/2.8 throughout the range (so I can gain the advantage of the Super 35mm sensor!), I want 24mm full-frame equivalent at the wide end, I want a beautifully smooth zoom and focus ring so I can operate old school, and I also want OIS and all those sexy AF options at my fingertips so I can nail more shots on the fly.

 

​The Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 IS is your friend. 

Anyway, sorry to jump on your thread Ebrahim. I do like your posts, I just worry you are too deeply in love with Canon sometimes and she blinds you with marketing ;-)

Yup I am afraid ​I definitely am in love with their lenses.... and images :rolleyes:

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Don't get me wrong, Ebrahim, I just did the unbelievable, switching from N to C... but only for the c100MKII, and only for video, I had to add. Got sick with the handling of the Nikon DSLRs.
 
Ironically, I have a ton of Samyang, Nikon and Zeiss glas, in between a lot of fast primes, and exactly ONE (1) fuzzy cheapo-fanplastic Canon zoom, the 18-55.
The last one I bought second hand just out of curiosity, because I had not planned to invest in Canon lenses (zooming/focussing the other way as Nikon lenses...).
and guess what ... -- this F*** little zoom is my most valuable lens for the C100 at the moment!
When I tried to focus manually I had a lot of false peaking with my trusty primes; even with the VF loupe I was too much struggling for sharp content. That changed the moment I tried the AF. Probably a game changer? At least for any steadycam/gimbal work, where you didn't want to touch the body.
 
Yes, the new 50 is a steal.  Unfortunately  we are allmost sure like Jimbo said, that face detection and auto iris are not supported, just like the 17-50/2.8 ... so, no free lunch. and no reason to invest.  :-(
 
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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Alas the 17-55mm cannot take advantage of the face detection, and apparently not very good focus ring =(

​I know for a fact it does work with all Canon cameras (before the C100 MK II) that have AF and works with face detection, has that changed with the mk IIs? and the focus ring is beautiful. The only problem you'll find with from being the perfect C100/300 kit lens, is that it extends while zooming, making it harder to use with anything in front of the camera like a matte box.

Really AF doesn't work with these Canon lenses on Canon bodies?

I know they do work beautifully on Canon DSLRs with video AF and face detection (70D/7DII/750/760D) even the non STM lenses like the 17-55mm do work very well. 

I know they also do work on the C100/300 original with DPAF, all lenses, with STM just doing better.

So what's the situation on the new cinema MK II cameras? It'd be big news if they don't work with the new DPAF in the mark II bodies, ESPECIALLY the 40mm STM and 50mm STM.

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​I know for a fact it does work with all Canon cameras (before the C100 MK II) that have AF and works with face detection, has that changed with the mk IIs? and the focus ring is beautiful. The only problem you'll find with from being the perfect C100/300 kit lens, is that it extends while zooming, making it harder to use with anything in front of the camera like a matte box.

Really AF doesn't work with these Canon lenses on Canon bodies?

I know they do work beautifully on Canon DSLRs with video AF and face detection (70D/7DII/750/760D) even the non STM lenses like the 17-55mm do work very well. 

I know they also do work on the C100/300 original with DPAF, all lenses, with STM just doing better.

So what's the situation on the new cinema MK II cameras? It'd be big news if they don't work with the new DPAF in the mark II bodies, ESPECIALLY the 40mm STM and 50mm STM.

​USM lenses don't work with face tracking on the Dual Pixel AF (at least on my C100 MkII). Haven't tried with the 70D.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I did, they work with 70D and work on all the other AF canons.

From what I understand from looking up,

On the C100 MKII, it uses the sensor as the C100 and C300 original, as in, the Dual pixel design is only at the center 10% of the imaging sensor. This center area, being DPAF like the 70D and the previous C100, it works reliably with all Canon AF lenses.

What Canon has done with C100 mk II, is that they added regular Contrast Detection AF system as on the 100D/700D outside the center DPAF area. But as we know on these cameras (100D/700D) the contrast detection only works smoothly and only gives DPAF-like results with STM lenses, while it hunts and isn't acceptable enough for the professional use, so they avoided it by disabling the contrast detection AF altogether when using non-STM lenses, and only enabling it with STM lenses, and that's why Face Detection works only with STM lenses:

official list:

*Lenses that support face detection AF on EOS C100 MK II:
EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM

It's pretty strange how the 40mm STM isn't supported, perhaps as they also don't find it focuses well enough (I actually agree and found it the most non-STM-like lens in the STM line-up, for starters it's the only noisy one while focusing)  With the 50mm STM, it's a new release so normally if Canon wants they'll add support to the new lens for AF (and Peripheral illumination correction, chromatic aberration correction and for EXIF data) via firmware as they always do with new lenses. 

You can still use the center area with all lenses and it does have higher performance than the outer area. It's a bit disappointing because I thought the MK II had DPAF on the entire sensor, but apparently, if you want acceptable Face detection AF you'll have to go with one of the mentioned zooms.

On the positive side if you do go with one of the STM zooms, the C100 MK II has a neat feature for these lenses though called ''Zoom/Iris'', which compensates the darkening of the image while zooming with Gain and effectively turns these variable iris STM lenses into fixed-iris lenses exposure wise. Canon demonstration with the 18-135mm STM zooming is very impressive (no exposure changes at all zooming fast from 18mm to 135mm) and it's an un-marketed feature for some reason. They don't mention a list of supported lenses though so I'd look if it works with USM zooms. They probably do it with calculation of the lens exposure changes at the reported focal length so it might like be limited to supported STM zooms too. Don't know for sure and never used the camera.

 

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On a GH-3:

 

Would you guys go with this Canon 50mm F/1.8 and the EF speedbooster or the new Panasonic 42.5 ?

STM lenses require power to focus - they use similar stepper motors in m4/3 glass so there's no mechanical linkage to the focusing group. Therefore in this case it's the Panasonic.

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