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  • Writer's picturePhil Davenport

Street wise with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Updated: May 19, 2021

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime lens enables you to capture images with subjects that pop from the scene, or create impact with beautiful background blur. The successor to the incredibly popular EF 50mm f/1.8 II, and an ideal second lens for anyone looking to take their photography to the next level, the EF 50mm F/1.8 STM excels at portraiture, low-light photography, and adding an artistic edge to everyday objects and settings, thanks to its wide

f/1.8 maximum aperture and 50mm focal length.

The EF 50mm f/1.8 STM now features an improved design, Canon’s super spectra lens coating, a 7-blade aperture and STM technology for smooth, near silent focusing. Compact, lightweight and affordable, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is a welcome addition to any kit bag for people who want to create more impactful imagery.

Features to consider:

Focal length (35mm film equivalent): 50mm (80mm when mounted on an APS-C camera)

Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups

No. of aperture blades: 7

Minimum shooting distance: approx. 0.35m

Maximum magnification: 0.21x

Filter diameter: φ49mm

Maximum diameter × overall length: approx. 69.2×39.3mm

Weight: approx. 160g

The best value for money of 50mm lens

Compact design and not too heavy

When I first got the canon 50mm f/1.8 I shot everything at 1.8, mainly because its fun and I finally had the ability to do so.

But I soon realised that the depth of field at f/1.8 will be from the person's eyes to the tip of their nose. This is fine if you are shooting a static subject as you can focus on the person's eyes and they will stay in focus throughout the shoot.

If your subject is moving around however, you will find it near impossible to keep them in focus when shooting at f/1.8.

So when shooting on a 50mm try shooting at f/2.8 or f/4 (f/5.6 to f/8 for corner to corner sharpness) this is where the Canon 50mm performs the best. You get a sharp image with some nice shallow depth of field, but it keeps the focal plane a lot more manageable when focusing on a moving subject.

50mm on a full frame camera is known as a standard field of view as it’s roughly the field of view as your eyes, giving your image a very natural and pleasing look.

The Canon 50mm does give you the ability to shoot in low light situations great for those the golden hour and near darkness shots thanks again to the f/1.8 aperture.

The construction of the Canon 50mm lens is solid with a metal mount and I certainly can’t complain about the build quality. All in all this is an affordable versatile lens and takes pride of place in my camera bag.

Product details can be found here:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

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