Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM Reviews, Accessories, Samples and References

First published on: Wednesday, 3 June 2009

This post is a personal compilation of links to Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM professional reviews, user opinions and experiences, tests, ratings and conclusions.

I also link up to images, sample photos and galleries of pictures taken with this lens.

Full attribution is given by linking to the source.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens was introduced in 1993.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens

The weight of the lens is 10.2 oz. / 290g, while dimensions (diameter x length) are 2.9” x 2.0” / 73.8 x 50.5mm.

Refer to Canon USA for the official specifications, full description, MTF charts, technical details and other data.

The Canon 50/1.4 USM lens finds its way into many a photographer’s bag on account of the tremendous image quality offered in a package that’s small and light.

Corner-to-corner sharpness is one of its hallmark qualities and critical sharpness is attained when stopped down to f/2.

Having a pretty snappy autofocus performance doesn’t hurt the appeal of this optic either.


50/1.4 USM review at The Digital Picture

For a comprehensive review of this lens, please read The Digital Picture’s article.

Sample Photos

Recently Added

Superb portraits by Paul Krol aka “Agent00687” — According to the EXIF data, Paul used the Canon XSi / 450D for these shots. You might also like to visit the related forum discussion.
Canon XSi plus EF 50mm f/1.4 USM portraits by Paul Krol

Coconut on the beach and a bride in wedding gown. These are official photo taken with a Canon 50D.

Random Canon 50mm f/1.4 images from user galleries on — Don’t forget to hit the refresh button on your browser to serve up another set of random pictures. You’ll also find user reviews there. The 50mm f.14 is a cost-effecive way of getting great-looking photos with nicely-blurred backgrounds — here is one sample shot wide-open at f/1.4.

Canon T1i / 500D review samples with the 50/1.4 at DPReview

T1i / 500D review samples at DPReview

There are four portraits of a female model to be found in DPReview’s gallery of 38 sample images photographed with the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM mounted on a Canon T1i / 500D / Kiss X3.

Here are the direct links to the 1024-pixel photos, which you can then click through to the full-sized pictures.

  1. Image 27 (female model portrait)

  2. 28 (female model portrait with fill-flash)

  3. 29 (female model portrait)

  4. 30 (female model portrait, ACR conversion)

Rediscovering the magic of the 50mm f/1.4

Voland shoots three superb portrait / candid images (at f/4, f/2 and f/1.4) and finds that the lens beautifully complements the EOS 5D’s (Mark 1) full-frame sensor.

Voland adds that 50mm lenses are suitable for full or half-body shots, but for tighter head shots, lenses in the 85mm or 135mm focal lengths would be better.

Canon 5D (Mark 1) Samples

A recent thread at saw a poster asking for samples of images captured with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens mounted on Canon 5D digital SLR cameras, and also sought the opinions of owners. I’ve shortlisted some of my picks from the rather lengthy thread below.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM images, shot by Todd and Rebekah Kim of Living Life Media with the Canon EOS 5D

The series of photos above were shot by Todd and Rebekah Kim of Living Life Media with the Canon EOS 5D. You can view a larger version of the images at their gallery website on I’d say these represent very well the type of stunning wedding shots you can get with this lens + camera system; great bokeh and massive amounts of background blur are possible.

The next series of “everyday shots” was taken by Lawrence Murray, but these indoor pictures are excellent examples of the low-light capability of this lens. Great color, low noise from the 5D coupled with a light, f/1.4 lens makes this combination tough to beat for this type of photography.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM images, shot by Lawrence Murray with the Canon EOS 5D

The larger version of Lawrence’s images are broken into two parts; the first was taken wide-open at f/1.8, and the second was with the lens stopped down to f/2.8.

There is also an interesting user account of the Canon 50mm f/1.4’s exclusive use in studio photography.

Accessories and add-ons

The filter thread size on the EF 50/1.4 USM macro is 58mm, which means you’ll want to be looking at 58mm filters.

blog comments powered by Disqus