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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens is a prime lens which means it has no variable focal length adjustment such as what is found on a zoom lens. Prime lenses are often preferred by many photographers for their wide apertures and sharp focusing. The reason is that zoom lenses are likely to have a variable aperture from the wide angle to extreme telephoto capability of the lens, with many zooms providing soft focus. Prime lenses are usually faster lenses for their focal length as compared to a zoom set at the focal length of a specific prime. Faster lenses have an aperture that opens wider to allow in more available light, thus greatly broadening the lighting conditions a lens can be used under.
APERTURE AND FOCUSING
This prime 50mm lens from Canon is fast with a maximum aperture of f/1.4, which makes it a good lens for low light shooting conditions. It also has an ultrasonic motor (USM) for fast auto focusing. There is a manual override switch on the lens to switch from AF auto focus to MF manual focus. It has a minimum focusing distance of 1.5 feet or 0.45 meters.
LENS GLASS ELEMENTS
This Canon 50mm prime lens incorporates seven glass elements in six groups. Two of the elements are high-refraction. Higher refraction bends light at steeper angles to reduce the overall length of the lens that is required. It also assists with reducing optical aberrations from appearing in finished images.
The elements use Gaussian principles of flat and spherical surfaces to prevent astigmatism focusing issues in the lens resulting in sharper images. Astigmatic issues cause vertical and horizontal planes to focus at different distances, thus making images possibly look fuzzy. Reduction of astigmatic issues within this 50mm prime Canon lens produces sharper image results.
LENS DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
The high refraction elements reduce the overall length of this lens to 2.9 x 2.0 inches or 73.8 x 50.5 millimeters. The weight is 10.2 ounces or 290 grams. The profile of this lens protruding from the camera body does not require extra support or adjustment of shooting stance to keep the camera body and lens properly supported. The light weight permits all day shooting without adding to photographer fatigue like some heavy zoom lenses cause.
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens will accept 58mm screw-on filters. To reduce flaring in sunny conditions, use the ES-71II lens hood from Canon. This lens also works with the Canon EF 12 II and EF 25 II extension tubes. It comes with a Canon E-58U lens cap and rear dust cap. The Canon LP1014 lens pouch will help protect it from dings when in storage in a camera bag.
For photographers considering a prime lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens is in the standard telephoto range of the prime Canon lenses available today. It provides a more natural looking depth of field to photographs making it suitable for most anything from portraits to general photography at a 50mm focal length. It is important to remember that because it is a prime lens, the photographer must move forward and away from the subject to properly frame them in the shot.