July 23, 2014, 10:43:04 AM

Author Topic: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)  (Read 2336 times)

EOBeav

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:57:06 PM »
I'm being gifted a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, the original model that was introduced in 1987.  I'm being told it's in excellent shape, but I'll find out for sure tomorrow.  I was very surprised that this is selling for well above even the MSRP of the current 50mm f/1.8 mkII in production.  Sold items on eBay are listing for ~$150USD, give or take. Is this just because of the metal mount, or is it optically superior to the mkII?  How will it compare to my 50mm f/1.4 (that I truly love, despite it's flaws). 

In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:57:06 PM »

Aglet

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 12:59:50 AM »
the older one doesn't just have a metal mount, it has a distance scale that's part-way useful.
it has a longer focus throw so it's also easier to focus manually than the v2, but it can also be slower to AF than the short-throw v2
The focus feature alone may make it more useful for some budget video work.
I have both versions, I think they're about the same optically, never compared them for that purpose.  I prefer the handling of the v1, even if it's a tad slower to AF at times.  v2 is definitely better for grabbing some candid shots as it's quicker to AF.
Can't go wrong for the price you're paying for it. ;)

EOBeav

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 12:52:38 PM »
Can't go wrong for the price you're paying for it. ;)

Indeed. And if its in good working order, I wonder if I should sell off my 50mm f/1.4 to start saving up for some other things I need. I'm not dying to part with it, but that would just add to the value of this gift.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

ajperk

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 02:46:21 PM »
I have come across discussions on other forums (unfortunately I cannot find them currently) that mention the 50mm f/1.8 Mk I as being more prone to flare than the Mk II. Older coatings perhaps?
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mrsfotografie

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 03:13:53 PM »
This is a killer of a lens, I love it especially when I travel and need something non-obtrusive, small and light+bright. I gave the MkII a go once, but the Mk I is just so much nicer, and I believe it's optically more contrasty too. Stopped down to around f/5.6 it just may be the sharpest lens I own.

Here are two shots of Tokyo tower with this lens on a 5D MkIII:

And this album was shot entirely with this lens and that body:

http://www.mrsfotografie.nl/reizen/japan-2014/japan-04_07/tsukiji/

« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 03:26:16 PM by mrsfotografie »
5D3, 5D2, NEX-6 | SY14mm f/2.8, Ʃ20mm f/1.8, 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, Ʃ35mm f/1.4A, 50mm f/1.8 I, Ʃ50mm f/1.4 EX, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 1.4x II, 70-300L, 100-400L | E-mount: SY12mm f/2, Ʃ19mm & 30mm f/2.8 EX DN, 16-50 & 55-210 OSS | 2x FT-QL, AE-1P, FD(n) & FL primes

pablo

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 05:28:25 PM »
I have owned 3 of these lenses (and to be fair 3 of the plastic fantastic mk2)

If you are getting one for free / gifted then great, but as with all used lenses please take care to check the following:

1. Mould / Fungus.  Hold up to the light, tilt a little to get some of the black interior of the lens behind the glass as well as light passing though the glass, look carefully at everything.  There will be dust.  If the dust has legs or a web then don't put the lens on any of your kit.  Mould and fungus is notoriously easily transferred.   If you are dead keen get it cleaned by a reputable repairer.  I personally would just bin this particular lens if it had mould (I bought one two weeks ago witht he very beginnings of mould developing, straight back to shop, didn;t even make it onto a body for testing)

2. Focus accuracy.   Focus on infinity manually (using the scale)  Point the camera to a very distant object.  Refocus if required.
Check your shots.  Try the same on AF using the centre point.  Check your shots.  My 2nd copy of this lens died because the focus helix was compromised, probably as a result of a drop.

3.  Check the focus ring.  Any chips or distortion imply a drop. Calibration could be way out, other unseen damage.

4. Stop the iris down,  press the depth of field preview button as you do so, check the stops are uniform, that the blades retain their shape exept wide open, and that there are no oil smears on the blades, as this will affect stop down tine, giving you a lot of over-exposed shots.

There are also a few other things to un-recommend this particular lens:

The AFD focus motor is slow and very noisy. (mk 2 quieter)

MF is gritty and ratchety (mark II not gritty, more loose feeling)

This lens has a cult following, and I am a sucker for it, totally unreasonable.  I like the build, as I also love my original 28mm f2.8, but the prices are getting daft (not an issue for you)

There is nothing optically to recommend it over the mk2, same iris shape, same optical formula.

If it's clean and it works right and isn't going to damage your other lenses then great enjoy.  Just be very careful before putting in on your body.

In comparison to your 1.4.  Well, at 1.4 the 1.4 is the winner.  At anything else it's just about even stevens.  Except that the 1.4 is quicker and quieter to focus with its USM micro-motor.  The f1.4 is also nicer to manually focus.

I wouldn't sell the f1.4 to pimp out an old lens that might die next week.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 05:31:45 PM by pablo »
EOS 7D, T3i, 20D, M, 3, 300x. 70-200 f2.8, 100mm f2, Sigma 70mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8, Samyang 35mm f1.4, 28mm f2.8, EF-m 22mm f2, 18-50 f2.8, 18-55 EF-m, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8.

EOBeav

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 07:59:22 PM »
I have owned 3 of these lenses (and to be fair 3 of the plastic fantastic mk2)

If you are getting one for free / gifted then great, but as with all used lenses please take care to check the following:

1. Mould / Fungus.  Hold up to the light, tilt a little to get some of the black interior of the lens behind the glass as well as light passing though the glass, look carefully at everything.  There will be dust.  If the dust has legs or a web then don't put the lens on any of your kit.  Mould and fungus is notoriously easily transferred.   If you are dead keen get it cleaned by a reputable repairer.  I personally would just bin this particular lens if it had mould (I bought one two weeks ago witht he very beginnings of mould developing, straight back to shop, didn;t even make it onto a body for testing)

I looked through it several times. There is nothing there that doesn't look like dust, and certainly nothing with legs, web, etc... Same with the 70-210 that came with it. In fact, the whole kit (camera + 2 lens) looks like they were kept dry and well out of any damaging elements for much of its life.

Quote
2. Focus accuracy.   Focus on infinity manually (using the scale)  Point the camera to a very distant object.  Refocus if required.
Check your shots.  Try the same on AF using the centre point.  Check your shots.  My 2nd copy of this lens died because the focus helix was compromised, probably as a result of a drop.

3.  Check the focus ring.  Any chips or distortion imply a drop. Calibration could be way out, other unseen damage.

4. Stop the iris down,  press the depth of field preview button as you do so, check the stops are uniform, that the blades retain their shape exept wide open, and that there are no oil smears on the blades, as this will affect stop down tine, giving you a lot of over-exposed shots.

Focus check noted. Also, I'm going to take this lens through the AFMA paces on my 5DmkII.  Focus ring seems to be even throughout the range, noting the slight ratcheting you mentioned.

Quote
There are also a few other things to un-recommend this particular lens:

The AFD focus motor is slow and very noisy. (mk 2 quieter)

MF is gritty and ratchety (mark II not gritty, more loose feeling)

This lens has a cult following, and I am a sucker for it, totally unreasonable.  I like the build, as I also love my original 28mm f2.8, but the prices are getting daft (not an issue for you)

I've been carefully checking out the sold listing on eBay for this model, and was surprised to see how they have appreciated.

Quote
There is nothing optically to recommend it over the mk2, same iris shape, same optical formula.

If it's clean and it works right and isn't going to damage your other lenses then great enjoy.  Just be very careful before putting in on your body.

In comparison to your 1.4.  Well, at 1.4 the 1.4 is the winner.  At anything else it's just about even stevens.  Except that the 1.4 is quicker and quieter to focus with its USM micro-motor.  The f1.4 is also nicer to manually focus.

I wouldn't sell the f1.4 to pimp out an old lens that might die next week.

To be sure, the f/1.4 has it's problems; notably the softness between f/1.4 and f/1.8.  After f/2, though, it gets quite sharp. I'm interested to see if the f/1.8 does the same.  I never shoot the f/1.4 wide open; usually at f/2.8 or so. 

Thanks for the feedback. I just may put this one the market and see what happens.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 07:59:22 PM »

mrsfotografie

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 02:07:46 AM »
I've been carefully checking out the sold listing on eBay for this model, and was surprised to see how they have appreciated.

It's a nice and tiny standard lens on small 1.6x crop bodies like the xxxD and xxxxD series, and can be adapted to the EOS-M for the same sort of purpose, so yes lenses in the 28-25mm range especially are appreciating.

This is especially true for the old Canon FL and FD lenses that could be had for a song not long ago but the prices are sky-rocketing. I'm looking for a nice, bright FD or FL 35mm for my NEX but the prices for old glass are getting insane due to the mirrorless revolution.
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EOBeav

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 11:54:45 AM »

It's a nice and tiny standard lens on small 1.6x crop bodies like the xxxD and xxxxD series, and can be adapted to the EOS-M for the same sort of purpose, so yes lenses in the 28-25mm range especially are appreciating.

Well, partly, but more than that this particular lens was only made for 3 years, and is considered a better build than the one that replaced it.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 11:59:43 AM »
I've had several of them, I used to find them frequently being sold with old film bodies like the EOS 650, and they sold online for $200 and more.  Now, its rare to find one, but I did find two last year.
Optically, they are said to be the same, but the build is much better, and they have that metal mount, and a real focus ring.
 
If it were not for me never using 50mm, I would have kept my first one.  I found that it focused in near darkness quickly and easily, but not all of them were that good at autofocus.

mrsfotografie

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 12:12:35 PM »

It's a nice and tiny standard lens on small 1.6x crop bodies like the xxxD and xxxxD series, and can be adapted to the EOS-M for the same sort of purpose, so yes lenses in the 28-25mm range especially are appreciating.

Well, partly, but more than that this particular lens was only made for 3 years, and is considered a better build than the one that replaced it.

I was actually referring to the 28mm f/2.8 with respect to your remark that you were surprised to see how they have appreciated ;)
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 12:15:15 PM by mrsfotografie »
5D3, 5D2, NEX-6 | SY14mm f/2.8, Ʃ20mm f/1.8, 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, Ʃ35mm f/1.4A, 50mm f/1.8 I, Ʃ50mm f/1.4 EX, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 1.4x II, 70-300L, 100-400L | E-mount: SY12mm f/2, Ʃ19mm & 30mm f/2.8 EX DN, 16-50 & 55-210 OSS | 2x FT-QL, AE-1P, FD(n) & FL primes

EOBeav

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 01:08:32 PM »
I've had several of them, I used to find them frequently being sold with old film bodies like the EOS 650, and they sold online for $200 and more.

Actually, this one came with a 650, but I'm not sure if it works or not. I'll need to get a battery and then run it through the felt-degradation test.

I was actually referring to the 28mm f/2.8 with respect to your remark that you were surprised to see how they have appreciated ;)

D-ohh...got it!   :)
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

Gear: Canon 5DmkII, 17-40mm f/4 L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-200mm f/4.

Aglet

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2014, 07:53:05 PM »
Can't go wrong for the price you're paying for it. ;)

Indeed. And if its in good working order, I wonder if I should sell off my 50mm f/1.4 to start saving up for some other things I need. I'm not dying to part with it, but that would just add to the value of this gift.

If you can, spend some time comparing the 2 lenses.  I wouldn't be too quick to dispose of the /1.4 version, it's a decent lens and actually has a bit of personality at times.  I can't count how many different 50mm lenses I have, they're all a little different, but very similar.

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2014, 07:53:05 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2014, 10:15:02 PM »


If you can, spend some time comparing the 2 lenses.  I wouldn't be too quick to dispose of the /1.4 version, it's a decent lens and actually has a bit of personality at times.  I can't count how many different 50mm lenses I have, they're all a little different, but very similar.

+1
Lenses seem to have a lot of variation, find one you like and stick with it.

mrsfotografie

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2014, 05:21:12 AM »


If you can, spend some time comparing the 2 lenses.  I wouldn't be too quick to dispose of the /1.4 version, it's a decent lens and actually has a bit of personality at times.  I can't count how many different 50mm lenses I
have, they're all a little different, but very similar.
+1
Lenses seem to have a lot of variation, find one you like and stick with it.

On the contrary, I like to have access to different lenses with different character to suit the mood ;)
5D3, 5D2, NEX-6 | SY14mm f/2.8, Ʃ20mm f/1.8, 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, Ʃ35mm f/1.4A, 50mm f/1.8 I, Ʃ50mm f/1.4 EX, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 1.4x II, 70-300L, 100-400L | E-mount: SY12mm f/2, Ʃ19mm & 30mm f/2.8 EX DN, 16-50 & 55-210 OSS | 2x FT-QL, AE-1P, FD(n) & FL primes

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Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (1st gen., metal mount)
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2014, 05:21:12 AM »