Review: Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM by TDP

Canon Rumors Guy

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CR Pro
Jul 20, 2010
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Bryan at The Digital Picture has completed his review of the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM, the new “nifty fifty” for the RF mount. Canon has a long history of making these inexpensive 50mm lenses that provide good optics and great value, and the RF 50mm f/1.8 STM continues this tradition.
Compared to its EF brother:
In the image quality comparison at f/1.8, the RF lens has a slight advantage, primarily in the image circle periphery. By f/2.8, the EF lens may be slightly sharper in the center of the frame, and the RF lens is very slightly sharper deep in the corners. The EF lens has less peripheral shading, and the RF lens has less geometric distortion. Overall, the image quality difference between...

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CanonFanBoy

Purple
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Jan 28, 2015
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Well, I was thinking of getting this lens just so that I could say once again that I own an RF lens. ;) I think I'll stick with my adapted Tamron. I think it is a better lens, and it ought to be at 2x the price. I'd be better served saving for the RF 85mm f/2... though I don't think I will ever be satisfied again until I can get back the RF "L" lenses I gave up thanks to pandemic economics. 2020 has been a year I'll be happy to put in the rear view mirror soon. The wife went to see her cardiologist this morning. The appointment was cancelled. Her doc woke up with a fever and rapid tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. Hope he's okay. I hope everyone is okay. I have an appt. this afternoon for the yearly physical. I'll ask for the vaccine since my health conditions qualify me at this point. Hope all of you are doing well. (y) May your lives be filled with joy, happiness, and love.
 

AJ

EOS RP
Sep 11, 2010
714
129
Nice to see this lens in R mount. Not surprisingly it's pretty much the same as the EF lens, optically. Which is fine, but why the 60% price increase? That's the part I have trouble with.
 
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drhuffman87

Eos R, RF24-105 F4L, RF85 F2, EF200 F2.8L II
Nov 5, 2020
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This is a fine lens for what it is, but I'd like to see another 50mm as sharp as the f/1.2 but smaller/lighter/less expensive, with IS and weather sealing. Doesn't have to be f/1.8 or 1.4 -- f/2 would be plenty if it could stay small.
If it were as sharp wide open as the rf 85mm f/2.0 with no IS, I would be ecstatic.
 

Maximilian

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As this lens is twice the price than its EF equivalent I still wonder if it is twice the value.
I couldn't get this info from the review.

Still a good decent lens for a decent price.
 
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koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
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Feb 25, 2015
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As this lens is twice the price than its EF equivalent I still wonder if it is twice the value.
I couldn't get this info from the review.[..]

You also have to factor in the cost of an EF-RF adapter if you don't have one yet.
 

tiggy@mac.com

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Brian's section on autofocusing didn't specifically mention focus consistency - which was the main complaint for the EF 50 f/1.8 II (less so the newer STM version). I take that to mean he didn't find it notable, which would imply a pretty big improvement. But looking back to his previous reviews of those lenses, it didn't warrant much mention either, so maybe that's not something that comes out during a review period.
 
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Del Paso

M3 Singlestroke
Aug 9, 2018
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As this lens is twice the price than its EF equivalent I still wonder if it is twice the value.
I couldn't get this info from the review.

Still a good decent lens for a decent price.
I'd rather spend twice as much to get a REALLY decent lens...like the Nikon Z 1,8/50, which ridicules the Canon 50/1,8.
Just check on TDP the midframe results at f1,8, for instance.
So, presently, if you want an excellent Canon 50mm, there's only the heavy and expensive f 1,2 left.:confused:
Or Tamron, Sigma, Zeiss.
 
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nubu

EOS M6 Mark II
Nov 25, 2011
89
6
Austria
Bad weather. So no easy startest of the new RF50/1.8. But here is an an extreme lower right corner comparison of the RF50/1.8 and the RF50/1.2L - both with all corrections switched off.The X-mas lights provides us with helpful pointsources to check for the point spread function of the two lenses. This time I had not to wait for stars in the sky... The outcome is quite similar to Digital Picture test concerning corner PSFs
 

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mdcmdcmdc

7Dii, M5, 100 (film), α6400
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Sep 4, 2020
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Good review as usual from TDP, but don't read too much into statements that one is "slightly sharper" wide open... one at f/2.8... one at the periphery.... With two lenses that are so close to one another in design, construction, and cost, such differences are more likely due to manufacturing process variation than design fundamentals. Identical testing using a different copy of each lens might produce the exact opposite results.

No manufactured component ever hits all of its ideal design parameters exactly. Even optical surfaces--which have to be accurate to within a fraction of a wavelength in order to be "diffraction limited"--have tolerances and variations. Separating the fundamental performance of each design from the effects of its manufacturing process would require testing many many copies of each (maybe hundreds!) from different production runs.

My takeaway from this review is that the RF and EF versions have basically identical optical performance. If you're trying to choose between one or the other, use other criteria that are important to you (price, EF compatibility vs. adapter, control ring, MFD, etc.).
 

twoheadedboy

EOS R5
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Jan 3, 2018
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I really hope the lack of improvement in this lens (as compared to the direction Nikon went with its 50mm f/1.8) means an RF f/1.4 IS slotted right in the middle of the 2 products is forthcoming. I bought the f/1.8 because I own and love the f/1.2 but it's just too big and expensive for the purposes I need, but I could justify something bigger and more expensive could be justified if it got me f/1.4 and IS along with higher IQ at the wider apertures. My fear is that they WILL come out with a 3rd RF 50mm, but if will be an f/2 IS macro like the 85mm, and that's not at all the configuration I'm looking for.
 
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Surab

Olympus OM-D E-M5II
Aug 22, 2020
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I really hope the lack of improvement in this lens (as compared to the direction Nikon went with its 50mm f/1.8) means an RF f/1.4 IS slotted right in the middle of the 2 products is forthcoming. I bought the f/1.8 because I own and love the f/1.2 but it's just too big and expensive for the purposes I need, but I could justify something bigger and more expensive could be justified if it got me f/1.4 and IS along with higher IQ at the wider apertures. My fear is that they WILL come out with a 3rd RF 50mm, but if will be an f/2 IS macro like the 85mm, and that's not at all the configuration I'm looking for.

Hopefully not right in the middle price-wise, that would be a little hefty at ~ $1250. If they can make it sealed and optically good, for maybe 800-1000, that would be better. The Nikon Z primes are really appealing with their quality, size, and good to borderline-decent prices. Currently, Canon is still winning with their RF 24-105F4 L for what I would want.
 

SUNDOG04

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Mar 1, 2015
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No thanks. 50mm RF mount is consumer grade or very expensive. No in between. No doubt I would find it decent but would prefer something equal to the Nikon 1.8S lens. Also missing is a 24-70 f4 RF, but eventually one will be released. When I decide (afford) to go mirrorless this lack of a very good middle range lens (not a big, heave expensive 2.8) will go a long way as to whether I go to Nikon body with either the f4 zoom or epic 1.8 lens.
 

Codebunny

Elil
Sep 5, 2018
839
827
Scotland
No thanks. 50mm RF mount is consumer grade or very expensive. No in between. No doubt I would find it decent but would prefer something equal to the Nikon 1.8S lens. Also missing is a 24-70 f4 RF, but eventually one will be released. When I decide (afford) to go mirrorless this lack of a very good middle range lens (not a big, heave expensive 2.8) will go a long way as to whether I go to Nikon body with either the f4 zoom or epic 1.8 lens.

You could get a Nikon Z body and the 50mm for the same or less than the price of the RF 50 1.2. So even if you have a R5 yo could have a wee portable 50mm ’point and shoot’.