Canon 50mm 1.8 stm review
The Canon 50mm 1.8 stm is a nice upgrade to the older Canon 50mm 1.8 II lens, which was an interesting piece of equipment (Nifty fifty). Unlike its solid built predecessor it was a filmsy plastic wonder, with nice optical qualities, but cheapo focus motor. The new lens is upgraded many ways, but still plastic, but better built than the earlier version.
The above picture was made at f/1.8 aperture, just before sunset, I have no complaint about picture quality.
In terms of lens pricing it is more affordable than most quality lenses. The original lens was a 6/5 element gauss design, the stm version is upgraded optically as well not just in terms of build quality.
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm technical parameters
The lens length is changing via focusing the front element app. 5mm (0.2 inch) coming out of the barrel at the maximum situation, see the picture above. The lens built from plastic with a metal mount. The stm motor is not silent for video recording at least not on my old C30D. The sound is deeper than the usual screw drive lens motors, and more pleasant. Compare to other stm lenses the 40mm pancake more quiet. The lens is compatible with full frame and Aps-C cameras as well.
The lens has electronically controlled manual focus. Like Nikon first omit the aperture ring from old lenses, and Canon and Nikon
omit distance scale window from cheaper prime lenses, this is the new thing when the camera not actuated by the shutter button
no manual focus function. What is it for ? Not to use the lens on other cameras like Olympus, Panasonic etc, I have no other idea.
On Canon camera not a big drawback, even on my very old C30D the lens functions very well. Do not expect though super autofocus
speed or accuracy in low light.
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm focal length
As it is a prime lens is important to understand the focal length. On Aps-C cameras it is more of a portrait lens / short telephoto. Some people can use it as their only lens, but for me I want wider lens for general usage. Optimal focal length on Aps-C for a wedding for example, for portraits. On full frame cameras it is wider but not as wide as I like it to be. You cannot be lazy with prime lenses you need to compose your pictures carefully in terms of aperture and field of view as well.
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm optical quality
Compare to the original version the aim was to make it sharper and has closer focusing distance which was succeded. Not as sharp as the much bigger Sigma 50mm f/1.8 Art lens though which is tack sharp at f/1.8 but much bigger heavier and less fun. Vignetting can be expected at wider apertures, especially pronounced on Full frame cameras.
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm compare to
Compare to the earlier version the new version focuses 4 inch closer (10cm) 35 vs 45 cm. Both lens has the same 6/5 gaussian design.
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm Pros
– excellent image quality
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm Cons
– electronic manual focus
– No distance scale
Canon 50mm 1.8 stm verdict
Cute little lens with good qualities, if you can use it recommended ! It is a fun lens to have play with depth of field and highlights low light situations, for example like campfire.