Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II vs Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM


TPF Noob!
Apr 27, 2009
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There is a 300$ difference between the 2 lens.. Is the 1.4 way better than the 1.8?

I was looking at flickr and found many nice shots with the 50mm and now I want one of it too! But don't really know if i should go with the cheaper one, or the heavier price tag one..
The essentail difference is that the f1.4 has a wider max aperture than the f1.8 and its also far better built as well. The f1.8 is designed to be a very low cost lens, thus a lot of its construction is plasticy and they are not that tough - however dispite this the simplicity of its construction means that is a very sharp lens - especailly for its cost.
The f1.4 is a more serious lens in that its construction is tougher and its aperture a little wider - its not a lightyear ahead of the f1.8 in terms of sharpness either. I would use the 1.8 if your not that sure or if your only going to use is sparingly - if your going to make a lot of use of it and you know what you want the more seriously priced f1.4 is your best bet.
This was the most asked question on photography forums...before digital surpassed film. Now the most asked question is 'What camera should I get' :roll:

The 50mm F1.8 is a cheap lens...both price and build quality. It's got a lot of plastic, rather than metal and the AF is slowish and noisy. However, the optics are great. To get this great glass, for less than $100, it's a great deal...which is why this lens gets recommended so much.

The 50mm F1.4 as a much better build quality and better auto focus. It's almost a stop faster. As for is fantastic. I've heard some people say that the F1.8 version is as good (or even better sometimes) but I'd put my money on the F1.4. Even though it is more than twice as's still one the less expensive EF lenses...and for the quality of it, I'd say it's a great deal.

So if you are on a tight budget, nothing wrong with choosing the F1.8....but if you want to make a sound investment in a great lens, then the F1.4 version is my recommendation.

You didn't mention the 50mm F1.2 L ($1400) I'll just leave that one out of the equation. ;)

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