It certainly was a while since Canon released a normal lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8. The existing version, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, came on the market in 1999. Even if its optical performance is really good, the lens has a rather slow and somewhat noisy focus motor. And the bayonet is plastic. Buyers wanting to get quieter focus and better build quality has been forced to go for the brighter and therefore much more expensive Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM.
But now there is an alternaive. The new Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM has been equipped with metal bayonet and, above all, Canon’s STM-motor that provides even quieter autofocus than even the USM-motor. In practise the STM-motor is virtually silent, a great advantage if you are going to use the lens for video recording. Another of its benefits is that it provides smoother and faster focusing, both when filming and using the camera in live view mode.
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM is constructed for full format but can also be used on a cameras with APS-C-sensor, where it will act as a short and bright tele lens. Excellent for portraits with blurred background.
The lens is small and light, only 3,9 cm in length and weighing in at 160 grams. The optical design includes 6 lenses in 5 groups, as well as an aperture with seven blades. The minimum focus is 35 cm, which is 10 cm shorter than the old version. Canon also promise an improved image quality through the use of a new coating (“Canon Super Spectra”), said to reduce ghosting and internal reflections.
What can possibly feel a bit dissapointing is the lack of a focus- and depth of field scale. Image stabilizer, IS, would also be a welcome feature. But then of course the lens would cost more.
So what is the price? Only around 130 USD, making the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM an affordable lens for beginners. It will be in stores already in May.
And of course, a review of this lens will soon be published here at Lensfreaks!
Specifications Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Image circle: 24 x 36 mm (full frame)
Angle of view, horisontal: 40°
Filter thread: 49 mm
Minimum focus: 35 cm
Minimum aperture: 22
Dimensions: Length 3,9 cm, diameter 6,9 cm.
Weight: 160 gram