Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM
I usually shoot with the wide-angle or standard zoom. But since I started photography in 2005, there was always a 50mm lens in my pocket. Canon has recently reissued the 50 1.8 as STM. After the first reports were very positive, I could not help but exchange my 50 1.8 against the STM. So it follows my own Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM test.
Who expects a test with sharpness series or comparative images, I have to disappoint. My test is mostly subjective. I simply used the Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM for half a year and gave my impressions again. And of course there are a lot of pictures from these months. All images were taken with a Canon EOS 700D . Those who are interested in technology can download the pictures and have a look at the EXIFs there.
Metal Bayonet Instead of Plastic Bayonet
What has changed in the STM in contrast to the “old” Canon EF 50mm 1.8 ? Canon has, as in the first version of the 50 1.8 installed a metal bayonet. Of course, the bayonet is much more robust than before and promises little wear and tear, even when used over several decades. The other materials have been changed, more on this later in feel.
STM Engine Instead of Micromotor
Hard to miss in the name of the 50mm now has a STM engine. STM stands for Stepper Motor Technology and means translated as stepper motor. STM motors are very quiet and therefore better suited for video recording, so that the focus noise when refocusing is not heard when the video is already running. Even USM engines are pleasantly quiet. However, anyone who knows the focus noise of the old 50 1.8, knows that it could quite attract attention.
7 Aperture Blades For a Better Bokeh
Instead of 5 so far Canon has now installed 7 aperture blades, which also give a circular opening. What does it mean exactly? The bokeh has become much nicer – more below.
Autofocus – Less Reject Rate
Let’s get straight to the autofocus. In the forums, one still argues about it, but I find that the autofocus of the Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM has become better. My reject rate has dropped. Meaning that the focus hits better than the old. The STM engine was a clear buying incentive for me because I find the high speed and low volume of the 18-55 STM outstanding.
Sharpness – Has Something Changed?
A purely subjective assessment: For me, the sharpness has improved. The previous Canon 50 1.8 was already from the aperture 4.0 a cream piece, but the STM is the “creamy” going on earlier. If for me so far aperture 2.0 was so far virtually unusable, so I can now quite useful pictures. It gets really sharp from 2.8. But even with open aperture, the sharpness has made significant progress.
Haptic – How Does The STM Feel?
The shape of the Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM has been changed. The lens is now a bit bigger and heavier. However, it still falls into the category of lightweight. As already written above, the bayonet is made of metal. The exterior is still made of plastic, but the surface is slightly roughened. One big difference: Nothing rattles or has a game. The lens feels absolutely valuable and makes for me a slightly better figure than the 50mm 1.4 . The focus ring is pleasantly light and precise.
Bokeh of The Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM
The circular aperture has made the bokeh much softer. In the old 50 1.8 one often saw a 5-corner in the background, when the screen was closed further. This “problem” has now settled. I clearly notice that in the pictures. The background is a whole lot softer than before.
Suggestion: Why Worth a 50 mm?
A 50mm is something like the lens, which is always recommended first after the kit lens. I agree with that. Working with a fixed focal length will make you more concerned with your image composition . Instead of the zoom you have to move.
For many, the blur in the background is a factor in buying a 50mm. The larger aperture reduces the depth of field, making it easier to hide the background of the subject.
Another reason is the sharpness of a fixed focal length compared to a zoom lens. Because there are no lenses to move against each other, a fixed focal length is easier to construct and thus almost always sharper. In my contribution to Canon fixed focal lengths, I give even more recommendations.
Comparison Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM with Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 II
I have already mentioned some differences. I have used the previous 50 1.8 II over 8 years and am thrilled with the new Canon 50 1.8 STM . The price difference is not particularly big, but a better autofocus, better picture quality and a softer bokeh are definitely worth the money. So I would advise to change. For those who do not own 50mm, I would also advise directly to the STM.
Comparison Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM with Canon EF 50mm F / 1.4 USM
I used the Canon EF 50mm F / 1.4 USM for a little over a year. In the end, I sold it. The reason was that you can use this lens in my opinion only with difficulty 1.4 aperture, because it is then much too soft. I’m not a keen fetishist, but there must be some foundation. Back then I switched back to the 1.8er. In this respect also for the people, who have to decide between 1.4er USM and 1.8er STM : STM!
Compare Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM with Canon EF 40mm F / 2.8 STM
The Canon EF 40mm F / 2.8 STM is also a very popular lens. I especially like it because of its small size and light weight. Even in terms of sharpness, I find it absolutely convincing. If I had to choose one of them, it would be 50mm. The reason is that I like the bokeh of the 50s better and it can also be a bit easier. The blur of the background is bigger. The 50mm is a bit bigger and heavier, but here we are really talking about whining at a high level. Both lenses end up being lighter than 90% of the other Canon lenses. Conclusion: 50 1.8 STM !
Is a Lens Hood For The Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM Necessary?
Do you need a lens hood for the Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM? I think no, because the front lens is already very deep in the lens housing anyway. In order to create unwanted flares, which one would not have with scattered light aperture, one would have to hit exactly an angle of 2 degrees. From me as a clear no to this question.
Fitness For Cameras
The Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM is suitable for all Canon EOS series cameras. This applies to both analogue and digital cameras. It does not matter if full frame or crop sensor. The lens fits so for example on these cameras.
I am very satisfied with the Canon EF 50mm F / 1.8 STM . Finally, nothing clatters on the lens, the autofocus hits better and the background is softer. And yet, this lens brings a playful ease, with which you can constantly evolve in your own photography.