It’s been a long time coming, but 25 years after the EF 50mm f/1.8 II was launched Canon has replaced its ‘nifty fifty’ with the new EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. Michael Topham finds out if it represents a bargain at just £129
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM – Introduction
Ask any Canon user what they think Canon’s most popular lenses are, and I can guarantee that most will mention the classic EF 50mm f/1.8. Not only is it the most affordable lens in the EF line-up, it’s also well matched to a wide variety of photographic genres.
Originally launched to replace the older EF 50mm f/1.8 in 1990, the EF 50mm f/1.8 II has built up a good reputation for being an extremely compact and inexpensive fixed-focal-length standard lens. Not only does it give a very natural looking perspective to images when used on a full-frame DSLR, its large aperture also allows users to easily separate a subject from its surroundings by creating a shallow depth of field.
With the new EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, Canon has looked to improve upon the old design and modernise it by incorporating a Stepper Motor (STM) for smoother and quieter autofocus. The question is, has Canon been successful in creating what appears, at first glance, to be its best inexpensive standard lens to date?