Canon 50mm Lens – It Can Be A Heartbreaker

Canon 50mm Lens – It Can Be A Heartbreaker


Wayne Rasku

If there is one lens every photographer needs, it is a Canon 50mm lens. I have had more than one in my camera bag.

My research is complete (I hope) and conclusive. You can\’t bounce a Canon 50mm lens off the conrete and expect it to perform well afterwards.

I hope I don\’t get emotional as I relate the story here.

I knew early on that I needed a 50mm as part of my kit, but price was a concern, so I purchased an f/1.8. You may be familiar with that one. It is extremely inexpensive at about $100. It has a great reputation for quality, in spite of its plastic construction. I planned to take good care of it, so plastic was not a concern for me.What happened could have happened to anyone. In fact, I had read of a similar incident only a few days BEFORE my own accident. I simply picked up my camera case and threw it over my shoulder. Except I had forgotten to zip it shut. My treasured lens went flying, landing on the concrete walk. I went into mourning over the loss of a dear friend.

I had to do something to bring my world back into perspective, so, naturally I bought another lens. But this time, I upgraded to a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I paid more than $350 for that sweet lens. And it was worth every penny. Part of the reason for buying the better model was for the better lens construction. The plastic lens had shattered, so I figured the metal casing of the f/1.4 model would provide better results in case of another accident.

Everything went fine for quite a while. But then, it happened. Another fatal accident.

This time, the accident was not quite the same as the first one, but the results were just as devastating. I had laid the camera (with the f/1.4 lens attached) on my workbench in the garage. In haste, I picked up the camera and started to walk away, planning to photograph something outside in the snow. I didn\’t notice that the camera strap caught on the vise, and it slipped out of my hand, landing on the garage floor. I was horrified. But then I noticed that there were no parts broken, and there were no dents anywhere. I breathed a sigh of relief. That is until I tried to use the camera to take a picture. That\’s when I discovered the lens no longer worked. It turns out the focus had been damaged. I couldn\’t even manually focus the lens. I am still in mourning.

In spite of my grief, I feel compelled to comment on the goodness of 50mm Canon lenses.

The Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens is a great lens. Having owned one for a short time has made me a firm believer. Since I have not used the F/1.2 model, I can\’t comment on that one, but this one is a fine lens that will satisfy either an enthusiastic amateur or a professional photographer.

With regard to the f/1.4, its wide aperture makes it an excellent choice for low light pictures. I personally have used it to take pictues at concerts without a flash and got excellent images.

Yet another benefit of this lens is in portrait photography. The Bokeh is awesome. Even though it is not the lens of choice for professional portrait shooters, it does a really nice job.

I discovered another use for a 50mm lens just recently, although I have not had time to try it. A friend was taking pictures with her new Canon 7D at a high school basketball game, and she was using a 50mm lens. She explained that she liked it better than her other lenses (one of which is a Canon 70-200 f/4) for a couple of reasons. The first reason was the really wide aperture. An f/4 lens was to slow to get the action without blur. And secondly, she felt like the 70-200 was too much in focal length. The 50mm lens gave her more of the action rather than just focusing on one player. I had not considered the f/1.4 lens a sports lens, but in that situation, it was the perfect match.

Whether I will replace the lens is not the question. It is a given. I just have to choose the right time and place to convince my ‘better half’ that this is the right thing to do.

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About the Author

I love photography and all things related to it. Cameras, camera gear, and image editing software fascinate me, so I am either buying the newest piece of equipment (or software) or researching my next purchase.

Did you know there are 4 of these 50mm lenses? Take a look at the entire 50mm Canon lens line-up at



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