Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens review with samples (full frame and APS-C)


Today I’m re-visiting a lens I reviewed years ago, a lens which I’ve probably used more than any other for so much of my photography. There’s no doubt than any fast 50mm lens will be versatile, and get you great pictures…but is this older Canon lens design technically any good? My mission: to be as objective as I can!

Find it here (Amazon affiliate link):

50mm lens battle:

Canon 50mm ‘L’ lens challenge:

Guinea pig’s bathtime:

Busan aquarium:

Aberystwyth storm:

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All pictures and footage taken by me on Canon 6D and 60D cameras.

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‘Opportunity Walks’, Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


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  1. Such a shame this lens isn't much cop – especially now it's unlikely Canon will ever do an updated version given the rush to mirrorless. I was really hoping for a new version similar to the EF 35mm f2 IS, which is a cracking little lens as you say.

  2. I can't believe this lens is already five years old. I wonder if Canon has an upgrade/next version coming in any time soon.

  3. Nice video. Light gathering is 16x more, but bokeh is 4x because it has a linear relation. Greetings from Brazil.

  4. I've watched a few of your reviews over the last couple of days, they're all great. Non-distracting background music, concise and to the point. Thanks

  5. Hey great video thanks for the upload. I just bought one for a backup. Is it normal that the focusing ring is not that smooth? Feels like paper on paper when turned off cam. Thanks for any ideas/tipps

  6. Hello, I hope someone can help me as I’m starting to learn with cameras.. I have one questions : does any type of lens fits every canon cameras ? Or you have to by for example a specific lens for a type of canon camera

  7. Interesting video enjoyed it very much. Would I get the benefits of this lens on the Canon 80d?

  8. Chris I have a question. Did your T2i/550d dslr come with am 18-55mm kit lens or did this canon 50mm f1.4 come with the camera?

  9. Hi, may i ask your opinion about which works better for video, Samyang 50mm f/1.4 AS UMC Lens or Canon 50mm f1.4 USM?
    I saw your Samyang 50mm f/1.4 AS UMC Lens review and found out that you are agree the lens works fine for video, but because i couldn't find any comparison reviews between these two lenses, so i want to know about your opinion.

  10. I have that lens, it'd one of the best purchase that I have ever made! Especially when I want to do some shootings for my blog. But here's the problem, I can easily take pictures with my CANON EOS M3 & that lens but when I want to record, it seems very slow. Please, which Canon camera can you suggest me to buy ? If I want to make some great blogs with this lens. Thank you.

  11. Hi, Chris. Love ALL your videos made. I am a beginner and just got my very first DSLR Canon 80D with 50mm 1.4USM (the only lens) to start with. May I have your suggestion for lens choice on both wide angle and telephoto side? Sigma 17-50mm or Canon 10-18 or 24mm 2.8 pancake? Canon 55-250 STM or 70-300 IS II USM? Other suggestions? Thanks !

  12. 50mm 1.8 II is way better than the 1.4 usm version. color fringing is a big problem with this lens! 1.4 is unusable for my taste. too soft. 1.8 is way sharper than the 1.4 version. I sold this lens.

  13. so what is the better choice if you want better image quality, since as I understand this lens is kinda suck? What is the alternative which is better and probable same price point? I found a brand new one for $250, should I get it or there is a better one available for the price?

  14. Would you say this is a lesser lens to the 50mm 1.8 STM then? it appears that way after watching both of your reviews, I have used the 50mm 1.4 USM and I found it really had a lot of issues so I am thinking of going for the cheaper 1.8 STM over the 1.4 USM and saving the rest of the money for a Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC

    I am currently using the 700D I don't have much plan to upgrade to full frame unless canon release the 6D II

  15. Chris is an excellent reviewer and his methodology is acceptable. He doesn't even lace his reviews with smart sounding terms. He just tells it like a layman. No pretense. It's hilarious to see some of the negative comments here. Chris, keep it up man. You are doing are tremendous job!

  16. So I use the EOS computer software and I can remotely focus using my 55mm kit lens. Would I be able to do this type of focusing with the 55mm 1.4? I feel like no because it doesn't auto focus…

  17. please how to get clear image at youtube 360p . i dont know if inside youtube editing or programme exporting format

  18. I Bought this lens, and you get a 1.4 to shoot at 1.4… but this lens is completely garbage! Dont buy because its "Cheap". Save up for a sigma 50mm 1.4! Im about to sell mine since this lens is unusable @ 1.4..

  19. In my opinion the criticisms for this lens, though technically accurate, don't steal away for the artistic quality of the shots it can produce. I think the things you are critiquing just get swallowed up easily by a good photographer.


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