Canon 50mm f1.8

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I recently got my hands on a Canon 50mm f1.8, not the more recent plastic body Mark II, but the discontinued original.

The lens has the same great optics in a compact body as the Mark II, but the ergonomics of this lens are far better.

I’ve found the autofocus to be a bit slower than its newer brother, but when shooting video this lens really shines.

The focus ring is not a thin plastic part on the front of the lens, but instead is actually about half way down the barrel like on the 50mm f1.4. This makes pulling focus with this inexpensive lens so much easier.

I really loved my f1.8 Mark II (until it split in half in Yoyogi a couple weeks ago), but always struggled with it compared to the 1.4 or the video ideal f1.2 because it’s so difficult to operate smoothly.

The focus ring also has semi-hard stops when you focus all the way, the ring becomes much more resistive, almost a hard stop, but not quite. Very, very useful for handheld and follow focusing.

Follow focusing is sort of possible, though only really compatible with smaller units like stuff from Redrock Micro or even D|Focus’s super budget follow focus. A gearless follow focus with a slim rubber spinner or wheel should work perfectly with this lens. A compact rig is necessary however, as obviously the lens itself is tiny.

I’m looking forward to shooting more with this and putting out some stuff I’ve made with it soon!