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Old Aug 8, 2015, 2:05 AM   #1
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Default 50mm f/1.8 STM photos I could not obtain with my 50mm f/1.8 II copies

Hello Friends (long time since my last post... but great to see many of the same reliable, helpful people still involved at Steve's Digicams community!)

Here are some photos that I have taken in recent weeks with my 50mm STM. That is, these images were taken in challenging lighting, using quite bright apertures. Aperture between f/2.2 and f/2.8. After all – who buys a bright normal prime to exclusively take photos stopped down…….? Anyone?

As I have written here on CR in another post – I obtained my 50mm STM here in Adelaide, Australia - at a great price a few months ago. I was the first person to buy this lens from that bricks-and-mortar camera shop – this being the largest specialist photography store here. I have bought quite a few items from them over the years, and the salesman gave me a good deal for that reason. In my previous post about the 50mm STM, I listed the pros I really like about this lens: great image capability from f/2.5 onwards, AF being fast, silent, accurate and consistent, appreciated decent close MFD, build quality good, smoother bokeh, etc.

Over a number of years, I owned two copies of the 50mm f/1.8 II. The first copy had a front focus issue – and I found the AF be plagued with inconsistency and inaccuracy issues. I exchanged that lens for another (back when I lived in Europe). The second did not have the same front focus issue, but AF was still inconsistent and inaccurate – on both my 350D and 7D. So I sold that lens some years back.

Anyway, on to the photos. The photos I am sharing here are ones that I think turned out ‘all right’. I was asked to take photos at my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday the other weekend… it was in a very low light environment (indoors, on a cloudy winter day). I also am including a few photos of my step-children at home and outside, that I took a few weeks earlier (those photos are some of the first images I took with this lens).

So one thing I am happy about is that I believe these are decent photos that are there to relive / share happy memories. Additionally, what also makes me smile is that I would have been unable to obtain these images with the 50mm f/1.8 II lens on either of my Canon DSLRs with any great predictability. The reason is that, like many others, I found the 50mm f/1.8 II’s AF to be inaccurate and inconsistent. Ok… so I would occasionally get a stunning photo at apertures between f/1.8 and f/3.5 – but it often involved an element of ‘luck’- i.e. that the lens actually decided to ‘get it right’ – rather than I used other prime lenses in AF mode – e.g. the Canon 100mm macro f/2.8 USM and the Canon 85mm f/1.8 – and both these lenses had both more consistent and more accurate AF than the 50mm f/1.8 II.

However since my purchase of the STM version shooting with a 50mm prime has been a much more pleasant, fun and enjoyable experience. I am really happy with the 50mm f/1.8 STM’s AF – it is quicker (and much quieter) – but most importantly even in low light or with low contrast situations – it does a much better job of AF. I applaud Canon for making this very affordable 50mm which can gives great images from f/2.5 onwards. I really like the 50mm FoV on my APS-C cameras, being similar to a 80mm focal length on a 35mm format camera body.

Has anyone else had the same experience with the recently released 50mm STM? That is - finding the improved usability of the 50mm STM (particularly in terms of AF ability over the 50mm f1.8 II) – to now open up new realms of fun and possibilities? Please share your thoughts, experiences, feedback – and any reflections on what I have written here.

Please feel free to post / share / upload your photos to this thread… I would also be very interested to hear other user experiences from those who have owned the 50mm f/1.4 “USM” (which is not true ring type USM… with its AF known to break!) I look forward to Canon potentially producing another 50mm prime (e.g. potentially a non-L, 50mm f/1.4 - f/2 USM lens - possibly with IS... now THAT would be great!) But that's another story and shall be told another time!

Looking forward to reading the responses! Thanks in advance.

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Old Aug 23, 2015, 5:32 PM   #2
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Nice family pics....
I'm wondering... what body are you using with the later "50"...and if different to the 350/7 combo on the old lens... how significant might that be...?
Some of the older camera's results/focus inaccuracies can often be down to just that- the camera- especially in lower light.
Interestingly, I had a focus inaccuracy with my Nikon 50/1.8 G on my D300- but not when on my D3100...! Fortunately I have the AF fine tune option on the D300- which now means I can shoot wide open to my hearts content..! (Can I mention a Nikon bit of kit here..??)

Last edited by SIMON40; Aug 23, 2015 at 5:51 PM.
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