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Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

This is Canon’s smallest and lightest lens, being the closest thing to a “pancake” lens that Canon makes. It makes a great walk-around lens, and it’s cheap—about US$90. This lens is so cheap that it’s must-own lens; it’s small and light and “disposable” for hazardous shooting (eg beach, water, etc). Quality control might vary; my sample seems to be slightly “off” left to right. This is of little concern by f/2.8, especially with non-planar subjects.

Very sharp in infrared by f/2, and outstandingly sharp by f/8 (but with some hot spot trouble). Some backfocus, but can be easily dealt with in most cases.

In spite of the hot spots seen below, in the real world the lens does not tend to show problems. Thus, it ekes out a “Good” rating.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II hot spots

Although hot spots become strong by f/8, the simple design is resistant to flare and so field shots tend to produce good results.

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