Canon EF 50mm f1.8 mk2 Low light performance?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by timages, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. I am planning a few days in Paris mainly for photography, and am considering getting the EF 50mm f1.8 mk2 specificaly for this trip to use in Low light conditions, early mornings and evenings. However iv heard this Lens struggles a bit focusing in low light, and I know the manual focus ring on these plastic Lenses are flimsy and not very responsive. Which sort of defeats the object of using it in Low light. I used to have the mk 1 version, along with some other primes, but ended up selling them as they never got much use, much prefering to use my zooms.
    This Lens would not get much use, which is why im going for the mk 2, (also the mk 1 is becoming harder to source now) im just a bit concerned about its focusing ability in low light, and am curious to ask other users of this Lens their experiences of using it in Low light, specificaly on focusing. I know its a good Lens opticaly. Much obliged, Tim.
  2. Tim, I've never found my copy of the "Nifty Fifty" to struggle too much in low light. That is only my experience and may be refuted by other members. Besides, at $85, it's a nice bargain lens nonetheless. Best of luck!
  3. AF is about the same as your old 50 1.8 MK I. So if it was okay for your typical use, then the MKII will be okay. I've owned both and they did struggle in light where I actually needed F1.8-2.8. Oddly AF on my slower zooms was far more dependable.
  4. theres always the choice of just focusing manually :)
  5. I use one a lot in nightclubs. If you're focusing on something with a bit of contrast, it will do well enough in low light. If you're shooting dark on dark, it's going to hunt. I nearly always use the center dot (most sensitive AF point) when focusing in low light. I'm happy with mine. With its price tag, how can you go wrong? It's probably cheaper to buy this than rent just about anything else.
    'course, you could always rent a 50 f/1.2. :)
  6. I've never found trouble with AF in low light.
    Here's a shot through the windshield on a dark street. The sky was darker to the eye than the camera.
  7. It all depends on what exactly you are shooting. If you want cityscape/landscape, it should be fine. If you want people milling about, then it may have trouble, but only in the 'darkest' locations. I've had mine for 6 years and have had little trouble, but did recently (upgrade?) to the sigma 30mm f1.4, which does very well.
  8. Thanks all, sounds like its worth getting. Although I had the mk1 version, I never actualy used it in low light.
  9. A lot depends on the camera and its AF. But my experience has been that pretty much all lenses struggle in poor light and focusing is hit-and-miss. The AF assist beam of a Speedlite or the ST-E2 is the magic you need to nail the focus every time.
  10. I use film cameras, EOS 3 and the 1N, the 3 is probably better regarding focus speed.
  11. I have this little old 50 1.8 mounted on an XTi. I have had it for a good fifteen or so years. I bought it used for 50 bucks. It does not seem that you can kill this cheap, plasticy lens. It just keeps making sharp pictures and just this minute I autofocused it in light that called for 1600 ISO, 1/20 @ f1.8. I could not see to manual focus. What do you want? I have three L lenses and yet I think the world of this lens for its lightness, durability and ability to work in low light and work in situations where my bigger, heavier lenses don't.
  12. Well you have convinced me Dick, Thanks to all, Tim.
  13. Just get it. It's my favourite lens of the lot. I have no trouble with it at all. Unless you own the 1.4, 1.2 or 1.0 you'd be crazy not to get one.
  14. I have a 50 1.8II and it backfocuses a little. The motors a little tired and I think that has something to do with it. But this lens has been knocked around a bit to get it to this condition. Is it worth the money to buy it? Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Absolutely.
  15. Complete darkness fools any lens. However dusk and dawn are no problem to the 50/1.8. Plus it's typically a "let's throw a camera and one lens in the bag" lens; small, lightweight, sharp and fun.
    Just go for it! Matthijs.
  16. I think that for film and FF, it's probably ok. For crop sensor digital, it's a good lens, but I think my EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 is every bit as good with the IS turned on and gives more flexibility. The one aspect of it that can't be beat is the size/weight. For that price, you might as well get it. Adorama has some great deals on refurbs, as well.
  17. Ehm, it really depends upon your application for it whether the hunting is that important.
    I won't use it for important parts of a wedding - like the processional - but I will use it any other time for the non-essential but important shots that call for that kind of lens.
    It's not that bad at hunting, really. I guess a good contrasty subject is really all that matters to it.
  18. Nice shot, Matthijs, and it makes the point that most any lens can have nice circular bokeh when it's shot wide open. Frankly though, I don't mind the bokeh even stopped down though it can be a little pentagonal, as I recall.
  19. Hello - I'm running on the 50mm 1,8. It is so cheap and therefor so good - good invetment.
    BUT manual & pre focus is the drawback - not really usable.
    Therefore I'm looking for the Planar T* 1,4/50 ZE as soon as ~600€ are available again ;-)
    Regards Axel

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