EF 50/1.4 auto focus (again...)

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by chris_seldon_lady, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. I've got my EF 50/1.4 USM in 2003. Since the first day it focuses normally, I can use its odd "mechanical full-time manual focusing" as described in the original handbook, that is:
    • while in one shot mode (at the end of AF routine, with or without focus achieved/confirmation green light);
    • when the focus switch on the lens is set to manual mode.
    Unfortunately, if I move the focus ring in other modes, the focus jams: I can hear the AF motor spinning quietly as usual, but the lens don't focus for a while. Then, after I try focusing two/three times, everything returns ok.
    I'd like to know from other 50/1.4 owners if this behaviour can be considered normal, or if my lens is malfunctioning.
    Thanks in advance.
    Christian
     
  2. Unfortunately, I've had two 50mm 1.4 and both AF mechanisms broke on me. It's renowned for not having a particularly robust focussing mechanism. I would have it checked out with Canon. Sorry I couldn't bring you better news.
     
  3. Yes, and my friend has the same problem with her 50mm 1.4, that I just gave for a reparation and they told me that the AF mechanism is broken and have to be replaced and some other thing as well and it will cost around 100 euros ;(
    Are you saying dear Glenn that the new 50mm 1.4 serie is better now? that is good to hear as I would like to buy one myself ;)
     
  4. I think in the "other" modes, your 50 is still trying to autofocus (it does seem to muddle thorugh focus at times using... that mode that continuously focuses, can't recall the name). Personally (before I sold my canon stuff), I used the CF to put the AF on the button on the back instead of on the shutter button, then I could focus, let go of the button and adjust manually with no problems. I suspect that the reason for the high amount of AF failure in the 50 1.4 is folks rest the lens face down and that pushes the exteneded lens back into the barrel and messes with the AF mechanism... don't do that, mine worked perfectly for 4 years, and it was the only lens I used with any consistency.
    I hope somewhere in that ramble, you got something.... useful.
    Cheers.
     
  5. Biliana, "Are you saying dear Glenn that the new 50mm 1.4 serie is better now? that is good to hear as I would like to buy one myself ;)"
    I'm afraid not. The design hasn't changed since it was launched. You take your chances. I'm actually looking at the Sigma 1.4 as an alternative.
     
  6. Biliana, "Are you saying dear Glenn that the new 50mm 1.4 serie is better now? that is good to hear as I would like to buy one myself ;)"
    Hi Biliana, I'm a lil bit confuse when readin article that ppl talk about the new 50 1,4 serie, I have seen canon web sites, and some online shops, but I couldn't find any new series from ef 50 1,4


    If I'm not wrong the latest ef 50 1,4 serie was introduced back in June 1993..
    I just sold my ef-s 60mm 2,8 macro and looking for a new lens for portrait needs.. And knowing so many problems with 50 1,4 (soft@ wide open apperture and focusing problem) made me even harder to make my decision..
    @Glenn

    I have read some reviews about sigma 50 1,4 and some ppl also talk about the focusing problems..
    is there any other alternativ for 50mm fix fast lens? (50 1,2 is too much expensive, I prefer save some money to get the 35 1,4)
    btw I'm new to this forum, sorry for my bad english
     
  7. Hendra,
    I've also read many discussions on apparent focussing problems with the Sigma, but I have two theories to those.
    1) Of the many 1000's of units Sigma must have sold of this lens, you'll only hear of the few who have had problems. All those satisfied customers aren't going to complain are they?
    2) It's a different beast of a lens and I think a lot boils down to technique. Remember it has razor thin depth of field. It took me a while to learn how to use the Canon 135mm f2 L because of the thin depth of field with that lens, but it was ultimately rewarding when I got it right.
    I'm not saying that people who did have problems have poor technique, there will be bad copies about and Canon is no stranger to bad copies either. It's just some people immediately blame the equipment first, especially if they've read somewhere that the Sigma 50mm f1.4 it has focussing problems . It's human nature!
    Finally, Canon haven't released or announced a new 50mm f1.4 recently. It's still the same one that first appeared in the 90's.
    Edit:
    I'd just like to post this link to a very interesting article lens issues;
    http://www.lensrentals.com/news/2008.12.22/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths
     
  8. I have the Sigma 50 1.4 the autofocus on it is very consistent and accurate. If it is working correctly out of the box it is a geat lens. Sigma is currently known to be havng out of box quality problems. My lens had a very stiff focus ring out of the box and on a couple of test shot appreared to jam and failed to focus. However after few frames that cleared up and now it focuses as well as my Canon 70-200 F4. I have seen a couple of other post that appeared to have a similar issue. So if you get it and it doesn't work send it to sigma for warrenty repair.
    As of right now my lens is working correctly and optics are as good as I have read. The only time I didn't use auto focus was with a particularly difficult subject at F1.4 and its associated very narrow depth of field. With any wide aperture lens you have to expect that.
     
  9. sorry double post
     
  10. I had the same problem with my 50/1.4. But Canon wanted 240 euro's to repair it. (Netherlands) , and something like 60 euro's to send it back as is. So i let them keep it. mine was over 10 years old.
    I'm going to wait for a new version before i replace it.. and with the high iso capability of the 5DmkII the old trusty 28-80 2.8L is good enough for me.
     
  11. Thank you all for the contributions. It seems that my lens is just another 50/1.4 with AF issues. I'll (occasionally) use my 50/1.4 in my spare time, at least until the AF works (although with some extra care). Of course, I won't use anymore such an unreliable lens on assignment.
    Jan, you're right: it takes much more than anything I want pay to have the lens repaired. BTW, it was a good lens during the film era, but with digital sensors it became a flare machine, so I doubt its actual value could ever reach 240 euros!
    "I had the same problem with my 50/1.4. But Canon wanted 240 euro's to repair it. (Netherlands) , and something like 60 euro's to send it back as is. So i let them keep it."​
    Russel, my lens lives with the hood on and nothing can push on the front cap nor the extended barrel, nevertheless its focus don't work as it should.
    "I suspect that the reason for the high amount of AF failure in the 50 1.4 is folks rest the lens face down and that pushes the exteneded lens back into the barrel and messes with the AF mechanism."​
     
  12. I've had the same problem w/ my second 50/1.4 intermittently (bought new in March, 09) As it seems to be a design flaw, I've never sought to replace it. I always carry a backup (a 50/1.8) on location should it fail completely, but have never had it seize for more than a few moments, and the USM makes it preferably to using the 1.8 full time.
    One thing is certain though, Canon should have resolved this 15yrs ago. I know i'll be buying a 50/1.4mkII the moment I hear it's available
     
  13. Thank you Glenn :)
     

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