Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/3200s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/10.0
Exposure1/250s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/6400s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/200s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/5000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/250s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed200
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed800
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/15s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed800
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/320s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/1.8
Exposure1/8000s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/1250s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/2.2
Exposure1/2500s

MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS R5
ISO Speed100
Focal Length50.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/320s

Verdict

The Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM left us with some mixed emotions. Some aspects are really good if not outstanding but there's an elephant or two in the room. Let's start with the positives. In terms of resolution, it is generally very decent. The broader center and even the borders have very high quality at large-aperture settings. The corners ... well ... not so much - they are very soft and dull (low contrast). In practical terms, this may not matter too much though because you rarely tend to require ultimate corner sharpness at such settings. At f/4 and f/5.6, the lens is about as sharp as it gets by any lens standard - which is typical for most 50mm f/1.8 lenses regardless of how cheap they are. Image distortions and lateral CAs are minimal even in RAW files. Vignetting is clearly on the high side and requires auto-correction unless you are after a keyhole effect. There are two aspects where the lens is really stumbling though. The image quality falls apart at closer focus distances and the bokeh isn't overly pleasing really. This won't be obvious in all shallow depth-of-field images but it will be in some. For the best bokeh (at cost of DoF and sheer out-of-focus blur), you should stop down to an f-stop.

The build quality is good for a consumer-grade lens and especially in this price class. It feels quite solid with a combination of plastic and metal parts and a smooth control/focus ring. It's also tiny so just the right thing for casual or street shooting. On the downside, there is no weather sealing and it relies on a dated linear extension mechanism rather than internal focusing. This means that the STM has to move the entire lens system for focusing. However, the STM remains quite fast - on the R5 at least - but it is a bit noisy during focusing.

All the pros and cons have to be balanced with its price tag, of course. At just $200USD/230EUR, it's really dirt cheap by today's standard and it's already a value king as such. If you are aware of its no-goes, you should be able to get some great results from it.

Optical Quality:    
★★★★★ (@45 megapixel)
Optical Quality:    
★★★★★ (@30 megapixel)
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★